Calendar

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Wave of Wonder

Jan 29 - Jan 31

65 min

This collection of films is meant to wash over you in a wave of exquisite, painterly animation. Dive down deep into stories that will take you to strange planets, the frozen tundra, dense forests and inside the workings of a marionette theater. These films are meant to remind you that life is a journey, that sometimes hard choices have to be made and that dreams really can come true.

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Party Animals

Jan 25 - Jan 30

62 min

A gloriously animated extravaganza of animal stories, featuring bugs, butterflies, bunnies, owls, kitties, zebra and birds of several different feathers! These stories of friendship and fun are especially recommended for our youngest festival-goers and their parents!

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Earth Sky and Sea

Jan 25 - Jan 30

76 min

These films make use of environmental themes in unexpected and provocative ways. You will meet a lightbulb who is jealous of the sun, a parrot who takes you on an excursion to the home of wild animals, a little octopus who moonlights as a lounge singer, bees who have parties and a brave boy who gathers firewood alone. Along the way, you’ll learn about the world’s oceans, our water and energy supply and threats to animals and insects.

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Abracadabra

Includes live performance on January 24!

Jan 24 - Jan 30

65 min

The world is full of magic in the most surprising places. Discover a seashell that can shrink buildings and pick up boats, a ring that tells you the truth about anything you see, a comb that will make your hair grow like wild vines, and a toy car that finds its way home to its original owner.

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Finding My Way

Jan 30 - Feb 01

63 min

These live action films tell the stories of kids who are learning how to spread their wings. Along the way, they have adventures, test their courage and make decisions they have to stick with. Join them, and you’ll wander a city’s unfamiliar streets, leap past your birthday, turn a hospital room into luxurious digs and even help the moon get back to the sky.

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High Tech Hijinks

Jan 30 - Jan 31

63 min

An animated roundup for kids who love gadgets, gizmos, robots and other marvelous inventions. Dive inside a computer’s brain, roam a junkyard looking for robot parts, soar above a city made of circuit boards and find out what your phone and tablet are up to after you fall asleep!

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Kid Powered

Jan 24 - Jan 30

78 min

Challenges can bring out the best in us. The kids in these live action films face uphill battles that are long and steep, and they shine in the face of adversity. Meet a warrior child who must embrace her unique identity, a boy who becomes a superhero to his friend, a son who must stand up for his father, and a girl who faces loneliness and danger in order to get an education.

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Indigenous Experience

Co-presented with Longhouse Media!

Jan 30 - Jan 31

67 min

Explore the joys and challenges of Native youth in this collection of award-winning documentaries and animated films. Soar with an eagle boy in Norway, meet a deaf boy who listens to his inner voice, band together with a pack of dogs, dance a forest back to life and outwit the wily Amautalik!

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Pancake Breakfast and Short Film Smorgasbord

Includes breakfast, free parking (9am-2pm) and a one-hour film program! 
Please note: you must choose a screening time (10:30am or 11am) when purchasing Pancake Breakfast tickets

Jan 31

Our all-you-can-eat breakfast of fluffy homemade pancakes and sizzling bacon is fun for the whole family!  And of course we’ll have gallons of hot coffee on hand for the grown-ups.  After breakfast, come to Northwest Film Forum for a special screening of Fantastic Journeys, a magical program of new animated and live action shorts from 8 countries. 

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Fantastic Journeys

January 24, Saturday, at 11am — special screening at Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S. Alaska St. Seattle. Tickets $5 kids, $7 adults available at door only, no pre-sales.

Jan 24 - Feb 07

80 min

Journeys take us to new places, whether in the outside world or within ourselves. On these animated flights of fancy, you’ll scale the Alps, push the sun and the moon back into alignment and jump into a whole ocean of lemonade.

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Sally's Way

World premiere, with filmmakers in attendance!

Jan 31

87 min

Sally, a 12-year-old girl orphaned by HIV/AIDS, needs to use her ingenuity to help her ailing grandmother, who is the only family she has left. Set in the lush Caribbean, the film has a universal message of how to thrive despite the odds, and face the challenges of displacement and loss with positivity and creativity.

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Bubble Bubble Meows and the Meteor Stomachache

Filmmaker and voice talent for three main roles will be in attendance!

Free stickers for every audience members, with drawings for other great prizes!

Jan 30 - Jan 31

83:30 min

Come see the epic adventures of a poorly drawn animated cat, Bubble Bubble Meows, as he goes on a quest to cure his friend, a string bean who has a bellyache caused by meteor consumption. Along the way, BBM and Stringbean encounter Paul, a hyper-caffeinated feline, a lollipop-licking snow pea, three robots who resemble marshmallows, and a pile of cottage cheese named Mr. Knowitall.

