Seattle True Independent Film Festival (STIFF)By Renee • May 5th, 2009 • Category: Festivals
WHAT THEY LOOK FOR IN SUBMISSIONS: The Seattle True Independent Film Festival is known for showcasing the best independent films in the Seattle area. The festival is known for finding new talent while creating opportunities for filmmakers. Many film festivals are looking for the next big thing, but then they pass over “initiative, risk-taking films.”
“Virtually Un-programmable shorts” may be the perfect fit. Looking for grittier, more independent movies without stars and agents. Those risk-taking films are what STIFF wants. The festival also showcases independent musicians and stand-up comedians. On the STIFF website, the description of the festival reads, “It is a celebration of off-beat independent films from the Northwest and the rest of the world…it features the best independent entertainment in the entire city.”
FESTIVAL AMENITIES FOR FILMMAKERS: STIFF does not pay for a filmmaker’s travel or lodging. They try to provide as much food as possible, but this depends on their sponsors. The festival is geared towards the “locals” and gives free submission to Washingtonian filmmakers because they want to support the local film scene. STIFF does not pay for many amenities, but their submission rules show break down costs.
If a filmmaker submits a film into the Seattle True Independent Film Festival, then they are automatically given an all-access badge, whether or not their film is accepted into the festival. The all-access badge is a ticket that gives entrance into any part of the film festival (all movies, music, and comedy shows). This is helpful because it encourages filmmakers to still attend the festival even if their film was not accepted.
VENUES: The STIFF website reads as follows, “Films will be screened in one or more downtown venues. We strive to find venues that are above and beyond the usual theater experience…” . The films will show at 3 main venues: Rendezvous JewelBox Theater, Central Cinema, and Northwest Film Forum. These are all special movie theaters in the community of Seattle, and are in different districts of Seattle. The Rendezevous Theater is in the Ballard district, the Central Cinema is in the Central district, and the Northwest Film Forum is in the Capitol Hill district. The Northwest Film Forum has a 120-seat 35mm Dolby-equipped cinema and main stage live theater, as well as a 49-seat 35mm Dolby-equipped cinema and theater. The Central Cinema looks like a fun place. They show movies and live performances, while customers can order a pizza. This movie-dinner theater uses a Pro Theater Surround Sound System with subwoofer effects and a Digital Projector wide screen format DLP at 4500 ANSI Lumens. The Rendezvous Theater looks like it is on a smaller scale, seating 20-60 people.
PRESS CONTACTS: The press that has been associated with the festival so far are as follows: The Stranger, Seattle Weekly, The Seattle Times, Seattle.Net, Rotten Tomatoes, Citizen Rain, and Moving Pictures Magazine.
NOTORIETY: People complain that STIFF does not have as many opportunities when compared to other film festivals. Filmmakers compare the Seattle Independent Film Festival (SIFF) with the Seattle True Independent Festival. They say that SIFF is an event that reportedly attracts “important” people, and that STIFF does not. Most people want to be involved in a festival that has big names involved so that films gain more importance. However, STIFF is still growing, and is a good starting point. The festival is put on by filmmakers who are passionate about films that get pushed out of the way by big names.
FILM SUBMISSION PROCESS: The films for STIFF are submitted in high resolution by using Without A Box, then filmmakers link to “Washington State Filmmakers”, and then type in the promo code, “INDIEWASH”. After the films have been accepted, DVD is the preferred format for viewing, but STIFF can meet many different needs if necessary (35MM, HDCAM, BetaSP, etc).