Art News roundup


2017 Tacoma Film Festival begins Oct. 5

The Tacoma Film Festival (TFF) is ready to present the best of new independent film and innovative storytelling Oct. 5-12 in multiple venues across downtown Tacoma. Experience more than 100 works from across the globe, a free virtual reality studio, secret screenings, workshops, parties and some of the best short film programming in the nation.

Festival passes are now on sale at The Grand Cinema’s box office. Passes include a VIP tote bag with unlimited access to regular festival screenings, admission to opening and closing night parties, and access to the VIP lounge.

2017 TFF boasts 13 world premieres, 15 U.S. premieres, 26 West Coast premieres, 105 Washington premieres and secret screenings, along with some of the strongest short film programming in the nation.


Some of this year’s program highlights include:

  • The documentary “Bill Nye: Science Guy” makes its West Coast premiere on opening night, Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the film’s director, David Alvarado, and an after party.
  • This year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme D’Or winner, “The Square,” premieres in Washington at the Blue Mouse Theatre Friday, Oct. 6 with a dinner and after party at Europa Bistro.
  • The Veldt, TFF’s virtual reality studio, expands in its second year to include 18 immersive films displayed by Google Daydream and, for the first time ever, multiple room-scale VR experiences. Enjoy all the films over the festival weekend, Oct. 7-8, at King’s Books, the host of The Veldt this year.
  • The West Coast premiere of “The Ballad of Lefty Brown,” a Western starring Bill Pullman, Peter Fonda and Jim Caviezel marks the end of TFF on Thursday, Oct. 12 with an after party at The Grand Cinema.
  • Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film: Unlike any other film event in the country, the 25 New Faces of Independent Film program at the Tacoma Film Festival offers a unique opportunity to screen and discuss groundbreaking media with some of the industry’s most distinguished emerging directors, actors, producers, screenwriters and cinematographers as identified by Filmmaker Magazine.

In addition to tons of independent films, festivalgoers can participate in the following events:


Oct. 5, 7 p.m., TFF
Opening Night Party, The Grand Cinema

Celebrate the Opening Night of the 12th annual Tacoma Film Festival with a film followed by a party. Enjoy appetizers, drinks, music from Landmark DJ, photos, and a filmmaker open mic where featured creators will share information about their films.

The opening night film, “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” makes its Pierce County premiere with special guest director David Alvarado.

• $20 general admission, $15 Grand Cinema members. Tickets are limited and this event sells out.

Oct. 6, 7 p.m.
(dinner 9 p.m.),
Friday Night Movie and Dinner,
Blue Mouse and Europa Bistro
(2515 N. Proctor)

Dinner and a movie in the Proctor District: enjoy the featured TFF film “The Square” at the Blue Mouse Theatre then head to the post film dinner party, a feast of delicious Italian food at Europa Bistro.

Featured film “The Square” is a satirical drama selected as the 2017 Cannes Film Festival Palme D’Or winner. This English/Swedish language film premieres in Washington at TFF.

• $10 general admission, $7.50 Grand Cinema members. Tickets are limited and this event sells out. Purchase a festival VIP pass now to guarantee entry to key special events and unlimited access to festival screenings.

Oct. 6, 9 p.m., The Veldt Preview
Party, King’s Books
(218 St. Helens Ave.)

Curated in partnership with Wondertek Labs, TFF is proud to debut The Veldt, our VR studio hosted by King’s Books and Destiny City Comics. Explore virtual worlds and party with cocktails from Bona Fide Potents and en Rama, incredible food from Southern Kitchen and beats from Landmark DJ. A big thank you to all these sponsors for making this event possible.

• $10 general admission. Tickets will be available online and at The Grand Cinema’s box office. VIP Passholder perks: free admission and one drink ticket.

Oct. 7, 10 a.m.,
Family Friendly Shorts, Blue Mouse
(2611 N. Proctor)

Movie lovers of all ages will delight in these 13 animated and narrative short films about journeys of adventure, friendship and life lessons. Includes  free Top Pot donuts and Smith Brothers milk for the first 100 guests. $8 general admission, $5.50 Grand Cinema members


Oct. 7, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.,
TFF Seminar: ‘Strangers’ Couches
and Lots of Popcorn

The DIY Guide to Touring Your Film with John Charles Meyer, Grand Cinema. Meyer shares his experience organizing an art house tour for the indie comedy breakout feature “Dave Made a Maze,” including the successes and challenges of DIY booking, touring and marketing.

This seminar is free and open to the public. Make sure to pick up your free pass in advance in order to secure a seat.

Oct. 7, 4 p.m.,
“Dave Made a Maze” screening,
Dystopian State Brewing Company
(611 S Baker St.)

In a special, free, happy hour screening, see the film at Dystopian State Brewing and join in an informal Q&A with Meyer.

Oct. 7, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
The Veldt Virtual Reality Studio Open Tour,
King’s Books
(218 St Helens Ave.)

What is it like to experience being within the boundaries of a refugee camp? What does a music video feel like from any angle inside the frame? Immerse yourself in 360-degree virtual reality experiences using state-of- the-art equipment at The Veldt virtual reality studio.

Oct. 7 & 8, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,
360 Video Workshop with Fablab Tacoma
at the Veldt, King’s Books

(218 St. Helens Ave.)

Join FabLab Tacoma for a 360 video workshop and video booth. Explore 360 tech and equipment, make a short video, and upload it online.

Workshops accommodate six at a time, and start at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.

This workshop is family friendly and welcomes youth age 12+ with accompanying adults. The workshop is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Arrive early to sign up for your workshop time slot.

FabLab is a premier maker space, providing students, inventors, artists, and DIY enthusiasts easy access to cutting-edge design and prototyping equipment and educational opportunities.


Oct. 7, 2-4:30 p.m.,
Film in Tacoma meet-up with Uncode’s
Myisa Plancq-Graham,
Grand Cinema, Filmmaker Lounge

Join the local filmmakers of Film in Tacoma for our special 2017 TFF meet-up: we’ll take over the VIP Filmmaker Lounge at The Grand Cinema and meet Myisa Plancq-Graham, a TFF juror and co-founder of Unicode.

Plancq-Graham will share why she and Ali Graham created this innovative platform for featuring “short, documentary-style films featuring lifestyle topics as seen through the distinctive lens of Black storytellers,” where the project is headed, and share some recent Unicode films: “Flatland” and “Great Smoke.”

Oct. 7, 9 p.m. to midnight,
Festival Awards Party, Dystopian State
Brewing Company

Raise a toast to this year’s featured filmmakers and see who takes home juried awards and cash prizes. We’ll relax at Dystopian State Brewery and toast the best of TFF.

Individual films are $8 matinee, $10 general admission (discounts for students, seniors and military). Visit for a full schedule of films and additional information.

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