Seattle Shorts Festival Celebrates Five Years

Festival director Daniel Hoyos with filmmakers from Fish Tale.

Festival director Daniel Hoyos with filmmakers from Fish Tale.

It’s been five years since the Seattle Shorts Festival launched, bringing with it the opportunity to see some of the best short films in the world, right beside their talented creators.

Since the festival fits so naturally in the Seattle filmmaking landscape, it might be easy to assume the event has always been around, lighting up November with award-winning animation, drama, comedies and more. The festival returns again this year with twice the number of short movies across two days, November 14-15, at the SIFF Film Center.

Says festival director Daniel Hoyos, “Our goal was and is to bring Seattle film lovers the very best short films from around the globe.”

Still from short film Curfew.

Still from short film Curfew.

And they’ve been successful! Since the first event in 2011, the festival continually plays to sold-out audiences. Past lineups have included Academy Award-nominated shorts, such as Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? (2013) and Curfew (2012), which won the award for best live action picture. And 2015 may be another Oscar-caliber year: the festival will be screening the Student Academy Award finalist The Ballad of Holland Island House in the animation category.

One of the festival’s notable features is the number of directors and actors who attend along with their movie, a luxury often overlooked in larger events that focus more on feature films. Last year, Seattle Shorts hosted over 30 guests, and anticipates an even bigger contingent of visiting artists this year, as the festival doubles in size from one day to two.

Jury member Lucy Walters.

Jury member Lucy Walters.

This year the festival is also proud to have a star-studded jury of powerful female entertainment leaders for the second year running. Jury members include: actress Alicia “Lecy” Goranson, well known for her role as Becky Conner on ABC’s Roseanne, but whose career spans indie film, television and New York theater; actress Lucy Walters, who gained notoriety as the Woman on the Subway in Steve McQueen’s Shame, and currently plays Holly Weaver on the popular Starz series Power; and actress Shannon Maree Walsh, who made a splash playing opposite Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine in Begin Again.

And if that’s not enough of a draw, the festival is holding an all-night Karaoke party for filmmakers at Ozzie’s Five Star Dive-Bar, just down the street from the official hotel sponsor, the MarQueen Hotel, in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.

The Seattle Shorts Film Festival is fast becoming a major Seattle event that attracts high-profile industry leaders and Hollywood fare, while keeping the main focus on filmmakers. Hoyos and programming assistant Jonah Kozlowski are looking forward to having two full days of programming to share with the region this year. The full lineup and tickets are available online at www.seattleshort.org.

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