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Innovation Lab: Meet the Jury

Washington Filmworks recently announced the recipients of funding assistance from the Filmworks Innovation Lab. In case you missed it, here is the press release detailing the recipients and their outstanding projects. But we omitted one crucial aspect of this year’s lab purposefully – because we believe they deserve a post for themselves.

Washington Filmworks could not have had another edition of the Innovation Lab without the help from our amazing, hardworking, patient, and passionate jury. Composed of a group of industry experts that represent all aspects of motion picture production, multi-platform storytelling, and emerging entertainment models, our jury was committed and invested each step of the way. It’s with our deepest gratitude that we acknowledge and thank these brilliant members of the film industry who remind us of the drive, intellect, and heart of Washington’s production community.

Steve Edmiston hs

Steve Edmiston – Steve is an intellectual property, entertainment, and business attorney, and was named one of “Seattle’s Best Lawyers” by Seattle Met  Magazine.  He was the co-founder of Front Porch Classics, a Seattle game company, and StoryBox Studios, a toy and game industry consulting firm.   Steve is  the creator of numerous award-winning board game titles, including the FamilyFun Magazine’s 2003 Toy of the Year, Dread Pirate.  He created the game  Master and Commander in conjunction with the 20th Century Fox film release. Steve is also an independent film veteran, as an artist and producer.  He wrote  and co-produced the feature Crimes of the Past (2010) (starring David Rasche, Elizabeth Rohm, and Eric Roberts, which premiered on the Lifetime Movie  Network and was distributed by MarVista Entertainment and Osiris Entertainment), wrote and co-produced the multiple award-winning feature A Relative  Thing  (2005) (Sedona Film Festival Audience Award, Official Best of Fest, Audience Award, Gig Harbor Film Festival, distributed by Spiritual Cinema Circle,  Filmgo,  and Official Best of Fest), and co-wrote the award-winning feature Farewell to Harry (distributed by Porchlight Entertainment and Questar).  He has  two current feature films as a writer, director, and producer, in post-production: The Periphery Project, Volume I, in post-production and set for release in late  2014,  and The Periphery Project, Volume II, scheduled for release in 2015. He has also written and directed numerous award short films including The Maury  Island  Incident (Washington State Innovation Lab Recipient; Opening Night Gala, 2014 Big Island Film Festival; N.Am. premiere Seattle Int’l Film Festival;  launched  as IndieFlix Original Series coming 2014), The Day My Parents Became Cool (Best Short Comedy, 2009 International Family Film Festival, 2010 Best Film, KidsFirst! Film Festival, KCTS 9 broadcast premiere), Thr33 (Best Film, 2008 New York Diesel Grand Prix Film Race), and Look Listen Live (2010 John and Jane Q. Public Communication Award). Steve teaches screenwriting for short films at the University of Washington, and is a faculty member at the Seattle Film Institute, teaching in the Master’s program (MAPF 553 – Marketing and Distribution, and MAPF 557 – The Business of Producing).  He serves as an advisor to several film festivals, including the Port Townsend Film Festival and Gig Harbor Film Festival.  He has served as a juror for both documentary and narrative short films. Steve has presented film industry related programs to the Seattle International Film Festival, Women in Film, Northwest Film Forum, Gig Harbor Film Festival, 253 Film Collective, and many others.


Michael Pickering – Michael Pickering, a partner at Comrade Studios in Spokane, has been a Producer, DP, and Director in commercial advertising for over    20 years. In his spare time, Michael shoots stills with a decidedly low-tech Polaroid camera and produces documentaries and narrative shorts.


Petter_11052011_0025-Redigera-2-2Tracy Rector – Tracy Rector is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Longhouse Media and an  independent filmmaker. After having worked with over      2,500 youth, since January of 2005, Longhouse  Media has seen the artistic and community growth of many young native filmmakers. Tracy is a Sundance  Institute Lab Fellow, is the recipient of the Horace Mann Award for her work in utilizing media for social  justice, and is currently an Arts Commissioner for the  City of Seattle.

Lab_LineS_HeadshotLine Sandsmark – Line Sandsmark is Development Director at Northwest Film Forum, and brings 15 years of film industry experience with her from  Scandinavia, where she produced and/or executive produced a long list of short and documentary films in her roles as CEO of her own production company,  Kaliber, and Executive Director of the Western Norway Film Centre. She produced for the pan-Scandinavian Svensk Filmindustri (SF), then headed European  Documentary Network (EDN) prior to her return to Seattle in 2010. Other experience includes festival and film school selection committees, jurying for both  grants and festivals, including Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. Her short films have competed in festivals all over the world, including Cannes,  Mannheim-Heidelberg, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, and have been broadcast internationally. Sandsmark earned her Bachelor’s Degree in  Comparative Literature at University of Washington, completed a second Bachelor’s through post-graduate studies in Critical Theory and Film Analysis at the  University of Paris – Sorbonne, and has studied screenplay development with USC teaching staff, under the auspices of the Binger Institute in Amsterdam.

