|News from the Office of Film + Music
SXSW KICKOFF PARTY FOR SEATTLE ARTISTS @ CROCODILE IS TOMORROW
Tomorrow, March 3, the Crocodile Café will host an annual concert event to support Seattle bands headed to Austin for SXSW. Performing artists include: D. Black, Wild Orchid Children, State of the Artist, Tea Cozies and perhaps a few surprises. In a display of true ingenuity, some of the bands have decided to raise money for the SXSW journey with a bazaar that will take place concurrently in the Crocodile back room. This flea market-meets-bake sale will feature handmade goodies, culinary treats, music lessons and apparel from some of the performing artists in addition to other local acts like Fatal Lucciauno, The Young Evils, Black Whales and Campfire Ok. Check out the SxSeattle website, Facebook page and Twitter via the link above to get tickets for the party and to join is in support of these talented local artists.
WASHINGTON FILMWORKS'"PULLING FOCUS" SERIES RETURNS NEXT WEEK
Washington Filmworks, in partnership with IFP/Seattle, Northwest Film Forum, Northwest Screenwriters Guild, Seattle Film Institute, Seattle International Film Festival, Seattle Office of Film + Music, Women in Film-Seattle and the Warren Report are pleased to present "Pulling Focus: A Clear Picture of Today's Film Industry." The first installment of the 2011 series kicks off next Thursday, March 3, at The Sorrento Hotel, and will feature a candid conversation with special guests Matthew Lillard (Scooby Doo, Scream), Darrien Gibson (Executive Director of SAGIndie) and Nike Imoru (casting director for NxNW), all moderated by Warren Etheredge of the Warren Report. Talking points will include: how to bring out the best in your talent and crew, the business of being an actor, the importance of finding the perfect cast and much more. This is a unique opportunity for local area arts organizations, talent, filmmakers and all those interested in the business of "show business" to get together, share experiences and learn how to help the Northwest continue to thrive as a filmmaking hub. Guests are invited to continue the conversation after the panel discussion at a cocktail reception hosted by the Washington Wine Commission. Doors open for the event at 6:30 pm and the panel begins at 7:00.
DON'T MISS THE CAVE SINGERS ON THIS WEEK'S ALL-NEW "ARTZONE"
ArtZone with Nancy Guppy
This week, ArtZone with Nancy Guppy welcomes musical guests The Cave Singers! Be sure to tune in to Seattle Channel Friday, March 4, for the latest episode, which will also feature a profile of 2010 Mayor's Arts Award recipient, Juan Alonso and an interview with Bass-baritone hunk, John Relyea, who will drop by the studio to chat about his role in the Seattle Opera's production of Don Quichotte. ArtZone airs every Friday on Seattle Channel (Channel 21) at 8:00 pm, and is also streaming and podcasting.
MEGAN GRIFFITHS TALKS "THE OFF HOURS" WITH NANCY GUPPY
ArtZone with Nancy Guppy
Straight from the ArtZone archives is last week's fantastic episode, in which Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths sits down with Nancy Guppy to shed light on the production of her Sundance-featured flick, The Off Hours. In the interview, Griffiths shows clips from the indie drama, which filmed in and around Seattle last year, while sharing her experiences working with a "Seattle-centric" crew. Griffiths also spills juicy details on her next project. See it all for yourself via the above link.
INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES
HOLLOW EARTH RADIO LAUNCHES NW INDEPENDENT MUSIC LEGACY SERIES
Hollow Earth Radio: Sea-Port Beat
Local freeform outfit Hollow Earth Radio (HER) has set upon an important task: documenting the independent music legacy of the Pacific Northwest. Thus is the genesis of HER's Sea-Port Beat series, a groundbreaking eight-part audio documentary that traces the little-known underground stories at the heart of our region's music community--from the 1950s to the grunge wave to the post-Internet era. Featuring candid interviews with local musicians as well as record label proprietors, house venue operators, visual artists and those who create the culture around the music, Sea-Port makes its debut today and will stream every Wednesday in March at 10:00 am to noon with rebroadcasts at 6:00 pm. For these evening rebroadcasts, Hollow Earth will also open its doors every week for in-person listening sessions. Funding for this project was made possible by a grant from Humanities of Washington. Check out the above link for more on Sea-Port Beat, or to learn how listen to the program via podcast.
