|News from the Film + Music Office
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SPECIAL HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR TODAY!
Wednesday December 17th, 5-7pm at Sole Repair on Capitol Hill
Join us tonight, December 17th, for a special holiday Film, Music and Digital Media Happy Hour honoring our nationally recognized filmmakers and musicians! Film, music, and digital media in Seattle have grown by leaps and bounds in 2008, and we are proud to have three locally produced films premiering in Sundance this year and Seattle Grammy nominations in all genres of music. Come join a toast and celebrate our successful year with food, drinks, and Chinese astrology! The event is sponsored by the Seattle Mayor's Office of Film + Music, WashingtonFilmWorks, the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Recording Academy, and Washington Interactive Network. Attendance at this event is limited to industry representatives and not open to the general public. You must be 21 + to attend. We hope to see you there!
In regards to the snowy weather conditions, Happy Hour will occur as planned. You will be notified by email if anything changes.
INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES
WIF SCREENING NIGHT AND HOLIDAY FUN
Women in Film Seattle is hosting a special screening tonight, December 17th! After Happy Hour at Sole Repair, head on over to WIF headquarters at 1418 10th Avenue in Capitol Hill and catch some great new shorts produced by WIF members. Come support local female moviemakers and celebrate the holiday season!
BENEFIT PARTY FOR HUMPDAY
On December 20th, Northwest Film Forum will host a benefit for Lynn Shelton's third feature film Humpday, which will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009! Money raised at the party will help to defray the costs of publicity and housing at the prestigious festival. The film was produced with an all-local crew, including award-winning cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke, and stars Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, and Seattle actress Alycia Delmore. Come check out the newly cut Humpday trailer, make a Humpday button, buy a raffle ticket, and dance all night long!
FREE WINTER CONCERTS AT CITY HALL, SEATTLE SYMPHONY TO PERFORM
Settle in at City Hall this winter for a series of free performances by Seattle artists! The Seattle Symphony will return for its annual community concert along with a slate of varied performances, including guitar virtuoso Andre Feriante, Northwest Tap Connection, blues legend Alice Stuart, a sampling of The 5th Avenue Theatre's "Sunday in the Park with George," and more! The lunchtime Seattle Presents concert series is presented year-round by the Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. All concerts take place from noon to 1pm. In addition to great performances, City Hall offers winter-friendly features like a fireplace nook and an espresso stand.
SIFF OFFICIALLY NAMED ACADEMY AWARDS QUALIFYING FESTIVAL FOR SHORT FILM
On December 9th, SIFF was officially named a qualifying festival in the category of short films by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As a qualifying festival of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, short films that receive Best Narrative short film and Best Animation short film awards at SIFF may qualify to enter the Short Films category of the Academy Awards for the concurrent season without the standard theatrical run. SIFF Programming Manager Beth Barrett says, "We're honored to have the Academy recognize SIFF as one of the premiere festivals to screen short films. Becoming a qualifying festival opens up opportunities to screen more of the world's best short films." SIFF also won two awards for their excellent poster design and program booklet at the 2008 International Film Festival Summit in Las Vegas on December 8th.
CELEBRATE 2008 WITH MICRO dB
2008 was a groundbreaking year for Decibel! The 2008 Decibel Festival was above and beyond the most successful year to date, featuring over 120 acts and bringing in over 13,000 attendants. To celebrate their great year, Decibel will be closing out 2008 with "Micro dB," two nights of underground dance and electronica featuring both local and international DJs. You can ring in 2009 with Micro dB at Neumos on December 30th and 31st.
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD CINEMA & CONVERSATION SERIES PRESENTS TROUBLE THE WATER
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and short listed for the 2009 Academy Awards, Trouble the Water is directed and produced by Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal. The film tells the story of an aspiring rap artist and her streetwise husband, trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, who survive the storm and then seize a chance for a new beginning. It's a redemptive tale of self-described street hustlers who become heroes that takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. Check out Trouble the Water at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center on December 18th.
