The Seattle International Film Festival kicks off this weekend, celebrating its 41st year. The largest, most highly attended film festival in the U.S., this one is kind of an unwieldy monster. Boasting more than 400 movies, and clocking in at a massive 25 days, it’s a something of a cinematic marathon. It’s a total blast, but when it’s done you seriously need a nap.

Over the course of the fest, SIFF runs the gamut, screening titles that made a splash at earlier-in-the-year festivals, like Sundance and SXSW, but it also provides an outlet for films big and small from around the globe. There are dozens of world and North American premieres on the schedule, as well as an awesome slate of archival films, a subset of African pictures, and a tribute to Kevin Bacon that includes Footloose, Diner, and his latest thriller, Cop Car. There’s a ton to sift through, and in that spirit, we’ve compiled a list of ten films that you should make an effort to check out if you happen to be in Seattle between May 14 and June 7.

If nothing else, this should provide some counter programming for the encroaching wave of summer tentpoles and help you stave of blockbuster fatigue for at least a little while. A number of these films open over the course of the rest of the year, so don’t worry if you don’t live in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll get your chance to check them out.

Inside Out
Inside Out
Sure, you’ll be able to see this one in damn near every metroplex in the country in just over a month, but if it’s as good as early buzz indicates, why wait? By most accounts, Inside Out is Pixar working at or at least near the top of their game, which as we all know is a considerable benchmark. With an incredible who’s who of comedic vocal talent, the story follows a young girl named Riley, who, after moving to San Francisco with her family, goes through a roller coaster of emotions. Here’s the rub, all of these emotions are personified and work in tandem, and sometimes come into conflict, inside of Riley, guiding her through her adjustment, but when some of the emotions wander of and become lost, problems arise.

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