In the two years I’ve been back in the homeland, I’ve been jonesing to drink in SIFF. Attending Sundance in 2007 got me into serious film festival mode and, unless you’re a complete zombie, living in NYC just has a way of imbuing a deep appreciation for art & film. I always thought people who touted their affinity for documentaries and foreign films were full of hoo-ha – until I actually watched a few documentaries and foreign films. And realized there’s a reason people love them so dearly; that reason being mainly that there tends to be a stronger message, even call to action, a feeling that something within you has shifted as a result of simply seeing a film, and – in the case of foreign films – more complex characters than your typical American box office fare.

And so the film snobbery descends.

For whatever reason, I simply couldn’t get my act together to attend any SIFF screenings in 2009 and 2010. So – just as I make deals with myself in other areas of life (such as not allowing myself to watch a 47-minute episode of “Thirtysomething” unless I run on the treadmill the entire time…and yes, I’m re-watching the entire series from the perspective of someone actually in the target age demographic, instead of a clueless teenager who thought all that drama was just for television…turns out, whoops!, all that shit – every single storyline! – actually happens in your thirties) – I bought a pack of SIFF tickets as incentive to get the show on the road.

And so it is. The festival’s film repertoire is wide and varied, but I’ve made my selections. I know it’s heavy on the documentary side – but then, I’m a storyteller who has always found non-fiction and tales of real people’s lives far more intriguing than any shit anyone could ever make up.

How to Die in Oregon – I know it’s grim, but my parents and I have discussed this topic several times and, the truth of the matter is, they’re aging in the state of Oregon. So, sadly, it’s relevant.

Something Ventured – I’m an alum of one of the largest technology companies in the world *and* an entrepreneur. Further explanation not warranted.

Norman – The premise is unique, and Richard Jenkins and Adam Goldberg are incredible, but it was the trailer that sold me. As much as I adore Judd Apatow, this is an intelligent and thought-provoking twist on the coming-of-age flick that is ripe for its time. Also it was filmed in Spokane. Booyah!

PressPausePlay – Creating and sharing art in the digital age. Lena Dunham. Seth Godin. SOLD.

Go forth. View. Enjoy. Think. Be changed. Create change. GO.


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