JOIN THE CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL JURY
Calling all future film critics! What better way to hone your critical skills than to serve on the jury for Children's Film Festival Seattle? The jury will attend screenings throughout the festival and announce prizewinners at the Festival's closing night ceremony on February 1st. To apply for a spot on the Jury, kids age 8-12 should write a top ten list detailing the qualities of the perfect children's film and include name, age, grade, a short bio and complete contact information. Applications must be received by December 31st. Volunteers of all ages are also needed for the festival!
HAYDENFILMS 4.0 ONLINE FILM FESTIVAL
Hayden films has significantly upgraded its website and announced that public voting has begun to select the four finalists in its 4.0 Online Film Festival. The film festival - open to all student and independent filmmakers - used an expert panel of judges to select the top 53 films from hundreds of entries from nearly 20 countries. The festival accepts all genres with a maximum length of 35 minutes. The public will vote for the best four films through February 10th, 2009, one of which will receive the top $10,000 cash prize at a ceremony scheduled to be held in the summer of 2009. Additionally, a randomly selected voter will be awarded $1,000 for casting his or her vote for at least 10 of the finalists.
YOUNG FILMMAKERS PREMIERE THE KNIGHTS DIVIDE
19-year-old Jeff Prahl, 18-year-old Zach Wittman, and 17-year-old Devin Greger have completed an independent prequel to 2007's feature-length independent film The Lincoln Project. This 35-minute short film is entitled The Knights Divide and demonstrates a natural progression of experience and excitement of youth in independent film. Not only has filming technique, acting and editing grown with their experience since the trio shot Lincoln, but two new young producers, brothers Silas and Stoney Strickland, have joined BFB Productions team to bring their energy, enthusiasm and critique to the film. BFB Productions will host Black-Tie-Requested premiere events held at Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue on December 23rd and 29th.
EXPIRATION DATE ON PBS THIS MONTH
Rick Stevenson's filmed-in-Seattle black comedy, Expiration Date, which has played six continents and won 33 festival awards, will play primetime PBS in December. Expiration Date tells the tale of Charlie Silvercloud III trying to escape the fate of his father and grandfather, both killed by milk trucks on their 25th birthdays.
2009 SEEN AND HEARD: NATIONAL STUDENT EXPRESSION CONTEST & EXHIBIT LOOKING FOR ENTRIES
The McCormick Freedom Museum in Chicago, the first museum dedicated to freedom and the First Amendment, is currently accepting entries from creative high school students for the 2009 Seen and Heard: National Student Expression Contest & Exhibit. Express your views on contemporary political or social issues through film, editorial cartoons, Web design or photojournalism for a chance to win a $1,000 grand prize. First-place winners from each category will win a $500 prize and have their work displayed in the Freedom Museum's Seen & Heard exhibit.
TRADER JOE'S SILENT MOVIE MONDAYS RETURN TO THE PARAMOUNT THEATRE
Trader Joe's Silent Movie Mondays return this January to The Paramount Theatre. The series features all classic horror silent films and is accompanied live by Dennis James on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Patrons will also be able to enjoy a short commentary about these classic treasures led by silent film experts prior to each film. The films include classics like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Magician, The Bells, and The Golem.
AN EXOTIC ROMANCE FROM THE COMPOSER OF CARMEN
Get ready to heat things up this winter with a sweet and sizzling island getaway. Seattle Opera's 2008/09 season continues in January with a new-to-Seattle production of Bizet's shimmering and seductive The Pearl Fishers. Set on the island of Sri Lanka, The Pearl Fishers is a simple love story about an exotic priestess pursued by a strapping fisherman and his best friend. The rich and colorful score features some of the sweetest songs in French opera.
"SLAVA! UKRAINIAN CAROLS AND NEW CHRISTMAS MUSIC"
J&J Music and Michael Owcharuk presents "Slava! Ukrainian Carols and New Christmas Music" at Chapel Performance Space in Wallingford on Decemeber 20th. This free concert features seven new arrangements of Ukrainian Christmas Carols and seven newly commissioned Christmas pieces by local composers. This special event is an effort in the spirit of the holiday season to create new art, encourage cultural exchange, and present a community-building event at no cost to the public. This concert is made possible through major funding provided by the Seattle Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs through the smART Ventures Program.
