Seattle is currently immersed in a milieu of international films, approaching the halfway marker for the 37th SIFF film festival. Jenise Silva of the Seattle Examiner posted an interview last week with SIFF Director of Programming Beth Barrett. In the interview Beth speaks about her job and the challenges she faces all year selecting the 400+ films to screen at the festival. She also shares a few insights and tips for this year’s festival, including the films she is most excited to see: choice picks from the Northwest Connections category, a film scored by Seattle musician Damian Jurado and the youth filmmaker FutureWave category. Follow the link above to read the full interview with SIFF Director of Programming Beth Barrett.
Filed under: Film | Tags: Film, Greg Brotherton, local, Mel Anthony, racing, Shoreline Community College, vintage cars
If the thought of living into your eighties is frightening, let Mel Anthony convince you otherwise. The 86-year-old subject of the film Smoke, Sand and Rubber is addicted to one thing: racing fast cars. Local filmmaker Greg Brotherton (Render Me Dead) documents Anthony as he joins a vintage racing club and gets behind the wheel of a midget race car for the first time in 54 years, with his son Dennis turning the wrenches. The film also features great archival footage of car racing in the 1940′s and 1950′s, plus commentary from both Mel and Dennis Anthony. The free world premiere screening will take place tonight at 7 PM at the Shoreline Community College Theater. Mel, Dennis, and Brotherton will be on hand for a Q&A afterward. Smoke, Sand and Rubber will screen with two other documentaries about racing in the Pacific Northwest. Click the link above to read more about the film and to watch a trailer.
Filed under: Music | Tags: culture, Memorial Day Weekend, Music, northwest folklife, seattle center
Hopefully the rain won’t keep you from checking out the 40th Northwest Folklife Festival this weekend at Seattle Center. Starting tonight, you can partake in a cross-section of performances, vendors and food from a variety of cultures in Seattle. This year, Folklife spotlights two unique cultures: the traditions of the Northwest and the Bulgarian community. The “Northwest Stories” focus features collaborations with local storytellers, poets, writers and dancers. Folklife staff produced eight videos highlighting communities that are part of the annual festival and explore different communities in the Pacific Northwest. The videos can be viewed on the Folklife website, and many of the groups featured are scheduled to perform at the festival. To celebrate Bulgarian culture at Folklife, there will be art exhibits, dance and music performances, workshops and discussions about Bulgarian traditions. Additionally, many local musical acts such as Ravenna Woods, Yuni in Taxco, Wheedle’s Groove, and a plethora of local middle and high school jazz bands will perform at Folklife. For a full schedule of performances and to learn more about how to attend Folklife, click the link above.
Filed under: Music | Tags: Denny International Middle School, jazz, Sealth High School, seattle repertory jazz orchestra, SRJO
Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra blog
Student participants in the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) Jazz Scholars Program will cap off a school year full of musical exploration with a joint performance featuring Denny International Middle School and Sealth High School students. The concert will take place Friday, May 27 at 7 PM in the auditorium at Sealth High School. The SRJO scholars (who come from a low-income background) were selected by Denny International Middle School band director Marcus Pimpleton to receive jazz technique and instrumental music lessons. Six professional music instructors, all of whom perform extensively in the Seattle area, work with the students individually and in groups to develop “best practices” for music training. TheSRJO Jazz Scholars Program is supported by grants from The Clowes Fund and the City of Seattle Office of Cultural Affairs Youth Arts Program. Click the link above for more information about SRJO and the Jazz Scholars Program.
As most of you know by now, last night the legislature adjourned without the House voting on Washington’s Motion Picture Competiveness Fund, effectively ending any future funding for the program. As an office that advocates and supports film production in Seattle, this is a very disappointing outcome. For a variety of unique reasons, Washington (like Oregon and British Columbia) is well leveraged to be a successful film production center for this international industry. Over the past four years of the incentive program, the success of this program has been demonstrated by a sharp and continued increase in production on both sides of the state. Seattle alone has seen a 34% increase in production since the incentive program was put in place. Additionally, this program has seen strong support from labor and business, and also received a thorough audit by JALARC who recommended the continuation of the Fund to the legislature.
With this kind of momentum and demonstrated success, accepting the failure of the bill this session is difficult. However, as we learn more about what happened we will use what we learn to put ourselves in a better position as we approach next steps and work to improve our message for future opportunities to grow film industry jobs. We will also continue developing and marketing Seattle as a film destination and working to support our partners at Washington Filmworks. This is a setback for our local film industry but not the end of the great progress made over recent years. Seattle is, and will be, open for film business.
Director, Seattle Office of Film + Music
Filed under: Film, Music | Tags: blue scholars, Cinemetropolis, Jason Reid, MC Geologic, sabzi, Slick Watts, sonics, sonicsgate
To celebrate the release of the group’s new conceptual album titled Cinemetropolis, local hip-hop duo Blue Scholars premiered a short film for the first single off the ablum, “Slick Watts”. Based on the former Sonics player turned Franklin High School basketball coatch, Watts himself stars in the video alongside MC Geologic and DJ/Producer Sabzi. The short also contains shout-outs to several distinct Seattle neighborhoods and fond references to Seattle’s former basketball team. Fittingly, the short was directed by Jason Reid and the crew responsible for the award-winning documentary Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team, which retold the rich history of Seattle’s basketball culture and the heartache of the Sonics’ relocation to Oklahoma City in 2008. Cinemetropolis, the Blue Scholars third studio album, was funded entirely by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign. Watch the short film for “Slick Watts” below. To read more about the Blue Scholars and Cinemetropolis, click the link above.
Filed under: Music | Tags: city of music, Hard Rock Cafe, Heart, jimi hendrix, kurt cobain, mike mcginn, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, ray charles, seattle, tour, White Moustache Urban Adventure Company
Hard Rock Cafe Seattle
The Seattle Tour of Music
Seattle City of Music
In partnership with the Seattle Office of Film + Music and the Seattle Music Commission, the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle will serve as the City of Music’s Rock Ambassador. Now visitors can pick up a brochure at the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle’s Rock Shop that introduces some of the city’s top live music venues. Additionally, visitors can book The Seattle Tour of Music at the cafe. Hosted by White Moustache Urban Adventure Company, the two-hour tour takes guests through the streets of Seattle to see where legends created the music that made our city famous. Featured musicians include Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Heart, Pearl Jam, Ray Charles, and more. At the end of the tour, guests will return to the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle and view memorabilia specific to the Seattle music scene. “We love that people who come to the Hard Rock Café will learn about Seattle’s history of music before going to see history in the making at our live-music venues,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. The City of Music Initiative was conceived in October 2008, its purpose being to honor Seattle’s rich music history, to celebrate its ongoing importance to the city’s economy and culture, and to further enhance Seattle’s renowned music culture. The initiative is led by the 21-member Seattle Music Commission and strives to grow Seattle as a city of musicians, live music, and music business by creating action that enhances the climate for the music industry. Click the links above to learn more about the Hard Rock Cafe, The Seattle Tour of Music, and the City of Music Initiative.