Keep Film in WA

Attendees of the Keep Film in WA campaign launch in Spokane, Bellingham and Seattle listened to Amy Lillard (Filmworks executive director) and Don Jensen (Filmworks board chair) speak about the upcoming legislative session. Photos by Joe Flores.

Attendees of the Keep Film in WA campaign launch in Spokane, Bellingham and Seattle listened to Amy Lillard (Filmworks executive director) and Don Jensen (Filmworks board chair) speak about the upcoming legislative session. All photos by Joe Flores.

The Washington film industry is battling for its future as the 2016 legislative session rolls on.

Flanked by a strong coalition of film industry allies, Washington Filmworks is leading a campaign to fight for the future of production in the state.

Specifically, Filmworks and its “Keep Film in WA” campaign partners are rallying behind House Bill 2542 (HB 2542), which, if signed into law, would increase funding for the production incentive program and extend its sunset date.

Credit Joe Flores 3

Amy Lillard

Prime sponsored by Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-3), the bill doubles the size of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program fund to $7 million over two years and increases the fund incrementally until it reaches $10 million by the year 2020. The bill will also extend the sunset date of the program to December 31, 2023.

With its current film incentive fund of just $3.5 million per year, the state has had to turn away millions of dollars in business. In 2015, Washington State lost out on $65 million in economic activity after Washington Filmworks exhausted its fund by March. By increasing the fund’s cap to $7 million, and eventually $10 million, HB 2542 would make Washington more competitive when it comes to drawing production from outside the state.

Credit Joe Flores 2

Don Jensen

Washington Filmworks urges film industry professionals to help the campaign by signing the Keep Film in WA petition ( and by contacting their local legislators to not only provide them with facts and data about the incentive program, but to also share their personal stories of why film is important in Washington State.

Additionally, on January 21, Filmworks organized Film Day in Olympia. Over 200 film professionals and supporters from around the state showed up to lobby their legislators in support of the bill. Campaigners were able to organize and execute over 100 meetings with legislators and got great feedback and insight from the attendees who took the meetings.

Following Film Day, on January 22, was the Hearing in front of the House Finance Committee, during which 9 members of the film community testified on behalf of HB 2542. According to Filmworks, a total of 35 people signed in to support the bill that morning—an amazing show of support.

Stay tuned to as the legislative session progresses to find out what you can do to Keep Film in WA!

Leaving the Stage Behind: Adapting a Play for the Big Screen


IMG_7210Director Bret Fetzer brought the one-man monologue My Last Year With the Nuns to moviegoers with great acclaim. He reflects on his experience in this essay.

By Bret Fetzer
Photos by John Jeffcoat

Making a movie is like running an obstacle course, and the first obstacle in the path of My Last Year With the Nuns was obvious: I was crafting a film out of Seattle performer Matt Smith’s theatrical
monologue — one man talking for an hour and a half. While there are several successful films of someone alone on a stage talking, they’re mostly stand-up comedy, not long-form storytelling. Moreover, I didn’t want to just document a stage performance; I wanted to find a way to make this experience cinematic.

There were three examples I could think of: Spalding Gray’s Gray’s Anatomy, Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me, and Josh Kornbluth’s Haiku Tunnel.

 Director Bret Fetzer brought his one-man monologue from stage to screen.

Director Bret Fetzer brought Matt Smith’s (pictured here) one-man monologue from stage to screen.

Both Sleepwalk With Me and Haiku Tunnel tried to create a kind of hybrid movie, going back and forth between a typical multi-character scenario and the central character talking directly to the camera. But neither one quite gels, largely because in a monologue, a significant event can happen in a single sentence; but when you turn that monologue into a multi-character narrative, that event has to be a scene that can’t match the wit and concision of that sentence. The strongest elements of both movies were when Birbiglia and Kornbluth turned to the camera and talked. This convinced me it was crucial to stick to that.

