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Tacoma Film Festival Touchdown!

Eight Cinema-Soaked Days from The Grand Cinema

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Seahawks fans, assemble! Now let's make sure we have everything: Tickets? Yep. Snacks? Check. Autograph book? (You never know) ... Got it.

OK, good. Just one more question - Y'all ready for some film-ball?

(confused silence)

Come, come people ... this time of year stands for more than pigskins, touchdown wins and 12th Man dins, especially to us South Sounders. (And no, not soccer!) The autumnal entertainment of which I speak is the Tacoma Film Festival, remember?

And boy, I cannot get over how time whizzes by. Look back to 2006, when The Grand Cinema first introduced audiences to TFF with just a few dozen films on its roster. And faster than you can yell "cut!," the festival has jumped to more than a hundred flicks (123, to be exact) running at full speed ahead for eight days at seven venues throughout the city.

The Pacific Rim kaiju-sized task now set before you appears at first glance a little overwhelming. Unless you have cloning technology at your disposal, it seems a bit disheartening to realize that no matter how much vacay time you decide to cash in at work, or play hooky from your classes (stay in skoo, foo!), you can't possibly absorb everything that TFF has to offer. So let this hardened film fest survivor humbly coach you on a few tips for making the most out of your experience:

1. Stay Informed! You should definitely check out the Tacoma Film Festival's new website, appropriately and conveniently residing at Here you will find the films organized by length and genre, with a synopsis for each. The "Schedule Grid" page nicely shows at a glance which flick plays where and on what day.

2. Stay Mobile - and Dry! Luckily, four of the seven screening spots (The Grand Cinema, UW, the Museum of Glass and Tacoma Art Museum) involve nothing more than a skip, hop and free jump on the Tacoma Light Rail. The other venues (TCC, Annie Wright School and University of Puget Sound) should please students on these campuses with limited transportation. Just don't forget your umbrella.

3. Stay True! Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman famously and bleakly declared, "Nobody knows anything." The ancient Greeks had a bit more optimism: "Know thyself." So ask thyself: What kinds of films dost thou enjoy? If international comedies appeal to you, then Go With Le Flo, a Berlin-set feature featuring passionate kisses, rides on Vespas, subtitles and salami. (Oct. 4, 8:15 p.m., Grand Cinema)

Le Flo hatched from the American mind of writer/co-director Michael Glover, whose production company Bright Blue Gorilla began as a band in the '90s and eventually added filmmaking to its list of talents. With his fifth movie complete, Glover still sees parallels between his roles as both musician and director.

"Movies are like making 10 records (all at once)," he said. "But if you put together a good team, things go very smoothly."

4. Stay Involved! TFF allows fun opportunities for non-filmmakers to share and offer input in the craft. A popular festival staple for the last few years and host of TV's The High Bar, Warren Etheredge will lead a free discussion about music's role in the movies (Oct. 5, 10 a.m., Grand Cinema). Also watch screenwriting leap to life during a table read of the new feature Quanta, a project joining such local talents as actor Tonya Yorke and writer-director-producer Steve Harshfield. (Oct. 8, 7 p.m., Grand Cinema)

>>> G.B.F., Tacoma Film Festival's opening night film, brings a refreshing gay spin to the glib, colorful teen comedy genre.

5. And always ... Stay Classy! Feel like an A-lister and don't miss out on the fest's opening and closing night galas. The party begins on Oct. 3 with catering by Maxwell's Restaurant at Annie Wright, followed by the screening of the new comedy G.B.F., with screenwriter George Northy in attendance. Then enjoy more deliciousness on the 10th, courtesy of Savor Creperie, with the Justin Long dramedy Best Man Down.

This coach has taught you everything he knows. Now get out there and just watch one film for me, the Chipper.

TACOMA FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 3-10, The Grand Cinema plus five other Tacoma venues, $6-$10 daily, $25-$30 closing night, $50 weekend pass, schedule and venues at

BONUS: 253 represent at Tacoma Film Festival

LINK: Tacoma Film Festival filmmakers in attendance

LINK: Tacoma Film Festival feature films

LINK: Tacoma Film Festival Pacific Northwest films

LINK: Tacoma Film Festival shorts

See Also

Bible Quiz at the Tacoma Film Festival

DSKNECTD at the Tacoma Film Festival

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