I'm up to my eyeballs and drowning in stuff for SIFF right now, but it wouldn't sit well with my conscience if I didn't also give a shoutout here on the Imaginary Blog for STIFF, which stands for Seattle's True Independent Film Festival. STIFF is beginning on Friday, June 5 and is running through June 14. The venues hosting films are the Rendezvous, Central Cinema and Northwest Film Forum.
STIFF has found a permanent, warm place in my heart for a few reasons. First, the director of STIFF, Clint Berquist, wrote a letter to the editor of The Stranger last fall that I still read every few months, whenever I want a good laugh. Another reason was that STIFF is showing a short film on Saturday night called Creep, which was directed by my very good friend Carl Wagoner.
The point isn't that STIFF is great because their director is a funny guy and/or they gave a chance to a first-time filmmaker who happens to be my friend, but because of the community they foster. Local filmmakers do not need to pay an application fee (WA residents) and anyone who submits an entry gets an all-access pass to the festival. Each film that is submitted is given a STIFFY award.
The programming looks especially interesting, with films titled Tales from the Catholic Church of Elvis! and Boppin' at the Glue Factory. The full schedule is online here.
Berquist explains in his letter to the editor in The Stranger that the difference between the two festivals is that "unlike those hooligans who show up at SIFF screenings, our audience is fucking civilized."