|News from the Office of Film + Music
ANOTHER EXTRAORDINARY OFFICE OF FILM + MUSIC INTERN TAKES HER LEAVE
Lookout world, another Office of Film + Music internship alumnus has been released upon you! Erica Nwosu was honorably discharged last Friday with a fuel tank full of Indian food, ready to bring her talents to the Seattle workforce. During her tenure as intern she utilized her mad PR and marketing skills on MTV'S $5 Cover, turned tweeting into a literary art form and constructed a massive Viking ship from old Starbucks cups. Erica is a multi-taskmaster and juggled curating the newsletter, blasting social media and organizing events like the Office of Film + Music Happy Hour with great fortitude. When the Office of Film + Music Intern Hall of Fame is finally erected, Erica will have a prominent place up there with the greats. We miss her already, but hope to see Erica around the office in the near future.
INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES
LINEUP ANNOUNCED FOR THE 8TH ANNUAL LANGSTON HUGHES AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
This year will mark the 8th annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle. The festival spotlights dozens of feature-length and short films by independent filmmakers, and the rare opportunity to chat face-to-face with filmmakers, industry professionals and Seattle leadership. Festival passes and tickets are now on pre-sale and the full schedule with show times, locations and film synopses is posted online. The festival takes place from April 30 - May 8 and will feature outstanding films from this year's Sundance Film Festival, as well as world premieres! Check out the website above to see the entire film lineup and get all the festival details.
NWFF PRESENTS LOCAL FILMMAKER'S "BUMMER SUMMER"
The Seattle theatrical premiere of Zach Weintraub's Bummer Summer is this Friday at the Northwest Film Forum. Bummer Summer screened opening night of the 2010 Local Sightings Film Festival last October and went on win first place. The film follows a seventeen year old as he contemplates life after high school and spends a summer road-tripping with his brother who is home from college. Employing inventive storytelling, sensitive performances and deadpan humor, Weintraub shows he's a talent to watch with this wry and touching portrait of youthful romance and potential. Zach will be in attendance for the first screening speaking about the film and answer questions after the showing. To view the screening schedule, as well as the film's trailer click on the link above.
CALL FOR ARTISTS: VALLEY VIBES JAZZ SERIES
SEEDArts and the Rainier Valley Cultural Center are currently seeking Performing Artists for Valley Vibes, a new music series that will be focusing on jazz in 2011. There is also a job opening for a Valley Vibes Event Coordinator. The series will run from June through November 2011 and will be geared towards bringing together artists and audiences who might not otherwise cross paths. The event will feature a formal concert experience followed by a community conversation involving the performing artists and a featured speaker on a topic related thematically to the performance or performing group. Valley Vibes is seeking professional jazz groups who are innovative, passionate and committed to fostering new audiences and venues. For more information on the Valley Vibes Jazz Series visit the link above.
JOIN FILMMAKERS FROM ACROSS THE WORLD AND ACROSS PUGET SOUND AT NFFTY OPENING NIGHT
Opening night of the National Film Festival for Talent Youth is only one week away! The kickoff ceremony for this year's festival will take place at Cinerama and the after party will be held at the top of the Space Needle. NFFTY is a weekend long international film festival for young filmmakers (age 22 and under) with an incredible turnout. NFFTY occurs each spring in Seattle and includes up to 200 film screenings, filmmaking panels, film contests, parties, and opportunities for young filmmakers to network with industry professionals and each other. Youthful filmmakers from around the world submit feature-length and short films in narrative, documentary, animation, music video, experimental, and action sport categories. More than 10,000 film fans are expected at NFFTY 2011, April 28-May 1. Less than 80 passes are left for NFFTY Opening Night Gala. Don't miss walking the red carpet at Cinerama with the best of the best up and coming filmmakers from all over the world, Seattle finest and not to mention LA/NY Industry. Post screening you will be whisked away to the Space Needle for a night of socializing, snacking, custom cocktails, and maybe even an ice sculpture. Click on the link above for more details on NFFTY 2011 and to get your festival and opening night tickets.