Gray’s Anatomy is a more interesting case. Like Swimming to Cambodia and Monster in a Box, Gray’s Anatomy stuck to Gray’s monologue, but director Steven Soderbergh took Gray off the stage into a variety of odd settings—the one I remember most has Gray in a chair on some kind of conveyor belt, moving slowly across the screen. The result is visually intriguing, but doesn’t do much to support Gray’s voice; in fact, I’d argue the visuals work against the rhythm of the storytelling—and in storytelling, rhythm is crucial.IMG_7423

So I wanted to make the camera as nimble and fluid as Matt’s words. Matt talks about kids he grew up with, and the nuns and priests who made their lives difficult, but his stories are just as much about places: The shack where the newspaper boys played and fought, the church where Matt was a negligent altar boy, the ravine where secrets were kept and runaways hid, the classroom where a spelling bee became a tool of punishment. So I decided to make these places as significant as other actors would be.

Almost every time Matt’s stories shift to a new location, so does the movie—sometimes multiple times within each episode. These locations not only frame the stories (or perhaps “ground them” would be a better way to put it), but the shift from setting to setting gives the movie a visual rhythm that’s in sync with Matt’s verbal rhythms. I hoped the effect would be lively, playful, and perhaps give the audience the sense that they were entering into Matt’s memories as he told these stories. The reviews of My Last Year With the Nuns suggest that I succeeded in leaving the stage behind.

My Last Year With the Nuns is currently available via Vimeo-On-Demand at

Bret Fetzer has been writing screenplays, plays, and short stories for over 30 years. His plays have been produced around the U.S., as well as a production in Chile. His short stories have been published in a variety of literary magazines and collected in Petals & Thorns and Tooth & Tongue. He’s written film reviews for Seattle Weekly, The Stranger, and He has been the Artistic Director of Annex Theatre, the theater editor for The Stranger, and a vacuum cleaner salesman for the Kirby Company. He wrote the narration for the documentary Le Petomane: Fin-de-siecle Fartiste. He has previously directed a handful of short films; My Last Year With the Nuns is his feature-film debut.

Eugene Film Fest Celebrates 10 Years

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy introduces The American Gandhi team at EIFF 2015. Photo by Mike/SUSMI Global.

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy introduces The American Gandhi team at EIFF 2015. Photo by Mike/SUSMI Global.

By Mike Dilley Executive Director, Eugene International Film Festival

The Eugene International Film Festival celebrated its 10th season with the world premiere screening of The American Gandhi, starring James Patrick Stuart (All My Children, Still Standing, Monsters vs. Angels). The EIFF has celebrated filmmaking with awards, receptions, workshops and networking with celebrity mentors throughout its first decade.

Hosting the red carpet gala, premiere and VIPs associated with the making of The American Gandhi was a fitting tribute to the pluck it takes to bring a story to the screen. Producer Hari Ghadia was presented with the festival trophy for Best Film in the 2015 Eugene International Film Festival. The film was also awarded at the EIFF with the Best Cinematography award for its locations and sets used in filming. “I would like to thank the jury of EIFF for this award. We hope to start a global conversation about illegal mining with this inspirational story,” said Ghadia, while accepting the award.

Guests from as far away as McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and Melbourne, Australia, have joined with others from across North America and Europe to enjoy the camaraderie of the festival, wineries, brewpubs, river paths, bicycling, and easily accessible locations such as the Oregon Coast.

James Patrick Stuart starred in The American Gandhi, and attended the festival in Eugene. Image courtesy of SUSMI Global.

James Patrick Stuart starred in The American Gandhi, and attended the festival in Eugene. Image courtesy of SUSMI Global.

It is no stretch of the imagination that the screenplay for The American Gandhi originated in Eugene, a region that many in world arts call home. There is something about the quality of life that makes people creative.

Director and co-writer Joseph Mungra is no exception. He has created a number of independent films, shooting within the region, in Hollywood, Greece and now India. Joining him in creating The American Gandhi were area residents Kale Dawes (co-author and sound design) and casting director Linda Burden-Williams.

In The American Gandhi, Mark Martin (James Patrick Stuart), an experienced mining analyst, is hired by his billionaire friend Brad Harrison (Jim Storm, The Bold and the Beautiful) to manage and upgrade rare earth metal mines in India. Confident, but naive, Mark finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. Does he cater to rampant police corruption and blatant disregard for the law, or follow his conscience? No matter the choice, he will pay a price.

