Spokane International Film Festival Continues Through Thursday

January 22, 2023

EWU  is continuing its long tradition as a  “presenting sponsor” of The Spokane International Film Festival (SpIFF), which returns for its 24th year at multiple venues, Feb. 3-9.

SpIFF is a small, selective offering of world-class films. These include features, documentaries, and shorts from around the world. Each is distinguished by its unique voice and subject matter; creative works that have not yet been commercially released for wide distribution or on virtual platforms.

“I really value film as an art form and I think that we don’t get to see enough international or even regional work, says Chase Ogden, a filmmaker and associate professor of film at EWU “ [Chains such as]AMC Theatres provide a certain service, and those movies are wonderful. But they’re not everything that’s being made. Arts and culture are kind of the heart of my identity, and SpIFF is a great way to bring that level of film to the Spokane community.”

The festival is overseen by its parent, the Spokane-based non-profit Contemporary Arts Alliance. It relies on generous financial support from various local and regional underwriters.

Ogden is most excited for the opening night of SpIFF, with its annual Best of the Northwest scheduled for  6 p.m. Friday, at the Bing Crosby Theater. The Best of the Northwest will kick off the festival with a shorts program featuring nine films from the Pacific Northwest. Following the screenings, there will be a Q & A with filmmakers and an additional documentary feature, Sam Now, by acclaimed director Reed Harkness.

Those nine opening-night films include multiple Easterners. Among them are Adrenaline Sucks, directed, produced and co-written by Ogden; Uncradled, directed, produced, and written by EWU alumnus Kyle Beckwith, with alumnae Aimee Paxton and Carly Stewart as key cast members; Camera Catch, directed, produced and written by alumnus Evan Hoff, with Elan Toby as a key cast member, Jose Nunez as the sound manager, and Chris Jordan as director of photography.

Additionally, Diaspora Recipes, directed, produced, and edited by alumna Frances Grace Mortel and First Time Home, directed by current EWU student, Noemi Librado-Sanchez, creative writing major with a minor in film, will be available virtually.

Eastern faculty and staff have been involved with SpIFF since 1999, and EWU has sponsored the festival since 2016. The week-long event has grown in attendance, interest and prestige every year since.

This year, in particular, the festival did not need to solicit any third parties for films. For the first time, all of the films shown will be from regional, national and international artists who have submitted their work.

SpiFF is available in person or virtually in order to be accessible to all. Tickets are available online. Check out the Festival Schedule for more details on show times.

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.