Meet the Programmer: Megan Garbayo-López

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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 49th year from May 11 to 21, 2023. Full program info

What are your 10 favorite films ever?
I am very sure there are favorite films out there I have yet to see and being asked to choose only ten feels like choosing my babies. I will instead list the ten films that have most impacted me as a filmmaker, as a film educator, and as a human.

Malcom D. Lee - Undercover Brother (I have seen this film over 100 times and never tire of it)
Wanur Kahiu - Rafiki (single greatest cinema experience of my life seeing this at the sold-out Seattle Queer Film Festival Closing Night screening!)
Takashi Miike - The Great Yokai War (just barely edges out The Happiness of the Katakuris!)
Jordan Peele - Nope (My favorite movie about movies)
Michel Gondry - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Blew my 15 year old mind into the stratosphere #im15andthisisdeep)
Gurinder Chadha - Bend It Like Beckham (this film made me and all my friends queer)
Danny Boyle - Trainspotting (The first time I saw this move I watched it like 5 more times in a week.)
Katherine Bigelow - Strange Days (This was a film I watched on an early date with my spouse in London and always sticks with me)
David Cronenberg - Videodrome (Began my love of goopy body horror)
Guillermo del Toro - The Devil's Backbone (Shout out to Luis Buñuel's Los olvidados which almost made the list but was a direct influence on this film)

What is one of your favorite festival moments?
My favorite festival moment was spending time with the director from SIFF22 film The Path and one of our amazing volunteers at a speakeasy in between screenings.

What is your guilty pleasure film?
I take no guilt in pleasure but I assume people would say my love of Cats the movie musical would qualify. But definitely feel no shame about the joy that film brings me.

What's one thing we should know about you that is NOT film related?
I used to be a flower delivery gal for a Japanese florist in Midtown Manhattan and delivered flowers to Joan Rivers and Jay-Z. The service elevator opening up into Roc-A-Fella Records was one of the more surreal experiences of my life.

What do you consider your hometown?
I moved a lot as a kid but spent the most time overall in Portland, Oregon so I would say it's close enough. Second runner up would be Ramona, California.