This year’s Children’s Film Festival Seattle is a completely different creation than anything ever made before at the Northwest Film Forum. As you can read in this testimony by outgoing festival director Elizabeth Shepherd.
“We realised that this 16th festival edition would be received and experienced in a completely different way by our audience this year. They would be in their homes, where all the energy of the films we brought to them would stay, at least for a while. The experience of the festival itself has been so much of the festival — the idea of children coming to our cinemas, playing in our interactive lobby, experiencing international films in a crowded, dark room filled with people they did not know before they arrived. We could be serious at times, and push boundaries, because our audience was in this special place, and we could introduce special guests, and have deep conversations. There was time to decompress and think about the films on the way home.”
“Now, our audience members are separated from each other and us, already and always at home, and so we chose one thing to bring to them — Love & Light. We wanted that to be the energy that was left with them when the films were over. What we need is hope, and colour, and laughter and love to see us through, and so we chose the films that best expressed that.”
“Our 2020 festival, scheduled for February 27 – March 8, had to end three days early —everyone remembers what happened at that time, one year ago. As all our staff stared at each other on March 5, one of our team members broke the silence. “It’s no big deal,” he said. “It’s just the end of the world.” But of course, the world has kept turning and we must all keep finding ways to share the splendour of stories from around the world with the ones who will inherit it. We can’t wait for the day we can gather in our cinemas again with them. But right now, all we need is more love and light.”