CHS Pics | Era of a new awning at Capitol Hill’s Egyptian theater

While one old Capitol Hill theater has started a new life this summer, another has finally recovered from an indignity that left its historical face scarred for the past few years.

Destroyed by a truck during an October 2016 storm, the Egyptian’s E Pine awning has finally been repaired and upgraded.

The old awning had to be torn down after being ripped apart by a delivery truck on a blustery Seattle day. In the time since, a “SIFF CINEMA / EGYPTIAN THEATER” banner did its best to hide the scar on the Seattle Central-owned property.

The work is part of a busy year for Capitol Hill’s old theaters. In July, the Mexican flag rose above the Harvard Exit where the Consulate of Mexico in Seattle has moved in and now serves hundreds daily.

As for the Egyptian, SIFF updated much of the 1915-built theater after it took over the venue following the exit of Landmark Theaters.

 

 

 

Premiering at SIFF, The Most Dangerous Year documents frontline struggle for trans rights in Washington

Images from The Most Dangerous Year, a documentary that follows a group of Washington State families with transgender kids who joined the fight against the wave of discriminatory anti-transgender legislation

In December of 2015, Vlada Knowlton and her family were adapting to the realities of their five-year-old daughter Annabelle’s transgender identity, and after a difficult period of adjustment things were going great. Then she got a phone call. It was Aidan Key, founder of Gender Diversity, a support group for parents of trans kids that had helped the Knowlton family navigate the often-frightening process of affirming a child’s gender identity. Key had bad news. A new wave of anti-trans legislation was about to hit Washington, and he had a difficult request for Knowlton: Would she be willing to apply her skills as a filmmaker to document the coming struggle?

“I never intended to make a film about transgender people, because for me it was such a personal thing,” Knowlton says, “I’d already gone through that trauma and thought things were gonna get good in our lives again. But it became clear to me after this conversation that I had to use whatever skills I had to start fighting, not only for my own child but for all people like her.”

(Official) Trailer for “The Most Dangerous Year” from Marymoor Productions on Vimeo.

The result is a full-length documentary, The Most Dangerous Year, which chronicles the struggle of people like Knowlton and her family as they fought multiple legislative efforts to deny civil rights to trans people. The film makes its world premiere on Capitol Hill at The Egyptian Theater as part of the Seattle International Film Festival.

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Translations, still the largest transgender film fest in the world, returns to Capitol Hill

A scene from They, a story of “the hauntingly beautiful journey of J, a nonbinary youth in the Chicago suburbs”

The world’s largest transgender film festival returns to Capitol Hill this week with 50 films from 15 different countries including Kenya, Japan, Brazil, Ukraine and the Netherlands.

Translations — Seattle Transgender Film Festival

This year’s Translations, the 13th edition of the annual film festival from Three Dollar Bill Cinema, features “a plethora of fun non-film events” including performances and workshops at 12th Ave’s Velocity Dance, an All-Bodies & All Genders Swim at Rainier Beach Pool, a Speed Friending event, a stand-up comedy night, and a return of our How To Be A Trans Ally workshop “for folks who are new to the community.” Continue reading

A Northwest Film Forum without film? Outgoing director looks at future of 12th Ave media and arts ‘hub’

Sheehan (Image: NWFF)

What would Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum be without film?

“It’s one that we discuss all the time,” executive director Courtney Sheehan tells CHS about one of the key questions on the future of the 12th Ave film-focused community center as she prepares to leave the organization she’s helped to grow over the past five years.

Sheehan has given her six months’ notice, she says, to give NWFF time to find a new leader and solidify its new foundation as a community hub that Sheehan has been helping to build since stepping into the director role in 2016.

“We’re really excited that for the first time the forum is really becoming a hub in the center of city,” Sheehan said. Continue reading

After 20 years of LGBTQ film on Capitol Hill, Three Dollar Bill Cinema director seeks new role

Plourde takes in the scene on 15th Ave E (Image: Michelle MacKinnon for CHS)

Executive director Jason Plourde is bidding farewell to Capitol Hill’s Three Dollar Bill Cinema 20 years after his first day as a volunteer usher.

“It’s a little emotional,” he admits. Looking back, Plourde remembers moving to Seattle during a period he describes as “the coming of age of queer filmmaking.”

Three Dollar Bill is a 12th Ave Arts-headquartered nonprofit dedicated to films “by, for, and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and their families.” The organization is the producer of the annual Twist: Seattle Queer Film Festival, the Translations transgender film fest, and the summertime movie series in Cal Anderson Park. All of these grew and thrived under Plourde’s direction and, hopefully a few times along the way, with him getting a chance to enjoy the show.