"MUSIC MATTERS" LICENSE PLATES TO RAISE FUNDS FOR SCHOOL MUSIC PROGRAMS
Supporting school music programs could soon become as easy as driving your car around the block. Music Aid Northwest successfully pushed a bill through the Washington State Legislature to create a "Music Matters" specialty license plate that people can purchase for their vehicle. A portion of the sales would go toward bolstering music programs in Washington schools. Music Aid Northwest board member Alan White (drummer for Yes and Plastic Ono Band) recently said of the proposed "Music Matters" license plate bill, "The program will generate much needed funds on a voluntary basis". Plates would initially cost $40, with a renewal fee of $30. After passing through both the house and senate, the bill is currently awaiting a signature from Governor Gregoire. To support the "Music Matters" license plate proposal, you can contribute to the $35,000 start-up cost Music Aid Northwest needs for the program, or download an "intention to purchase" form for the license plate here to send back to the organization. See the hyperlink above for more info.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: MOFILM "CANNES LIONS" VIDEO CONTEST 2011
MOFILM presents the Cannes Lions Video Contest, another great opportunity for filmmakers of all calibers to flex their creative muscles and showcase their talent. The Cannes Lions 2011 competition requires filmmakers to choose from a selection of brands and create an original short video advertisement. A variety of companies are participating in the contest including Adobe, Vitamin Water and Microsoft and each company will have a specific prompt for video submissions. Winners will receive lavish cash prizes (at least one for each brand), a trip to the 58th International Cannes Festival of Creativity and get an exclusive screening of their video at the MOFILM awards night, as well as the opportunity to meet Jesse Eisenburg star of The Social Network. There are also special prizes available for student filmmakers, so be sure to specify your academic affiliation. The submission deadline for the competition is May 30, so get to scripting and shooting if you want to be screening. Click the link above for elaboration on the contest and submission details.
SEATTLE FILMMAKERS: APPLY FOR YOUR SIFF INDUSTRY PASS
SIFF is now offering special festival passes for qualified Puget Sound filmmakers and industry workers. The "Seattle Filmmakers Initiative Pass" boasts benefits at the 2011 festival, as well as year-round, ranging from press screenings to party invitations to opening night tickets, all at substantial discounts offered to the film community. To apply, download the accreditation application here and return it with a one-page resume that indicates your involvement in the Seattle film industry. SIFF will highlight local and international filmmaking at the 2011 Festival happening May 19 - June 12. For more details on the different pass levels, prices and application process visit the webpage link above.
SEATTLE FILMMAKERS PREMIERING "TREATMENT" AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
Filmed in LA by Seattle filmmakers Sean Nelson, Steven Schardt and Jennifer Maas, Treatment premiers this weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival. Selected out of 5,624 other entries in a record year for submissions, the film will be in the international independent "Viewpoints" category. Viewpoints is new to Tribeca and offers 11 narrative features and nine documentaries as a snapshot of international independent cinema. These 20 films will immerse audiences in distinctive perspectives, from documentaries grounded in the intimate stories of real-life characters to narratives that stretch the stylistic potential of the medium. Schardt recently produced the MTV webseries $5 Cover: Seattle. Joshua Leonard, who plays the main character Leonard, was a comedic sensation in Lynn Shelton's Humpday. The plot of Treatment revolves around Leonard, who convinces his best friend Nelson to bankroll his stint at a glitzy L.A. rehab clinic so he can pitch a movie idea to mega-star Gregg D. But soon enough his blind ambition begins to consume him. The film is a witty, ridiculous, and sincere tale of a co-dependent "bromance" on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Congrats to the Treatment film team! As always, check the link above for more.
DECIBEL FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH BUMBERSHOOT IN 2011
Electronic music fans rejoice: today Decibel Festival founder Sean Horton announced a partnership with the venerable Bumbershoot Festival taking place in September over Labor Day Weekend. What does this mean for you? Look out for carefully curated showcases and multimedia exhibitions, in addition to a stage dedicated to Decibel-approved acts. For those who have been following the growth of Decibel over the years, it should come as no surprise that Horton and company have found a willing partner in the equally growth-prone Bumbershoot. In addition to organizing events for Bumbershoot, Decibel will hold its own 8th annual international music fest September 28-October 2, expanding to include additional venues like the Paramount Theatre, Showbox at the Market, The Crocodile, and Fred Wildlife Refuge.
