Filmmaker takes the helm at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum

(Image: NWFF)

Writer and filmmaker Vivian Hua will take the helm as the executive director of Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum.

After she assumes the role on October 11th, Hua will be in charge of the strategic direction and creative vision of NWFF, a filmmaker’s collective founded in 1995 that uses film to “incite public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences.”

“There is no more powerful medium than film,” Hua said. “I work at the intersection of using art as a means of social change and discussion.”

In April, CHS reported on the planned exit of Northwest Film Forum’s executive director Courtney Sheehan after the former intern successfully transitioned the organization to a new mission beyond the screen. Earlier this year, Tasveer, producer of Seattle’s South Asian film festival,  and media nonprofit Seattle Globalist moved their offices into NWFF’s 12th Ave building joining indigenous arts group Longhouse Media which was already partnering with the forum in the space.

Hua studied sociology and holds a B.A. from the University of Washington. Before she joined NWFF as a volunteer in 2017, she worked as a communications manager for a nonprofit dedicated to global issues in internet governance, a graphic designer for the University of Washington’s Experimental Education Unit, and as editor-in-chief of REDEFINE, a music and arts publication she founded in 2004.

Her interests seem to have shifted over the years, from design and writing to music and art, but she said now she’s focused on filmmaking. More specifically, narrative films, “super ridiculous comedies” and social-justice oriented work.

Along with NWFF and film distributor Abramorama, Hua co-founded a civil rights film series called “The Seventh Art Stand” in response to President Donald Trump’s first travel ban in 2017. She has helped organize several community building programs at NWFF, and as executive director she’ll be working with Christopher Day, managing director, and Rana San, the recently appointed artistic director.

“It’s nice to be able to work at a place that fully aligns with my values and interests,” Hua said. “Through the years NWFF has changed and evolved with the needs of the community. That’s important for the organization to stay relevant with the changing tides.”

In addition to organizing, coalition-building, and furthering her own artistic ambitions, Hua said she wants to make film more accessible, and the NWFF a more welcoming place for those who may be new to the world of filmmaking.

“How do we get people in the door. What types of resources can we offer, and perspectives can we shift on what our institution is,” Hua said. “I want to figure out how we can bolster the filmmaking base and open the doors to communities that don’t normally get to make films or show their films.”

The Northwest Film Forum is currently hosting the Local Sightings film festival through September 29th. You can learn more at


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