Seattle Office of Film + Music

May 29, 2013, 11:07 am
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This year, The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) will again work with KCTS 9 to present the Reel NW Award, which is presented to a feature-length film in the Northwest Connections section of SIFF’s films. In 2012, the inaugural Reel NW Award went to Eden, directed by Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths.

Selection as a Reel NW Award winner indicates excellence in storytelling as reflected in writing, character development and story structure, story-enhancing production values, and a creative spirit emblematic of independent filmmaking.

The winning film will receive a $2,500 cash prize from KCTS 9 and an offer to be broadcast on KCTS 9’s Reel NW independent film series, contingent on meeting broadcast requirements. To be eligible for consideration, a film must not have a distribution deal in place when reviewed by the Reel NW Award jury. The jury is comprised of Randy Brinson, Executive Director of Programming for KCTS 9; Lyall Bush, Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum; and our very own Chris Swenson, Film and Special Events Program Manager at Seattle Office of Film + Music.

The Many Things To Do At The Northwest Folklife Festival
May 24, 2013, 2:14 pm
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While Sasquatch is taking the headlines this weekend, the 42nd annual Northwest Folklife Festival is taking over the Seattle Center Campus with art, dance, music, and fun for the entire family. Best of all, its free.  The four day long festival boasts an enormous amount of activities to participate in.  The laid-back atmosphere can give you a sense that, while there are an overwhelming amount of options available, experiencing Northwest Folklife is not to be rushed.  The open grounds of the Seattle Center will carry you on to what ever sparks your interest.  This year, the musical options are plentiful and more diverse than ever.  While you plan you weekend, consider these options:

Fin Record’s Showcase (Friday, 6:00pm) – Ballard Label, Fin Records will have a few of their bans perform including, Lures, Low Hums, and Red Jacket Mine

The Soul of Seattle (Saturday, 6:30pm) – Feel rhythm and groove of homegrown soul music

Northwest Fiddle Traditions (Sunday, 11:40am) – Join two of the Northwest’s premier fiddle players, who also help found NWFolklife, for some down home rustic music

Vamos! – A Latin Dance Party (Sunday, 6:30pm) – Get your dancing shoes on and move your hips to Latin vibes

You Can’t Fake Fresh- NW Live Hip Hop (Sunday, 7pm) – Hip hop at Northwest Folklife? Yup!

and much much more!

(don’t forget about the drum circles!)

For more information check out the full schedule on the Northwest Folklife website.

May 23, 2013, 10:11 am
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Looking for a new business location? Seattle-Tacoma International Airport serves 75,000

travelers/potential customers each day. It has recently become an even more lively place to do business with the addition of live performers through the Experience the City of Music program.

 A limited number of new leasing opportunities in Sea-Tac Airport will be open soon, and an upcoming outreach session is a chance to learn more about doing business at the Airport.

The event will be held today, May 23, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Airport’s Conference Center. RSVP here.

May 22, 2013, 3:13 pm
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In March and April, SIFF set loose four filmmaking teams into four Seattle neighborhoods to produce this year’s “Fly Film Challenge” short films.  Local filmmakers Ben Andrews, Amy Esner, LuLu Gargiulo, and Curtis Taylor chose their neighborhood location from a hat, and then assembled all-local casts and crews to work exclusively on the Capitol Hill, Fremont, Georgetown, and Chinatown/International District, respectively.  Each team had five days to shoot and edit their film.  Washington Filmworks, producers of the Fly Film series, enlisted the City’s Office of Economic Development to connect the filmmakers with neighborhood chamber liaisons from each of the four neighborhoods.  Directors for each of the four Fly Films are scheduled to attend the May 27 premier at the Egyptian Theatre.

Here are links to the eight Fly Filmmaking Challenge 2013 films, scheduled for May 27 and June 05 at Egyptian Theater and SIFF Cinema Uptown, respectively:

A Gift

Breathing in Wartime

Golden Silence

It’s Music, People!

The Only Time We Have

The Rhythm of Inspiration

The Three Stars

Two Friends

The 2013 Mayor’s Award for Achievement in Film goes to: Paul Matthaeus, Founder, Chairman, Chief Creative Officer Emeritus Digital Kitchen®

Today Mayor Mike McGinn announced the 2013 recipient of the 8th Annual Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film: Paul Matthaeus, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Creative Officer Emeritus of Digital Kitchen®.

