This year we wanted to pull back the political curtain and give our community a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes in Olympia. While it may sometimes seem like there’s not a lot of activity on our bills, there’s actually lots (and lots) of activity happening in district and at the state Capitol. Read on to get an insiders look at how we worked together this month to KEEP FILM IN WA!
The Keep Film in WA Campaign Hits the Road
Throughout April, The Keep Film in WA campaign traveled across the state, rallying film communities to keep the pressure on their elected officials in Olympia. Advocacy isn’t easy; it requires patience, persistence and energy, and it’s rare to find a community as energized and inspired as Washington’s film professionals. Thanks for all of your hard work – let’s keep at it TOGETHER!
Talking Virtual Reality in Bellingham
If the future of film is about the intersection of technology and storytelling, there is nowhere else in the United States more perfectly positioned to capitalize on this movement than Washington State. The rise of virtual reality (VR) is popping up all around Washington State and on April 11, Amy Lillard moderated a panel discussion on VR, presented by Bellingham Film and the Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival. The panelists included Bellingham artist Avielle Heath, and filmmaker Sandy Cioffi whose start-up collective Fearless 360° is exploring new media potential for immersive storytelling. Along the way, Amy got to talk to the crowd about the Keep Film in WA Campaign and how to get involved!
Pen to Paper in Spokane
Amy Lillard headed east to participate in the letter writing campaign and to give Spokane an Olympia update. Congrats to the group for delivering over 700 letters for House Finance and Senate Ways and Means Committee members and authoring the Declaration for Creativity.
Toasting the Start of Special Session in Seattle
With April 23 marking the official end of the regular legislative session, it’s fast becoming a tradition this time of year to raise a glass to the start of the special session, so on Thursday, April 20, that’s what we did, gathering Seattle’s film community at Saint John’s Bar & Eatery for a discussion of what it all means for the Film Bill and where we go from here. Amy Lillard warned of a tough road ahead, noting that over the coming months, much of the budget negotiation will take place behind closed doors, but that it will remain absolutely vital that we keep the pressure on elected officials. Check in to the Keep Film in WA blog for the latest calls to action.
Keep Zombies in WA
Another exciting event this month was the launch of our Keep Zombies in WA infographic. One of the challenges we face is determining how best to communicate all the data that supports our campaign, so when it comes time to launch an infographic, we try to pack as much good stuff in as we can. You might have seen this one floating around your social media feeds a few weeks back, but in case you haven’t check it out in all its glory right here. We also shared it the old fashioned way; Krys Karns and Amy Lillard took the trip to Olympia, where they hand delivered one of these (in poster form) to every Representative and Senator.
Addressing the Heritage Caucus
On March 29, Amy Lillard spoke before the Heritage Caucus, a public meeting of legislators, state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and members of the public who are interested in heritage and culture, currently co-chaired by Sen. Jim Honeyford (R, 15) and Rep. Steve Tharinger (D, 24). This opportunity gave Amy the opportunity to talk to key community members about the benefits of having a vibrant statewide film community.
Press Coverage in April
“When you have a TV show, people move and settle here in your city. It took years to rebuild this crew base, and we do not want to lose those people,” Washington Filmworks vice chair Juan Mas explained in an interview with Charles Mudede earlier this month. As part of the issue dedicated to Spokane, Mudede, the Stranger’s film editor, used his column inches to talk about the looming sunset date of Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. His piece provides a brief history of the program and discusses the damaging impact its departure might have on the state’s film industry. Read the entire piece online right here.
Faces of Film
Meanwhile, our Faces of Film campaign spotlighting Washington State film industry professionals is starting to fill out. Watch for it to continue to grow in the coming weeks, as we release more interviews with the people that make Washington film what it is. We’d love it if you participated as well! Share an image of yourself working your craft on social media. Include the hashtag #KeepFilmInWA and a short statement about why film is important in Washington State.