Meet the Programmer: Maryna Ajaja

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Meet our talented team of programmers – the people who work and watch movies all year long to curate the best films possible for the Seattle International Film Festival, celebrating its 47th year from April 8 to 18, 2021. Full program info siff.net/festival.

What are your 10 favorite films ever?
Andrei Rublev (d. Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union)
Seven Beauties (d. Lina Wertmüller, Italy)
The Color of Pomegranates (d. Sergei Parajanov, Soviet Union/Georgia)
An Angel at My Table (d. Jane Campion, New Zealand)
Paris, Texas (d. Wim Wenders, Germany)
Map of the Human Heart (d. Vincent Ward, Canada)
Ida (d. Paweł Pawlikowsk, Poland)
The Day I Became a Woman (d. Marzieh Meshkini, Iran)
The White Meadows (d. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran)
Short Cuts (Robert Altman, USA, based on Raymond Carver’s stories

What is one of your favorite festival moments?
The screening of The Color of Pomegranates in 2015 at the irreplaceable Harvard Exit packed with SIFF members and the public and the many, many moments of feedback and comments from SIFF membership. 

What is your guilty pleasure film?
Montenegro by Dušan Makavejev (Sweden/Serbia) - a completely sick, funny, ironic, and twisted film and I love it!

What's one thing we should know about you that is NOT film related?
My book of poems “In Deep” was published during COVID-19.

What do you consider your hometown?
I grew up in LA - Covina and South Pasadena. I moved to the Northwest in 1969. It suits me so much better because I love the gray, the different blues (even the soul kind), the rain, the water, the air, and mountains.