The Spokane International Film Festival, held in downtown Spokane, WA, offers movies from around the globe, including our little corner of the world. Lady Lily (Adventures in God’s Country) was filmed in North Idaho and directed by Danielle Barbieri, who is from Spokane, as are two of the cast members, J. Rose Greif and John Palladino. Barbieri is scheduled to attend and host the film on Friday, February 11, 7:30 p.m. at the Magic Lantern Theatre. Adam Harum, an Eastern Washington University graduate, is scheduled to attend the showing of his short film “Disintegration: The Life of Jonathan Willoughby,” winner of the spring 2010 Reel Spokane show put on by FAVES (Film and Video Enthusiasts of Spokane) at Shorts with FAVES, Saturday, February 12, 3:15 p.m. at the Magic Lantern.
SpIFF will also show all the competitors from this year’s 48-Hour Film Festival, sponsored by North by Northwest, a Spokane, WA film production company. To enter, filmmakers must produce a very short film using a theme, a prop, and a line supplied by the contest administrators in under forty-eight hours. The filmmakers are all local, and some will be attending the show on Saturday, February 12, 3:15 p.m. at the Magic Lantern.
You can see six of the ten contenders for the Animation Short Subject Academy Award at the Animation Showcase on Saturday, February 5, noon, at the AMC theatre. This a great one to bring the kids to. Other kid friendly options are Kinshasa Symphony, Chef of South Polar, The Desert of Forbidden Art, and Alamar. These films are not rated, so parents should research the films to decide if they are appropriate for their children.
The festival placed a big emphasis on knowledgeable hosts this year. Each film has a host who introduces the film and usually answers questions at the end. Hosts are often filmmakers, but local subject matter experts will also be stepping in: Jess Walter, a Spokane native and best-selling, award-winning author, will host the festival’s opening film, My Word, My Lies . . . My Love. Eckart Preu, music director of the Spokane Symphony, will host Kinshasha Symphony, and Jeremy Hansen, head chef of Santé restaurant, will host Kings of Pastry.
Check the schedule for all the other great films at the 13th annual festival. In addition to movies, there will be two filmmaker forums, both at the Magic Lantern, at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 5 and February 12. According to Pete Porter, SpIFF’s director, the purpose of the forums is to get local filmmakers thinking about how to make better films and advance their careers and to show people how films are made. “It’s the kind of thing you only get at a film festival,” Porter said.
Porter says the Spokane International Film Festival selections are made by programmer committees. Programmers begin by attending the Seattle and Vancouver international film festivals, where they screen selections and, more importantly, meet filmmakers. About half of the films are selected through other film festivals. The rest come from submissions requested by SpIFF. The programmers are highly selective; Porter says “we turn down probably four or five films for every film we select.”
The Spokane International Film Festival runs February 3–13 in downtown Spokane, WA at the AMC Theatre (808 W. Main in River Park Square) and the Magic Lantern Theatre (25 W. Main). You can buy your tickets online in advance at the SpIFF website; prices are $10 or $7.50 for shows before or at noon.