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Lola on the Pea

West Coast premiere, with filmmaker in attendance!

Jan 31

90 min

Nine-year-old Lola lives on a charming old houseboat with her mother. But life isn’t exactly going swimmingly for her. She misses her long-gone dad, and doesn’t much care for her mom’s new boyfriend. She also has to contend with schoolmates who tease her and chase her home from school. But one day, she makes a friend—a quiet new boy in town, named Rebin. 

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Shana: The Wolf's Music

Meet the star, Sunshine O’Donovan and other lead members of the cast at the Jan. 31 screening! This screening will also include a pre-show performance by Red Eagle Soaring.

Seattle premiere!

Co-presented with Longhouse Media!

Jan 28 - Jan 31

96 min

Shana is a Canadian First Nations girl who is a gifted violinist. But she has problems no young person should have to face: her mother has died, and her father is struggling with his own demons. Only Shana’s new teacher seems to care about her, and at first, Shana pushes her away. But she meets another, more mystical being to accompany her on her journey: a wild wolf who helps her reconnect with her ancestors, make peace with her circumstances, and use her talents to express her passions.

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Pim & Pom: The Big Adventure

West Coast premiere!

Feb 01

70 min

Two cats, Pim and Pom, are best friends who live together with “The Lady.” But one day, the lady’s nieces come to visit, and they take the cats to the park for a picnic. However, what they really want to do is keep Pim and Pom for themselves, and they’ve come up with a plan to “cat-nap” them!

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Blade Runner

Free screening + panel discussion!

Feb 02

(Ridley Scott, United States, 1982/2007, 35mm, 117 min)

Join us for a free, 35mm screening of Blade Runner (2007, The Final Cut) this February! This event is paired with a panel discussion featuring local producers and crew talking about the business of film adaptation and film production in Seattle, using the example of Amazon Studios’ recent Seattle filming of the Philip K. Dick novel The Man In The High Castle.

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The Guitar Mongoloid

Feb 05

(2004, Sweden, 35mm, 89 min)

Östlund’s feature debut is set in Jöteborg, a fictional Swedish city resembling the director’s own hometown of Göteborg (Gothenburg). His focus is on outsiders and nonconformists, in particular the titular musician, a young man facing dire obstacles in life. The mostly non-professional cast brings a documentary quality to this loosely scripted communal portrait, wrought with compassion and touches of humor.

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Involuntary

Feb 06

(2008, Sweden, 35mm, 98 min)

Five separate vignettes about (alternately dangerous and unsettlingly funny) ramifications of peer pressure are woven together, with scathingly satirical effects, in Involuntary. Östlund described his second feature as “a tragic comedy or a comic tragedy.”

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Family Matters

Jan 24 - Feb 07

70 min

When it comes to this program, there’s no place like home! Take a trip around the world to see films that show how family life is the same, and different, in seven different countries. In the end, it’s love that makes the world go round.

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Fabulous Fables

Jan 25 - Feb 07

67 min

This all-animated collection of folk tales, fairy tales and fables from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America will take you to places deep inside the heart of the human experience, and delve into mysteries beyond comprehension. If you like tales that stand tall, this is the program for you!

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Free Your Mind

Jan 25 - Feb 07

67 min

Have you ever felt a bolt out of the blue, a moment when your mind opens up and you see new possibilities? That’s what happens to the kids in these shorts. You’ll meet a girl who slips into a new dimension, a boy whose mind plays tricks on him, a child determined to trap a sunbeam and a boy who simply can’t sit still.

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Closing Ceremony

Feb 07

75 min

We close out the 2015 festival by screening films made during the past week in our workshops, announcing the winners of our Children’s Jury Prizes and Seattle Children’s Hospital Juries, and celebrating with a surprise selection of outstanding short films made by international filmmakers.

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Play

Feb 07 - Feb 08

(2011, Sweden/France/Denmark, 35mm, 118 min)

“I want to make the audience active and reflective,” Östlund has stated. He does just that with this controversial record, inspired by actual court cases, of five black teenagers harassing white and Asian youths through scams and role-playing. All violence is implied, but the graver implication (which inflamed critics on the home front) is that political correctness debilitates society, as “good people” stand by and do nothing for fear of being thought racist.

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Concerning Violence

With an introduction with Charles Mudede (filmmaker and critic) on February 8

Feb 08 - Feb 11

(Göran Hugo Olsson, 2014, Sweden, DCP, 89 min)

From the director of The Black Power Mixtape comes a bold and fresh visual narrative on Africa, based on newly discovered archival material covering the struggle for liberation from colonial rule in the late '60s and '70s. Accompanied by text from Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth and narrated by Lauryn Hill, with a preface by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. 

