< Previous Month

The Last Song Before the War

Join us for a post-screening conversation with film subjects JeConte & a member of the Mali Allstars!

Nov 22

(Kiley Kraskouskas, United States/Mali, 2013, 90 min)

This feature-length documentary captures the power, beauty, and uncertain future of Mali’s annual Festival in the Desert. Told through stunning high definition footage captured at the 2011 festival, the film is a lyrical road trip through Mali, the birthplace of the blues, to the legendary city of Timbuktu where Grammy-award winning musicians play their hearts out in the dunes of the Sahara. 



Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

Pre-screening introductions:

Nov 21: Michelle Dunn Marsh, Executive Director, Photographic Center Northwest

Nov 22: Zorn B. Taylor, Photographer

Nov 21 - Nov 26

(Thomas Allen Harris, United States, 2014, DCP, 92 min)

Part of a multimedia project that traces the history of African-American photography, Thomas Allen Harris’s Through a Lens Darkly explores how African American communities have used the medium of photography to construct political, aesthetic, and cultural representations of themselves and their world. 



Young Lakota

Free screening!
Co-presented with Longhouse Media
Co-directors Marion Lipschutz & Rose Rosenblatt, and women's advocate Cecelia Fire Thunder in attendance!

Nov 23

(Marion Lipschutz & Rose Rosenblatt, United States, 60 min)

Young Lakota is a uniquely sensitive documentary portrayal of bright young people finding their way during a tumultuous political season on the Pine Ridge Reservation, that hinges on reproductive rights and tribal sovereignty. The film follows the surprising highs and lows of the statewide referendum on abortion, a divisive tribal election, and three youth who find themselves thrust into the political fight. 



Sugar and Skyjelly: Short Films and Live Music

Director Sarah Jane Lapp in attendance!
Live performance by Skyjelly to follow screening!
Sponsored by the Washington Composers Forum!

Nov 23

"What about the relationship between sweetness and power?" Sarah Jane Lapp's personal essay film Sweetface probes the shadows of sugar and labor, love and power. Tonight's screening is paired with Third Shift by Anthony Simon, where two former sugar refinery workers revisit the building 10 years after its closure. Psycho-blues-noise outfit Skyjelly will play a concert after the screening.



Seven Samurai

16mm print!
60th anniversary screening!
Skype introduction by author Richard D. Pepperman (Everything I Know About Filmmaking I Learned Watching Seven Samurai)
Sponsored by the Seattle Film Institute

Dec 04

(Akira Kurosawa, 1954, Japan, 16mm, 207 min)

One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, Seven Samurai tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride from Akira Kurosawa—featuring legendary actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura—seamlessly weaves philosophy, entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action into a rich, evocative and unforgettable tale of courage and hope.



National Gallery

Seattle premiere!

Dec 05 - Dec 11

(Frederick Wiseman, 2014, France/United States, 173 min)

Frederick Wiseman’s latest in-depth documentary takes the audience behind the scenes of a London institution, on a journey to the heart of a museum inhabited by masterpieces of Western art from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century. National Gallery is the portrait of a place, its way of working and relations with the world, its staff and public, and its paintings. In a perpetual and dizzying game of mirrors, film watches painting watches film.



Holiday High Notes

Northwest Boychoir Apprentices sing in the season!
Live music!

Dec 07

(Various directors and countries, 50 min)

Our annual Holiday High Notes concert is the perfect way to celebrate the the holiday season. Join us as we welcome the renowned Northwest Boychoir Apprentices to our cinema to sing in joyful accompaniment to a new collection of vintage and classic holiday film footage. The choir's seasonal repertoire and angelic voices are the the perfect soundtrack to a cinematic wonderland of silent film Santas, animated elves and giddy children from days gone by. 



In the Land of the Head Hunters

100th anniversary screening—to the day!
New restoration!

Dec 07

(Edward S. Curtis, 1914, United States/Canada, 65 min)

In 1911, famed Northwest photographer Edward S. Curtis travelled to Vancouver Island to visit the Kwakwaka'wakw, and decided to make one of the first motion pictures while documenting their way of life. It look three years of preparation for Head Hunters to come to life on a grand scale, including the weaving of the costumes; building of the war canoes, housefronts, poles; and the carving of masks, all for the silver screen.