ORAL HISTORY LIVE! AN EVENING WITH DAVID BRYAN
Don't miss this very special interview on January 8th with founding member of Bon Jovi, David Bryan! While with Bon Jovi Mr. Bryan sold 130 million albums, played to millions of people and circled the globe for 25 years. Recently Mr. Bryan has applied his talents as a composer and lyricist to the world of musical theater. The 5th Avenue Theatre is opening his newest musical, Memphis, a rafter-rattling musical that immortalizes the DJs who gave rock its original roll!
TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR THE WEEK OF 12/8 - 12/14
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).
- Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
- Death Cab for Cutie - Something About Airplanes Deluxe Edition
- Various Artists - Live at KEXP, Vol. 4
- Moondoggies - Don't Be a Stranger
- Blitzen Trapper - Furr
- The Dutchess and the Duke - She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke
- Rosie Thomas - A Very Rosie Christmas
- Common Market - Tobacco Road
- Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant EP
- Cave Singers - Invitation Songs
LOCAL "COOL" MOVIE AIMS TO TIGHTEN FAMILY TIES, PULL TEENS TOWARD ARTS
Conventional wisdom says if you want your teenager to stop worshipping a particular pop diva or fad, simply act as if you really love that celebrity or fashion, too. Nothing makes someone or something uncool faster than a parent's stamp of cool. But then, something more complex and sinister is going on in "The Day My Parents Became Cool," a short movie made by Seattle screenwriter Steve Edmiston and a cast of more than a hundred students from the Highline and Federal Way school districts. It's a slick-looking comedy that goes beyond image and explores how parents and their kids relate, while also providing an opportunity for real-life arts education. Filmmakers had a sneak preview this month at Seattle's cozy Northwest Film Forum. The event drew more than 200 invitees, including parents, teens, a few local dignitaries and a high-school band called Ophelias Thunder that contributed a pop song for the soundtrack.
MUSICIANCORPS MAY STRIKE RIGHT TONE FOR OBAMA
President-elect Barack Obama has said he believes the arts are good for people. During his campaign, one of his ideas was to create an Artist Corps - a kind of Peace Corps for artists who would work in low-income schools and communities. But what would this actually look like? There's already a model being developed for musicians called MusicianCorps. Kiff Gallagher's idea would be similar to AmeriCorps - in exchange for a year or two of service teaching in schools and after-school programs, musicians would get health care and a living stipend. Gallagher has the attention of Obama's transition team. He also has the attention of private industry - the Hewlett Foundation gave MusicianCorps a $500,000 grant for a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area.
21 LANDINGS - INSTALLATION COMING SOON TO NWFF
21 Landings is a looping video installation by artist, Britta Johnson, of multiple attempted landings by the legs of a bird-like creature onto an icy, futuristic surface. The stop motion animated actions of the creature and following movements of the camera reveal a relationship between an imaginary photographer and subject. The audio that accompanies the landings is made up of spoken whooshing sounds. Johnson says, "The very nature of on-the-fly stop motion animation (made one frame at a time, each time moving the camera, legs, and scrapings a tiny amount) makes every landing a little bit different and lends a new challenge to the motions of the camera. Ultimately, the piece is about endeavor, that of the creature as well as that of the photographer." 21 Landings was made with support from the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.
HOLIDAY SPIRIT TAKES A HIT AT THE PHILHARMONIC
The Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra may have just performed its annual Messiah concert on Friday, but peace on Earth is decidedly lacking across Lake Washington these days. The musicians, a new Executive Director, and the BPO board of directors are locked in a labor fight over contracts. The behind-the-scenes turmoil is reminiscent of the intense battles that have recently gone on at the Seattle Symphony, with players openly criticizing their leader and both sides lobbing accusations of intimidation and abuse. The musicians want management to negotiate future contracts with them as a union. Executive Director Jennifer McCausland, finishing her first year at the helm, says it just isn't a good time to unionize.
