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Local Sightings Film Festival gets underway with a wide array of Northwest productions

"Manifest Destiny Jesus" is a documentary that centers around the Columbia City Church of Hope.
Northwest Film Forum
"Manifest Destiny Jesus" is a documentary that centers around the Columbia City Church of Hope.

Northwest Film Forum’s Local Sightings Film Festival kicks off Sept. 16, featuring films from throughout the Northwest – as far north as Vancouver B.C., as far south as Oregon and as far east as Montana.

This is the film forum’s first major in-person event since the pandemic closure a year and a half ago.

KNKX’s Kevin Kniestedt talked with Northwest Film Forum executive director Vivian Hua about some of the locally produced screenings that she’s excited to feature this year.

“Manifest Destiny Jesus”
Hua: That is a great documentary that centers around the Columbia City Church of Hope, and it really is talking about the notion in our society that Jesus is white and examining that and the relationship between that and upholding systems of oppression, essentially.

“City by the Sound”
Hua:  It's pretty hard to explain. And in some ways, that's what I love about it. I'm always excited when I see a film by a filmmaker or an artist that I feel like has something special and has a unique voice that they're speaking through. And this person is very much that. It's directed by filmmaker Kolby Rowland, and this is his first feature film. But it's a film that's been knocking around in his brain for the past, like, 10 years. And it's just sort of partially documentary, but also scripted, but just abstract, yet accessible vignettes of Seattle that are blurred with sort of mythologies about things like ghost stories and Sasquatch.
“Hear For It”
Hua: I love this program called “Hear For It.” We thought it was so clever because we used H-E-A-R. And it's a music video block, largely Seattle-based artists, but not exclusively. And I just love music videos. Personally, I thought it's such a shame when MTV stopped showing music videos because there are just so many interesting ones right now. And for me personally, often some of the filmmakers I end up loving the most come from music video backgrounds because there’s just like a sense of rhythm and visuals that a lot of them honed through this early medium and later go on to maybe do narrative work or documentary work or whatever. But I think here we really have some of the best of the local music video animators, narrative filmmakers, just the whole gamut.

And I also want to shout out the closing program, which is like a 25-minute narrative short film made by this production company called Swim Team. And it is set to the soundtrack of an artist named Campana. And it's just really beautifully well done, keeping things straight and making ends meet.

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.