Northwest Film Forum


Northwest Film Forum is Seattle's premier film arts organization, screening over 200 independently made and classic films annually, offering a year-round schedule of filmmaking classes for all ages, and supporting filmmakers at all stages of their careers.

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Holy Hell

August 31, 2016 8:00 PM

For 22 years, Will Allen immersed himself 24/7 in Buddhafield, a Los Angeles cult with hundreds of members and a narcissistic, sociopathic leader named Michel Rostand. The group would live, work and meditate together, banishing all ties to their family in the hope of finding greater enlightenment. Their spiritual guru would, in turn, psychologically torture and brainwash his disciples on a daily basis. A film-school graduate, Allen's primary role was as Buddhafield's official documentarian, recording hundreds of hours of footage viewable only to fellow cult members. Produced by Jared Leto, Will Allens film culls years of home movies filmed inside the Buddhafield to weave a mesmerizing and traumatic insider document of life inside the cult that offered a surface-level path to utopia, peace and harmony - a cautionary tale and personal exorcism. Allen, who left the cult in 2012, like many former Buddhafield members, was still suffering from PTSD and trying to move on. "I'd been honest my whole life in this group, but it was all based on deception and surrounded by lies," he says. "My film voice was the one that said, 'Let's explore the truth.'"
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Made In Venice

September 01, 2016 8:00 PM

Made in Venice takes you on a rippin, shreddin ride with the skateboarders of Venice, from raising hell on the beach in their teens to turning pro in the 80s and putting street skating on the global map. But their biggest challenge of all wasnt becoming skateboarding legends; it was about getting what they dreamed of, and really wanted... a skatepark on Venice Beach for the community and the pro skaters of tomorrow.
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Miss Sharon Jones!

September 02, 2016 7:45 PM - September 08, 2016 7:45 PM

Two-time Academy Award-Winner Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, American Dream) follows Grammy-nominated R&B dynamo Sharon Jones during the most courageous year of her life. Often compared to the legendary James Brown because of her powerful and energetic performances, Sharon Jones is no stranger to challenge. For years her music career struggled as she was kept in the wings by a music industry that branded her too short, too black, too fat. After decades of working odd jobs, from a corrections officer to a wedding singer, Sharon had a middle-aged breakthrough after joining forces with Brooklyn R&B outfit The Dap-Kings. In 2013, on the eve of the release of the much-anticipated album Give the People What They Want, Sharon was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Miss Sharon Jones! is a triumphant crowd-pleaser that captures an irrepressible human spirit as she battles back to where she belongs; center stage.
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Los Sures

September 02, 2016 8:00 PM - September 04, 2016 7:00 PM

Diego Echeverrias film skillfully represents the challenges residents of the Southside faced: poverty, drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources. This complex portrait also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity, and their determination to overcome a desperate situation. Beautifully restored for the 30th anniversary premiere at the New York Film Festival, this documentary is an invaluable piece of New York City history. (Union Docs)
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Branching Paths

September 03, 2016 9:45 PM

The Japanese video game industry led the world in creativity and innovation from the 1980's to the mid-2000's, but in recent years Japanese studios have been unable to keep up with advancements in technology, with many shifting focus away from risky projects and unique gaming experiences.
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September 07, 2016 7:30 PM - September 11, 2016 7:30 PM

In his final film, cult director Andrzej Zulawski (known for such psycho-sexual provocations as Possession and La Femme Publique) adapts Witold Grombowiczs surreal novel of the same name and explores the seeming interrelatedness of things. A self-questioning law student strolls through the woods; upon finding a sparrow dangling by a string, he descends into an obsessive spiral as he contemplates its significance. In this free-association send-up, the tale is a potent combination of enigmatic details and symbolism; the protagonists search for deeper meaning is at once daunting, funny and never boring. A swan song of Sartrean proportions!
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Chatty Catties

