Spokane International Film Festival Starts Friday

February 6, 2024

EWU is again joining STCU as a presenting sponsor for the 2024 Spokane International Film Festival, also known as SpIFF, which kicks off on Friday, Feb. 9, and runs through Feb. 16.

Through its contribution of volunteers, sponsorship support and submissions of original films, the university has been critical to the success and longevity of SpIFF, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Since its inception, the week-long, non-profit festival has brought together film lovers and filmmakers to celebrate outstanding features, documentaries and short films produced in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the world. The screenings and events take place at multiple venues throughout downtown Spokane, including The Bing Crosby Theatre and the Magic Lantern Theater.

The university’s support for SpIFF dates back more than 20 years. During that time faculty, staff and students have stepped up to serve as programmers, board members, volunteers, and expert hosts. In 2016, EWU started formally sponsoring the event.

“The support of EWU has been instrumental in enabling SpIFF to grow our regional strength in motion picture production,” says Pete Porter, professor and director of EWU’s Film Program.

Porter also serves as director of the Spokane-based Contemporary Arts Alliance, the festival’s parent nonprofit.  For instance, Porter says, SpIFF 2022 screened the short version of “Tim Travers & the Time Travelers Paradox,” and led to the regional production of a feature-length version, which EWU Film alum Stimson Snead expects to release sometime in 2024.

Porter is just one of many EWU faculty, staff, students and alumni who volunteer behind the scenes to ensure the festival goes off without a hitch. Over the years, SpIFF has been a launching pad for Pacific Northwest filmmakers, who will be out in full force, Porter says, with more than 30 regional filmmakers attending this year’s festival.

Along with Porter, additional volunteers from the EWU community include Drew Ayers, associate professor of film, Chase Ogden, associate professor of film; EWU film alumni Frances Grace Mortel and Tom Dineen; Olivia Evans, art and film alum; and Brandon Smith, a computer engineering alum.

EWU Film alums contributing films for this year’s festival include:

  • Susannah Lowber: Production designer on “Hard Miles”
  • Abby Pflueger: Producer on “Taking Flight”
  • Sarah Corean: Writer-director of “Eggs”

This year’s event features an opening party and a closing party that includes the awards ceremony. Both are free with any SpIFF pass or ticket. The parties offer moviegoers a chance to mingle with filmmakers and other attendees.

The festival is presenting both in-person and via virtual screenings, with passes available to purchase on the SpIFF website.

Although the SpIFF is open to the public and there are no access restrictions, not all content may be suitable for children. Organizers advise attendees to read descriptions of films before bringing kids to screenings.