SEATTLE'S LANGSTON HUGHES FILM FEST JOINS NATIONWIDE AFRICAN-AMERICAN FILM RELEASING MOVEMENT
Langston Hughes African American Film Festival
Seattle's acclaimed Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) has been selected as one of five city-based backers for the newly-launched African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AAFRM). This bold nationwide program is aimed at putting more quality images of color and African American-themed films into mainstream commercial movie theatres. True to form, the Langston Hughes Fest will screen Seattle's first AFFRM-endorsed film, I Will Follow, for a limited engagement run at AMC's Southcenter Cinema March 11-18. The film, written and directed by Ava DuVernay and starring Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I Am Legend, Black Dynamite), tells of a woman sorting through memories of a beloved aunt who died of breast cancer. "The selection of LHAAFF as part of AFFRM [....] demonstrates Seattle's vibrant, active and important role in this nation's film movement," says LHAAFF Artistic Director, Jacqueline Moscou. "It is gratifying to know that others around the country recognize [us] and want to work with us to help take Black film to the next level." Presented by the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, LHAAFF just celebrated its eighth year of enhancing media literacy, self reflection and cultural competency across the aisle and across neighborhoods through film. Follow the above link to learn more.
EMP'S "SOUND OFF!" FINALS ARE THIS SATURDAY
The battle of the bands wages on in EMP's 10th annual "Sound Off!" as the remaining semi-finalists meet this Saturday, March 5, for one last showdown. The final four-- Fit for Hounds, Northern Departure, The Oh Wells and wildcard pick Tomten-- will hit the Sky Church stage at 7:30 in an all-ages concert to determine this year's "Sound Off!" champion. For the past 10 years, "Sound Off!" has emerged as the Northwest's largest battle of the bands for musicians 21 and under, while also giving giving young artists from all different backgrounds a once in a lifetime opportunity to come together and play their original music. Past competitions have brought rising local bands like The Lonely Forest, New Faces, and The Globes to wider attention in the Seattle music scene. For more on the finals show, check out the link.
ANOTHER LOCAL FILMMAKER TO TAKE PART IN CINEQUEST
Congratulations to Seattle filmmaker Webster Crowell! In addition to screening his animated short, Parasol, this week at San Jose's Cinequest Film Festival, Crowell's film will also show at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center March 5, as part of a children's film series. Since its premiere at the Northwest Film Forum Bike-in last year, Parasol has toured the world film festival circuit to rave reviews, and will now be featured in Cinequest's animated shorts program--an, "astonishing collection of animation [which] offers a display of visual fireworks and universes of imagination," to borrow from the Fest's official event page. The nine-minute film, which Crowell produced with support from 4Culture, the Seattle Arts Commission and Artist Trust, captures actors Sarah Harlett and Jonah Von Sprecken animated across a few thousand paper parasols. For more on the short and its Cinequest appearance, follow the above link.
UPDATE: YOU CAN NOW SUBMIT YOUR "HISTORY IS____" FILM ENTRY ONLINE
For all those working on a film for MOHAI's History Is ___ community film competition, there is now a new way for you to submit your entry. With the help of Indieflix, MOHAI now has the capacity to accept submissions online. This will streamline the film submission process for competing filmmakers, especially those with last minute entries (not to encourage procrastination). Simply enter in the title, length and a brief summary of your film, along with a description of the filmmaking team, and upload the digital video file. History Is___ invites filmmakers of all ages to fill in the blank, and tell MOHAI what "History Is" to them. For the full scoop on the competition and the new online submission process, be sure to check out the above link.
SEATTLE FILMMAKER GETS FIRST PLACE IN PEPSI FILM COMPETITION
Seattle Filmmaker Kevin Harvey and actor Brian Sutherland recently won first place in the Pepsi Filmmaking Competition, presented by global film-branding collective MOFILM, for their hilarious short Ants. Harvey and Sutherland beat out 700 other competitors, winning $10,000 and a trip for two to Barcelona's Mobile World Congress event hosted by British personality and BAFTA host Jonathan Ross. Along with the first place title, Ants was also picked up by Pepsi and will be distributed as an ongoing commercial on television and in movie theaters in South and Central America. Harvey and Sutherland have worked on numerous Seattle projects together and can be seen in this summer's comedy fantasy The Greenspan, written and directed by Kevin's identical twin brother Philip Harvey. You can view Ants via link above, but be prepared for some ridiculous "antics."