Pulling Focus Seattle, October 1st: The Brave New World of Content and Commercials

Paul Matthaeus (Digital Kitchen, Chairman and Founder), Lara Johannsen (Wong Doody, Creative Manager), and Norma Jean Straw (B47 Studios, Director of Content Development) lead the panel and guide us all into this fresh and shifting world.

Wednesday October 1st marks the return of Pulling Focus in Seattle, an exciting and informative series exploring the business of film. This particular event, set to take place during the 17th annual Local Sightings Film Festival at the the Northwest Film Forum, is an insightful look into the changing world of commercial production and their clients.

Panel Description:
We used to take commercials for granted. Fifteen to thirty seconds, pushing a product with minimal dialogue and lots of visuals  it was common, normal, and routine. But here we are, in 2014, and commercials are breaking boundaries. Clients are changing their needs, and so are consumers. Welcome to the world of redesign and branded entertainment, we will help you speak its language. Join us for a panel exploring content-marketing and how businesses are joining up with production companies and agencies to engage consumers through fresh, bold, and sexy ways of storytelling. You’ll hear from fascinating professionals on what client demands entail, why Commercialize Seattle is leading the charge, and how large businesses, local crews, and everyday consumers are affected.

The panel will be moderated by Warren Etheredge, host of “Reel NW” and Editor-At-Large of Media, Inc. 

We encourage guests to continue the conversation after the panel at a cocktail reception hosted on site.

Tickets are available at

They are $15, or $10 if you are a member of or affiliated with any of the organizations listed below.

This edition of Pulling Focus is hosted by:




This panel in partnership with:

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It is produced by:






Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 1st, to receive first-hand insight and expertise from the industry’s finest on this fascinating new world of content and commercials.

SIFF’s Women in Cinema Festival Kicks Off Tonight!

Keira Knightley and Chloë Grace Moretz star in Lynn Shelton's locally shot feature.

Keira Knightley and Chloë Grace Moretz star in Lynn Shelton’s locally shot feature.

The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) welcomes back their annual mini-festival, Women in Cinema! The program kicks off tonight at the newly renovated SIFF Cinema Egyptian on Capitol Hill. Audiences are thrilled, curious, and excited about this year’s lineup – especially Beth Barrett, SIFF’s Programming Director who helped select the films.

“I’m excited about all the films, but of course Lynn Shelton’s new film Laggies is a high point,” Barrett says. Shelton’s new film, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and just screened again at the Toronto International Film Festival, tells the story of a young woman (Keira Knightley, in a rare non-period piece role) whose life becomes complicated after deflecting her boyfriend’s proposal and opting to hang out with a group of teenagers (led by Chloë Grace Moretz) instead. The film, which shot in and around the Seattle area last summer, received funding assistance from Washington Filmworks. Tonight will be the official Seattle premiere for this local gem, which is sure to kick the festival off with emerald pride.

Although Laggies is a slice of Seattle life, Barrett adds that Women in Cinema “is a really international festival,” noting that the lineup includes films from the Philippines, Norway, Argentina, Germany, and Denmark. In addition, the program has a selection of strong documentaries like The Last HuntMisconception, and Stray Dogs (from Debra Granik, the filmmaker behind Winter’s Bone), and audiences can expect an outstanding four days. “Seattle audiences are very smart about the films they watch,” Barrett notes, “and the Women in Cinema films will entertain, challenge and inform. They’re slices of what is happening right now in cinema around the world, that happen to be made by women.”

However celebratory the festival is, there seems to be the underlying reminder that there’s still a ways to go regarding female representation behind the camera.

“I wish that there was not a need to put on a festival specifically of films made by women – instead it would be great if there were gender equity in film,” adds Barrett, “The truth is that women filmmakers are still very much in the minority, and by bringing this festival to Seattle, we are given both a chance to celebrate great films and to support women working in the field. It is always a pleasure to engage with great film and with eight filmmakers here for the weekend, [it’s] a great chance to meet a diverse group of filmmakers.”

And in order to make it happen, Barrett is pleased to have two solid partnerships by her side.

“Once again, we are working with Women in Film Seattle to present a panel about making great film on Sunday (9/21) morning, and this year, we’re working with NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented youth) to spotlight young women filmmakers – the next generation!”

