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Originally published May 21, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified May 21, 2007 at 11:24 AM

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Movies

STIFF and SIFF — what's the diff?

Seattle's True Independent Film Festival: Why add more movies to this town at the exact time we're inundated with hundreds of 'em because...

Seattle Times staff reporter

My question about STIFF — Seattle's True Independent Film Festival: Why add more movies to this town at the exact time we're inundated with hundreds of 'em because of SIFF, the Seattle International Film Festival?

For the answer, you'll have to watch another movie. Mine. It's a short, smarmy feature for The Seattle Channel that includes an interview with STIFF's program director and a sampling of the flicks.

Meanwhile, if you hate the Internet or are reading this in a small, tiled room that's inconvenient for you to leave, stay seated. Here are the basics:

Now in its third year, STIFF runs Thursday through June 3 at Central Cinema, Rendezvous and Seattle Art Museum. The nearly 100 features and shorts are all over the map in more ways than one — geography, content and quality. Illustrating the range: Microsoft worker Joshua Isaac's grueling full-length documentary, "My Left Hand," about his battle with cancer; the claymation short "The Haiku Menace" from Moses Lake's Chris Boyer; the edgy sketch comedy of Seattle's "Black Daisy" duo.

There's also live music most nights of the festival.

"We got stuff from all over the world. But we try to have a real emphasis on local films," said STIFF co-founder Clint Berquist.

A project manager for software development, and former SIFF volunteer, Berquist says this is how he keeps the two festivals straight: "SIFF a lot of times can be like going to school, and we're more like recess. We try to show movies that are good movies that are fun, but we try not to take it too seriously."

Which sets the tone for our online video. For more information, including a schedule and prices, visit STIFF's official site at www.trueindependent.org.

Mark Rahner: 206-464-8259 or mrahner@seattletimes.com

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