11 feature films with Northwest ties at SIFF
The Northwest Connections program at Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) 2011 features films with local ties, including "Late Autumn," "The Off Hours," "Treatment" and "Old Goats."
Seattle Times movie critic
3 Minute MastersThe Seattle Times / Seattle International Film Festival announce the winners of this year's 3 Minute Masterpiece digital filmmaking contest.
The winning short films will be streamed on seattletimes.com starting Thursday. You also can see them on the big screen at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at SIFF Cinema at Seattle Center. The screening is free, but tickets are required: 206-324-9996.
"3 Little Space Pigs": Vikram, Jawahar and Jahnvi Madan, Bellevue.
"9 Pound Trout": Cassady O'Neal, Reno, Nev.
"Ballsy": Ian Knippel, Seattle.
"The Egg Hunt": Cameron Clark Smith, Seattle.
"Ego Boost": Ty Huffer, Seattle.
"Forced Out": John Dobrosielski, Arianne Garden Vazquez, Jeffrey Posadas, Irfan Shariff, Chris Rudy and Olivia, Seattle.
"Goldfish": Steve Smith.
"Our Grass Is Always Greener": Luca Rose, West Seattle.
"Piggiepalooza": Ellie Dynes, Ballard.
"Secret Club": Ben Kadie, Bellevue.
"Something Special": Kristi L. Simkins, Puyallup.
Seattle International Film FestivalMay 19-June 12 at numerous venues. For tickets/information: 206-324-9996 or www.siff.net, or visit the festival box office at Pacific Place.
Among the Seattle International Film Festival's multitude of movies this year is an unprecedented number of films from our own backyard.
"It's the biggest one we've had," says SIFF director of programming Beth Barrett of the Northwest Connections program, which this year contains 35 films: 11 narrative features, six feature-length documentaries, 18 short films. These were culled from, Barrett said, about 200 Seattle- or Northwest-based submissions.
Why so many? Barrett cites several local agencies that have been supportive both of local filmmakers and of bringing outside filmmakers here to shoot their movies: Washington FilmWorks, the Seattle Mayor's Office of Film & Music, Northwest Film Forum, the Screenwriters Guild. "There's been so much fiscal and community support for Northwest films," she said. "I think it's really a testament to the growth of the Northwest filmmaking community in the past decade."
She also pointed to the rise of digital technology, which has made filmmaking more accessible, and to the close-knit Seattle film community, in which "everybody works on everybody's projects." Indeed, there's a six-degrees-of-separation quality to the Northwest Connections feature lineup: Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton ("Humpday"), for example, appears as an actor in "The Off Hours"; Sean Nelson, who acted in Shelton's last film, codirects and wrote "Treatment"; cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke shot three of the 11 features ("Treatment," "The Off Hours," "The Catechism Cataclysm").
Here's the lineup of Northwest features; note that nearly all filmmakers (except John Carpenter) and numerous cast and crew members are likely to be in attendance.
"The Catechism Cataclysm": Todd Rohal's black comedy about a priest on an ill-fated canoe trip premiered at Sundance, followed by screenings at South by Southwest, Philadelphia Cinefest (opening-night film) and Sarasota Film Festival (prizewinner). It was filmed in Washington, with many locals on the crew. (7 p.m. June 8 at the Neptune; 4:30 p.m. June 9 at the Neptune)
"Do You See Colors When You Close Your Eyes?": "I really loved this film — it's a beautiful story, and it drew me in," said Barrett of Bellingham filmmaker Caleb Young's drama of a family tragedy. Shot in Washington over just seven days, it stars Sage Price in the dual role of twin brothers. (7 p.m. May 31 at the Admiral; 11 a.m. June 4 at the Harvard Exit)
"John Carpenter's The Ward": Horror master Carpenter ("Halloween") shot his latest film, about the troubled inmates of a psychiatric hospital, in Spokane, with Seattle actress Susanna Burney as the head nurse. (11:59 p.m. May 21 at the Egyptian; 10:30 p.m. May 26 at the Neptune)
"Late Autumn": Filmed here by South Korean filmmaker Kim Tae-yong ("Memento Mori"), this story of two unlikely friends spending a day in Seattle (even visiting the Space Needle!) premiered last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival. (6:45 p.m. May 29 at the Harvard Exit; 4 p.m. May 31 at the Egyptian)
"Marrow": Seattle filmmaker Matt Wilkins' debut feature "Buffalo Bill's Defunct — Stories from the New West" premiered at SIFF in 2004; now he's back with a psychological drama about a troubled family, shot in the Northwest woods. "The oppressive greenness of the forests becomes a really strong character," said Barrett. (7 p.m. June 1 at the Harvard Exit; 3:30 p.m. June 4 at the Admiral)
"Norman": Shot in Eastern Washington, Jonathan Segal's black comedy about a boy who pretends to have cancer features Academy Award-nominated actor Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor"). (10 p.m. June 2 at SIFF Cinema; 1 p.m. June 4 at the Neptune.)
"The Off Hours": Set in the world of the night shift of a Pacific Northwest highway diner, Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths' second feature premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and has since visited a number of other festivals before its local premiere. Griffiths is also a producer of "The Catechism Cataclysm." (7 p.m. June 6 at the Neptune; 4:30 p.m. June 7 at the Neptune)
"Old Goats": Bainbridge Island native Taylor Guterson (son of author David Guterson), a past winner of The Seattle Times Three Minute Masterpiece contest, makes his feature filmmaking debut with this tale of three older men facing the twilight of their lives. Guterson was writer, director, producer (with Johnathan Boyer), editor and cinematographer for the film, which recently screened at the Atlanta Film Festival. (7 p.m. June 7 at the Egyptian; 4:30 p.m. June 10 at the Admiral)
"Surrogate Valentine": Dave Boyle's road movie about a San Francisco musician (real-life musician Goh Nakamura) was partly shot in Seattle. It made its world premiere at South by Southwest earlier this year. (9:30 p.m. May 29 at the Harvard Exit; 3:30 p.m. May 30 at the Admiral)
"Treatment": Steven Schardt, co-producer of Lynn Shelton's "Humpday" two years back, co-directs this film with Seattle actor/writer/musician Sean Nelson. Filmed mostly in Los Angeles, the film is a comedy about a filmmaker who fakes addiction in order to meet a movie star at a swanky rehab clinic. (9:30 p.m. May 26 at the Egyptian; 11 a.m. May 28 at the Neptune)
"Without": Writer/director Mark Jackson, a Seattle native now based in New York, shot his debut film on Whidbey Island. The story of a young woman caring for a man in a vegetative state, it won a special jury award at this year's Slamdance Film Festival. (9:30 p.m. May 22 at the Harvard Exit; 4:30 p.m. May 23 at the Egyptian)
Also in Northwest Connections are six documentaries — "Hit So Hard," "Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians," "How to Die In Oregon," "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front," "A Lot Like You" and "Winds of Heaven" — and 18 short films, many of which will be screened in the "Seattle Stories" package and other packages during SIFF's Shortsfest weekend, May 27-30.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or seattletimes.com">firstname.lastname@example.org