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Originally published Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 6:09 AM

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SIFF’s Northwest Connections program focuses on local films

A list of films with Northwest connections that will show at Seattle International Film Festival 2013.

Seattle Times movie critic

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In addition to “Her Aim Is True,” “Barzan” and “Evergreen: The Road to Legalization in Washington,” the following films make up the Northwest Connections section of SIFF. Many of these screenings will feature special guests; see for details.


Alive and Well.” Seattle-based filmmaker Josh Taft’s first feature (he’s previously made a name for himself with music videos) looks at the lives of those affected by Huntington’s disease, which has touched an estimated 30,000 people in the United States. (7 p.m. May 22 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown; 4 p.m. May 23 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown)

Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton.” Filmmaker, poet and gay activist James Broughton lived in Port Townsend for many years before his death in 1999; Northwest filmmakers Stephen Stilha and Eric Slade bring his vibrant life to the screen. (6 p.m. May 31 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown; 1:30 p.m. June 1 at Pacific Place)

Dead Meat Walking: A Zombie Walk Documentary.” Seattle is one of several prime locations for gatherings of the undead — in one case, more than 15,000 zombies walking, to set a world record. Directed by Omar J. Pineda. (11:55 p.m. May 24 at the Egyptian; 8:30 p.m. May 25 at Renton Ikea Performing Arts Center)

Finding Hillywood.” Local filmmakers Leah Warshawski and Chris Towey direct this look at the Rwanda filmmaking community, known as Hillywood. (7 p.m. May 29 at the Egyptian; 4 p.m. June 5 at the Egyptian)

The Otherside.” Daniel Torok’s documentary explores the burgeoning underground Seattle hip-hop scene, featuring concert footage of many up-and-coming artists. (7 p.m. May 31 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown; 8:30 p.m. June 2 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown)

The Punk Singer.” Sini Anderson’s first feature-length documentary is a portrait of Kathleen Hanna, the Olympia native and riot grrrl pioneer (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) who stopped performing in 2005 due to what was eventually diagnosed as an advanced case of Lyme disease. The film includes much archival footage. (9:30 p.m. May 24 at the Harvard Exit; 1:30 p.m. May 26 at the Harvard Exit)

Unhung Hero.” Whidbey Island native Patrick Moote explores the mysterious world of penile enhancement in Brian Spitz’s documentary, which asks the immortal question, “Does size matter?” (6:30 p.m. June 4 at Pacific Place; 4 p.m. June 5 at Pacific Place)

Narrative films

Improvement Club.” Local artist Dayna Hanson (longtime co-artistic director of 33 Fainting Spells) directs this hybrid film (part mockumentary, part musical comedy, part dance film), based loosely on her stage piece, “Gloria’s Cause.” (7 p.m. June 4 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown; 4:30 p.m. June 5 at Harvard Exit)

Middleton.” Filmed all around the state (primarily in Eastern Washington), Adam Rodgers’ romantic comedy about two single parents who fall in love while taking their kids on a college tour stars Vera Farmiga, Andy Garcia and Tom Skerritt. (7 p.m. May 17 at Harvard Exit; 1 p.m. May 19 at the Egyptian)

“Scrapper.” Shot in Seattle by local filmmaker/photographer Brady Hall, this is a drama about a metal scrapper (Michael Beach) whose life is changed when he meets a teenage runaway (Anna Giles). (6 p.m. May 21 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown; 4 p.m. May 22 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown)

Shadowed.” A group of Seattle friends find tragedy on a Cascades backpacking trip in this thriller from local director Joey Johnson. (7 p.m. May 28 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown; 4 p.m. May 29 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown)

Touchy Feely” Seattle-based filmmaker Lynn Shelton, whose “Your Sister’s Sister” opened the festival last year, returns to SIFF with the ensemble piece “Touchy Feely,” about a massage therapist (Rosemarie DeWitt) with a sudden aversion to touching people. Also starring Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Scoot McNairy and Oscar nominee Ellen Page (“Juno”). (7 p.m. May 23 at Renton Ikea Performing Arts Center; 1:30 p.m. May 25 at the Egyptian)

Short films

Fly Filmmaking Challenge. This year, four local filmmakers took on the challenge of making short films “on the fly” in Seattle’s neighborhoods, each inspired by a work of art. SIFF is showing both the four Fly Films — Curtis Taylor’s “Breathing in Wartime,” Amy Enser’s “The Only Time We Have,” Ben Andrews’ “The Three Stars” and Lulu Gargiulo’s “The Two Friends” — and four short films depicting the works of art, all from 2012 Artist Trust Fellows, that inspired them. (4 p.m. May 27 at the Egyptian; 4:30 p.m. June 5 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown)

Seattle Supersonic Shorts. A collection of nine short films that capture the essence of Seattle: “A Walk in the Woods,” “By the Salish Sea,” “Cavalier,” “Duck Dodge,” “Scrap Metal,” “The Next Step,” “The Roper,” “Ufologist,” “Yours Truly.” (11 a.m. May 27 at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown)

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or

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