Filmmaking has a vibrant history in the South Sound, and an even more promising future. The Tacoma Film Festival (TFF), now in its 14th year, is an outlet for local filmmakers to showcase their work, as well as bring in artists from around the world to expand the culture of cinema in the region. Movie-makers and -goers alike endlessly anticipate the annual event and now, finally, the 2019 TFF is less than a month away.
This year’s independent film festival, hosted by The Grand Cinema in Tacoma, will run from Oct. 3–10, with a myriad of movies, workshops, discussions, and more. The line-up includes 21 feature-length films, 12 virtual reality works, 41 documentary shorts, and an additional 70 fictional shorts.
We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait until October. Thankfully, there are a few things to look forward to in the meantime. This Friday, Sept. 13, starting at 5 p.m. is the 2019 TFF Preview Party. The free event will be held at The Grand Cinema and will be the first opportunity to view the full print program, pick up your festival passes, and chat with local staff and other excited movie aficionados. You can grab a drink at happy hour prices and watch trailers for upcoming TFF films at the event.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is the 2019 TFF poster, designed by local graphic designer Art Chantry. The poster is a work of art — the background is a layering of vintage Tacoma theater ads found in old newspapers, culminating in a visually stunning print. It will be on display at the preview party, so get a good look because on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 17, there will be a “guerrilla art drop” in which a limited number of original screen prints will be hidden around downtown Tacoma. Those who find one are free to claim it and take it home with them.
After that, we’ll be looking forward to opening night. This will be the biggest premiere in TFF history, and will be held at Tacoma’s Pantages Theater. The first film to kick off the festival on Thursday, Oct. 3, is a docu-thriller entitled The Infiltrators, following the true story of young, undocumented activists who deliberately get arrested by ICE in 2012 in an effort to infiltrate a for-profit detention center and rescue other undocumented people held there. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the director and a reception with local immigrant rights organizations. From there, a full week of thought-provoking, entertaining, and locally crafted films will be at our fingertips.
For more information about the Tacoma Film Festival, visit this website, and we’ll see you at the movies!