The Spokane International Film Festival (SpIFF) brings full-length features, shorts, animation, and documentaries from all over the world, as well as people who make the films, to Spokane. At SpIFF, you can see many of the same films screened at the Cannes, New York, and Toronto film festivals from the last two years. Most, if not all, of these films have not yet been released for wide distribution, so this could be your last opportunity to see them in the U.S.
The Northwest boasts many talented filmmakers, and SpIFF honors them as well. On the Opening Gala night, February 6, the Bing Crosby Theater will show Best of the Northwest Shorts (audience members can vote for their favorite), Queens of the Roleo (about four young women from the Lewiston-Clarkston area who won 11 world log-rolling titles between the years 1958 to 1972), and Dryland, a documentary about family wheat farming and its uncertain future in the Inland Northwest.
Throughout the festival, the downtown AMC Theater, Magic Lantern Theatre, Garland Theater, and the Bing Crosby Theater will show 22 features and 22 shorts, including official submissions for the 2015 Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film. But there is more to the festival than seeing great films. Talks and question and answer sessions after shows enhance your understanding of the films and the film-making process, and at Meet the Filmmakers on February 7, you can listen to panel discussions by the filmmakers. Check the schedule—people involved in the films attend many of the screenings. Audience members are also welcome to attend opening and closing parties (SpIFF awards will be announced at the closing party on February 13).
Festival passes, valid for every film and event, are $125, and pass holders go to the front of the line and receive priority seating. Individual tickets are $10, or $8 for matinee programs 2:00 pm and before, and as noted in the program. Student discount tickets are $5 (same day only at SpIFF box office at the venue, with valid ID, while supplies last). Shows sell out quickly, especially at the Magic Lantern, so it’s highly recommended to purchase your tickets in advance online. You can buy tickets for shows online up to midnight before the day of the show and pick them up at will call at least 10 minutes before start time. To buy tickets online, just go to the schedule.