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Children's Film Festival Seattle 2015


It’s a kid’s film festival: over the past decade, Children’s Film Festival Seattle has become the largest and most respected film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children and their families.

We can't wait to see you for the 10th birthday party of the festival on January 22, 2015! This year we’ll show you more than 175 films from nearly 50 countries around the world.

Northwest Film Forum’s 11-day extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema for children, featuring live performances, animation, features, shorts and hands-on education workshops, all crafted with care for the next generation of movie lovers. 

 Special thanks to John Keatley and Hammerquist Studios for creating this year's festival trailer.

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In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund

The first U.S. retrospective of the films of Swedish satirist Ruben Östlund includes all four of his features and two short films. 

Östlund‘s penchant for a clinically distanced camera belies an intimate and at times mortifyingly perceptive analysis of the behavioral idiosyncrasies and effects of human susceptibility to groupthink, conformity, and peer pressure. Over the course of his long takes, Östlund builds social tension expertly, propelling characters to careen perilously toward the brink of disaster (sometimes quite literally; various forms of public transit are a favorite trope for scene settings). 

Incisively abrupt edits frequently follow and subvert long takes that have become turgid with tension. The result is deliciously disconcerting black comedy, accompanied by a side of ethnographically-nuanced social commentary.

This touring retrospective is produced by Comeback Company, in partnership with the Swedish Film Institute and Plattform Produktion and with additional support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Embassy of Sweden in the U.S. and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York.

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Blowing Up Cinema: The Art of Michelangelo Antonioni



In partnership with Seattle Art Museum, the University of Washington, Seattle University and Northwest Psychoanalytic Society, we present five of the Italian filmmaker’s cool and ravishing films, from the period when he was exploding and reinventing cinema. With his pivotal Blow-Up, in 1966, Antonioni took his bleak vision to London’s Pop scene to tell the story of mod photographer who believes he may have photographed a murder. Look for the party scene with the Yardbirds. All screenings hosted at the Seattle Art Museum.

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Red Renewal: Seattle's Socialist Spring

MARCH 18—MAY 1, 2014

Presented in partnership with Town Hall, ARCADE, PubliCola at Seattle Met, Tasveer, DEFA Film Library, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington and Charles Mudede 

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”  —Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

With Red Renewal: Seattle’s Socialist Spring, Northwest Film Forum opens our cinemas for collective contemplation of the 2014 spring fever: sparked by solidarity but marked by uncertainty, as Seattleites debate what the future should hold.  

How will this new season shape the city’s political, economic, and civic landscape? What will happen to workers’ rights and wages, and where will they live in a city gripped by ever sky-rocketing rents? “Is there something in the water in Seattle” that drives the city's labor movement to the forefront of national conversations? Revitalized by newly sown seeds, but a long way off from harvest, this Spring signals a moment ripe for cinematic exploration. 

Winter 2013 in Seattle began with changes of pace, both in the weather and for workers. Hardly a raindrop fell in typically dour November, and clear skies greeted Kshama Sawant on the 15th, when she won an historic victory to become the first socialist elected to Seattle City Council in living memory. Ten days later, Washington voters passed a $15 minimum wage for SeaTac workers.

The year wound down while workers got fed up. One hundred fast food employees and supporters marched 13 miles from SeaTac to Seattle City Hall to advocate for the $15 minimum wage. Machinists battled what (now former) union president Tom Wroblewski called a “piece of crap” benefits-slashing proposal from Boeing. Moved by the machinists’ struggle, Timothy Egan forlornly postulated: "So this is how the middle class dies. Not with a bang, but with a forced [pension] squeeze."  

As 2014 dawned, Sawant decried “the reality of international capitalism” and called for “organized mass movements of workers and young people” to a thousand citizens who packed City Hall for her inauguration. The same week saw the launch of 15 Now, a coalition of community groups and unions, mobilized to make $15 wages a reality first in Seattle, then across the nation. 

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, “the sign of a rising tide” marched through the city, with many marchers bearing $15 signs to form “a sea of red” that shone in the sun. Infusing Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with the rejuvenated fight for fair wages, former head of Seattle’s Black Panther Party chapter Aaron Dixon declared: “We got the power, we are the 99 percent.” 

During Red Renewal, community groups and citizens from across the city will host weekly screenings and discussions around films from many countries, eras and perspectives. From canonical propaganda to satirical critique, Red Renewal recasts cinema’s historical encounters with socialist themes in parallel to ongoing conversations about Seattle's economy and politics. 

Expect the shouts and songs of workers, Soviet crocodiles and Slovenian psychoanalysts, Gandhi’s teachings melded with Marx’s writings, a renegade East German and the return of Wilhem Reich, radical labors of love and public spheres—both real and virtual—primed for debate. It all begins with a screening and discussion with Kshama Sawant and Charles Mudede at Town Hall on March 18.

Kshama Sawant and Charles Mudede: Why Socialism, Why Now?
Presented by: Town Hall, Northwest Film Forum, and 12toRain Productions, as part of the Civics series.
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Please note: this event is held at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Avenue at Seneca Street

Seattle has a socialist on its city council for the first time in 100 years. Kshama Sawant’s recent election raised a lot of questions around the values of the Socialist Alternative Party and her platform of raising the minimum wage to $15. She’ll join Charles Mudede, Associate Editor at The Stranger, for an exploration of socialism’s impact on the city council and why, after seeing previous socialist candidates, the city is ready for socialism now. What circumstances made the election of a socialist not only possible, but timely? Living wages and the state of labor in the Puget Sound will also be discussed. Prior to the discussion, enjoy a brief screening to kick off Northwest Film Forum’s series Red Renewal: Seattle’s Socialist Spring

"Northwest Film Forum, the city's Mecca of indie movie programming, is bringing a batch of ultra left-wing films to the screen to celebrate (and speculate) about Seattle's recent shift to the left." —PubliCola at Seattle Met 

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