"Long before Starbucks and Microsoft put Seattle on the corporate map, the city was a haven for artists, musicians and moviemakers. Since 2003, the city has helped 62 independent films get made in the area, due largely to the Northwest Film Forum, a 12-year-old organization with nearly 1,000 members which aids local moviemakers in getting their movies made by co-producing projects through their 'Start-to-Finish' program. This kind of support has brought many new moviemakers to the city and kept even more homegrown talents enthusiastic about shooting their films in Seattle."

"For many reasons - the automatic equation of the feature film format with Hollywood commercial product first among them - the U.S.'s non-profit funding world and the American independent filmmaking scene have acted like estranged cousins for the last two decades. Seattle's Northwest Film Forum is changing all of that with its 'Start to Finish' grant."
- Scott Macaulay FILMMAKER MAGAZINE, January 2005


Beginning in 1998, Start-to-Finish was the Film Forum's major vehicle for helping individual film projects get launched and into the world. Projects supported include Police Beat, Buffalo Bill's Defunct, and The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle. In each case, these were the first feature films and in each case Northwest Film Forum played the pivotal role in the films' production.

Interested in our current grant programs? Please read about our exciting new Northwest Film Fund program as well as our ongoing equipment access grants, fiscal sponsor program as well as the prizes we offer to best films at our annual Local Sightings Film Festival.


Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle

The 6th recipient of the Start-to-Finish grant is internationally acclaimed Seattle filmmaker David Russo, who will write and direct the feature film The Immaculate Concenption of Little Dizzle. The Start-to-Finish grant is an innovative grant project through which the non-profit Northwest Film Forum throws the entirety of its resources behind a filmmaker's feature film.

Police Beat

Co-written by Seattle critic and journalist Charles Mudede (whose weekly writings include The Stranger's crime blotter column, "Police Beat") and produced by Seattle locals Jeffrey Brown and Alexis Ferris, Police Beat presents a unique protagonist in the post-911 world: a morally upright, Republican Muslim police officer.

Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler is the sixth feature film produced with Northwest Film Forum, and the fourth produced through the Start-to-Finish program. Artist Paul Willis directed this contemporary feature film adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's late 19th century play Hedda Gabler. This project is produced in association with Best Ten Dollar Suit Pictures and Printer's Devil Theatre, who staged the play to critical acclaim in Fall of 2000 at Sand Point Naval Base. Printer's Devil collaborated heavily on the casting and workshopping aspects throughout pre-production.

Buffalo Bill's Defunct

A hit at the Seattle International Film Festival, Buffalo Bill's Defunct is an intergenerational study of the various messes family members make when they attempt to deconstruct the walls that separate them. Bill, the patriarch of a Washington family, accidentally drives his car through the garage. From this seed, a tangled web of family stories emerges, painting a touching and funny, but stubbornly unsentimental portrait of a rural northwestern clan. Improvised from a detailed treatment, the film focuses on bringing authentic human behavior to the screen. This the third film to emerge from the Start To Finish program.

Out of the Blue

Directed by Sue McNally (2000)

Money Buys Happiness

Money Buys Happiness is the first film to emerge from Northwest Film Forum via its groundbreaking Start-to-Finish project. The film was shot in Seattle in 1998, Money Buys Happiness premiered at the 1999 Seattle International Film Festival to a sold-out house at the Cinerama Theater as a benefit for the Start-to-Finish program. It went on to play the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Hamptons and many others. It was released theatrically on 35mm by Northwest Film Forum, and on DVD by Vanguard Cinema.