“Paul’s impressive filmmaking and commercial film career, his championship of Seattle as a thriving commercial film production city, and his commitment to the local filmmaking industry make him an obvious honoree this year,” said Mayor McGinn. “I congratulate him on his work and thank him for being a leader in our local film industry.”

The Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film recognizes an individual or entity for exceptional work that has significantly contributed to the growth, advancement and reputation of Seattle as a filmmaking city. The award presented is artwork created by artist Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly award

After spending 15 years in the ad agency business, Paul Matthaeus founded Digital Kitchen (DK) in 1995 with the mission to apply entertainment principles to brands- and in turn- branding principles to entertainment.

Not only has DK grown into a creative force that traverses entertainment and advertising- winning many accolades along the way- Matthaeus has developed the careers of countless digital artists and filmmakers, through DK’s home office in Seattle and satellites across the nation.

“Unlike most filmmakers, I’ve spent my entire life and career in Seattle,” said Matthaeus.  “This city has played a seminal role in who I am, and has defined my outlook on business and creativity.  I think to a great degree, this honor validates Seattle as a world-class creative center.”

Read more in the full press release.

May 14, 2013, 1:52 pm
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Today the Mayor announced that the city of Seattle will deepen their partnership with the school district to invest in arts education.

Investment dollars will ensure that every student in the Central Pathway of Seattle Public Schools receive a minimum of two hours per week of arts education programming, as well as support the purchase of instruments and other art supplies for classrooms. The Central Pathway, which consists of schools in and around Seattle’s Central District, was chosen due to strong existing partnerships with community-based arts education organizations. The eventual goal of the program is to expand the program each year until all students at Seattle Public Schools receive two hours per week of arts education programming by 2020.

This investment was made possible by higher than expected admission tax revenue, primarily due to the new cultural facilities Chihuly Garden & Glass at Seattle Center and the Great Wheel on the waterfront. City bylaws require that 75 percent of admissions tax funding be dedicated to arts-related programming, allowing the city to invest $500,000 in arts education programs over the next two years.

“This investment will allow us to deepen our existing partnership with Seattle Public Schools to improve access to arts education for all students in our community” said Mayor McGinn. “Arts education has been consistently shown to improve educational outcomes, increase attendance rates and decrease discipline rates.”

Studies have found that Seattle students do not have consistent access to arts education, and access can be predicted based on ethnicity, English-language-learner status or free-and-reduced-lunch status.

This investment builds on the innovative partnership between the city of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools (SPS), now called The Creative Advantage.  In 2011 the city and SPS received a Wallace Foundation planning grant of $1 million, which provided for the creation of a comprehensive K-12 arts plan that ensures that every student will receive 120 minutes of arts instruction per week. This investment kick-starts the implementation phase of the Creative Advantage.

“Our community has spent the last two years developing and writing this plan, and the time is now to make it a reality,” said Superintendent Jose Banda. “Our first investment area is the Central Pathway.”

“Furthering our work in arts education is the most important thing I can do in this job,” said newly appointed Director Randy Engstrom, Office of Arts & Culture. “This initiative will change the way nearly 50,000 of our city’s young citizens engage with their community and think about the world. This investment is a major turning point.”


May 9, 2013, 12:56 pm
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ImageLeaders of Seattle’s startup community and the city of Seattle have teamed up to launch Startup Seattle, an initiative to support the growth of the Seattle technology startup community and establish Seattle as an internationally recognized home for emerging technology companies. Today, Mayor Mike McGinn hosted a press conference to announce the group’s action plan at the downtown Seattle headquarters of Zillow, one of Seattle’s most successful startups in recent years.

“Startup companies are an important part of Seattle’s innovative local economy,” said McGinn. “That’s why we are working hard to support startup businesses that could turn in to the next Microsoft or Amazon. I thank all of our partners in this work to help support our local economy, which is growing faster than the rest of the region, state and country.”

“Economic recovery doesn’t happen all on its own and this initiative is consistent with Council’s economic recovery resolution calling for actions that make it easier to do business in Seattle,” said Councilmember Richard Conlin.