THE SEATTLE BAND MAP NOW AT EMP'S NIRVANA EXHIBIT
Seattle Band Map
Ever wanted to see the intricate cross-connections of Seattle bands in a tangible aesthetic? Now you can! EMP is now displaying the Seattle Band Map within their Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibition that opened last week. The Seattle Band Map is a project that showcases the Pacific Northwest's vibrant music scene by visually documenting the thousands of bands who have performed and recorded throughout the decades. SBM is a creative collaboration between KEXP's Rachel Ratner, local musician Keith Whiteman and web developer Golf Sinteppadon. They took the project online after running out of physical space on the paper map and the resulting website, which is still growing thanks to ongoing input by Seattle musicians and fans, has turned into a collaborative piece of informational art. By tapping into the knowledge of the crowd, the project has become a sort of oral history of rock 'n' roll for Seattle that resonates perfectly with EMP. For more information on the Seattle Band Map or the Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses please visit the links above.
SEATTLE CHANNEL NOMINATED FOR 17 REGIONAL EMMYS
On Thursday, the Northwest Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the regional Emmy nominees for 2011. Among those honored, Seattle Channel garnered 17 nominations, which includes a nod for "Station Excellence". The five states covered by the NATAS are Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Seattle Channel station manager Beth Hester said, "We want to thank our peers in the broadcast media for this recognition. Credit should not only go to the talented and creative individuals who received the nominations but also to the entire staff of Seattle Channel who work hard every day to serve the residents of Seattle." The Northwest Emmy Awards will take place Saturday, June 11 at Snoqualmie Casino. Interested parties can purchase tickets online here.
SEATTLE ARTISTS CREATE SHORT DANCE FILM ONE YEAR AFTER THE GULF OIL DISASTER
YOU ARE HERE
Seattle production company Breathing Media has officially released YOU ARE HERE, a short dance film inspired by the Gulf oil disaster in 2010. The film's release coincides with the one-year anniversary of Deepwater Horizon's offshore oil explosion. The filmmakers' chief mission in releasing the film is to bring public focus back to this catastrophic event and give concerned people a new tool for keeping the national conversation about climate change alive. Produced entirely through social media-driven funding on Kickstarter.com, the film is a passionate and violent love story that humanizes the environmental consequences of our oil-based economy. The film, just under 8 minutes long, features a rarely-seen fusion of aerial acrobatics, ballroom dance and modern choreography, performed by choreographer Naomi Hummel and Seattle dancer Ryan Barret. Click on the link above to view the oceanic dance video.
"CITIZEN MAYOR" PLAYS AT BARE BONES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
In case you forgot Seattle's heated mayoral race in 2009, Koi Walker's documentary Citizen Mayor may refresh your memory. The film capably lays out the stories of seven very disparate individuals vying for the city's highest office. Walker's interest lies in the neophyte political status and passionate determination of the candidates stacked up against incumbent and two-term mayor Greg Nickels. Citizen Mayor is set to screen at the Bare Bones International Film Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma this week. Previously, the film debuted at the 2010 Local Sightings Film Festival and went on to win Best Student Feature at the 2010 DIY Film Festival, in addition to screening at the Amritsa International Film Festival of Autralasia and the Heart of England International Film Festival.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF THE GREAT NORTHWEST SEEKS SONGS FOR BENEFIT CD COMPILATION
Your band could be part of a new musical legacy to support uninsured women aided by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. Submissions are now being considered for the first-ever benefit CD compilation focusing on music from the Northwest. Proceeds will go toward Planned Parenthood's Women in Need program. Songs can be from any genre and address any topic, with lyrics subject to review and approval by the compilation's curators. Any songs submitted must also be exclusive to the compilation for 6 months from the release date. Those interested should submit an mp3 of their song, a short band or artist bio, and a link to a website or audio to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 15. Click on the link above for more details on the compilation.