September 09, 2016 10:00 PM - October 08, 2016 10:00 PM

Pablo Valencias debut feature film, Chatty Catties, is a laugh-out-loud comedy set in an alternate world in which cats are able to communicate with humans. Sassy tabby Leonard (voiced by John Autry) is at odds with his human roommate, Shelby (Megan Hensley), whose own emotional problems limit her abilities to provide for the most basic of Leonards needs. But, when Shelby begins a relationship with kind-hearted musician Nate (Matthew Grathwol), Leonard sees a brighter future for both him and his owner; but it wont come without a few emotional fireworks along the way.
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Suddenly, Last Summer

September 10, 2016 7:00 PM

Based on Garden District, the one-act play by Tennessee Williams, Suddenly, Last Summer brings together Hollywood powerhouses Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift in this American Southern Gothic tale. Set in New Orleans in 1937, the matriarch of a wealthy family, Violet Venable (Hepburn), is determined to bury the facts about her dead son, Sebastian. However, her niece Catherine (Taylor) who witnessed Sebastians death during their summer travels in Spain, has been left emotionally disturbed by the incident and wont stop talking about it. In order to repress the family secret for good, Violet attempts to coerce a young surgeon (Clift) to lobotomize Catherine and silence her obscene babbling about what happened last summer. Penned for the screen by Gore Vidal, this dark and twisted study peers into mid-century societal attitudes towards sexuality, explores class, power and Oedipal Mother-Son dynamics -- all potently charged with psychoanalytic overtones of the day.
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Lonesome Cowboys

September 11, 2016 7:00 PM

Warhols satire of the American Western film features his usual coterie of superstars Joe Dallesandro, Taylor Meade, Viva among others. According to the original publicity poster, Lonesome Cowboys, shot on location in Tucson, Arizona in January 1968, represents the true story of what it was like to live the life of a cowboy in the Old Westa story of men among men and the woman who tried to interfere. Lonesome Cowboys continues Warhols deconstruction of masculine icons such as the biker, hustler, rocker, surfer, and the gay man himself.
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The People Garden

September 14, 2016 8:00 PM

When Sweetpea decides it is time to end her relationship, she travels all the way to Japan to break up with her rockstar boyfriend who is there shooting his latest music video. When she arrives, the production crew informs her hes gone missing, last seen in the forest filming a scene with fading 90s sex symbol Signe (played by Pamela Anderson, with irony intact!). Sweetpeas determination to find her boyfriend takes her deep into a mysterious forest, led by a cagey local guide, Mak. A spooky Canadian gem that manages to get under your skin.
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Don't Blink - Robert Frank

September 15, 2016 8:00 PM - September 18, 2016 8:00 PM

Laura Israels engrossing look into the life and times of legendary photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank unravels the man behind the camera. From his classic 1958 photo-essay, The Americans, to films Pull My Daisy and the Rolling Stones no-holds-barred eye-opener, Cocksucker Blues, Israel tracks Franks life as an artist always searching and pushing the boundaries of the medium, embracing experimentation in traditional narrative forms. A living embodiment of his style even at 91 years old, Dont Blink is an unapologetic celebration of artistic creation and with it, the triumphs and tragedies of a life fully lived.
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Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley: Heidi

September 18, 2016 4:00 PM

A collaborative film by artists Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley based on the childrens novel Heidi. The film brings together an elaborate set, a series of rubber figurines, and two backdrop paintings in order to question sexually repressive social hierarchies, the conventions of horror films, and mass media portrayals of family life.
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The Misplaced World (Die Abhandene Welt)

October 07, 2016 7:30 PM

Germany 2015 DIRECTOR: Margarethe von Trotta Dark family secrets, emotional family re-unions and cautious self-discovery - such fun to watch instead of living it! Preceded by the short film ELLA, directed by Paula Romy Riemann The opening night party will follow the screening. Location TBD.
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Windstorm (Ostwind 2)

October 08, 2016 3:00 PM

Germany 2015 DIRECTOR: Katja von Garnier Summer vacation. Mika is overjoyed to see Ostwind again. But then she discovers strange wounds on the belly of Ostwind, for which no one has an explanation.
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Then Is It The End? The Film Critic Michael Althen (Was Heisst Hier Ende? Der Filmkritiker Michael Althen)

