Representing the NW at SxSW

Several Washington- and Oregon-made films screened at this spring’s South by Southwest (SxSW) Film Festival. Here’s a look at a few of them:

Seattle writer/director Megan Griffiths’ third feature film made its premiere at SxSW this year—and won three awards in competition. Eden won the Audience Award for Narrative Feature, the Jury Special Award for Performance (Jamie Chung), and the SxSW Emergent Narrative Woman Director Award. The film is based on the true story of human trafficking survivor Chong Kim, played in the film by Chung. Set in New Mexico but filmed entirely in Washington last year, Eden was incentivized by the Washington State Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.

Blue Like Jazz
Adapted from Donald Miller’s best-selling 2003 memoir of the same name, Blue Like Jazz is about a Texas college student (played by Marshall Allman) who flees the hypocrisy of his religious upbringing and lands at “the most godless campus in America”—Reed College in Portland. The film, directed by Steve Taylor, was partially filmed in Nashville and partially in Portland on Reed’s campus. The coming-of-age comedy was picked up by Roadside Attractions and will open nationwide in April.

Fat Kid Rules the World
This Seattle-shot feature, also incentivized by the state’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, was included on IFC’s list of “must-see” films at SxSW. Helmed by Matthew Lillard (in his directorial debut) and based on a popular young adult novel, Fat Kid is a coming-of-age story about a dysfunctional teen who rises to the top of Seattle’s music scene. Making its world premiere at the festival, the film screened in the Narrative Feature Spotlight category and won an Audience Award.

1 out of 7
Based on actual events, this film takes you on the journey of a teenage girl trying to escape her abusive mother and in the process finds herself joining the forgotten “street kids” living in the shadows of Portland. The film was shot in and around the city, including at Union Station, back in 2007. Directed by York Shackleton, the film made its premiere as part of SxSW’s Community Screenings program, which offers free film screenings to the public.

Safety Not Guaranteed
In this quirky indie comedy, three Seattle magazine employees (Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson and Karan Soni) head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel. Directed by Colin Trevorrow and filmed in several neighborhoods around Seattle, Safety premiered at Sundance in January and was subsequently picked up by FilmDistrict. The film hits theaters on June 8.

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