Northwest Film Forum Enters New Leadership Era

Line Sandsmark and Courtney Sheehan. Photo by Julio Ramirez

Line Sandsmark and Courtney Sheehan. Photo by Julio Ramirez

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor

Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum has entered a new phase of executive leadership, joining two positions of artistic director and managing director into a co-leadership structure. Courtney Sheehan will serve as artistic director, and Line Sandsmark will assume the managing director position; they have been serving in these positions in an interim capacity since July 2015. Both will jointly report to the Board of Directors.

For a smaller-sized organization like the NWFF, this structure makes sense. A single executive director position often gets overwhelmed with the different hats they’re expected to wear, and there’s a need for a large team in order to delegate duties. In the NWFF’s case, according to Sandsmark, the support structure isn’t big enough to adequately support an executive director. Having two positions jointly cover the leadership role is more efficient and, as Sandsmark notes, “improves cross-departmental collaboration” within the organization. “We feel this is a natural evolution to serve in these positions,” says Sheehan. “This allows us to be nimble, flexible and adaptable.”NWFF_5 (2)

The NWFF aims to broaden its involvement and resources for its community, both geographically in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and for the wider cinema-going audience. “We are continuing to look for ways to bring people together around film,” says Sheehan. In addition to regular film programming, the NWFF is also focusing more on larger scale live events and community conversations. It is also emphasizing accessibility to a broader audience, through the films themselves, through filmmaking tools, and through film education. “We are exploring how film can serve the community,” notes Sheehan. For example, for 10 days in January 2016, the NWFF hosted its annual Children’s Film Festival, screening films from all over the world. Part of the NWFF’s improved access and outreach involved bringing this festival to the Carco Theatre in Renton, Washington.

The NWFF is also providing opportunities to the community in the form of two production projects. Citizen Minutes is a community video initiative that presents conversations via short video. These shorts are presented both online and as weekly newsreels prior to screenings at the NWFF’s cinemas. The second project is Cue Northwest, a partnership with a local record label Brick Lane. The project will provide a $5,000 budget for a filmmaker in residence to produce a film inspired by an EP record. The inaugural round will screen the film at the NWFF’s Local Sightings Film Festival in the fall of 2016.NWFF Marquee_Image courtesy of NWFF

While the programming vision moves forward, so too does the vision for the facility itself. The NWFF has been at its current location in Capitol Hill for 11 years, and the space is in need of some updating to accommodate its current and future constituency. The NWFF has recently been awarded funding from 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, along with other funders, to enable renovation of the lobby and building façade. “We’ll be expanding the lobby to accommodate more activity,” says Sandsmark, “and we’ll be able to replace the temporary marquee that was installed in 2004.”NWFFlobby (2)

As the NWFF moves into its 21st year, the organization continually finds ways to thrive and make itself relevant. “We’re highlighting the idea of community and collective experience through film, education and artistic support,” says Sandsmark. She acknowledges that the road is tough for arts organizations, but she sees rejuvenated support from the community. Theater admissions were up 10 percent in 2015, and membership numbers hover around 1,000 members. The community-oriented focus of the NWFF echoes throughout its programming, events, education and even its leadership.

Learn more about the Northwest Film Forum at

Digital Nitrate Brings Filmmakers Together

Justin Griffith and Cheyenne Shaw in a scene from Nobody’s Hero, produced by Digital Nitrate.

Justin Griffith and Cheyenne Shaw in a scene from Nobody’s Hero, produced by Digital Nitrate.

Photos courtesy of Digital Nitrate

A new film collective is making its mark on the Portland metro film scene, and it’s diving into several different genres and platforms. Digital Nitrate was founded in 2015 by Matthew Merz, a local filmmaker with a drive to develop a film incubator in the region.

One of Digital Nitrate’s spotlight projects is Solus, a time travel-themed web series that evokes a dystopic, melancholy vibe reminiscent of French science fiction. The series was originally developed by fellow Digital Nitrate member Nate Losinger, who shot four original episodes in his garage, acting in four different roles and engineering his own CG for the series.

Solus is being rebooted under the Digital Nitrate banner with six episodes and redesigned CG. “We’re very excited to get the show out there,” says Merz. A new episode of Solus will be released every other week in Winter 2016, with the first season utilizing five actors and the second season calling for about 20 actors.

