Two film festivals open at NWFF In January

A mini-festival of 10 foreign films hits Capitol Hill this month. Local institutions Cinema Seattle (the parent organization of the Seattle International Film Festival) and the Northwest Film Forum will host the Global Lens Film Series created by the New York-based Global Film Initiative.

Founded in 2003, the nonprofit GFI helps finance filmmaking throughout the world, as well as brings films to cities across the United States. Through their partnership with First Run Features, GFI also secures larger theatrical runs and video releases for these films.

This year, the Global Lens Film Series kicks off its 2005 tour of the United States with a two-week exhibition at Northwest Film Forum Cinema, at 1515 12th Avenue.

The Global Lens line-up reads like a mini-SIFF, including one feature "Uniform" that previously played at our film festival. If you can't wait until May, the series offers some subtitled off-beat films to beat the winter blues.

Starting on Saturday, Jan. 7, the selected films include features from South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Uruguay feature "Whiskey" was one of the first films to receive "completion funding" from GFI. The story of a factory boss who asks a longtime employee to pose as his wife during an estranged brother's visit, the comedy already has screened at the Cannes International Film Festival, where it won the International Critics' Association Award.

The other films in the tour include a Vietnamese coming-of-age tale ("Buffalo Boy"), a Bosnian comedy set in a town preparing for a visit from President Bill Clinton {"Fuse") and a Turkish festival hit ("What's Human Anyway?").

Tickets are $10 each ($9 each for Cinema Seattle or Northwest Film Forum members.) A Full Series pass is $75. More information is available at 464-5830, or by checking out the Cinema Seattle Web site, See sidebar for complete list of films.

Childish Film Festival

Following the Global Lens series, Northwest Film Forum will launch the third edition of its Childish Film Festival later in the month. From Jan. 29 to Feb. 3, the Childish Film Festival shows animation, live-action, fiction and nonfiction films suitable for audiences age 3 and up.

The festival includes a number of shorts programs or, as NFF calls them, "little movies for little people." These include "The Cat and the Clown," written by two Seattle school girls, Ivy Girdwood and Zephyr Aleta, about a friendship between a cat and a clown who go on a honeymoon with their pet dinosaur.

Longer features include the Finnish movie "Rolli" about a group of elves attacked by strange creatures, the Dutch cat fantasy "Minoe" about a lady with odd habits, "Magic Carpet Ride" with cartoons from Iran, and a "Sendak Sing-Along" for musical tykes using stories taken from the works of picture book artist Maurice Sendak. While "Minoe" is dubbed in English, "Rolli" will be presented in Finnish with English subtitles.

To keep prices affordable for families, all tickets are $5. For more information, check out All films will be shown at Northwest Film Forum Cinema, 1515 12th Avenue, with suitably early starting times so nobody has to stay up late.

Rosemary Jones writes about arts and entertainment for the Capitol Hill Times. She can be reached at

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