SEATTLE PREMIERE OF LOCAL PRODUCER'S DOCUMENTARY "CIRCO"
Fresh off the festival circuit, acclaimed road documentary Circo will make its Seattle debut this Friday, with a special screening engagement at Landmark Theaters. The film, produced by local filmmaker Jannat Gargi, captures a family of travelling Mexican circus performers and their struggles to carry on a century-old tradition in the face of dwindling audiences, mounting debt and simmering filial conflict. Hailed by LA Weekly as a "riveting patchwork of interconnected family dramas," the documentary aims to explore universal themes of family responsibility and the weight of cultural inheritance all while opening the viewer to a luminous yet oft-forgotten world. To learn more about the film and the upcoming Seattle screenings or to watch the official Circo trailer, follow the above link.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: THE 14TH ANNUAL LOCAL SIGHTINGS FILM FESTIVAL
Northwest Film Forum is accepting entries for their 14th annual Local Sightings Film Festival, which takes place October 1-6, 2010, at the Film Forum's cinemas on 12th Avenue on Capitol Hill. Local Sightings is NWFF's premier showcase of Northwest filmmaking. The festival features great prizes, feature film presentations, as well as short film programs, filmmaker parties, installation art, audience participation and an impressive national film industry jury looking for strong Northwest work. Also in this year's festival will be the usual assortment of fiction, documentary and experimental films and a featured presentation of a historical Seattle film. The submission deadline is July 1 and all work must have been completed after January 2010. Visit the official Local Sightings website (link above) for more information, including how to submit your film.
STEPHEN GYLLENHAAL SHARES A "GRASSROOTS" UPDATE
After wrapping up 30 days of filming in Seattle last summer, Stephen Gyllenhaal has kept post production work on his political comedy Grassroots mostly under wraps. Starring Jason Biggs (American Pie) and Joel David Moore (Avatar), the film based on the quirky 2001 City Council race between Grant Cogswell and Richard McIver is showing signs of life. This month Gyllenhaal answers viewer questions in a video uploaded to the Grassroots YouTube page. Gyllenhaal promises a big Seattle premiere for the film in support of the Washington film incentive program. He also pointed at a release date around January 2012 to tie into the election primaries. So what can people expect in the meantime? Gyllenhaal hints at some Grassroots-themed contests leading up to the release of the film. Check out the link above to watch the video and stay tuned (or, to quote the director, "involved") to hear about future Grassroots updates.
VOLUNTEER AT RAIN CITY ROCK CAMP FOR GIRLS
Rain City Rock Camp
Rain City Rock Camp for Girls is recruiting volunteers for its July 25-30 summer camp. RCRC is a member of an international alliance of girl's rock camps and a non-profit organization. Under the leadership of executive director Natalie Walker, the organization is staffed entirely by a dedicated group of volunteers. Donations of equipment are also being accepted for the week-long summer camp, which can be seen on the RCRC's wish list page. Volunteer applications are due May 1 and are available at the link above, along with additional information on the volunteer opportunity and RCRC.
HELP KICKSTART "KID-ROCK" SEATTLE BAND "THE NOT-ITS" NEW ALBUM
The Not Its! Kickstarter
The Not-Its! are a lively bunch of Seattle rockers that make loud and fun music for youngsters. They were inspired to form the band after discovering their own kids' penchant for rocking out, but also finding a lack of musicians that make "full-on rock" for children. The Not-Its! have been playing rock music for whippersnappers and their families for almost three years now and that time have self-produced and released two full length records. Cool Mom Picks raves, "Their debut CD makes me want to pull over to the side of the playground, open the hatchback and turn the volume up as high as it'll go, to share their music with the masses of kids. Yes, it's that good." The Not-Its! nation is growing exponentially and the band has garnered national attention, playing the Kindiefest and Jiggle Jam music festivals this spring. They are ready to kick it up a notch and hire a producer and record in-studio for their next album. The band is offering great prizes for supporters, including merch, private performances and a song written about your child. Click the "Seattle Kickstarter" buttons to support this and other local Kickstarter projects.
TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR WEEK OF 4/13 - 4/19
Office of Film + Music
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).
- Head & the Heart - "Head & the Heart"
- Lonely Forest - "Arrows"
- Macklemore/Ryan Lewis - "Vs."
- Cave Singers - "No Witch"
- Duff McKagan's Loaded - "The Taking"
- Soundgarden - "Live On I-5"
- Telekinesis - "12 Desperate Straight Lines"
- Shabazz Palaces - "Palaces of Light"
- Moondoggies - "Tidelands"
- Pearl Jam - "Vs./Vitalogy"
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:
"A Penny Earned"
A Penny Earned
Teaming up with West Seattle production company Fueled Creative, local writer/director TJ Mino is working on a short film titled A Penny Earned. The project is billed as a "chilling ghost story" that follows a pair of young honeymooners who stumble upon a mysterious inn with a haunted past. The short was shot over three days April 14-16 at locations in West Seattle and Kirkland, with a cast and crew of more than 15 Seattle-area based professionals. Mino hopes to have the film ready to hit the 2012 festival circuit.
