Your Guide to the Local Sightings Film Festival

The 24th Annual Local Sightings Film Festival kicks off this week.
September 14, 2021
Charles Mudede's Thin Skin kicks off the 2021 Local Sightings Film Festival this week. 

With an altered format, this year's Local Sightings Film Festival is unlike iterations of previous years, though they’ve maintained the same breadth of stellar local films. The superbly curated schedule includes various features, short film programs, plus workshops and panels for film buffs wanting to take a deeper dive.

Festival passes, which include the option for in-person, virtual, or both, are still available. For more casual viewers just looking to pop in, there may also be day-of tickets available for Northwest Film Forum screenings. Proof of vaccination and masks are required for all in-person events, so make sure to have that all on hand as we celebrate the return of this beloved local regional film festival. Read on for festival highlights we’re looking forward to.

Opening Night: Thin Skin (In-Person Only) Past Event List
The story of a father trying to be a musician in a world where his dreams seem just out of reach, this film is directed by The Stranger's own Charles Mudede. Stick around for a post-screening discussion with the filmmaker, lead actor Ahamefule Oluo, and co-writer Lindy West.
Northwest Film Forum (Thurs Sept 16)

UPDATE: The festival has added an encore in-person screening of Thin Skin on Monday, September 20 at 7:30 pm.

A Black Rift Begins to Yawn Past Event List
Built upon cinematic abstraction, this film’s dreamlike tone will draw you in. Centered around two former classmates who make a discovery that will forever alter the course of their lives, it is described as a "highly-stylized sci-fi horror film that dements time, place, and identity." Screened with the short film RUN.
Northwest Film Forum (Fri Sept 17), available virtually from Sept 16-26.

Rehab Cabin Past Event List
This dark comedy follows two friends, Chloe and Dominic, who decide to kidnap their favorite celebrity in order to get her clean. As you might suspect, chaos ensues. Both a deconstruction of our celebrity focused culture as well as a character study of two friends drifting apart, this film does it all with a persistent edge.
Northwest Film Forum (Sat Sept 18), available virtually from Sept 16-26.

Since I Been Down Past Event List
An unflinching analysis of the injustices of the supposed 'criminal justice system,' Gilda Sheppard's outstanding documentary tells the story of Kimonti Carter and how his life was forever changed after he was sentenced to life in prison. It then offers a way forward to heal and change the broken system that has affected countless others.
Northwest Film Forum (Sat Sept 25), available virtually from Sept 16-26.

Closing Night: Manifest Destiny Jesus (In-Person Only) Past Event List
An intriguing film that our colleagues at the Stranger describe as a work that "weaves interviews from religious, political, and cultural figures around the city to dissect topics and themes such as Jesus's supposed whiteness, gentrification, lynching, and police brutality," Manifest Destiny Jesus is the perfect showstopper to end the festival with.  
Northwest Film Forum (Sun Sept 26)

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