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Northwest Film Forum is moving

New space allows for much needed film facilities

The Northwest Film Forum is planning for the future. Already a force in Washington's filmmaking community, the NWFF is positioning itself to become the epicenter of Seattle's filmmaking community. In late Spring 2004, the nonprofit organization will transfer its headquarters to a new location, nearly tripling its size. This move is necessary to continue offering exceptional services to the filmmaking community and the broader community as well.

The former Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences building on Capitol Hill, when occupied by the NWFF, will house two theatres, administrative offices, dedicated workshop space, and filmmaker offices. "The Northwest Film Forum will create the new epicenter of Seattle's growing film community," says Seiwerath. "A new home will provide desperately needed space for local filmmakers."

Since 1995 Northwest Film Forum has been laying the foundation for a lively and significant filmmaking culture in our region that is the equal of our internationally recognized music, dance and theatre communities. In 2004 this effort manifests itself in the creation of the epicenter for film in Seattle, the vital link for creation and exhibition of artistic film.

The non-profit Northwest Film Forum exploded onto the scene eight years ago, presenting films unavailable at any other venue, and providing a resource for independent filmmakers in Seattle. Last year, The Stranger called NWFF¹s founding the number one film event of the decade, and it has just gotten started. The NWFF's ambition has been matched by its success, and it has outgrown its current home on 19th Ave. E.

Under one roof, within 8,000 square feet, in the center of the Seattle artistic community, lies:

- A 120-seat 35mm Dolby-equipped cinema and mainstage live theater
- A 49-seat 35mm Dolby-equipped cinema and theater
- Dedicated workshop space/ filmmaker lounge
- Expanded film post-production facilities
- Offices for individual filmmakers
- The home of the Three Dollar Bill Cinema, presenters of the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
- A 700 title (and growing) film archive

"The Northwest Film Forum stands perfectly poised for an exciting new phase of growth. I cannot imagine a more deserving organization."

Charlie Rathbun, Director, Arts Program
Cultural Development Authority of King County

Stand at Twelfth and Pike on Capitol Hill, and you are in the hotbed of contemporary and cutting-edge art in Seattle. Step into the new lobby of the Northwest Film Forum, and you will encounter cinemas, live theater and filmmaking facilities under one roof. Experience great classic films, new cutting edge independent documentaries, or take a screenwriting workshop. For filmmakers there¹s a nationally recognized facility that offers cameras and editing equipment, production offices, and the collaborative space to make new work.

The Case for the Northwest Film Forum

Seattle is legendary for its consumption of cinema. Seattleites go to more movies than people in any other city, and host the largest film festival in the nation. This is a great city to watch films, but there is only one organization that provides a vital alternative to the corporate chains, year round, day after day.

The Northwest Film Forum must build a larger venue to meet the growing needs of the film community. With a 120 and a 49 seat 35mm Dolby equipped theater under one roof, it will operate the flagship cinemas for independent exhibition in the Northwest. This will provide the city with a proper home for dozens of film festivals and community film events.

The Business of Exhibition
Great art should not depend on profitability, yet NWFF has excelled at paying its own way. For years presenting movies has provided the economic engine for one of the states most dynamic and entrepreneurial arts organizations. NWFF¹s exhibition programs generate earned income every week, independent of the changing economy, and allowing the organization to grow. Lately, it often turns away hungry filmgoers due to lack of seating. A larger cinema, along with the flexibility of a smaller, more intimate space under one roof will allow the Northwest Film Forum to better serve the film-crazy public.

NWFF can make Seattle as well known for film production as consumption. As the region has drawn on and cultivated a world-class talent pool of actors, technicians, and writers, the number and quality of locally-made films has increased in the past decade. A Washington State Film Office study highlights that over 8,000 jobs and $316 million in annual expenditures are due to film and video work in Washington. As much of the Hollywood work has migrated to Canada, more and more of this economic activity will be generated by independent, artistic films, created in this state. NWFF¹s production arm WigglyWorld Studios is the center of artistic filmmaking in Washington.

The Power of Production
A new home will provide NWFF desperately needed space for the growing local community. Individual filmmaker offices will provide fertile ground for the informal collaborations that develop into new projects. Dedicated workshop space enables training the next generation of artists. The revenue from film exhibition aids in funding the production of new work, and with three WigglyWorld feature films having world premieres in 2004, the shock waves of the organization will be felt in New York, Los Angeles and beyond.

Northwest Film Forum is poised to put Seattle on the map for independent filmmaking. After being courted as tenants for two major arts projects and looking at dozens of spaces over the last two years, it has found the ideal building in the ideal neighborhood at a rent well below market value. NWFF will create the film-art facility Seattle deserves, making it happen quickly and efficiently, with smartness and style. "With virtually no increase in overhead, we can consolidate our operations, optimize our audience¹s film viewing experience, educate young filmmakers, and launch great moving images into the world," says Seiwerath. "The doors will open on this new film center in late Spring 2004."

The Northwest Film Forum is currently housed at 608-610 19th Avenue East, with its administrative offices, the Little Theatre and WigglyWorld Studios vying for the limited space.

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