Film Festival

Local Sightings Film Festival Returns to Seattle

The Pacific Northwest’s vibrant film community is gearing up for the 26th annual Local Sightings Film Festival, showcasing regional moving image artwork, screenings, workshops and filmmaker gatherings. Hosted by Seattle’s renowned Northwest Film Forum, this year’s festival promises an exciting blend of in-person and online events from Sept. 15 to Sept. 24, 2023.

For nearly three decades, Local Sightings has been a beacon for artists pushing the boundaries of creativity and challenging genre conventions. This year’s festival is packed with features from returning alumni, innovative workshops, filmmaker meet-ups and a plethora of world and U.S. premieres. As a bonus, anyone who purchases or renews a membership to Northwest Film Forum during Local Sightings will receive a free 11-in.-by-7-in. lithograph print of this year’s festival poster, designed by Seattle’s own Lara Kaminoff.

Festival highlights include:

“Fantasy A Gets a Mattress”
In-Person: Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.
Directed by David Norman Lewis and Noah Zoltan Sofian

Local legend Fantasy A returns as the guest of honor for the festival’s opening night. In this quirky comedy, Fantasy A, after facing numerous challenges, sets his sights on the simple goal of acquiring a mattress while pursuing superstardom.

“Even Hell Has its Heroes”
In-Person: Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Directed by Clyde Petersen

This film showcases the journey of the iconic band Earth, known for its subgenre of metal and its role in popularizing grunge. Explore the life of Dylan Carlson, who battled small-town boredom, heroin addiction and the tragic death of his friend Kurt Cobain.

Local Haunts (a collection of short films)
In-Person: Sept. 23 at 4 p.m.

Local Haunts is a collection of love letters to the Pacific Northwest, showcasing the places that make this region special. One of the highlights documents the final month of Seattle’s last family-owned video store, Reckless Video, through interviews with the former owner, employees and loyal customers.

Sacred Places (a collection of Indigenous short films)
In-Person: Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.

The program features two documentaries highlighting the deep connection between the environment, family and the indigenous community. “Wy-Kun-Ush-Pum,” which translates to “Salmon People,” explores the lives of Columbia River tribal people who fought for decades to protect their access to salmon. “Tuhaymani’chi Pal Waniqa,” “The Water Flows Always,” follows a father’s journey to reconnect his daughter with her indigenous roots in the Mojave Desert.

Closing Night Shorts: “She Marches in Chinatown,” “Wok Hei” and “xīn nī 廖芯妮
In-Person: Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m.
Encore: Sept. 24 at 4 p.m.

The festival closes with a trio of short films exploring the legacy of physical artifacts and cultural traditions. “She Marches in Chinatown” pays tribute to the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team, blending traditional Chinese dress with military precision. “Wok Hei” celebrates the essence of Chinese-Canadian cuisine through the restoration of a rusty wok. “xīn nī 廖芯妮” is a dance film that delves into the immigrant experience in Vancouver.

Don’t miss the 26th Annual Local Sights Film Festival, where creativity, community and cinema converge to showcase the best of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you’re joining in person or online, this year’s festival will be an unforgettable celebration of regional filmmaking. Festival passes start at $60 for members and $90 for the general public.

For more information, visit

Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122

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