It's another hot week for virtual film festivals: The Stranger's own SPLIFF, the Seattle Black Film Festival, and Cadence are hitting local streaming rooms while the Seattle International Film Festival and the Seattle Bicycle Film Festival continue their runs. See below for those and other at-home entertainment options (like readings with Patricia Engel and the new Washington State Poet Laureate) to check out while you refresh the vaccine locator, and explore our guide to COVID-safe in-person things to do in Seattle for more options.
Wild Washington Live!
Take a virtual field trip to Orcas Island's Moran State Park with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to learn about our region's temperate rainforest and coastal ecosystems with two AmeriCorps members.
READINGS & TALKS
Ancestors and Anthologies: New Worlds in Chorus
Join SPL and Clarion West for a series of talks with publishers and editors of Black speculative fiction anthologies, including Linda D. Addison (Sycorax’s Daughters), Maurice Broaddus (POC Destroy Horror & Dark Faith), and Sheree Renée Thomas (Dark Matter).
Brandi Carlile with Tara Westover
Seattle folk-music treasure Brandi Carlile will appear on Elliott Bay's virtual stage not for a concert but for the release of her new memoir, Broken Horses. She'll be joined in conversation by Tara Westover (author of the bestselling memoir Educated).
Willy Vlautin with Maria Semple
A victim of Portland gentrification gets the spotlight in Willy Vlautin's new novel about a 30-year-old woman with bad credit and multiple jobs who desperately wants to buy the house she lives in with her mother and developmentally disabled brother. Hear the author in conversation with Maria Semple (Where’d You Go Bernadette).
Moths of the Pacific Northwest
Moths get a bad rap when compared to their colorful and non-clothing-hungry cousin, the butterfly, but there's much more to them than meets the eye. Learn their secrets in this online talk with the Washington Native Plant Society.
Randy Porter & George Colligan
Iconic Portland-born jazz musicians George Colligan and Randy Porter will head up this Experience Music Series concert on YouTube.
READINGS & TALKS
Shankar Vedantam with Ross Reynolds: The Power & Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain
Think of this Town Hall talk between Shankar Vedantam and KUOW’s Ross Reynolds as a bonus episode of Vedantam's hit podcast Hidden Brain, which explores the unconscious mind and its impact on our actions and society. They'll be focusing on the pros and cons of self-deception, referencing Vedantam's book, Useful Delusions: The Power & Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain.
Supernatural Cats of Japan
Kaibyo, supernatural cats/ghosts of Japanese folklore, have been depicted by generations of artists. Zach Davisson, author of Kaibyo: The Supernatural Cats of Japan, will present his illustration-filled book online to offer a deeper understanding of these spooky feline creatures.
READINGS & TALKS
Celebrate The New Washington State Poet Laureate: Rena Priest
Witness the "passing of the laurel" as the American Book Award-winning poet Rena Priest (Lhaq'temish Nation) becomes the first Indigenous poet to assume the role of Washington State Poet Laureate, taking the place of outgoing WSPL Claudia Castro Luna.
Patricia Engel - Infinite Country
Acclaimed Latinx author Patricia Engel (The Veins of the Ocean, Vida) will join Third Place Books with her new novel about a girl desperately trying to escape a Columbian correctional facility—where she's being held for an act of violence in self-defense—to reunite with her family in Bogotá and fly to the United States.
Paul Matthew Moore
Paul Matthew Moore, known to locals as the resident pianist at Christopher Frizzelle's Silent Reading Party, will calm your ass down with a night of electronic improv on the internet.
Shostakovich & Respighi
Originally arranged by Russian conductor Rudolf Barshai for a string quartet, the Seattle Symphony will revive Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony for orchestra, bolstered by Italian composer Ottorino Respighi's suite The Birds.
READINGS & TALKS
Author Voices with Storme Webber
Join Storme Webber—a Two-Spirit First Nations (Alutiiq/Black/Choctaw) interdisciplinary artist, curator, writer, and performer who creates socially engaged texts and images at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, memory, and spirit—for an online reading of new work.
Re/frame: In reference to…
Take a look at objects in the Henry's permanent collection that intentionally allude to other artworks or source materials.
READINGS & TALKS
Jess Zimmerman with Ijeoma Oluo
Jess Zimmerman will sit down with Ijeoma Oluo to talk about her feminist takes on female monsters, as outlined in her new book, Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology.