MUSIC CRITIC PATRICK MACDONALD RETIRING
After over forty years of writing about music, Seattle Times music critic Patrick MacDonald is calling it quits. The legendary music critic started out as a file clerk at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1962. By the end of the decade, MacDonald contributed to Rolling Stone and DJed at KOL-FM, Seattle's first progressive rock station. In his last column, MacDonald reminds his readers that "the music will always be there and I'm not leaving it. My passion for it remains."
GADGETS, GAMES HELP MUSICIANS OFFSET DECLINING SALES
As album sales continue to decline, gadgets and games may help ensure the survival of the music business. Indeed, the most tech-savvy bands are already recording songs for distribution exclusively through new channels opened up by the iPhone, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. The rise of digital music has been a double-edged sword for artists and their record labels. The fourth quarter of 2008 looks to be the worst ever in terms of CD sales as consumers abandon physical media in favor of downloads. On the plus side, the streamlined distribution of music by services such as the iTunes Store as well as illegal P2P channels has people listening to more music than ever before. Given the exploding popularity of digital music, MP3 players and music-based videogames, many bands have embraced, rather than resisted, the newly gadget-centric universe.
THROW ME THE STATUE ON NPR'S SECOND STAGE
Throw Me the Statue began as Scott Reitherman's one-man act in Seattle, Wash., but has since grown into a solid five-piece band that specializes in electro-pop playfulness. Moonbeams, the debut album from the group, is a collection of catchy, upbeat indie pop with enough experimental twists and turns to keep it interesting. Already an opener for indie heavyweights like Jens Lekman, Throw Me The Statue is focusing on touring, recording for 2008 and, as always, discovering new music which could end up influencing their next record.
A SIGN OF THE DEVILS
Among long time locals, few bands are afforded as much reverence as the Murder City Devils. Last appearing in Seattle at 2006's Capitol Hill Block Party for their 10th anniversary after nearly a five year hiatus, this time around they've got two dates at the Showbox at the Market on February 11th and 12th as the start of a seven date west coast tour.
SEATTLE TEEN SHINES AT RAVINIA FESTIVAL
When she was only two years old, Simone Porter fell in love with the violin at an instrument petting zoo. She began playing violin when she was three. Porter, now 11, has developed into an extraordinary musician, and recently soloed with the Seattle Symphony. Porter is obsessed by the Harry Potter books, which play a significant role in her music making. "When I perform, my goal is to take the audience to another place or help them feel another emotion - just like a book does," she says.
ROLLING STONE INTERVIEWS DEATH CAB'S BEN GIBBARD
To celebrate the 10 year reissue of Death Cab for Cutie's debut record, Something About Airplanes, the group's frontman Ben Gibbard opens up about revisiting the ten track set (and the bonus live album from Seattle in 1998), Barack Obama's Presidential victory and why the next record from his much-adored electro-pop side-project the Postal Service might be the next Chinese Democracy.
YOUTUBE TAPS INDIE MUSIC VIA RUMBLEFISH
In what could provide another small piece of the indie music income puzzle, YouTube has partnered with Rumblefish, the indie branding and music licensing agency, to provide users with access to 25,000 licensed songs from Rumblefish's catalog. With YouTube's AudioSwap tool, users can add pre-approved music to videos. When music represented by Rumblefish is embedded in video being played on YouTube or other partner websites, artists are paid a percentage of the advertising receipts from the ads on that page. In certain instances, users pay a subscription fee for access to video or picture editing websites and Rumblefish artists receive a pro-rata percentage of the subscription fee.
INDIE STARS UNITE FOR AIDS BENEFIT ALBUM
Some of the biggest names in independent music, including many Seattle artists, have banded together to record exclusive songs for "Dark Was the Night," a double-disc album whose proceeds will benefit the Red Hot organization's work with AIDS research. In the works since 2006, the project is due February 17th from Beggars Banquet and was curated by the National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner. The lineup includes Spoon, the Arcade Fire, Yo La Tengo, the New Pornographers, Bon Iver, Feist, Cat Power, My Morning Jacket, Iron & Wine, and Ben Gibbard among many others.