Matthew Merz’s career in media production solidified in the mid-2000s with a Portland-based public access TV show called Drinking with Darren. The program, which Merz produced, featured the host visiting breweries and pubs in the region. As the TV show gained notoriety, it expanded to include a weekly appearance on the former KUFO radio station at 101.1 FM in Portland.Digital Nitrate_Solus_image courtesy of Digital Nitrate

Merz also expanded his own projects, working on documentaries and features over the next several years. As he worked, he began to recognize the need for increased collaborative efforts in the local film community. In 2015, Merz and some of his collaborators launched Digital Nitrate, a filmmaking collective, with the intention of pooling talent and resources to ensure that the collective’s media makers would have consistent work. “We want to be able to make three or four pictures a year so everyone can have a job year-round,” says Merz.

The collective has seven screenplays at some stage of development, with location scouting starting on Galactic Rush, an homage to ‘80s teen movies. Aesthetically, the film will feature three landscapes: the rolling hills of Central Washington, palm trees, and a seaside town like Astoria. “Teenagers miss color. They live in a world of endless war with nothing to inherit,” comments Merz. “They’re looking for a brighter future.” Merz hopes that this film and others like it will bring color back to the world.

Nobodys Hero featuring Cheyenne Shaw.

Nobody’s Hero featuring Cheyenne Shaw.

Digital Nitrate also recognizes the potential—financially and creatively—of the low-budget horror genre. The collective is working on Malibu Sleepover Massacre, a “Lloyd Kaufman-inspired USA Up All Night-type movie.” Merz says, “There is a loss of psychological fear in many horror films these days.” Malibu Sleepover Massacre, according to Merz, recaptures some of this fear in a psychological twist at the end of the movie. The added benefit, according to Merz, is that “these cheaper budget films help establish our track record.”

“Our goal is to unify people under a single banner,” Merz pledges. “We want to find success for at least one of us.” The hope, of course, is that the entire collective will succeed.

Visit for more information and to watch the Solus web series.

Media Literacy Comes to Bellingham

Bellingham seventh graders fill the theater at the Pickford Film Center’s Doc-ED program. Image courtesy of the Pickford Film Center.

Bellingham seventh graders fill the theater at the Pickford Film Center’s Doc-ED program. Image
courtesy of the Pickford Film Center.

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor

In October 2014, more than 1,100 middle school students visited the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, Washington, as part of the theater’s Doc-ED program. A year later, the Pickford invited more than double the number of students to participate in Doc-ED, an annual media literacy program that offers screenings, this year focusing on three films: Landfill Harmonic, The Messenger and Becoming Bulletproof.

In October, students from the four public middle schools in Bellingham visited the Pickford to watch films screened as part of Doctober, the Pickford’s month-long documentary film series. In addition, the Pickford had raised enough funds to be able to provide bus transportation to students who needed it.

“Doc-ED was a tremendous success,” says Susie Purves, executive director of the Pickford. “It was wonderful to have the students here and to see them completely drawn in by the film.”

As the Pickford looks to this year’s Doc-ED, it is hoping to expand to the schools throughout Whatcom County. “We’re already raising money for this program,” says Purves. “We’d also love to have someone come forward to help us.”

The Pickford is in the midst of expanding the media education programs that it offers to the community. Twelve classes of area seventh graders are currently taking part in a series of three media literacy workshops administered by the Pickford’s media literacy instructor, Lucas Holtgeerts. In the first workshop, the students are introduced to critical media literacy concepts that teach them to critically identify, evaluate and participate with media. They are introduced to concepts of the author, genre, representation and propaganda, among others. The second workshop involves a documentary film screening at the Pickford in downtown Bellingham. Holtgeerts will then return to the classroom to lead the students in a follow-up session and discussion to apply their critical media literacy as they analyze the film.

In addition to these offerings geared towards middle schoolers, the Pickford also runs the Guerilla Film Project, a three-day filmmaking competition for high school students. This event, held over President’s Day weekend, brings together teams of filmmakers from high schools across Washington State to write, produce and edit a three-minute film. The 11th edition of the Guerilla Film Project will take place February 12-15, 2016.

The 2015 Guerilla Film Project featured teams from Anacortes, Bellingham, Sedro-Woolley, Blaine, and elsewhere. “We are hoping for more schools to participate,” says Purves, “and we’re currently working on doing more outreach.” The Pickford’s education manager, Grace Schrater, is visiting local schools and clubs to raise awareness of the program.