HELP "KICKSTART" THESE NEW LOCAL FILM PROJECTS
Kickstarter: Ira Finklestein's Christmas
Kickstarter: The Busker Documentary
Two Seattle-based filmmakers are using Kickstarter to raise funds for their latest productions. Director Sue Cochran--whose recent work includes tenure on MTV's "$5 Cover: Seattle"--faces a funding gap in propelling her feature, Ira Finklestein's Christmas through principal production. "We need your help," Cochran says of her film, which follows the shenanigans of a young Jewish boy obsessed with Christmas, on its Kickstarter site. "Every penny counts and every penny will be seen on the screen." On the other end of the production spectrum, after shooting more than 90 hours of footage capturing Seattle's vibrant cult of street performers, director Brian Nunes needs funding help to get his film, The Busker Documentary, through post. "We want to inspire people with the bravery and dedication of street performers who wake up every morning and expose their souls to the world in a raw and passionate way," says Nunes on his campaign site. "We want this film to be seen as widely as possible." Follow the above Kickstarter links to learn more about how you can help to back these projects.
SEATTLE-PRODUCED INDIE MAKES ITS TELEVISION DEBUT
Crimes of the Past
Congratulations to local shingle EKE Pictures and filmmakers Steve Edmiston and Victor Kepler! Their feature indie Crimes of the Past, written by Edmiston, had its cable broadcast premiere February 12 on the Lifetime Movie Network, with more screenings to come in February and March. The film--which The Hollywood Reporter described as "an engrossing, superbly acted movie"-- was picked up for distribution by MarVista Entertainment following its debut at the Seattle International Film Festival. Check your local listings for future showtimes and hit up the trailer via the above link for a sneak peek of the film.
LOCAL PRODUCTION HOUSE WILL TAKE PART IN EMERALD CITY COMICON THIS SATURDAY
Emerald City Comicon
Meet the masterminds behind "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising" and "JourneyQuest" series this Saturday March 5, at the 2011 Emerald City Comicon! The 9th annual event--the premier comic book and pop culture convention in the Pacific Nortwest--will host Seattle production house Dead Gentlemen for an exclusive filmmaking panel from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. Local writer/director Matt Vanci, producer/director Ben Dobyns and actress Jen Page will discuss indie filmmaking in all of its various forms--from shorts to features to web series--and will answer questions about their zany work. For more on the panel, check out the link.
ARTIST TRUST SEEKS NEW PROGRAMS INTERN
Artist Trust is looking to hire a new Programs Intern to assist with research, data entry and general program assistance. This is a three-month commitment with a fixed schedule of 10 to 20 hours per week. This internship's duties include: assisting the Program Staff with all aspects of programming; collection and distribution of information about funding and opportunities; coordinating special events; administration of Programs activities; and database management. The internship opportunity will also provide valuable insight into the nonprofit program arena, exposure to Washington State arts and artists and a one-year Artist Trust membership. To apply, please submit a cover letter and résumé to Miguel Guillen, Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click on the link above to learn more.
APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THEFILMSCHOOL'S "3-WEEK INTENSIVE" IS THIS FRIDAY
Get on it quick: The Spring application window for TheFilmSchool's cornerstone program, "The 3-Week Intensive," closes this Friday, March 4. Through six courses, the Intensive teaches 30 select students about the principles and mechanisms of film structure and character, as well as the fundamentals of storytelling. Students in the program come from all backgrounds and all levels of filmmaking to get a unique taste of Seattle's unparalleled creative community. Featured faculty for the program include accomplished film and TV writer Andrew Chapman, creative coach Lisa Loop and visiting Pacifica Graduate Institute professor Margo Meck. The Spring 2011 session runs from March 12 - April 2, and scholarships are still available. For more on the program, take a look at the above link.
SIFF MANAGING DIRECTOR DEBORAH PERSON FEATURED ON "SEATTLE VOICES"
Host Eric Liu chats with Seattle International Film Festival Managing Director, Debroah Person, in the latest installment of Seattle Voices. In the candid one-on-one, Person tells of her 30 year history with SIFF as well her work in local arts administration with organizations like Annex Theater and House of Dames Productions. Seattle Voices is a Seattle Channel original series that engages some of the city's most interesting, provocative and inspiring individuals in dynamic conversation. Seattle Voices welcomes guests from all walks of life--from politics to the arts, sports to music-- to share about how they are making Seattle culture more vibrant. For more information on the show, or to check out the Seattle Voices episode archive, visit the link.
THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION GIFTS $50K TO 911 MEDIA ARTS CENTER
911 Media Arts
Congrats to 911 Media Arts Center! The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has awarded the lauded Seattle non-profit with a $50,000 capacity building grant. The funds will be used to enhance and expand 911 Media's website, improve its member database and facilitate community outreach. Also included in the award: A $5,000 technology reserve fund to enable 911 Media to keep current with the latest trends in the ever-evolving face of new technology. "The commitment of the Warhol Foundation to 911 Media Arts Center is absolutely vital to our future," says 911 Media's Executive Director Steven M. Vroom. "Without the funds and the prestige of the Foundation, 911 Media would have ceased to exist long ago." For more information on the award, check out the above link.
LOCALLY-MADE "BACK TO THE GARDEN" SET FOR BUSY WEEKEND OF INTERNATIONAL SCREENINGS
Back to the Garden
Having already screened at over 30 international film festivals since its SIFF premiere in 2009, Washington-themed cultural documentary, Back to the Garden: Flower Power Comes Full Circle, is now slated for three simultaneous showings across the globe. This weekend the film--which captures the psychedelic story of a group of hippies living off the grid in Washington state over the course of 20 years--will take part in the inaugural San Francisco Green Film Festival, in addition to appearances at the Sarajevo International Environmental Film Festival and the Salt Spring Documentary Film Fest in British Colombia. The doc will also take to the small screen: Icelandic National Television RUV recently acquired rights for Garden, and KCTS 9 will rebroadcast the "Reel NW" featured film in honor of Earth Day on April 21. For more information about the film and its Seattle producers, Kevin Tomlinson and Judy Kaplan, follow the above link.
TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 2/24 - 3/1
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).
- Cave Singers - "No Witch"
- Macklemore/ Ryan Lewis - "Vs. Redux"
- Telekinesis - "12 Desperate Straight Lines"
- Say Hi - "Um Uh Oh"
- Shabazz Palaces - "Shabazz Palaces"
- Cave Singers - "Welcome Joy"
- Fleet Foxes - "Fleet Foxes"
- Pearl Jam - "Live on Ten Legs"
- Caspar Babypants - "More Please!"
- Damien Jurado - "Saint Bartlett"
FILM PRODUCTION OF THE WEEK
This column highlights the amazing artistic efforts of our local filmmaking community and the broad positive economic impact it has on our region. This week we profile:
DARK LAMP FILMS' Wish
Wish is a short film written and directed by local filmmaker Norman Tumolva. The story is a modern day genie tale that conjures themes of how we deal with failure and loss in our lives. Shooting four days last week around downtown Seattle, in Pioneer Square and the University District, the film utilizes local settings as well as local talent with a sizable crew of 23. The short will be a suspenseful, spectral narrative, sure to make audiences squirm at times, while also instilling thought provoking contemplation. Sincere characters and delicate dialogue form the basis for the film's core thematic elements, which explore the disparagement of attaining redemption through avarice and the folly of dealing with loss through denial. The film team is currently in production and the filmmakers hope to submit it to the festival circuit later this year.
"For us it was much more than just the fact that we happen to live in Seattle that compelled us to produce Wish here," says Production Manager Sean Walsh. "It is the beautiful locations, the support from the City of Seattle and most of all the local dedicated cast and crew members who have all donated their time and talents to help create this film. We look forward to sharing the film across the globe for the story itself, but there is also an excitement that in doing so the project will function as a representation of the dedication Seattle has to producing inspired works of art." You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the Wish crew in action and contribute to the film's Kickstarter campaign at the link above.
SCARECROW ON SEATTLE
In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show our Seattle's most filmable locations.
