Thursday, September 25, 2014

NW Film Forum: "Local Sightings" 2014 Film Festival

Northwest Film Forum's annual showcase of Northwest film making returns with Seattle premieres, parties, and the best in local emerging film talent from Sept 25 – Oct 4.

If you are not familiar with the Northwest Film Forum, then you should take some time to get to know this very important piece of Seattle's movie culture. Below you will find the official press release for their annual festival.

Northwest Film Forum proudly presents the annual Local Sightings Film Festival, held from September 25 – October 4, 2014 at 1515 12th Avenue between Pike and Pine in Seattle. Local Sightings is the Northwest's premiere showcase of new films, putting homegrown talent in front of Seattle audiences and connecting artists from Alaska to Oregon in a celebration of film making from the region.

In 2014, the festival expands to ten full days for the first time in its 17-year history. Festival screenings, classes and events are accompanied by an expanded Seattle Film Summit program (co-produced with Evil Slave LLC), that provides a full week of professional development and networking opportunities for local film and creative industry workers. Seattle Film Summit events range from panel discussions to demos to a closing night Town Hall-style community discussion (October 2 at 6pm).

Local Sightings trail blazes this year with an opening night focused on a PechaKucha-style live show and MC’d festival preview, rather than a traditional feature film screening (September 25 at 7pm).

"Northwest Film Forum is a year-round hub on Capitol Hill for the local film community, and we wanted to put the emphasis this year on film people," says Film Forum Program Director Courtney Sheehan. “The Pacific Northwest excels at producing fiercely independent film audiences and filmmakers alike. I’m proud that Northwest Film Forum can stoke the flames of regional creativity, as we help incubate and showcase the inspiring film voices that are part of the festival this year.”

Opening film of this year's festival is the U.S. premiere of Bella Vista (, screens September 26 at 8pm), a feature by Montana filmmaker Vera Brunner-Sung. Shot in only 12 days and directed, written, edited, produced and DP’d by women, Bella Vista had its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Bella Vista director Vera Brunner-Sung says: "I’ve long been an admirer of Northwest Film Forum. Its programming is world class, and as an institution it provides excellent resources for area independent filmmakers from start to finish. This all comes together in Local Sightings, and we’re honored to be screening on opening night of the festival. As our U.S. premiere, it’s a homecoming for us, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be in the company of colleagues, friends, and supporters of new cinema in the Northwest."

Closing night at this year’s festival features In Country (, screens October 2 at 8pm), a new documentary by Seattle filmmakers Mike Attie and Meghan O’Hara that follows a platoon of Vietnam War re-enactors in the Oregon woods. In Country had its world premiere at the 2014 Full Frame Film Festival and is the recipient of a Sundance Documentary Film Program grant. Also new this year is a partnership with Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar, which will host an exclusive closing night party (open to festival pass holders and closing night ticket holders only).

Other special events at this year’s festival include a 10th anniversary screening of the “best of” the Seattle 48 Hour Film Project (October 3 at 7pm), with filmmakers in attendance, an archival VHS program of Seattle skate films, sourced by Seattle skater establishment Marshall Reid (October 1 at 6:30pm), and the U.S. premiere of La Voz de Los Silenciados by Maximón Monihan (October 3 at 8pm).

Juried prizes at this year's festival include cash awards for best feature and short, announced on closing night by this year's festival jurors: Kristen Fitzpatrick, Director of Public Exhibition and Acquisitions for Women Make Movies; Maximón Monihan, Filmmaker; and Richard Herskowitz, Director of Cinema Pacific and Artistic Director of the Houston Cinema Arts Society. The Seattle Composers Alliance also offers juried cash awards for the best original feature and short score. Naked City Brewery and Taphouse returns with a fourth year of its Local Sightings audience award, featuring the people’s choice for best feature and short films.

There are several free and low-cost events in this year’s festival program, including a coloring book happy hour paired with the screening of Bubble Bubble Meows and the Meteor Stomachache (September 30 at 6pm), and a filmmaker education open house, with work-in-progress screenings and conversation with current Film Forum instructors and students (September 28 at 3pm).

Other film education opportunities during Local Sightings include a “botanicollage” workshop taught by filmmaker Caryn Cline (October 4, 11am-4pm). This filmmaking technique, made famous by Stan Brakhage and his film Mothlight, involves using local botanicals, art materials and film supplies to produce a short, collaborative experimental film that will be screened immediately after the festival.


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