The Pickford Film Center also runs a Children’s Film Festival, which will next happen in March. This festival combines public weekend screenings of family-friendly films with weekday screenings offered exclusively to elementary schools.

These media literacy programs are part of an overall expansion of the Pickford’s commitment to community education. The film center currently runs two theatrical exhibition locations in Bellingham, and it is continuing to broaden its reach and programming.

“There’s an urgent need for media literacy,” comments Purves. “So much of what’s going on in the world has a deep connection with people’s interactions with media. We want to help Bellingham and Whatcom County become a place where media literacy is commonplace and students have the tools to assess media in an educated way.”

Learn more about the Pickford Film Center at

Bend Turns Outside In with 12th Annual Festival

Photo by Karen Cammack Photography

Photo by Karen Cammack Photography

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor

For four days in October, Bend held its 12th annual film festival, hosting over 80 films, several panels and rockin’ parties for filmmakers and film aficionados alike. The festival’s theme, “Turning Outside In,” welcomed audiences to partake in a selection of documentaries, short film programs, and feature narratives.

Highlights of the festival include Best in Show and Best Narrative Feature Petting Zoo, a Texas-produced film directed by Micah Magee about a teen girl contemplating the consequences of a pregnancy. Erik Shirai was awarded Best Director and Best Documentary for The Birth of Saké, a documentary about the craft of saké production in northern Japan.

Portland-based filmmaker Brian Lindstrom presented his film, Mothering Inside, about the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility’s approach to nurturing incarcerated mothers’ relationships with children. The film received the festival’s Best of the Northwest award.

Eric Shirai. Photo by Karen Cammack Photography

Eric Shirai. Photo by Karen Cammack Photography

The festival gave filmmakers and audiences a chance to delve into industry issues with panel discussions devoted to first feature films, incorporating real-life characters into narrative films, using social media in film promotion, and women working in film.

According to BendFilm executive director Todd Looby, the festival improved this year as a result of changes that were made. One influential component was BendFilm’s drive to shift around organizational finances so that it could fund filmmaker travel.

“Once we could help filmmakers get here, we could anticipate a bigger response from filmmakers,” says Looby. “It can be a challenge to get to Bend from other parts of the country, and if we can help with expenses, filmmakers are more excited about submitting to the festival.”

Todd Looby. Photo by Tina Ellis Photography

Todd Looby. Photo by Tina Ellis Photography

BendFilm brought on festival programmer Mimi Brody to curate the festival’s films. Brody hails from Chicago, where she is the Curator of Film and Director of Block Cinema at Northwestern University. She is a former film programmer for the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the Los Angeles Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. Looby said, “Mimi brought her experience and encyclopedic knowledge of films that helped us program great films in Bend.”

BendFilm also brings various screenings and events to Central Oregon. It recently held a screening of the Sundance Film Festival selection, The Mask You Live In, a documentary about contemporary discourses around masculinity and the struggle of several boys and young men in navigating their identities. The film, produced by the director of Miss Representation, was co-presented by BendFilm Festival, Cascades Academy of Central Oregon and Moementum, Inc.

On tap for 2016 is a partnership with Caldera Arts to offer an Artist in Residence spot for a filmmaker in nearby Sisters, Oregon. Austin filmmaker Brittany Reeder is the recipient of the month-long filmmaker residency, and during her tenure at Caldera, Reeder will pursue a three-part multimedia collection of memories from her childhood in Florida.

BendFilm Party (L to R) Diego Onargo (Dir. Bob and the Trees), Tim Morton (Lead actor: Men Go to Battle), and Courtney Sheehan (Shorts Jury). Photo by Karen Cammack

BendFilm Party (L to R) Diego Onargo (Dir. Bob and the Trees), Tim Morton (Lead actor: Men
Go to Battle), and Courtney Sheehan (Shorts Jury). Photo by Karen Cammack

One of the best things about Reeder’s participation, according to Looby, is her fit with Caldera’s mission. “She has so much experience in personal storytelling,” Looby says. “Caldera is all about using art to express yourself, to tell your story. Brittany is a great fit for the inaugural year of this partnership.”

