Become a SIFF Member


Not only are all six of this year's Catalyst world premieres, but four of them are also from directors making their feature film debuts, which means that you'll have a front row seat for the next wave of U.S. film directors right here in Seattle. With a growing network of Catalyst alums with films playing on screens of all sizes across the country, our program is fast becoming a launchpad for U.S. indie film. 

Director Ray Yeung, and actor Sonia Villani scheduled to attend. Growing up the son of poor immigrants in NYC's Chinatown, Ryan has worked to distance himself from his Asian heritage in order to seem more modern and hip. But when he receives an assignment to style Ning (James Chen), a visiting actor from Beijing, Ryan's efforts to "Westernize" the production are rejected in favor of something that better reflects the "power of the new China." As Ryan and Ning work together to prepare Ning's wardrobe for the shoot, they grow closer, and Ning eventually reveals he his living a double life as a closeted homosexual in China, leading to a series of surprising decisions that each man must make in order to stay true to himself. Funny, warm, and overflowing with humanity, Ray Yeung's  Front Cover  is a rare indie film that appeals to a wide audience without sacrificing any authenticity.

Thursday May 28 l 6:30 PM l SIFF Cinema Uptown

Friday May 29 l 3:45 PM l SIFF Cinema Uptown



Director Madoka Raine, and actors Yvonne Woods, Brian Slaten, and Jenni Blong scheduled to attend.
A woman celebrates her 40th birthday by having her three best friends come and stay with her and her husband for a long weekend. Over the course of the three day celebration, it is revealed that everyone is struggling with their own lives and identities. When one best friend makes a terrible mistake and betrays the woman on her birthday, everyone is immediately and uncomfortably forced into looking at their own lives and their own limitations.

Director Ben Hickernell scheduled to attend. After the destruction of his family's well-established Atlantic City restaurant during Hurricane Sandy, Sam (Hunter Parrish, "Weeds") must grow up quickly, taking the biggest risks of his life, both in business and love. When Sam comes to the aid of a wealthy patron (Tim Daly, "Madame Secretary") and starts a relationship with a beautiful woman, a chain of unexpected events unfold, making Sam realize that achieving his dreams means investing in the people around him.

Friday May 29 | 6:30 PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown

Saturday May 30 | 1:00 PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown

Friday May 29 | 9:00 PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown

Saturday May 30 | 3:30 PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown




Directors Aaron Haan and Mario Miscione scheduled to attend.  If Rod Serling had written 12 Angry Men it would turn out something like Circle.  Starring Julie Benz ("Dexter") and a talented ensemble, t he contestants of a mysterious death game must make harrowing decisions as they strategize for survival in this psychological sci-fi thriller .

Director Andrew Nackman, actor Kate Flannery, screenwriter Aaron Danick, and producers scheduled to attend.  On his 24th birthday, Adam, a small-town mechanic, decides it's time to finally tell his friends and family that he's gay. Will his straight-as-an-arrow best bros have his back? A lighthearted and unexpectedly subversive comedy about coming out of the blue-collar closet.

Thursday May 28 l 9:00 PM l SIFF Cinema Uptown

Friday May 29 l 1:15 PM l SIFF Cinema Uptown


Saturday May 30 l 7:00 PM l SIFF Cinema Uptown

Sunday May 31 l 2:30 PM l SIFF Cinema Uptown




Director Pablo Valencia and producer Cecilia Curran scheduled to attend.  Meet sassy tabby Leonard and his emotional wreck of an owner, in a world where domesticated cats are able to communicate with people and pass judgment on their all-too-human foibles. To emphasize the film's themes of communication, every cat onscreen is voiced by a deaf or hard-of-hearing performer, making for a unique cinematic experience and a commentary on the roles not often available to hearing-impaired actors. Chatty Catties is a hilarious black comedy that's a  purrfect antidote to  bow-wow-ing films.

Director Trey Shults and actor Krisha Fairchild scheduled to attend 5/31.  Though not part of SIFF Catalyst, Krisha could easily fit the Catalyst mold. This incredible film by 26-year-old first-time director Trey Shults was made for well under $100,000, shooting it at his mother's house outside Houston. He cast his mother, Robyn, as one sister, named Robyn, and his aunt Krisha as another sister, named Krisha. The unflinching truth behind addiction and family dysfunction over a holiday weekend, earned this film a place in the elite Critics Week section at Cannes mere days ago.

Saturday May 30 | 9:30 PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown

Sunday May 31 | 11:30 AM | SIFF Cinema Uptown


Saturday May 30 | 8:45 PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown

Sunday May 31 | 11:00 AM | Harvard Exit


Be Watching footer