Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Amost Famous Filmmakers

Seattle is an indie-film-adoring town. So who will be our first breakout indie filmmaker?

Seattle loves independent film. The city is home to more than 10 cinemas screening indie flicks daily. Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), the biggest, longest-running film festival in the country, just celebrated its 35th year and filled 142,500 seats last summer—almost a quarter of the city’s population. Local independent-media organizations Northwest Film Forum and 911 Media Arts have more than 30 years between them.

“This is a film-mad city,” says Lyall Bush, executive director of Northwest Film Forum, Seattle’s only cinematheque and an institutional backer of independent film. “Per capita we’re the 10th largest market in the nation. We watch a lot of movies.”

And we make them. Walk into Ravenna’s Scarecrow Video, one of the largest independent video-rental stores in the country, and you’ll find almost 200 short and feature-length films made locally and regionally.

OK, so name a few. We’ll wait. Uh-huh.

Even though Seattle is film mad, the city’s indie-filmmaking scene still cannot claim to be home to a breakout indie filmmaker like Portland’s Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho) or Austin’s Richard Linklater (Slacker, Dazed and Confused). Notably, while Van Sant, Linklater and others such as Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies, and Videotape) were conducting an indie-film train that carried a national consciousness in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Seattle was full-bore busy exporting another brand of indie entertainment: grunge music. Local filmmakers have been chasing this train ever since.

Complete article HERE