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Tacoma Film Festival needs your help

The bigger picture of staging a weeklong celebration of movies

Photo credit: Tacoma Film Festival

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For the past 13 years, the Tacoma Film Festival has been one of the bright spots of Tacoma's cultural landscape. Bringing in exciting voices and visions in film from all over the world -- including featuring the best local talents -- TFF has grown into a cinematic behemoth, as essential to Tacoma's art scene as anything else. Over the course of one week, from Oct. 4-11, TFF returns to bathe the residents of Tacoma in the invigorating power of film.

Here's the thing, though: putting on a festival with the kind of scope and ambition as TFF is incredibly difficult, and they need help in realizing all that they're trying to accomplish. As a press release, issued this past Tuesday, says, TFF is deep in a fundraising campaign to raise $10,000. At the time of this writing, they had only managed to raise just under $3,000, with Sept. 27 being the campaign's end date.

"We go for the big grassroots push, versus only going after bigger donors," says Katy Evans, the Grand Cinema's Assistant Executive Director of Engagement and Education. "Most of what has been successful with the Grand has been crowdfunding, really connecting with the people who already love us and care about us. Sometimes, it's hard to prioritize giving to the arts and giving to supporting creative communities and expressions, versus immediate needs, but where would we be without all of it?"

So, where is this $10,000 they're striving for going, exactly? Well, in addition to the regular screenings taking place over the course of TFF's long week of movies, the festival has been making strides in providing a greater accessibility for people in the community to engage in this art, as well as making efforts to turn TFF into an educational opportunity. The funds raised will help to cover costs of housing and feeding filmmakers, compensating for extra staff hours, and other extra resources.

"A few of the things that we're hoping we can really invest in and amp up is significant free programming," says Evans. "Typically, our workshops and education opportunities have all been free; our goal is to do that again this year. In addition, something new that we're super excited about, is that we're offering any student, with a student ID, a free pass to the film festival which would get you into all of our regularly priced film festival screenings; you'll get your own cool badge, and you can see anything that doesn't have an additional charge, like our opening and closing night films.

"Another thing that takes a lot of time and effort and gas money, is our filmmaker classroom visits," continues Evans. "We connect visiting filmmakers and local filmmakers with local students, at any age; we've gone into classrooms from elementary schools to colleges. The filmmakers go in and talk about what they do, why they do it, share a little bit about their film and do a little Q&A with the students. It's really quite cool, and a very different sort of educational experience than what most students would have for their normal weekday class."

If you want to give to TFF to make their goal of spreading the love of cinema throughout the community, head on over to, and there you'll be given the option to donate any amount, though there are some tiers: for $75, you get two TFF tickets; $150 gets you a VIP pass and a T-shirt; and so on, up to the $500 level, which will net you two VIP passes, two swag bags, and two T-shirts.

There's a ton of great stuff coming to this year's fest, which we plan on covering in next week's issue, including documentary profiles on ‘60s garage-punk legends the Sonics, legendary sci-fi author Ursula K. Le Guin, and celebrated director Hal Ashby (whose classics Harold and Maude and Being There will also be screened).

Those films, in addition to innovative new works from up-and-coming filmmakers, cutting-edge virtual-reality films, and many more treats await you at 2018's edition of the TFF. If you're invested in enriching the artistic spirits of so many in Tacoma and the South Sound, head to to either donate or get yourself a VIP pass. Why can't we have nice things? Because people too frequently miss the forest for the trees, and underestimate the importance in supporting something as valuable as the Tacoma Film Festival.

The Tacoma Film Festival, Oct. 4-11, tickets may be purchased and donations may be made at

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