"Seattle provides an amazing diversity of locations and inspirations as well as some tremendous talent for filmmakers to tap into," says Mino. "The cast and crew on 'A Penny Earned' were consummate professionals and dedicated themselves throughout the shoot to making every take count."
For those looking to support this local production, A Penny Earned has revved up a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $10,800 by May 3. All funds will go toward compensating the cast and crew, as well as post-production costs.
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 Seattle's most filmable locations.
On the day before President Kennedy's assassination, Marine Eddie Birdlace (River Phoenix) and his friends are about to ship off to Vietnam. Their last hurrah stateside is a "dogfight": Each soldier must find the ugliest date possible and bring her to a party where the soldier with "worst" date wins the cash pot. Birdlace's hunt takes him to a coffee shop, where he finds waitress Rose Feeney (Lili Taylor) crouched in a corner tuning a guitar. He takes one look at her messy rat-nest bouffant and decides she'll do. When she finds out the true nature of the party she punches him squarely in the face, but he follows her home and draws her back out into the night. Over their short time together we find two people who, despite seemingly opposite ideologies-she's an aspiring folk singer who truly believes music can change the world; he's a solider who thinks shooting changes things a lot quicker-just get each other. The film's strength lies in the realistic and seemingly effortless performances. Taylor makes Rose's idealism feel completely authentic. Phoenix's character is full of loud misdirected rage but remains vulnerable, showing the maturity he seemed to have in all his films. It's hard to believe he was only 23 when he died. Though the film takes place in San Francisco, it was shot mainly in town, and director Nancy Savoca and crew do a fine job of recreating the era and weave footage of the two cities together so well that even the native eye may have trouble distinguishing what is where. The first obvious Seattle landmark is the Paramount Theatre, which they pass by on their way to the dogfight. The actual party is at the Nite Lite Lounge on 2nd Avenue, which was perfect for the era back in the early 1990s and hasn't changed much since. Rose's Coffee Shop appears to be somewhere on Ballard Avenue (look for Peg Phillips, aka Ruth-Ann from Northern Exposure, sitting by the window), and Phoenix woos Taylor while she refills shakers with Western Family Sugar. The couple makes a stop at Kaleenka Restaurant that was by the Market on 1st Avenue before he decides they can do better and they end up at the Sorrento Hotel. The exterior is correct but the inside is seems to be somewhere entirely different (though I don't know; I've never been past the lobby). Meanwhile, Birdlace's buddies roam about town getting tattoos, picking fights with sailors in an arcade, (including Brendan Fraser in his feature debut), and taking in a skin flick at the Moore Theatre.
TIME FEATURES EASY STREET RECORDS ON GREAT RECORD STORE LIST
In a recent article in Time, Seattle's Easy Street Records was listed as one of the "Ten Great American Record Shops." Easy Street is recognized for their support of local bands and musicians such as The Head and the Heart, whose album was featured in the record store a year before the official Sub-Pop release. The store is also celebrated for its ingenuity, setting up shop at the annual Sasquatch Music Festival to provide festival goers with a range of music, from new discoveries to old favorites. Hit up the link above to read the Time article. Congrats Easy Street!
JOSHUA MORRISON'S "KILL DEVIL HILLS" IS NPR'S SONG OF THE DAY
Iraq War veteran and Monroe, WA native Joshua Morrison graced NPR Music's Song of the Day page yesterday with his tune "Kill Devil Hills." His homesickness is palpable, and the specter of warfare is clearly visible in lines like "Now they're holding my golden years for ransom / and they'll never see the light of day again." The sparse yet effective instrumentation of "Kill Devil Hills" also calls to mind Morrison's local musical idols Rocky Votolato and Pedro the Lion, among others. You can find the song on his newest EP, titled Builder. Morrison also contributed three tracks to a recent benefit album organized by Grand Hallway's Tomo Nakayama called Songs for Japan. As if he wasn't busy enough, Morrison and musician Jeramy Koepping composed the score for local director Megan Griffith's film The Off Hours, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
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
Tiffany Wan, Intern
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