A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Greenwood student Leo Pfeifer wins national independent filmmaking award

October 20th, 2015 by Doree

Greenwood resident Leo Pfeifer, a senior at Ballard High School, and his collaborator, Coleman Andersen, won the Best Drama award at the All American High School Film Festival in New York City on Oct. 11 for their film “Stolen.”

Pfeifer and Anderson co-produced “Stolen” at Ballard High last fall. Pfeifer plans to study film in college; Coleman is now studying film at New York University.

It was a good night for the Ballard filmmakers. In addition to Best Drama, Stolen was also a Finalist for Best Screenplay and Best Overall Film. Clipped Wings – also by Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer, with Duncan Gowdy – was a Finalist for Best Directing, Best Documentary, and Best Overall Film. The films were judged by a prestigious jury including professionals such as screenwriter Diablo Cody, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, and actors Kristen Stewart and Dylan McDermott.

Air Pressure (again by Coleman Andersen and Leo Pfeifer, with Josh Vredevoogd) was also an Official Selection of the festival.

Stolen questions the cost of revenge. Clipped Wings tells the story of those most affected by the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay members. Air Pressure examines the aftermath of a disaster at the Balloon Animal World Championships. To see the films, visit the Ballard High School Digital Filmmaking Program vimeo site atwww.vimeo.com/bhsfilmprogram . For more information on the program, visit www.bhsvideo.blogspot.com.

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Blue November MicroFilmFest begins tonight

November 12th, 2009 by Doree

Blue November MicroFilmFest is celebrating its seventh annual festival and fourth year in Greenwood with three days of independent film, music, art and dance, starting tonight.

The MicroFilmFest has previously been held at Green Bean Coffee House and Upper Crust Catering. Since Green Bean was destroyed by an arsonist last month, this year’s festival will all take place at Upper Crust, 8420 Greenwood Ave. N.

Premiering tonight is “The Marriage of Luna and Sol,” a film shot live at last year’s festival. Copies of the film and “The Pass,” also shot on location at the Green Bean, will be sold, with all of the proceeds going to the Greenwood Fire Relief Fund.

The festival runs from 8 p.m. to midnight today, 7 p.m. – midnight Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It’s free, but donations are welcome.

ART – local artist Yvonne Palermo will be joined by representations of Tulsa artist and award designer Neil Cluck, photographer Fae Wiedenhoeft, Chandelle Anderson and many more. Local vendors and artists from the surrounding community will also join the artists.

MUSIC – in an effort to bring more focus and equality to our musical performers, we will be combining these performances with the film screenings. This music is both diverse and unique in an over-saturated music scene, featuring the local talent of Trip Like Animals, Invisible Giants, SeaStar, Julia Massey, Syren, Joe Higgins and many more.

FILM – the centerpiece of any film festival is the gift and art of the visual artist. We have received films from all over the World and from all walks of life offering a multitude of expression and viewpoint. We have chosen the best, the most diverse and the most passionate, with selections from and a focus on the local community. We are continuing the annual awards competition and Filmmaker Q&A, and we are adding our first workshops on the afternoon of November 14th, as a free event to help inspire and inform Seattle’s next filmmakers.

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Phinney filmmaker’s premiere benefits ‘Lost Boys’ of Sudan

September 29th, 2009 by Doree

Phinney Ridge documentary filmmaker Jen Marlowe will hold the world premiere of her film “Rebuilding Hope” this weekend at the Grand Illusion Cinema in the University District.

Rebuilding Hope follows Gabriel Bol Deng, Koor Garang and Garang Mayuol, who fled their villages in South Sudan due to civil war when they were small children. They grew up in refugee camps and resettled in the USA in 2001.

Accompanied by Seattle filmmaker Jen Marlowe, these young men, now in their twenties, embark on a journey back to Sudan to discover whether their homes and families have survived, what the current situation is in South Sudan, and how they can help their communities rebuild after devastating civil war.

Rebuilding Hope also sheds light on what the future holds for Sudan in its precarious struggle for peace and stability. All proceeds from the film go towards drilling water wells, building a school, and providing medical care in the South Sudanese villages where the young men are from; all these efforts are spearheaded by them.

Marlowe, who lived in Greenwood in the mid-90’s and just moved to Phinney Ridge in June, said this film really goes hand-in-hand with her first film, “Darfur Diaries: Message From Home.”

“The more I got engaged in the situation in Darfur, the more I understood there’s no way to understand what’s happening in Darfur without understanding what’s happening in South Sudan,” she said by phone this afternoon.

And when a journalist in Connecticut asked her to accompany him to Sudan to film the story of three former “Lost Boys” who were returning to their homes to help their communities, she couldn’t resist, even though she had to raise $100,000 and spend a year on the project.

“I was just so moved and touched by them as people and what they were trying to do. I wanted to be a part of their story,” she said.

But it wasn’t easy. “There’s no way in hell that this film should have actually been made,” she said of all the problems she encountered during filming. “There were so many times when it could have unraveled.”

Photo of Jen Marlowe by David Morse.

Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Grand Illusion. Marlowe and the men featured in the film will hold post-screening discussions. All proceeds from the screening will go toward health care and education projects in South Sudan founded by the “Lost Boys” featured in the film.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 for students, seniors, and children, $7 for members of the Grand Illusion Cinema. Since space is limited, call the Grand Illusion Cinema at 206-523-3935 to reserve seats.

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Greenwood’s being MEdia films at Sundance

January 27th, 2009 by Doree

being MEdia, a video and new media production company housed at the Greenwood Collective at 8537 Greenwood Ave. N., spent 10 days covering the Sundance Film Festival for MovieMaker Magazine. You can check out some snippets of their video – some with big-name stars – here.

Included in those snippets is Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton, who won the Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Cinema for her third feature film, “Humpday,” which filmed a few scenes around Lower Phinney and Ballard. Click here for Robert Redford’s intro to the festival and a Q&A with Shelton (at about 4:25 into the video).

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Extras needed for film being shot at Sandel

August 18th, 2008 by Dale

The filming at Sandel Playground Tuesday is for a feature-length comedy and they will need extras from 9 a.m. to noon, according to writer/director John Silva.

Silva was nice enough to take time out from filming to give us a description of the movie: “‘A/V’ is the story of Duane, a successful salesman who longs to be a writer but never quite finds the time. After an eye-opening experience, Duane abandons his current career path and takes a less demanding position as a hotel A/V technician. His new job gives him time for creative dawdling, but his colorful co-workers cause him to question: Is this the type of place to nurture one’s dreams or one’s hangover?”

Silva says they started shooting “A/V” in May and their first location was the Baranof on Greenwood Avenue. He’s hoping to have the movie edited by late fall before submitting it to film festivals.

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