The goal of Three Dollar Bill Cinema, board of directors president Joey Burgess says, is “to increase queer visibility, facilitated by arts and film. “Jason has been a wonderful curator of that mission and goal,” he said. Continue reading

Now a teen, Children’s Film Festival Seattle celebrates all-ages cinema on 12th Ave

While we’re talking about a new kid-friendly hangout added to Capitol Hill, let’s talk about one of the neighborhood’s greatest ongoing kid events. The Children’s Film Festival Seattle returns to the Northwest Film Forum later this month. Like most things child-oriented in Seattle, parents need to get on the ball early to make sure their wee ones have spots at the pancake table:

The family-friendly extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema that is age-appropriate for ages 2-14, and will include 168 films from 55 nations, spanning the globe from North to South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The festival includes animation and live-action shorts, features, and hands-on filmmaking workshops, all crafted with care to appeal to a wide range of age groups.

This year’s festival runs January 25th to February 10th with screenings at NWFF’s 12th Ave theater following an opening night party at the Egyptian.

Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2018

“We want children to come to the festival not only to be entertained by funny and fantastic films, but also to discover common ground, to build empathy and envision their places in the wider world,” director Elizabeth Shepherd said in this year’s announcement of the 13th year for the film fest. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2017 at Northwest Film Forum

From the Northwest Film Forum
unnamed-7Northwest Film Forum is getting ready to roll out the red carpet for its 12th edition of Children’s Film Festival Seattle — the largest and most respected film festival of its kind west of the Mississippi.

The festival will stretch out over 12 days, from its opening night on January 26 to its awards ceremony on February 11, 2017, with all screenings at NorthwestFilm Forum, in the bustling heart of Capitol Hill.

The family-friendly extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema made for children and young people, and will include 186films from 52 countries, spanning the globe from North to South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Events will include animation, features, shorts and hands-on filmmaking workshops, all crafted with care to appeal to a wide range of age groups.

The programming is particularly important in this era of social upheaval. Festival director Elizabeth Shepherd says the films in the festival are aimed to empower younger viewers.

“We believe it is more important than ever to champion the ideas of social inclusion, diversity, global awarenes, teamwork, empathy, environmentalism, and human rights, kindness and love, says festival director Elizabeth Shepherd. “We want children to come to the festival not only to be entertained by funny and fantastic films, but also to discover common ground, to build empathy and celebrate our shared humanity.”

OPENING WEEKEND & SPECIAL EVENTS

Festival opening night is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26. This evening’s program will be a celebration of CFFS’s new partnership with the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival — a joint initiative between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration. The New York-based festival showcases films made by young people around the world on the themes of migration, diversity and social inclusion. The opening night program of CFFS will be a special program of prizewinning films from PLURAL+, made by movie makers ages 25 and younger in Canada, Ghana, Lebanon, France, Yemen, Malaysia, Indonesia, Slovenia and the US.

The second Saturday morning of the festival will mark a longtime tradition: an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at 9:30 a.m.Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, at 1804 13th Avenue. After the breakfast, at 10:30 and 11 a.m., there will be showings of “Friends are Forever,” a program of live action and animated shorts, at Northwest Film Forum.

Hands-on workshops for kids will roll out both weekends of the festival, with a two-day animation workshop by British animator Charlotte Blacker onJanuary 28 and 29, and a one-day mobile filmmaking (with IPads) workshop taught by Northwest Film Forum education and equipment manager Jonah Kozlowski on February 4.

Seattle animators and filmmakers will also have a portfolio review of their work and learn more about opportunities to create content for Sesame Workshop, at a talk by Sesame Workshop Director of Creative Development, Jordan Geary. Geary’s presentation will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday, January 28, at Northwest Film Forum.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Festival highlights in 2017 will include several insightful documentaries for families with older children and young teens. “Mussa,” from Israel, tells the poignant story of a young Ethiopian boy who is a refugee in Israel. “Boxing for Freedom,” by Spanish filmmakers Juan Antonio Moreno and Silvia Venegas, tells the uplifting story of a teenaged girl in Afghanistan who is determined to fight for Olympic gold in boxing. “Jeffrey,” from the Dominican Republic, is a hybrid documentary/narrative film that follows a 12-year-old boy, who washes car windows on the streets of Santo Domingo to support his family, all the while dreaming of becoming a reggaeton singing star.

