Category Archives: Festivals

STIFF Unveils 2014 Schedule

Seattle True Independent Film Festival (STIFF), running May 2 – 10, has announced its schedule for 2014. Check it out here!

One of the films screening is short documentary Unified Struggle from writer/producer/director Christy X. The film is about the more than 2 million people who have been deported under the Obama administration. View the trailer below:

SIFF to Kick off African Pictures 2014


On Sunday, April 13, SIFF kicks off the second iteration of its African Pictures program, supported by a multi-year grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. SIFF programmers will be in attendance to announce the 2014 African Pictures lineup, with trailers on display for selected titles.

Once again, African Pictures features the best cinema from and about the continent, ranging from somber to humorous, informative to fantastical, celebrating the diverse and burgeoning hotbed of filmmaking activity emerging across Africa today.

The Academy grant gives SIFF an unparalleled opportunity as a major international film festival to showcase a substantial program of African cinema. Featured selections include indigenous films, films by African filmmakers working outside the continent, and films on topics relating to Africa’s changing contemporary political and social landscape.

Preceding the announcement is a screening of Sweet Dreams, a joyful and compelling documentary about a group of Rwandan musicians who undertake to sweeten their village’s existence and unify its divided citizens with the treat of ice cream. Sweet Dreams tells the story of Ingoma Nshya, Rwanda’s first and only women’s drumming troupe, open to all who are willing to leave the categories of the past at the gate. Striving to bring healing to its members and community following the 1994 genocide, this group is bound even closer together by a new goal of bringing an ice cream shop – Rwanda’s first – to their town.

Snoqualmie Ice Cream sponsors this event, providing a sundae bar for attendees. Also sponsoring the event are the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Delta Airlines.

Click here for more info.

The Best of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival

Best of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers Festival

Each year, following the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival in November, the Northwest Film Center assembles a program of festival highlights—award winners, audience and critical favorites—and sends it out on tour across the region and beyond to find new audiences.

The program includes The Roper, by Anna Sandilands and Ewan McNicol, Seattle; Wild Bichons, by Stefan Nadelman, Portland; Deer Father, by Alex Brinkman, Belgrade; A Beginning, A Middle, and An End, by Jon Behrens, Seattle; American Lawn, by Robert Sickels, Walla Walla; Split Ends, by Joanna Priestley, Portland; Cheryl’s Spin, by Kathy Witkowsky, Missoula; SF Hitch, by Vanessa Renwick, Portland; and Nemo, by Adrienne Leverette and Rob Tyler, Portland. (72 mins.)

Screening times:
April 17 – Thursday 7pm
April 19 – Saturday 5pm

Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium Portland Art Museum (1219 SW Park Avenue)

$9 General; $8 Students, Seniors; $6 Child

Advanced Tickets:

For more information, visit

The Grand Cinema’s First Ever Documentary Week: March 21-27

The Grand Cinema in Tacoma, Washington, is proud to present their first ever Documentary Week, March 21-27. The series will showcase seven critically acclaimed, first-run documentaries that will all be screening for the first time in the South Sound. Each film will be screened four or five times each throughout the week.

The seven selections explore a wide variety of subjects including politics and philosophy, music and theater, sailing and exploration, wildlife, and culture and self-expression. Two of Doc Week’s selections feature iconic personalities who many will be familiar with in philosopher and economist Noam Chomsky (Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?) and Tony Award winner Elaine Stritch (Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me). Others will introduce exciting new subjects like the 14-year-old Laura Decker, who, in the film Maidentrip, attempts to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.

“Each year there seems to be more and more extremely well-done documentaries that we believe warrant first-run screenings in Pierce County,” says Philip Cowan, executive director of The Grand Cinema. “We try to fit as many of these top caliber docs as possible into our weekly schedules and Tuesday Film Series, but often we don’t have room for all of them.

“We’re creating Doc Week to provide space and hopefully also an effective presentation for even more of them.”

Cowan says that if March’s Doc Week is well-received, he hopes to program a second installment of the series later in 2014.

In addition to multiple daily screenings, Doc Week will also feature multiple post-film discussions led by local cinephiles.

For the full schedule, click here.

Portland International Film Festival Starts Today!

Running February 6-22, 2014, Northwest Film Center’s 37th Portland International Film Festival (PIFF 37) will bring more than 130 features, documentaries, and short films to the Portland Metro area. Over the last 37 years, the festival has populated its schedule with diverse and innovative films for an audience of more than 38,000 annually from throughout the Northwest region.

PIFF 37 kicks off tonight with film screenings at three different venues: the Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum), Cinema 21, and the festival’s newest venue, OMSI.

Among the festival’s programming highlights is Short Cuts V: Oregon Filmmakers’ Showcase, to be held on Tuesday, February 11. The program features short works by Oregon-based filmmakers, including films by festival favorites like Joanna Priestley and Vanessa Renwick, but also work by emerging talents like Stephanie Hough, Rachelle Sarfati, and Kimberly Warner. The showcase also allows Portland audiences the opportunity to view Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky’s latest work. All filmmakers will be in attendance for the screening.

For more information on Short Cuts V or to view the full PIFF 37 schedule, visit

SIFF’s Women in Cinema Film Fest

The Seattle International Film Festival’s Women in Cinema (WIC) Festival kicks off tomorrow, January 22, and runs through Sunday.

WIC celebrates the exceptional contributions of women in the world of cinema, represents a convergence of excellence in filmmaking, and showcases stunning features and documentaries from around the world.

The event starts tomorrow evening with a screening of Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, a documentary film about the 87-year-old Broadway and television actress. Director/producer Chiemi Karasawa is scheduled to attend.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Reel NW Call for Submissions

Reel NW is looking for compelling feature-length and short independent films with a Pacific Northwest connection. (Pacific NW is defined as including Washington and British Columbia and surrounding areas.) Works must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Made by a NW filmmaker
  • Produced in the NW
  • Tell a NW story

Films may be any duration up to 90 minutes, and may be any genre. If you’d like to submit your work, please complete the form here. You must provide a preview link or send a DVD screening copy to:

Attn: Reel NW
401 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109

Reel NW is a program on KCTS 9, a public television station serving Seattle and the Northwest, that airs independent films from or about the Pacific Northwest. Visit the website for more information.