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Force Majeure

Feb 08

(2014, Sweden/Denmark/France/Norway, 35mm, 118 min)

Our house manager Chris Day calls it “the funniest movie of the year.” A brutal indictment of the pillars of nuclear family and normative masculinity in the foundation for human interaction in organized society, Force Majeure presents a picture-perfect Swedish family of four and unravels them with agonizingly funny effects. 

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Open Screenings at the Film Forum

Free event!
Every second Monday!

Feb 09 - Apr 13

Are you a local filmmaker looking to share your work? Seeking feedback on your film? Want to see what other people are currently working on? Come join us for our monthly opening screening! Hang out with new and established filmmakers and experience films being made right here in our community.

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Videoasis

Co-presented with KEXP 90.3 and World Famous
Sponsored by City Arts Magazine
Curated by Bobby McHugh and Sharlese Metcalf
Happy Hour with DJ at 7pm!
Program at 8pm!

Oct 22 - Feb 18

Videoasis is a celebration of music videos and the artists who create them. Our quarterly showcase is a thematic mixture of locally made videos, some new, and some definite throwbacks.

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Fort McMoney

Live game (RPG) and viewing, plus discussion! 
Co-presented with UW-Bothell

Feb 19

This documentary game offers players an immersive, interactive portal into the world’s largest oil sands (and accompanying boomtown) in northern Canada. By giving players access to the town’s residents and an ingenious virtual public sphere, French journalist and web doc director David Dufresne (Prison Valley) explores new terrain in his latest work of multi-platform storytelling. We will explore Fort McMoney together in the cinema, with democratic discussion steering the course of gameplay.

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Hard to Be a God

Feb 20 - Feb 23

(Alexsey German, 2013, Russia, 170 min)

Equally compelling for the saga of its backstory and for the sheer grandiosity of its cinematic vision, Hard to Be a God is a sci-fi critique of Stalinism, set on a far-flung planet strikingly similar to medieval Europe, where suffering is status quo and inhabitants are soaked in the full smorgasbord of bodily fluids. Don Rumata, an Earthling historian, is sent to make heads and tails of this alien portal to the past, without directly interfering with the gruesome civilization.

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Big in Japan

U.S. premiere!

Feb 20 - Feb 26

(John Jeffcoat, 2014, United States, DCP, 100 min)

Making its theatrical premiere in Seattle after world premiering at SXSW, Big in Japan is an upbeat rock 'n roll road movie by local director (and founding member of Northwest Film Forum) John Jeffcoat (Outsourced). Creative nonfiction meets comedy, as Seattle-based band Tennis Pro play versions of themselves in their quest for fame. The guys are about to call it quits on their hometown: bored with their day jobs and unable to build a fan base in the local music scene, the trio sets out to make it big in Japan. Comedic adventures, cross-culture connections, rock concerts, and a zanily psychedelic animated sequence ensues. 

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Blow-Up

Screening held at the Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Avenue
Post-screening discussion moderated by Robin Held!
 

Feb 24

Blow-Up stars David Hemmings as a photographer in swinging London who, trying to balance his time shooting glamorous models for glossy magazines with more soulful street photography,  seems to photograph a murder in a public park. Part murder mystery, part post-modern exploration of a riddling universe, this is the film that blew up Antonioni’s career and made his name synonymous with Pop Art and Modern Worry.

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Shredder Orpheus

35mm print!

Feb 27

(Robert McGinley, 1989, United States, 35mm, 90 min)

Seattle’s first and only skate rock opera shreds its way out of the depths of hell for a rare 35mm screening. The Euthanasia Broadcast Network, a nefarious television station run by overlord Hades, is brainwashing the city. It’s up to guitar-slinging skater Orpheus and his merry band of misfits to stop Hades and his minions. 

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Indigenous Showcase: Princess Angeline

Filmmakers Sandy and Yasu Osawa in attendance!
Co-presented with Longhouse Media!
Public reception at 6pm, Screening at 7:30pm

Feb 28

(Sandy Osawa and Yasu Osawa, 2009, 53 min)

Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Seattle and star of many Seattle postcards, lived alone towards the end of her life, refusing to leave her homeland. What historical events led her to be one of the few Duwamish people left in Seattle by the 1890s, only 35 years after the peace treaty guaranteeing that land would be reserved for the Duwamish (which never happened)? 