It Happened At The World's Fair (1963)
This formulaic Elvis Presley vehicle is probably most enjoyable to non-Elvis fans as a travelogue of the Century 21 Exposition, better known as The Seattle World's Fair. Elvis co-owns a crop-dusting biplane with his pal Danny (Gary Lockwood) and they are based out of the fictional Eastern Washington town of Sherrington. When the plane is shown in the air, it is obvious that they are flying over the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California. Elvis and Danny's troubles grow and the two pals are soon hitchhiking to Seattle. A farmer with a fruit truck picks them up and they eventually get into some familiar Washington State locations. In one scene they are driving along Highway 161 with Mount Rainier visible in the background, then they turn a corner and the mountain is suddenly in the foreground. Better double-check that road map, Elvis! On the way into Seattle they pass the Wilburton Trestle while Elvis sings a song to Su-Lin (the seven year old niece of the farmer) and, finally, the gang shows up at the World's Fair. Elvis escorts Su-Lin around the Fair and we are treated to all sorts of cool futuristic themed architecture and exhibits (but sadly they never check out the bubbleator). They also go for a twilight ride on the monorail where Elvis "thinks" a song to his little sleeping friend. Elvis doesn't do a very good job of restraining Su-Lin's carnival food consumption but, then again, what idiot would trust Elvis to monitor junk food? Su-Lin gets a tummy ache that leads to a visit to the World's Fair's dispensary where she is treated for her ills and Elvis meets his love interest, a nurse named Diane (Joan O'Brien). Somehow Diane resists his charms but Elvis is determined to spend time with the nurse so he pays a kid five bucks to kick him in the shins, thus sending him back to the dispensary. Ironic casting note: the kid is played by Kurt Russell who would grow up to play Elvis in a TV movie! Elvis and Diane end up on a date and they cut in line to take the elevator to the top of the Space Needle where they have a lengthy dinner capped off by some crooning. The Space Needle restaurant scene was not shot on location and the filmmakers use a fake painted backdrop for the Seattle cityscape. Elvis and Danny eventually tussle with some would-be gangsters leading to a lengthy nighttime chase through the Seattle Center. Everything works out okay and, for the film's finale, Elvis and Diane sing a duet while leading a marching band around for a final glimpse of the 1962 World's Fair. There really isn't any non-World's Fair Seattle footage featured in the movie as Elvis never goes for a stroll through the Pike Place Market, rides a ferry or, more likely, stops by Dick's for some burgers. Still, It Happened At The World's Fair got Hollywood's attention and helped kick off modern filmmaking in the Jet City.
THE HEAD AND THE HEART AND FENCES MAKE SPIN'S LIST OF "MUST HEAR" ACTS AT SXSW 2011
To tame the musical beast that is SXSW 2011, SPIN Magazine has scoured the Fest's 2,000 count performance lineup to select this year's "can't miss" acts--and two rising Seattle stars have made the list! The Head and the Heart and Fences are featured amongst the SPIN editors' 35 top picks for the week-long Austin event. Of The Head and the Heart SPIN says, "This folk-rock outfit have been called the Emerald City's Next Big Thing, and these five twentysomethings [....] are well on their way to fulfilling that prophecy. In under a year, they went from collaborating at an open-mic night at a Seattle coffee shop to releasing their self-titled debut." SPIN also outlines the appeal of homegrown crooner Chris Mansfield, aka Fences: "The tattoo-covered singer-songwriter [....] sings with breathy earnestness, as if he was born to coo sad acoustic songs of relationships gone awry." Check out the full article via the link above!
WIRED MAGAZINE ONLINE SCOOPS THE SEATTLE BAND MAP
Just two weeks after its web-debut, The Seattle Band Map is generating a swell of media attention and musician/techie adulation. Case in point: this brand new feature from Wired.com, wherein contributor Caleb Garling explores the Map's origins and ongoing evolution. A creative collaboration between KEXP's Rachel Ratner, local musician Keith Whiteman and web developer Golf Sinteppadon, the Map started on paper as a flowchart-esque diagram of the Pacific Northwest's vibrant music community. Now it has taken to the net, with more than 2,000 groups visually represented in a gloriously tangled web. Says Garling, "[The Map's web platform], which is still growing thanks to ongoing input by Seattle musicians and fans, has turned into a perfect example of the kind of sprawling, crowdsourced project that works perfectly online. By tapping into the knowledge of the crowd, Ratner and her friends are creating a sort of oral history of rock 'n' roll for their hometown that is quickly spreading beyond Seattle's city limits." To read the article in full, check out the above link.
SEATTLE MUSICIANS AND PATAGONIA TEAM UP TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Outdoor apparel company Patagonia is adding a new digital music download service on their website to raise money for environmental organizations endorsed by popular bands. Seattle musicians Pearl Jam, Brandi Carlile and Blitzen Trapper are among the artists participating in the initiative, which launched earlier this week. The Patagonia Music Collective will offer exclusive tracks for $.99 each, with net proceeds going directly to the environmental organizations of the artists' preference. Pearl Jam is backing the Conservation International Marine Program; Brandi Carlile is raising money for Honor the Earth organization; and Blitzen Trapper's support lies with SOLV. The ultimate goal of Patagonia's music project is to foster an artistic and political exchange between musicians, fans, environmental advocates and Patagonia customers. Click the link above to browse the artists and organizations involved and to download songs to benefit the environment.
Seattle Office of Film + Music Staff
James Keblas, Director
Chris Swenson, Film Program Coordinator
Rachel White, Music + Nightlife Program Coordinator
Erica Nwuso, Intern
Jonathan Hughes, Intern
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