BendFilm is also planning monthly screenings and events to draw audiences and raise the organization’s profile in the area. “We’re planning some special showings for the year,” says Looby. “We want to get the community out and excited about film.”

Visit for information about various film-related events as well as information about the 2016 BendFilm Festival.

39th Portland International Film Festival Announces Opening Night Film


The Northwest Film Center recently announced the 39th Portland International Film Festival (PIFF 39) dates and Opening Night film.

This year’s festival, running February 11 – 27, will kick off with the Opening Night selection The Fencer, from director Klaus Härö. The Fencer is this year’s Oscar-submission from Finland and tells the story of a Russian asylum seeker whose successful fostering of an Estonian youth fencing team poses a threat to his freedom. The Fencer will screen simultaneously on Opening Night at the Whitsell Auditorium, located in the Portland Art Museum and at Regal Fox Tower 10.

After the screening of The Fencer, attendees are invited to celebrate the opening of this year’s festival with co-hosts Umpqua Bank, the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, the Finlandia Foundation, Voodoo Doughnuts, Montinore Estate, Elk Cove Vineyard, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Opening Night tickets are on sale now at

Following Opening Night, PIFF retains a sizable presence downtown and throughout the city with screenings at the Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, located inside the Portland Art Museum, Cinema 21, Regal Fox Tower, World Trade Center, OMSI, Moreland Theater, and Roseway Theater.

Over the last 39 years, the festival has populated its schedule with diverse and innovative films for an audience of more than 40,000 annually from throughout the Northwest. As Oregon’s largest, most culturally diverse film event, the Portland International Film Festival pulls together a multi-faceted experience with over 150 films (97 features and 62 shorts) and special events presenting a full spectrum of features, documentaries, and shorts – and featuring submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and works by both returning masters and emerging talents.

The full PIFF 39 Program is available online at


Ahead of Film Independent’s annual Spirit Awards, to be held at the end of the month, the organization recently announced the recipients of three awards, each accompanied by a $25,000 grant.

One recipient was Seattle filmmaker Mel Eslyn, who received the Piaget Producers Award, honoring “emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films.”

Mel has produced such projects as The One I Love, Touchy Feely and Your Sister’s Sister, among many others.  One of her latest projects,  The Intervention, recently premiered at Sundance.

Congratulations, Mel!

To read the full article, click here.

Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is now TWIST!

After a successful 20th anniversary festival this past October, Three Dollar Bill Cinema is excited to announce a name change for their iconic film event. This year, The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival becomes TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival.

The intention to change the name was announced by Three Dollar Bill Cinema’s Executive Director Jason Plourde on opening night of the 2015 fest, where he stated, “After 20 years of producing an amazing festival, we felt it was time to give the event a more special, inclusive, and engaging name.”

The organization then launched a survey that garnered hundreds of responses and held numerous meetings with staff, board, and stakeholders. “We made sure to listen to many people and considered the extensive list of suggestions we received. It was important to make a well-informed, collaborative decision. We also enlisted our talented Design Director Corianton Hale to create a compelling visual identity that reflects the fun, inclusive nature of this festival.”twist

So, why TWIST? The word has film connotations: a physical filmstrip winding through a projector, or the elements of story structure such as a plot twist or an intriguing revelation.

Moreover, “twist” evokes a festive, social, and celebratory spirit that is so often cited by Three Dollar Bill Cinema audiences and industry, who applaud the unique, appealing quality of the festival experience in Seattle.

Additionally, “twist” connects with “queer” by suggesting something unique and off-center, an unexpected surprise to be discovered and revealed, beyond the usual norms and conventions. It transcends the traditional LGBTQ nomenclature to create something new and different—a little more daring and a lot more fun—and sets a tone and direction that reflects our distinct community.

Says Plourde, “We heard from hundreds of people and held discussions to figure out what could capture the fun, unique, and cinematic qualities of our queer film festival. It became clear that TWIST captures our sensibility and will be more relevant and exciting to our audiences.”

The name change will be a continuation of the beloved annual event—this October 13-23 will bring the 21st TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival. Explains Plourde, “We’re just bringing a new name and fresh attitude to our steadfast community event. Our fans can still expect the spectacular films, great parties, and creative programs we’ve produced all along.”

Find out more at

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