During the next year, the City plans to hire a startup business sector liaison, re-launch the resource website, form partnerships with local organizations such as, Startup Weekend and Student RnD to increase access and connect high school students with local technology opportunities, and develop a marketing campaign to help attract talent to Seattle from across the country. In addition, the City will continue to support “innovation hubs” that make neighborhoods more attractive to early-stage technology companies and initiate a market assessment of real-estate needs for startups that will be used to guide new transit-oriented development in the University District.

To learn more about StartupSeattle, visit:,

To read the full press release, visit:

May 8, 2013, 2:24 pm
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“Special Events – Success in Seattle” is a public Forum about the Special Events Process put together by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. The Forum will take place from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday, May 17 at City Hall’s Bertha Knight Landes Room.

This public Forum will jointly guide community partners through the State and City regulations and processes.  Agency representatives will be available from 12 p.m.-1 p.m. and directly after the Forum to meet and greet attendees, answer individual questions, and provide useful handout information. The Forum will take place from 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. with ample opportunity to take the questions from the floor.

Chris Swenson, Film + Special Events Program Manager, will be present to answer questions about the Special Events permitting process that the City of Seattle requires.

Space is limited, so please RSVP here.

For more from the Seattle Special Events Office, visit

May 7, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)’s Northwest Connections program will highlight products of filmmakers from the Puget Sound region. With eight narrative features, six documentaries, and 34 short films screening, this is a fruitful year for the Northwest filmmaking community.

Seattleites see more films per capita than the residents of any other American city, and a growing number of these selections have their roots in the fertile Pacific Northwest film community. Each year, SIFF honors the many ways in which the Puget Sound region contributes to the world of cinema, whether it acts as an evocative location for outside filmmakers or as inspiration for local filmmakers ready to strut their stuff.

Here is the full list of Northwest Connections films for this year’s festival:

Alive and Well 


Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton

Dead Meat Walking – A Zombie Walk Documentary

Evergreen: The Road to Legalization in Washington 

Finding Hillywood

Her Aim Is True

Improvement Club


The Otherside

The Punk Singer



Touchy Feely

Unhung Hero

Seattle is also featured in the Fly Filmmaking Challenge 2013, with Seattle’s most iconic neighborhood locations supplying the backdrop of an incredibly entertaining program. With only three days to shoot, five days to edit, and three days of post-production, the most promising local educational filmmaking programs highlight the creativity of Washington’s filmmaking community. Fly Film Producer Washington Filmworks partnered with the City’s Only In Seattle campaign to coordinate filming in Seattle’s Capitol Hill, Georgetown, International District, and Fremont Neighborhoods. Participating filmmaking programs in this year’s program are the Art Institute of Seattle, Seattle Central Community College, Seattle University, and Shoreline Community College.

Here are short profiles of the eight Fly Filmmaking Challenge 2013 films, scheduled for May 27 and June 05 at Egyptian Theatre and SIFF Cinema Uptown, respectively:

A Gift

A Gift introduces Samuel Green, Washington State’s first poet laureate, whose poetry inspired The Only Time We Have. Samuel uses poetry to make sense of his life experiences as well as to better understand others.

Breathing in Wartime

Breathing in Wartime is a circular narrative that elides the transformation of an industrial district with the uncertain progress of its citizens.

Golden Silence

Inspired by a goldfish while attending a Humanities Conference, Derek Sheffield crafted a poem based on duality and symbolism which strongly inspired Curtis Taylor’s Breathing in Wartime.

It’s Music, People!

A glimpse into the world of Samantha Boshnack, an eclectic musician and diverse composer whose work provides the foundation for Ben Andrews’ The Three Stars.

The Only Time We Have

What does it mean to be the last in a lineage? The Only Time We Have explores the day in a life of an elderly man who reflects back on a sliver of time that changes the course of his life forever.

The Rhythm of Inspiration

Jovino Santos Neto, the artist who inspired Lulu Gargiulo’s Two Friends, details his journey through the transformative power of music, its link to nature, and the sounds that surround our everyday lives.

The Three Stars

Amid an atmosphere of mounting cultural and economic tensions, an innocent stopover brings a elderly shop owner, a business man, and his wife together in an unexpected and powerful tale of prosperity, longevity and good fortune.

Two Friends

Two Friends is a day in the life of Bobby, a gregarious 80-year-old nursing home resident and his caregiver Solomon, a shy African immigrant. In this unlikely relationship, we see that there’s more than one way to care for a friend.