SIFF officially started tonight with an opening night gala at Benaroya Hall in Downtown Seattle. Here’s a photo of us volunteers during a lull in the action.
The movie playing tonight was The Extra Man, starring Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, Katie Holmes, and John C. Reilly. The directors are Shari Springer and Robert Pulcini (who did American Splendor).
This photo is of the “red carpet.” So people who wanted to have flashbulbs going off in their eyes could pay $200 for this experience, rather than $50 for the film and gala only, or $100 for the film and gala, preferred entry into the screening, and an open bar. Or, like me, they could volunteer, and then see the film after their shift ended. I, however, opted for free food.
Speaking of which, I was supposed to volunteer from 4:30 to 6:30, but ended up volunteering from 4 to 8, which means that I got an extra voucher. It also means that I don’t have to pay to see I Am Love (with Tilda Swinton, so even if the movie sucks, there’s still her performance to look forward to). In fact, I may not have to pay for any of the movies I’m planning on seeing, based on my volunteer schedule. Go me!
Here’s what the inside of Benaroya Hall looked like about a half hour before showtime. Notice all of the empty seats. Trust me, they filled up pretty fast the closer we got to showtime.
But not as fast as the first tier (which is where I was stationed). With about ten minutes to go, most of the seats were full, and though there were reserved tickets for most of those seats, once the green jackets (as I call the “official ushers,” due to their uniform) gave us the okay to let anyone in, at about the time that the gala was about to start (but didn’t), there were soon no seats to be had.
I should also mention that everyone was dressed up. Women wore high heels and beautiful dresses, while guys wore suits, sometimes with ties, sometimes without (this is Seattle, after all).
More to come later! Don’t worry, I took notes, and I’ll be commenting on every movie I see here. 🙂