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La Notte

Screening held at the Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Avenue

Mar 03

(1961, Italy, 115 min)

La Notte is the second film Antonioni made in a year, and it tells the story of a day in the life of an unfaithful married couple and their deteriorating relationship. The plot is not a good index for the film, however; the key is the use of the camera as a pen that explores the world as a visual corollary of inner life.

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Festival of (In)appropriation

Curated by Jaimie Baron, Lauren Berliner and Greg Cohen

Mar 05

Whether you call it collage, compilation, found footage, détournement, or recycled cinema, the incorporation of already existing media into new artworks is a practice that generates novel juxtapositions and new meanings and ideas, often in ways entirely unrelated to the intentions of the original makers. Founded in 2009, the Festival of (In)appropriation is a yearly showcase of contemporary, short (20 minutes or less), audiovisual works that appropriate existing film, video, or other media and repurpose it in “inappropriate” and inventive ways. 

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Jeremy Moss: Space immaterial/Immaterial place

Visiting filmmaker!
Introduction and Q&A moderation by Johanna Gosse!

Mar 07

The films of Jeremy Moss explore the intersection of expressionistic tendencies, place and the moving body. His work ranges from surrealist documentary, to abstract hand-made 16mm films, to dance for camera, to essay film. Join us for an immersive optical and sonic experience, and revel in cinema’s capacity for meditation and rigorous experimentation.

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L’eclisse

Screening held at the Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Avenue

Mar 10

(1962, Italy, 126 min)

L’eclisse is a gorgeous puzzle that begins with a romantic break-up: Vittoria, played by Monica Vitti, in her third role for Antonioni, only knows vaguely that something is wrong with the man she has been seeing. The camera knows it, too, framing a nearby water tower as if it had been erected on the moon. When Vittoria takes up with a young stockbroker, she is no less in doubt. One of the most beautiful and arresting films about a drifting state ever made.

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Red Desert

Screening held at the Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Avenue

Mar 17

(1964, 117 min)

Red Desert tells the story of a young woman, played by Monica Vitti, who seeks to survive in the modern world of anxiety and existential doubt. Antonioni's first color film is remarkable for the stunning industrial landscapes that seem to express the unease and alienation.

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The King and the Mockingbird

Mar 19 - Mar 22

(Paul Grimault, 1979, France, 83 min, DCP)

Based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, the wildly satirical The King and the Mockingbird follows a shepherdess and a chimney sweep who seek to escape from the clutches of a tyrannical king. A masterpiece of traditional hand-drawn cell animation, the film is credited by celebrated Japanese animators Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata as inspiring the creation of their own studio, the now world-famous Studio Ghibli. Brad Bird's The Iron Giant was clearly influenced by the towering robot menace in this film.

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The Passenger

Screening held at the Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Avenue

Mar 24

(1975, 119 min, 35mm)

The Passenger stars Jack Nicholson as a television reporter in Africa who assumes the identity of a dead stranger. Tired of his work, his marriage and his life, he senses an opportunity for a fresh start in life, realizing—but too late—the danger he has put himself in. Nicholson considers this his finest performance.

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Films for One to Eight Projectors: Multi-Projector Experiments by Roger Beebe

Visiting filmmaker! 
16mm prints!

Mar 28

Filmmaker/curator/professor Roger Beebe visits Seattle with a touring program of his multiple-projector performances. The tour features several of his best-known projector performances (including the six-projector show-stopping space jam “Last Light of a Dying Star”), recent award-winning work in single-channel HD video, as well as the premiere of his latest multi-projector mayhem, “SOUND FILM.” 

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Sabbatical

Director Brandon Colvin in attendance!
Seattle premiere!

Mar 29

(Brandon Colvin, 2014, United States, 72 min)

A lethargically neurotic Kierkegaard professor goes back to his small hometown on a sabbatical (intended for writing) to take care for his mother after a stroke. A ruminative deconstruction of the lonesome sentiment that we can never go home again, the film follows the protagonist, Ben, as he gets reacquainted with, and subsequently re-alienated from, the old relationships and trappings of his life. As he struggles to maintain his aloof composure while interacting with his deadbeat brother, addled mother and lonely ex-wife, Ben’s own shortcomings are thrown in sharper relief.

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Indigenous Showcase: Maria Tallchief

Filmmaker Sandy Osawa in attendance!
Co-presented with Longhouse Media!
Public reception at 6pm, Screening at 7pm

Apr 17

(Sandy Osawa, 2007, 57 min)

This documentary of ballerina Maria Tallchief's life and art captures the growth of ballet in America, as shown by Ms. Tallchief's own rise to fame, in original roles created for her by George Balanchine. Key archival clips include Swan Lake, Pas de Dix, Orpheus, Firebird, Black Swan and Les Sylphides

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