Celebrating the work and women of film today and tomorrow, SIFF’s Women in Cinema Festival is sure to be an enjoyable and enlightening four days of cinematic bliss.

SIFF’s Women in Cinema Festival runs from September 18th-21st. It kicks off with Lynn Shelton’s Laggies at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian tonight, and runs all weekend long with screenings at the SIFF Cinema Uptown. To see the schedule and find out more information, visit the festival’s page

Check out the official festival trailer:



About Beth Barrett, SIFF Director of Programming: Beth has worked for SIFF in the Publications and Programming Departments since 2003. She is responsible for managing all aspects of film programming, the staff of film programmers, and securing films and guests for the Festival. Beth is also instrumental in the programming and management of SIFF Cinema and SIFF’s other year-round programs. An aficionado of short films, she secured SIFF’s status as an Academy Award® qualifying festival in 2008. Beth has been in Seattle for over 20 years and holds an MA in Northern Renaissance Art History.

Celebrate the Premiere of Series Z NATION with a Glimpse of its Local Cast

Photo courtesy of Oliver Irwin

Photo courtesy of Oliver Irwin

Z Nation, a project incentivized and supported by Washington Filmworks (WF), is set to premiere on the Syfy Channel tonight at 10/9c. The zombie-thriller series has garnered national buzz and quite a bit of local interest, given the project’s funding assistance by WF and its summer shoot in Spokane. In anticipation of its premiere, George Riddell over at Media Inc. has an article featured about the assemblage of its cast – although the show includes Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do!) and Harold Perrineau (Zero Dark Thirty, Lost), it also stars a trio of Washington-based actors in lead roles. Pisay Pao, Nat Zang, and Russell Hodgkinson are the series regulars representing the Evergreen State. Take a look at Riddell’s piece to become familiar with these local actors and see how Washington continues to breed some serious onscreen talent.

Also, here’s a peak at the filmed-in-WA sci-fi series:

The Filmworks Innovation Lab is Back!

Washington Filmworks (WF) is excited to announce the return of the Filmworks Innovation Lab! The first funding assistance program of its kind in the nation, the Lab is designed to support Washington based filmmakers and those using emerging technologies. WF believes supporting the development of our local filmmakers is one of the most important things that we can do to create a long-term, sustainable film industry. Already, completed projects are celebrating success at film festivals, online, in their local communities, and across the globe!

The Filmworks Innovation Lab is designed to Read More…

Charettes: Get Your Project on This Cart

In 2013 Washington Filmworks (WF) allocated funding assistance to five innovative and diverse projects exploring new storytelling and production models through our Filmworks Innovation Lab. Recognizing the importance of partnerships, WF worked with the University of Washington to workshop these projects in a process known as a charette. Learn more about charettes and the collaboration with UW in this guest post from Carolyn Higgins, a graduate student in the UW Communications Leadership program, and editor of Flip the Media. Photos courtesy of Scott Macklin.


Charettes: Get Your Project on This Cart


When Associate Director Scott Macklin visited our Advanced Multimedia Storytelling class in the University of Washington’s Communications Leadership (Comm Lead) graduate program to introduce the idea of participating in a charette, I have to admit I was on squishy ground for a second. A minute. I imagined the NPR Says You panel having a field day with that one. A type of chewing gum? A small, charred object?

Of course architects and land-use professionals would suffer no confusion on hearing the term: they’ve been conducting the multi-stakeholder design sessions known as charettes for years. Originally derived from the Ecole des Beaux Artes in Paris in the 18th century, the charette was a horse-drawn cart that, depending on who you believe, carried the still-glistening-with-wet-ink projects of architecture students to their waiting professors for final grading. The competing version has the students themselves splayed on the bed of the cart, hastily adding the final touches to their projects as the driver hastened toward the waiting professor’s office.

Technology is vastly different today, but the value of meaningful critique and brainstorming are still just as valuable for today’s creative innovators. Filmmakers, combining the age-old practice of storytelling with the latest technology, build dreams rather than Read More…


Washington FilmworksNext week, beginning December 1, Washington Filmworks (WF) will accept applications for our Standard Program for projects that commence on or after January 1 of 2014. WF offers funding assistance for qualified in-state expenditures of up to 30% for motion pictures and episodic series with less than six episodes, and up to 35% for episodic series with at least six episodes.

As part of the Commercialize Seattle campaign, WF is holding funds in reserve to attract new commercial clients to Washington State. These funds are allocated through the Commercial Business Development Campaign (CBDP). Find more information here. WF may consider additional commercial Read More…