Seattle Film Festival Sets Lineup, Regina Hall Honor

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Regina Hall

The 45th annual event, which organizers boast is the largest and most highly attended film fest in the U.S., will open with Lynn Shelton's 'Sword of Trust,' screen Mindy Kaling's 'Late Night' as its centerpiece title and close with Awkwafina starrer 'The Farewell.'

The Seattle International Film Festival on Wednesday announced the lineup for its 2019 edition, which is set to run May 16-June 9.

The 45th annual event, which organizers boast is the largest and most highly attended film fest in the U.S., will kick off with Lynn Shelton's Sword of Trust, which premiered at SXSW before being acquired by IFC for a July release. The film stars Marc Maron, Jon Bass, Michaela Watkins, Jillian Bell and Toby Huss.

Late Night, penned by and starring Mindy Kaling and also featuring Emma Thompson as an acclaimed talk show host forced to hire her first female writer (Kaling), will be the fest's centerpiece gala screening on June 1. Nisha Ganatra directed the film, which Amazon acquired out of Sundance and is set to release June 7.

The Awkwafina-starrer The Farewell, Lulu Wang's semi-autobiographical comedy-drama about a Chinese-American woman who travels to China to say goodbye to her grandmother under the ruse of a family wedding, will screen as the festival's closing night film.

Additionally, the event will honor Regina Hall with the SIFF Award for outstanding achievement in cinema. She also will participate in an onstage interview on Sunday, June 2, and the festival will screen Andrew Bujalski's critically acclaimed Support the Girls, in which Hall recently starred.

“Each year, more than 5,000 films come through our submissions process and uncovering emerging themes each time is a satisfying puzzle that ends up being our 25-day festival,” SIFF artistic director Beth Barrett said in a statement. “This year, we saw strong female-led films, specifically in the comedy genre, and are thrilled that 46 percent of the films in SIFF have female directors, and 56 percent of our competition films are directed by women.”

More information about this year's festival is available here.