October 08, 2016 5:00 PM

Germany 2015 DIRECTOR: Dominik Graf Biographical documentary about the recently deceased film critic Michael Althen, digging deep into the issues of film history.
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Exit Oerlikon (Usfahrt Oerlike)

October 08, 2016 7:00 PM

US PREMIERE - Switzerland 2015 DIRECTOR: Paul Riniker When Hans looks back, he must say: That was a good life! He saw the world, loved his wife Martha and yes, two, or three, things went wrong.
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Streif: One Hell of a Ride

October 08, 2016 9:30 PM

Austria 2014 DIRECTOR: Norbert Heitker Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, the annual Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbühel, Austria, has produced unforgettable triumphs and heartrending tragedies, a heritage that is full of myths and legends.
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My Friend Raffi

October 09, 2016 3:00 PM

MY FRIEND RAFFI (Rettet Raffi!)) Germany 2015 DIRECTOR: Arend Agthe Samuel can't believe it - his hamster Raffi has been kidnapped! On his own account, the eight-year-old boy starts a search operation for his beloved pet throughout the German town of Hamburg.
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Next Generation Short 2015

October 09, 2016 5:00 PM

NEXT GENERATION SHORT TIGER 2015 Germany 2015 German Films and the German Federal Film Board (FFA) present twelve shorts from promising up-and-coming filmmakers from German film schools.
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The Culpable (Verfehlung)

October 09, 2016 7:00 PM

Germany 2015 DIRECTOR: Gerd Schneider The life and faith of a Catholic prison minister is shaken when his friend and colleague is taken into custody under suspicion.
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The Seattle Process With Brett Hamil

October 21, 2016 8:00 PM

Seattles favorite political comedy talk show continues to burrow into the psyche of a city under siege. Each live episode features interviews with local politicians, activists and artists plus performances, surprises and shocking revelations.
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Do Not Resist

October 21, 2016 8:15 PM - October 27, 2016 7:30 PM

Shot over two years and in 11 states, starting on the streets of Ferguson as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown, Do Not Resist shows how local police forces have evolved into paramilitary organizations with an extreme amount of resources.
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October 28, 2016 8:00 PM - November 06, 2016 7:30 PM

On August 1st, 1966, a sniper rode to the top of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, killing 16 people holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. Fifty years after Americas first mass school shooting, director Keith Maitlands Tower reveals the untold stories of witnesses, heroes and survivors.
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Chat Room

October 29, 2016 7:00 AM

Happy Hour at 6:30 in the lobby. Chat Room is a quarterly forum on how the internet has changed art, with a new topic for each edition. It aims to demystify the fundamental questions about art and its broader place in society through live presentations, recorded video and audience interaction. October's edition is themed "Ownership and Property", and will explore Intellectual Property law, legal structures of art ownership, activism against art theft by corporations, and much more.
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The Seventh Fire

November 12, 2016 5:00 PM

When gang leader Rob Brown is sentenced to prison for a fifth time, he must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved American Indian community in northern Minnesota. As Rob reckons with his past, his seventeen-year-old protégé, Kevin, dreams of the future: becoming the most powerful and feared Native gangster on the White Earth Indian Reservation.
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Theo Who Lived

November 16, 2016 7:30 PM

In the late fall of 2012, Theo Padnos, a struggling American journalist, slipped into Syria to report on the countrys civil war and was promptly kidnapped by Al Qaedas branch in Syria. Because he spoke fluent Arabic, his captors suspected he worked for the CIA and, for months, brutally tortured him during interrogation sessions. But his fluency, coupled with his remarkable personal expansiveness, also led to an extraordinary engagement with, and understanding of, his captors. By the time of his release, 22 months later, he had become a confidante of al-Qaedas top commander in Syria. In Theo Who Lived, Padnos returns to the Middle East and retraces the physical and emotional steps of his harrowing journey, performing his memories, and enacting the fantasy world that he created as a means of mental escape. A gripping narrative that includes betrayal among the imprisoned, unlikely friendships, and thwarted escapes, Theo Who Lived is an intimate portrait of personal resilience, and grace in the face of hate.
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Northwest Film Forum

1515 12th Ave
Seattle 98122




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