Seattle Filmmakers Re-Inventing Washington Film Industry

Film Summit Offers Expanded Offerings and Programs

SEATTLE – The Seattle Film Summit, now in its fourth year, has restructured its programming and increased its offerings. In addition to the workshops and guest speakers offered in the past, the Summit’s expanded programming will include: a pitch conference, and pitch sessions with industry professionals from Los Angeles and Seattle. The event takes place Sunday, December 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the new HYATT Regency Lake Washington in Seattle’s Southport. Tickets can be purchased at:

‘The film industry worldwide leans heavily on governmental tax incentives. With New York and California incentives in the hundreds of millions annually, and Vancouver over a billion dollars, this means other cities are left to forge a new path in an ever-evolving digital world. Washington’s tax incentive is an anemic $3.5 million,” said Ben Andrews, a local filmmaker and the mastermind behind the Seattle Film Summit.

Offers out of American Film Market have been down the last few years. This is credited by many industry professionals as due in large part to a lack of good storytelling, production quality and commercial viability. “Our solution is to expose Pacific Northwest talent to distributors, sales agents, and other LA industry experts through the Summit,” said Lorraine Montez, Founder of Abundant Productions and one of the drivers behind this year’s conference.

Efforts are paying off. The Summit has already locked two proven Los Angeles distributors and a producer’s representative, and is in talks with other high-level Los Angeles industry contacts.

“Several independent filmmakers rallied together to forge their own path. Now four years later several of their efforts are bearing fruit,” Andrews explained. “Under the banner of REEL Renton, a non-profit film organization, our ragtag group is grabbing local and regional attention.”

It started with a strange partnership with the HollyShorts Film Festival. In 2014, HSFF launched their first Northwest Film Day. A day of this LA festival was dedicated to celebrating the Washington industry. It included a Washington screening block, a panel, and a Washington sponsored cocktail party.

“We wanted to take the partnership to the next level,” said Andrews. “So, we decided to produce the HSFF screenplay winner in the state of Washington.” This involved months of remote collaboration and then flying in the writer/director for the shoot days. The program launched with the 2015 screenplay winner, “The Lunchbox Brigade.” Three of the child actors secured management contracts in Los Angeles because of the short, which is now a feature film being produced by the same group of local filmmakers.

The second film, “The Son, The Father…,” premieres in August at the 2017 HollyShorts Film Festival.

“We have an entrepreneurial culture, one the most attractive parts of the country, and a fearless creative community. It’s time the content curators turn their eyes to the Northwest. The entrepreneurial culture that created giants like Amazon and Microsoft has penetrated the film industry in the Pacific Northwest, creating a fearless creative culture in every medium — from film to TV to digital to transmedia — it’s time the content curators turn their eyes to the Northwest.” Andrews said.

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