Narrative features include the Seattle premieres of four German films “Heidi,” “At Eye Level,” “Fortune Favors the Brave,” and “Nelly’s Adventures.” The features lineup also includes “My Parrot Mom,” from Argentina, “Mr. Frog,” from The Netherlands, and “Jill and Joy’s Winter,” from Finland. “Molly Monster,” a delightfully animated feature film in English for ages 2 and older, will ensure that all ages can enjoy watching features at CFFS. A new film from Seattle, “The Boy Who Lived Before,” by local filmmaker Stephen Anunson, will also be a part of the festival lineup.

Perhaps most notably, a slew of 17 amazing programs of short animated and live action films will also be included in the festival, with thematic content telegraphed in the program titles, including “No Bullying Allowed,” “Gotta Be Me,” “Save the Earth,” “Friends are Forever,” “Dreaming of a Better World” and “Destination.”

As in previous years, kids will also be important decision-makers and VIPS at the festival — this year’s Children’s Jury, made up of 25 Seattle-area youth ages 9 to 15, will be led once again by a group of seven teenaged jury graduates, and award coveted prizes in numerous categories. Every audience member will also have an opportunity to vote for the festival’s coveted audience awards given in several categories.

School field trip groups, as well as the public, are welcome at the festival. This year, the festival is expanding to not only offer weekday field trip screenings at Northwest Film Forum, but two special screenings at Rainier Arts Center, in the Columbia City neighborhood.

SPECIAL GUESTS

  • Jordan Geary, Director of Creative Development of Sesame Workshop in New York
  • British animator Charlotte Blacker, creator of the festival graphics and trailer, will join us to present a great animation workshop for kids, “Animate the ‘Me’ Machine
  • Dominik Wessely, the director of the German languages feature Nelly’s Adventure
  • Katrin Milhahn, German screenwriter of Fortune Favors the Brave
  • Anthony Orkin, director of the short film Sammy’s Measle
  • Cynthia Pepper, director of the short film Polka Dott
  • Lisa Cohen, Seattle director of the film Confessions of a Former Bully, will be in attendance at both screenings of her film in the “No Bullies Allowed” program
  • Erin Shea, Los Angeles animator, director of the short film Ampersand(in “Save the Earth” program)
  • Peter Marcias, Italian animator, director of the short film My Dog’s Name is Wind (in “Friends Are Forever” program)
  • Daria Kopiec, Polish animator, director of the film Bobo’s Metamorphoses (in “Pure Imagination” program)

Artistic director and Egyptian Theater-saving master leaving SIFF

Carl Spence, SIFF artistic director

Carl Spence, SIFF artistic director

During the past 23 years, Carl Spence has been instrumental in transforming the Seattle International Film Festival from an annual event to a year-round organization and saving the Uptown Theatre and Capitol Hill’s Egyptian Theatre while he’s at it.

Six months from now Spence, who serves as SIFF’s artistic director, will be saying goodbye as he leaves for new adventures with his family and in his work life.

Spence was hired in 1994 on a three-month contract for the festival to do marketing work, which wasn’t what he wanted. He was interested in programming. But it was the organization he wanted to be with.

“It’s like the best place anyone could imagine to get a job,” he said. Continue reading

As Seattle gay film fest gets new Twist, a story of love in Iraq has happy Capitol Hill ending

When Nayyef Hrebid talks about his husband his whole face lights up; he can’t stop himself from smiling.

Hrebid and Btoo Allami live a happy life together on Capitol Hill, but it the Iraqi couple spent years trying to get here — a place where they were free to be together and themselves.

“It’s the place we most feel safe,” Hrebid told CHS.

The documentary Out of Iraq tells the story of Hrebid, a translator working for the U.S. military, and Allami, an Iraqi soldier, falling in love during the war and the lengths they went to to be together. The film’s Northwest premiere will be at the TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival, at 7 PM on October 15th at the Northwest Film ForumContinue reading

Film festival explores Capitol Hill’s ‘rapid development and change’ in two minutes or less

A quick search through Craigslist will tell you how artists are getting priced out of Capitol Hill. Not so easily quantifiable is what effect that is having on artists and the neighborhood as a whole. A series of 2-minute dance films is seeking to shed some light on the subject.

Dance Film Challenge is a film festival on Capitol Hill about Capitol Hill sponsored by Capitol Hill arts institutions. The challenge: Teams submit two-minute dance films “reflecting the Capitol Hill neighborhood and the crossroads that Capitol Hill artists, communities and residents are facing in this period of rapid development and change.” Winners selected by the audience will be given a one month residency at the V2 temporary art space on 11th Ave. Ten submissions will be screened Thursday at Northwest Film Forum. Continue reading