[SIFF 2013 Sneak Peek]

Okay kids! It’s that time again, that glorious time of the year in Seattle when the sun is just starting to prove it still exists, and all right-thinking citizens gear up to spend many hours of the day indoors watching films.

Here are some highlights from press launch & my first speedy trek through the lineup.

* If you have tickets to the sold-out opening night presentation of Much Ado About Nothing, well done! The movie is a lot of fun. If you don’t, I have no actual information except that on Twitter, SIFF said to stay tuned for an update on May 2nd. So, good luck!

* Closing night is Sophia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, screening at Cinerama. I am ridiculously excited about this, and you should be too.

* We already knew about the evening with Kyle MacLachlan, a q&a with a screening of the pilot of Twin Peaks (my socks are on fire!), but SIFF is also bringing acclaimed director Peter Greenaway to town to talk about the death of cinema, which should definitely be interesting.

* Last month, SIFF announced their African Pictures program, which looks great. The two films I’m most excited about in that are both from South Africa: Fanie Fourie’s Lobola (and that was even before I knew there would be a party following the screening!) & The African Cypher.

* Other films-with-parties that are probably worth a look-in: the new film from Lynn Shelton, Touchy Feely, is Renton’s opening night & Twenty Feet From Stardom (about backup singers!) is the Centerpiece Gala.

* From the Face the Music program, Patterson & David Hood perform a Muscle Shoals tribute. Also, The Maldives are doing another live score, this time for The Wind. Basically, any time you have the opportunity to see a silent with a live score, you should take it.

* Shorts Fest is Memorial Day weekend. This year, in addition to Animated & Live Action, SIFF is a qualifying festival for Documentary Shorts, which is excellent! I usually utterly fail at shorts, and only see the Best of package the weekend following festival. I will try to be better at shorts this year.

* Titles that will be out in Seattle later, but I am dang excited to see regardless: Frances Ha (the new Noah Baumbach, starring Greta Gerwig), Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley’s new documentary), and The East (Brit Marling & Zal Batmanglij of Another Earth and Sound of My Voice). The Seattle Times usually puts together a nice listing of SIFF films with upcoming Seattle release dates, which I’ll definitely share as soon as it’s up.

* Other titles I’m intrigued by: Her Aim Is True (about rock photographer Jini Dellaccio), Coming Forth By Day (debut from an Egyptian lady filmmaker), literally everything from South Korea & Taiwan, the six films in the Catalyst program, The Otherside (a doc on Seattle’s hip-hop scene), and finally Fateful Findings (which will probably be the next The Room).

…and that’s just a taste! Full schedule available in the free guides at the member preview on May 1st, and at Starbucks plus the box offices at the Uptown & Pacific Place starting on May 2nd. Tickets go on sale May 2nd.

If you’re on Twitter, follow me (letterboxed) and the official SIFF hashtag (#SIFF2013) for on-the-fly updates, recommendations, and more.

See you at the movies!