SIFF Uptown Hosts Free Neighborhood Celebration and Awards for “A Story Runs Through It”
As part of the Seattle Center’s Next 50 Civic Action Month, local residents both young and old submitted short films about Seattle neighborhoods for a competition being held this Wednesday, October 17 at the SIFF Uptown. The awards ceremony is free and begins at 7pm.
“A Story Runs Through It: Neighborhood Film Celebration and Awards” features short films (3 minutes or less) that tell stories about Seattle and its neighborhoods from the viewpoint of residents. Filmmakers could showcase any part of Seattle, regardless of which neighborhood they call home.There are 3 categories: Youth Filmmaker, Adult Filmmaker, and additional submissions not up for awards.
All film submissions to “A Story Runs Through It” are available in their entirety online. Awards will be presented for Youth Filmmaker, Adult Filmmaker, Civic Relevance, and Special Recognition.
There’s a wide range of films and neighborhoods highlighted in the submissions – if you’re looking for Queen Anne specific films, check out Mike Clarke’s “Next 50 Project” and for a showcase of Seattle images, including some Queen Anne icons, check out “Love, Seattle”. And, root for your favorite on Wednesday night!
Seattle International Film Festival opens today
Among the special events, spectacles and movie stars at this year’s festival, Ewan McGregor is set to receive the Golden Space Need Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting May 22 at the Egyptian Theatre. The event will also feature a screening of his new film “Beginners,” a U.S. comedic drama by director Mike Mills.
Tickets for the Opening Night Gala can be bought here, which include screening of “The First Grader” and Gala party to follow. “The First Grader” is a UK film shot in Kenya by director Justin Chadwick, who previously directed “The Other Boleyn Girl,” about an 84-year-old Kenyan villager trying to get an education. General admission is $50 and includes two complementary drink tickets, while premium admission is $100 and includes open bar at the post-film reception and preferred entry into the Gala screening.
The festival concludes June 12 with the Closing Night Gala, featuring the UK documentary “Life in a Day,” a mosaic of thousands of individuals from around the globe in a single day by “The Last King of Scotland” director Kevin Macdonald.
This year the festival will feature 441 films, including 257 features and 184 short films, 96 of which will be premiered at SIFF, representing 74 countries, a record for SIFF.
Special to SIFF this year, the new “Pathway” system will be released aimed at assisting moviegoers in finding the kind of films they’re looking to experience. The SIFF website lists the ten Pathways as:
- Love Me, Do! – Romance and love in all its forms, pleasures, and idiosyncrasies.
- Make Me Laugh – Films that make you chuckle and tickle your funny bone.
- Thrill Me – Suspense, thrills, and action. Films with a faster pace that might also surprise you when you least expect it.
- Creative Streak – The exploration of artistic endeavors from all disciplines: literature, film, art, dance, and performance.
- Open My Eyes – Revealing films and documentaries revolving around history, politics, and contemporary events from around the world.
- Sci-Fi and Beyond – Science, technology, environment, the future—and beyond.
- Take Me Away – Be prepared to be taken to another place – from exotic far-off lands to vibrant experiences outside of everyday life.
- Spellbinding Stories – Mesmerizing dramas and documentaries that explore thought-provoking questions, realities, and topics.
- To the Extreme – Explore the outer limits with films that go beyond the edge.
- Face the Music – Films that intersect the world of music on all fronts: from biopics and concert films, to musicals and live events.
Screenings for the films will take place at various venues throughout Seattle, Renton, Everett and Kirkland.
SIFF, the largest and most highly-attended film festival in the United States, will be opening the SIFF Film Center in the Alki Room at Seattle Center this coming fall, “fulfilling its long-standing vision of creating a permanent home where SIFF’s successful film, education, and community outreach programs can thrive,” the organization says on its website.
Find out more about what’s screening at the film festival this year here.
Reminder: Blockbuster closing, selling everything
Neighborhood film buffs may want to head over to the Lower Queen Anne Blockbuster to stock up on movie titles before the store closes down for good.
The last Blockbuster in the neighborhood announced that it was following in the footsteps of its Upper Queen Anne counterpart and closing up shop just two weeks ago. Employees estimate that the store will shut its doors in about a month, on April 10.
Until then all of the store’s merchandise (including DVDs, games, posters, movie paraphernalia, etc.) is on sale at clearance prices. More information on the closure here.
Seattle-based film a hit at Sundance Film Festival
A whole bunch of Seattle films stood out at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. One in particular is of interest to Queen Anne-ers since parts of it were shot on location here.
“The Details” stars Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney and Ray Liotta. Maguire plays Dr. Jeff Lang, who along with his wife Nealy (Banks), lives a regular middle-class life in Seattle. What begins as a series of innocuous events and bad decisions by Lang ultimately becomes something a bit darker in this black comedy.
The film was shot entirely in Seattle and features the Montlake and Fremont neighborhoods as well as many Seattle-specific references. Some of you may remember when the film was shooting in Kerry Park, as well as a few other sites in Queen Anne way back in September 2009. Here’s some video of the film shooting in Ballard.
Writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes sold the film for a reported $8 million, one of the festival’s biggest sales and ensuring a well-publicized theatrical release sometime soon.
Screening of “A Chemical Reaction” Saturday
The film follows a Canadian town that was able to successfully ban the use of pesticides, inciting a province-wide movement:
Dr. Irwin’s persuasive arguments and data to back her findings eventually led the town of Hudson to enact a by-law that banned the use of all chemical pesticides and herbicides. The most mighty chemical companies in North America put their full legal weight on the tiny town and eventually the case made it to the Supreme Court.
The town’s right to protect its citizens was upheld, and — like a row of dominos — other municipalities followed suit. The movement spread so far and wide that the entire province of Quebec enacted a ban and Home Depot stopped putting the dangerous pesticide products on their shelves.
Paul Tukey, one of the nation’s leading experts on organic lawn care has been following this story for years. After becoming seriously ill with acute pesticide sensitivity from applying chemical lawn products in his own lawn care business, he became an outspoken advocate for alternatives to chemical lawn care. He travels across the country lecturing on the subject and has written the nation’s leading book on organic lawn care titled, The Organic Lawn Care Manual.
This documentary follows his journey that leads to the doorstep of Hudson, Quebec. It’s an inspiring story of overcoming great odds and demonstrates the power of people coming together to effect great change in our society.
As always, the showing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Queen Anne United Methodist Church, located at 1606 5th Ave W (the pink building next to the Queen Anne Library). Moviegoers should use the Fellowship Hall entrance on W Garfield St. Admission is free (though donations are welcome) and coffee will be provided by Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Can’t make it this month? Next month the Guild will be showing Playing For Change: Peace Through Music.