By Smarthouse Creative

This July 28-31, STIFF will energize and strengthen the Seattle film scene. STIFF is the only regional festival dedicated to showcasing work created specifically for new digital storytelling platforms. Since 2013, the organization’s new mission now includes incubating talent via mentorship, fiscal sponsorship, and equipment loans, making it an important new launch pad for emerging new media artists.
STIFF is ready to provide another opportunity for the city to experience the vanguard of digital storytelling. Audiences can enjoy and participate in the latest, cutting-edge accomplishments in the field of transmedia — that is, video games, feature films, interactive installations, virtual reality, and many more boundary-crossing works of art.

The festival will open with Delaney Ruston’s “Screenagers” on July 28 beginning at 7pm, followed by a gala afterparty. The new locally-produced documentary explores how technology impacts kids’ development and the challenges of parenting in the digital world. With surprising insights from authors and brain scientists, solutions emerge on how parents can empower kids to best navigate these challenges. “Screenagers” has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, and Good Morning America, among many other outlets.

Expect an announcement from STIFF’s programming team to be made during this year’s opening night festivities!

New this year: The festival will take over the glamorous Factory Luxe venue inside the historic Rainier Brewery Building on Airport Way!

Other festival highlights include:

  • Transmedia Gallery with virtual reality, 360 video, interactive content, gaming and video art–all free and open to the public.

  • Sisterhood of Shred” a documentary that shares the story of a community of local women who engage in the sport of mountain biking

Similar to the model established by the Sundance Institute’s “Labs” program, in which promising filmmakers are selected for special workshopping of their projects, STIFF has recently formalized and bolstered their efforts to incubate local talent (Seattle Transmedia Collective). Projects that have benefitted from STIFF’s support include “Asylum,” the story of a woman’s struggle through a marriage of control, rape and physical abuse, and the mental health issues it causes; “Baked – A Web Series,” a show currently in production that is hosted by 84-year-old grandma Patsy Benson who crafts delicious cannabis-based edibles; SplicedVR, a local VR/360/180 content development firm whose “Desire” was co-presented with SIFF at the Pacific NW Science Center Laser Dome for the SIFFX.net 360 NW Program; “Redline,” a feature length documentary currently in production about a, organization that was formed to oppose the Tacoma Methane Plant; and “Polyamorous”, a WA FilmWorks innovation lab proposal for a feature length Second Screen App.

Says festival director Tim Vernor, “Transmedia is at such an exciting point right now. The festival is a real opportunity for audiences to be the first to see this type of work – to say ‘I was there.’ Filmmakers are sure to leave inspired to move into this new frontier — the possibilities for producing great art are really just emerging.”

All-access festival passes and individual are currently on sale at stiff.eventbrite.com. Opening night tickets are on sale now at tinyurl.com/stiff-screenagers. The full program will be available online beginning July 14.

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