Being one of the top cinema gatherings in the country, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) impresses with its scale. With more than 400 films from 90 countries, during its 25 days and is attended by 150,000 people. Organizers are also proud that over 40% of films featured in the festival are made by women. Founded in 1976, it is definitely one of the greatest cultural events Seattle has to offer.
The screenings take place primarily in downtown Seattle (SIFF Cinema Uptown and SIFF Cinema Egyptian) or in nearby neighbourhoods, as well as in Bellevue, Kirkland, and Shoreline. SIFF is known for appreciating films that don't fit standard industry niches. The festival has also introduced Dutch films to the United States audience, hosting the debut for director Paul Verhoeven. In some years the festival overlaps with the Cannes Film Festival, which can reduce attendance by the industry big shots. However, SIFF is an event targeting more than just the movie industry. The Golden Space Needle award is given each year to the festival's most popular movie.