The Thud: Artist Talk with Mikael Ross
This month's selection for Goethe Pop Up's online book club is Mikael Ross's graphic novel The Thud, published by Fantagraphics. Join the author for a conversation about the story, which focuses on the life and times of a boy with developmental disabilities, with University of Washington Professor José Alaniz, whose research includes portrayals of disabilities in comics.
The Best '80s Party Ever! (so far) with Nite Wave
High-energy '80s tribute band Nite Wave will bring you renditions of your favorite big-hair hits by Duran Duran, the Cure, Prince, Depeche Mode, and the like.
READINGS & TALKS
My Shadow Is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora Group Reading
Katherine Whitney and Leila Emery, the editors of My Shadow is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora, will be joined by anthology contributors Siamak Vossoughi, Darius Atefat-Peckham, Dena Rod, and Cyrus Copeland for a group reading.
Quarantine Book Club: Mrs. Dalloway
Virginia Woolf's masterpiece Mrs. Dalloway takes place over the course of a single day in London, but you'll get a whole month to explore its thematic nooks and crannies in this edition of Christopher Frizzelle's online book club, which meets up on Saturday mornings.
Reception-In-A-Box at Fountainhead Gallery
Fountainhead Gallery will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an April exhibition of 25 painters invested mostly in natural landscapes, from Valerie Collymore to Sherry Ruden to Michael Ferguson. Their online reception will offer much more than a Zoom hangout, featuring a live performance by Marina Albero and a "reception-in-a-box" for pickup or local delivery, containing goodies from local businesses like Macrina Bakery, Sweet Mickey's Fudge, Portalis Wine Shop, and Beecher's Handmade Cheese.
Bicycle Film Festival - Seattle #2
The long-running Bicycle Film Festival Northwest will present an international selection of short films whose stories range from cycling as a response to the knife-crime epidemic in London to the first women's BMX sporting event.
Video poetry has been around since the late 1970s, but it's been enjoying a slight revival in a world where three-minute videos on the internet serve as our primary mode of media consumption. The region's only festival dedicated to the art form (that we know of) will partner with Northwest Film Forum again for an online program of features and shorts from over 60 international artist teams, including not one but two films inspired by Botswana-based poet Tjawangwa Dema's "Lethe."
Seattle Black Film Festival
"I have yet to attend a Langston Hughes African American Film Festival [ed. note: the name has changed this year] that doesn't have an important black-directed or black-themed film that’s somehow been missed by the wider film community or is unavailable in any format—web, disk, cable, theater," wrote The Stranger's Charles Mudede a few years ago. This year's festival is in a web format, but the sentiment holds.
47th Seattle International Film Festival 2021
You may not get to bump elbows with visiting filmmakers or shmooze face-to-face with your fellow film aficionados, but the Seattle International Film Festival will indeed go on this year, boasting a virtual program of over 90 features and over 100 short films from around the world. Overwhelmed with options? Check out our top picks.
2021 SPLIFF Film Festival
As everyone's favorite day to smoke weed draws near, it's time for another installment of short cannabis-themed films made for and by stoners just like you! You'll have a grand old time watching the screenings themselves, but you'll be even more delighted by this year's live(streamed) viewing parties hosted by various dynamic weed-loving duos, from The Stranger's Chase Burns and Jasmyne Keimig to Seattle drag stars Cookie Couture and Betty Wetter to comedians Alyssa Yeoman and Erin Ingle.
Virtual NACUSA Conference
In partnership with Lewis & Clark, the Northwest chapter of the National Association of Composers will host their biennial conference online, open to both professional musicians and members of the public who are interested in the more technical side of classical music.
The Effluent Engine
Jéhan Òsanyín adapts and directs N.K. Jemisin's steampunk spy caper for the Book-It digital stage.
Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran
Winner of the 2019 Scotsman Fringe First Award, Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran is a darkly funny play about entitlement, consumption, digital technology, and the ubiquitous feeling that our societies are falling apart.
Seattle Dance Collective presents GALLOP APACE featuring Sara Mearns
Seattle Dance Collective's latest film, choreographed by Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber and featuring New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns, centers the turning point in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet when the tragedy's heroine transforms from an anxious young bride to a grief-stricken woman.