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April 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM

SIFF channels Jimi Hendrix for opening night

Outkast's André Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix. Photo courtesy of SIFF.

Outkast’s André Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix. Photo courtesy of SIFF.

For its 40th annual edition, the Seattle International Film Festival will open May 15 with “Jimi: All Is By My Side,” a drama about the early years of Seattle rock legend Jimi Hendrix. Written and directed by John Ridley (the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “12 Years a Slave”), the film stars musician/actor André Benjamin (half of the hip-hop duo Outkast) as Hendrix and begins in 1966 New York, where then-James Hendrix is an unknown backup guitarist.

“Jimi: All Is By My Side” made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. Reviewers were generally positive, though noting that the film is not a conventional biopic (it only covers a year of the musician’s life) and was not licensed to use any of Hendrix’s original recordings. In Toronto, the film was acquired for national release by distributor Open Road; it will open theatrically later this year.

Ridley is scheduled to attend the opening-night gala at McCaw Hall, kicking off three-plus weeks of SIFF, which concludes June 8. The festival’s full lineup will be announced May 1; see SIFF’s website for schedule and ticketing information.

Here’s a clip of “Jimi: All Is By My Side,” posted by Fandango on YouTube:

 

Comments | More in Arts news | Topics: Jimi Hendrix movie, Jimi: All Is By My Side, SIFF 2014

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