Tag Archives: Festivals

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.

Fall Film Festival Round-Up

From capitol cities to pastoral towns, it seems every corner  of the Northwest boasts a film festival this autumn. Here is a brief look at some of the major events taking place near you. Check out the festivals’ respective Web sites for schedules, ticketing, and other information.


Salem Film Festival
Oct 14 – 21
With the tagline, “A truly inspired celebration of independent film & filmmakers…” the Salem Film Festival strives to showcase a broad selection of indie film talent. Screenings and other events will be held at Salem Cinema on Broadway, High Street Cinema, and The Grand Theater.

Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
Oct 14 – 23
Held annually since 1996, The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival has grown into the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, gaining industry and audience recognition for showcasing the latest and greatest in LGBT film, from major motion picture premieres to emerging talent.

Eastern Oregon Film Festival
Oct 20 – 22
La Grande, Oregon, is home to Eastern Oregon Film Festival, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a cinematic experience in Eastern Oregon. Now in its third year, EOFF not only features film, but live music as well.

Eugene International Film Festival
Oct 20 – 23
In addition to the myriad excellent film screenings at EIFF, the event also features a number of networking opportunities for filmmakers (such as the complimentary filmmaker buffet mixer, the intimate nightly cocktail-and-snack lounge, and the exciting awards ceremony), as well as several production workshops.

Astoria International Film Festival
Oct 20 – 24
Astoria, the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, and its vaudeville-style Liberty Theater serve as the backdrop for the Astoria International Film Festival. AIFF showcases independent film from around the world, but its programming spotlights regional filmmakers and youth filmmakers as well.

Portland Latin American Film Festival
Oct 20 – 26
Produced in partnership with Film Action Oregon, PDXLAFF is a festival with universal appeal that can be enjoyed by native Spanish, Portuguese, and English speakers, and all lovers of the Latin culture. Screenings include new full-length feature films, document aries and short films that showcase perspectives of Latin American culture.


Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival
Nov 11 – 19
The Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival, produced by the Northwest Film Center in Portland, is the premier showcase of new work by regional filmmakers. Following the festival, the Film Center will assemble selected works for the “Best of the Northwest” Touring Program that will circulate throughout the region next year.


Olympia Film Festival
Nov 11 – 20

Since 1983, Olympia Film Society has hosted the annual Olympia Film Festival, a 10-day around-the-clock extravaganza of films, filmmakers and film-related guests, special performances, discussion panels, and educational workshops. Screenings are held at the Capitol Theater, a 750-seat venue built in 1924.

Portland African American Film Festival
Nov 17 – 20 503-484-5122
Now in its third year, the Portland African American Film Festival celebrates the depth, contributions, history and more, of African American film and filmmakers. Executive director Ron Craig, a Portland native, produces both PDXAAFF and the Astoria International Film Festival.