Celebrating it’s tenth year, the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival opens Saturday, April 13 and goes through April 21. The nine day festival is put on by the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center at their newly renovated home in the Central District. Along with feature length films and short, the festival is also holding workshops and community events. This year, the festival takes a look back with a 30th anniversary screening of the sci-fi classic Brother from Another Planet, and a look forward with a presentation of actor/director Robert Townsend’s newest independent film In the Hive.
The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) is currently accepting submissions for their Third Annual History is____ short film competition! The theme of the film is up to you: the filmmaker. Submissions from 2012 included themes like “History is Basketball” and “History is Mystery.” The competition is all about creativity and sharing your view of what history is. Here is MOHAI’s playlist of the 2012 short films for those who are curious.
The Rules and FAQ page has the rules that you need to know in order to craft your film. Submissions are being accepted through March 31!
After a six-year absence, the Seattle Asian American Film Festival is taking place at the Wing Luke Museum tonight (Friday) through Sunday night. The Asian American Film Festival will have feature films, short films, and documentaries on a variety of topics including the first Vietnamese American elected to congress, the bombing of Hiroshima, and the challenges of multiracial identity.
There are a variety of different events including parties, panels, and screenings of film projects and tickets are still available for a number of events here.
In Moviemaker‘s recently released print magazine, this year’s list of “Top 10 Cities to be a Moviemaker: 2013” was released, with Seattle securing an impressive ranking at number three. According to the article, Moviemaker brains determined which cities made the cut (and in which order) by cobbling together a range of statistics for each city, including: population, dollars generated by the film industry, the list of movie projects, cultural vibrancy, and availability of production facilities. This data helped narrow the assessment rubric to five criteria, against which each of 50 cities was scored. The criteria include: “Film Community” (scored on a 10-point scale), “Access to New Films” (10-point scale), “Access to Equipment” (7-point scale), “Cost of Living” (reverse 5-point scale), and “Tax Incentives” (4-point scale). The highest possible score is a 36. In future lists, Moviemaker intends to expand lists to rank the “Top Big Cities” to be a moviemaker, as well as the “Top Small Cities” and “Top Towns.” This way, places like Shreveport, Louisiana won’t have to compete with New York City and Maria, Texas can’t compete with Boston.
The first and second best cities for moviemakers in 2013 were Austin, Texas (with a score of 32), and New York City (with a score of 31). Seattle came in at number three (with a score of 30.5).
The following is the article text from Seattle’s section:
“Seattle is quickly becoming a ‘go-to’ city for small-budget moviemakers, with such recently acclaimed indies as Your Sister’s Sister, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Eden taking advantage of all the tax incentive goodies the city (and state) has to offer. ‘Shooting in Seattle was fantastic,’ remarks Rufus Williams, director of Butterfly Dreaming. ‘The city is a standout for its moody, light-varied looks. But, more than that the people here are enthusiastic and helpful; I was struck by the tight-knit film community, something that is a real blessing for an independent filmmaker. We benefited immeasurably from the [Office of Film and Music’s] help in finding great local crews and locations.’ The vibrant Seattle film industry supports over 5,000 jobs, 700 freelancers, and contributes $471 million to the city’s economy. And the city makes the filming process as easy as possible for moviemakers. The dedicated [Office of Film and Music] is a one-stop shop for all logistical production needs, and provides permits for use of all city-owned property — for just $25 per project ([for] up to 14 days) for low-budged film productions. Seattle also offers a number of financial incentives, including a 30 percent cash-back film incentive for productions that shoot in the city, as well as sales tax exemptions on rental equipment, vehicles used in production, and 30 consecutive days of lodging. Much like its independent music scene, Seattle is renowned as a hip, indie moviemaking hub, with a strong sense of community and collaboration. Film is serious business in Seattle, and a moviemaker would be hard-pressed to find a more welcoming, creatively inspiring environment to film his or her latest production. ‘The Seattle filmmaking community is a nurturing, inclusive and vibrant one, filled with folks who have a genuine passion for making movies,’ says Writer-Director Lynn Shelton (the upcoming Touchy Feely; My Sister’s Sister; Humpday) of shooting in her hometown. ‘Whether it’s a local director or an out-of-town company, our local crews bring so much talent, good spirit, and artistry to everything shot here. Seattle filmmakers will undoubtedly continue to deliver excellent home-grown films, building on the reputation of quality that’s been building for the past decade.’ Also, Moviemaker first appeared on the streets of Seattle back in 1993. The Emerald City must be doing something right.”
The next two top cities on this year’s list include: Los Angeles (number 4, score of 29), and Portland (number 5, score of 28.5).
For the full-length article, pick up a print edition of Moviemaker magazine at your local convenience store. The 2013 list is not yet available online (but 2012’s list is). (Statement valid as of January 22, 2013).
As the saying goes, “Behind every successful man, there is a woman.” However in the world of film, it appears that behind 2011’s 250 top-grossing films, only a shocking 5% are women directors. This issue sheds light on the much-debated topic about the presence (or rather, lack of) women in film. However, some might argue that women do have a place in Hollywood by citing Kathryn Bigelow’s big win at the Oscars. During the 2009 Oscars, Kathryn Bigelow shook the film industry by winning the award for Best Director, making her the first woman in history to achieve the top honor. Although her win paved the way for women filmmakers around the world, female film creators are still struggling to keep this glimmering flame of hope ablaze especially with the numbers proving otherwise. Yet, setting an example for Hollywood as the future of film, NFFTY is currently made up of 30% female directors.
Randy Cohen, vice president of research and policy for Americans for the Arts, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, recently shared insights from his group’s study of arts trends nationwide. His message to business leaders emphasized the importance of investing in the arts as an industry, rather than treating arts as a luxury during times of prosperity and avoiding arts when the economy struggles. Increasing public and private support by using economic impact studies to leverage investment can help. But not every good idea needs to cost millions of dollars. “The city of Seattle sees itself as a music town, and it has a Music-On-Hold program. When you call a government office and get put on hold, you listen to music by Seattle musicians. They change it every quarter. It’s so popular the mayor does the voice-overs, and they sell the music on a website. Sometimes, it just takes coordination of existing resources,” says Cohen.
NORTHWEST FILM FORUM
Since 2005, Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) has been distributing films using its institutional muscle and expertise to shepherd independent works into the marketplace. NWFF will host a low-cost class on November 18 for local filmmakers to learn more about promoting and marketing their films to the largest possible audience. The workshop reviews today’s changing theatrical film exhibition landscape and realistic options to self-distribute successfully.
FILM + MUSIC + INTERACTIVE HAPPY HOUR
Our October 3 Happy Hour is designed to help members of the local film, music, and interactive industries meet and share ideas with current elected officials, as well as those running to represent Seattle at the local, state, and national levels. Don’t miss your chance to meet with policy makers who can directly influence the growth of our state’s creative industries. The event will take place from 5:00 to 7:00pm at Spitfire in Belltown. The special presentation will begin at 6:30pm in the private black box theater in Spitfire. The event is free! Please join us in the converging world of original music, independent films, interactive platforms and emerging technologies! For more information, visit www.fmihappyhour.com. See you there!