Next Dance Cinema

Co-presented with Velocity Dance Center!
Curated by Dayna Hanson, Tonya Lockyer, Courtney Sheehan and Rodrigo Valenzuela!

Dec 08 - Dec 13

The only dance cinema in the Northwest, Next Dance Cinema features the best in local and inter/national dance on screen. Velocity Dance Center and Northwest Film Forum pair up to present the 6th annual edition of this program, which offers dance lovers and film lovers alike insight into how contemporary dance continues to expand the possibilities of the screen. 



Film Dada: Cinema of the Bearded Heart

Co-presented with The Sprocket Society
Live accompaniment by Lori Goldston
16mm prints!

Dec 10

Explosive dada moods and rhythms emblazoned on film—an appropriately radical 1920s film movement that ties nicely to our 20th anniversary celebrations. Tonight we feature canonical shorts by Viking Eggeling, Hans Richter, Man Ray, and René Clair.



Screen Shots at Capitol Hill Art Walk

Free event, 6pm - 8pm!
Happy hour drink prices!
Curated by Vera Petukhova!

Jul 10 - Dec 11

Join Northwest Film Forum for Screen Shots, a monthly series during Capitol Hill Art Walk. A new program every month features happy hour, video art, and sometimes special guests and lobby installations!



Dreams That Money Can Buy

Co-presented with The Sprocket Society
16mm print!

Dec 11

(Hans Richter, United States, 1947, 16mm, 80 min)

Hans Richter made his surrealist feature film in collaboration with Fernand Leger, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Darius Milhaud, John Cage, Paul Bowles, David Diamond,and Louis Applebaum. This screening is part of Down for Dada, two nights of explosive dada moods and rhythms emblazoned on film.



Robert Williams Mr. Bitchin’

Seattle premiere!
Artist Robert Williams in person!
Co-presented with Fantagraphics!

Dec 14

(Mary C Reese, Doug Blake, Nancye Ferguson, Michael LaFetra, Stephen Nemeth, 2013, United States, 89 min)

A revealing look into multiple American countercultures, this documentary follows the great American artist and underground legend Robert Williams. From Hot Rods to Punk and Metal, from LSD to the top of the art world, the influential paintings of Robert Williams defied categorization until they became their own art movement.



Hoop Dreams

20th anniversary screening!
New digital restoration!

Dec 19 - Dec 21

(Steve James, 1994, United States, DCP, 170 min)

Roger Ebert said it best: Hoop Dreams’ depiction of two high school ball players trying to make it in the prejudiced cauldron of Chicago in the ‘90s is “the great American documentary” (the Oscars snubbed it entirely). Steve James’ vision of the pipeline of poor, black basketball talent brings to mind the Windy City from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. In high school, black athletes are still cheap enough to treat like penny stocks, and we watch as two of them brave the ringer of all-white private schools, poverty and the constant risk of injury for a shot at a scholarship.



My Last Year with the Nuns

Jan 09 - Jan 15, 2015

(Bret Fetzer, 2014, United States, 75 min)

The quintessential Capitol Hill coming-of-age story is an adaptation of local thespian Matt Smith’s popular one-man show. Through his animated recollections, Matt brings to life 1960s Capitol Hill, when Roy Street divided populations, nuns ruled with righteous anger, bullies trolled the schoolhouse and the newspaper shack represented the center of adolescent Matt’s social universe. 



The Homestretch

Co-presented with the Committee to End Homelessness 
Introduction by Megan Gibbard, Homeless Youth & Young Adult Initiative

Jan 12, 2015

(Anne de Mare, Kristen Kelly, 2014, United States, 89 min)

Three homeless teens fight to stay in school, graduate and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers—Kasey, Anthony and Roque—will surprise, inspire and challenge you to rethink stereotypes of homelessness, as their stories connect with larger policy issues of juvenile justice, immigration, foster care and LGBTQIA rights.