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Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The SpIFF-y Experience: Spokane International Film Festival’s shorts shine and documentaries hit strong emotional chords

As the Spokane International Film Festival wraps up its 22nd year, the importance of gathering together to view movies as an audience becomes clearer than ever before. The films and shorts at this years’ festival gave us a glimpse into the minds of so many artists and creators projecting their thoughts, fears, victories, defeats and perspectives for everyone to enjoy.

‘Quiet Explosions’ at SpIFF features Rypien, Spokane

Football legend Mark Rypien is featured among others in “Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain” scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday at the Spokane International Film Festival. The film tells of people with CTE, a degenerative brain disease from repetitive brain trauma, and promising treatments.

‘City Lights,’ symphony close out SpIFF

Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights” is one of those rare films that will make you laugh until you cry, and then, in its final moments, make you cry for real. It’s considered by many critics to be the apex of Chaplin’s long career, and it’s frequently cited as one of the greatest films ever made. The 1931 masterpiece will close the Spokane International Film Festival on Saturday night, and the screening will feature musical accompaniment by the Spokane Symphony.

SpIFF brings the world – and ‘Vision Quest’ – to Spokane

It’s no secret that movie theaters become wastelands in January and February, the time of year when Hollywood studios dump some of their least desirable products onto multiplex screens. But the Spokane International Film Festival, which kicks off Friday with an opening night gala, is here to provide moviegoers with a cinematic journey.

SpIFF offers cinematic smorgasbord

Now in its 17th year, the Spokane International Film Festival continues to revel in the unexpected, bringing in the kind of fare you would never dream of seeing on a typical multiplex screen. For a couple weeks in February, Spokane theaters fill up with foreign and independent movies, and the odds of seeing something that’s pedestrian or predictable are low. There’s a refreshing diversity to SpIFF’s upcoming schedule, not only in terms of the genres on display – comedies, dramas, documentaries, period pieces, animated features, horror films – but the countries represented – you can see films from France, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Poland and Kosovo.

Cinematic smorgasbord

Now in its 17th year, the Spokane International Film Festival continues to revel in the unexpected, bringing in the kind of fare you would never dream of seeing on a typical multiplex screen. For a couple weeks in February, Spokane theaters fill up with foreign and independent movies, and the odds of seeing something that’s pedestrian or predictable are low. There’s a refreshing diversity to SpIFF’s upcoming schedule, not only in terms of the genres on display – comedies, dramas, documentaries, period pieces, animated features, horror films – but the countries represented – you can see films from France, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Poland and Kosovo.

Spotlight: WSU moms will get chance to see Clarkson

In keeping with tradition, Washington State University is bringing a Big Name to Pullman for Mom’s Weekend. Following in the footsteps of Elton John, Jay Leno and Colbie Caillat is the first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson will perform at the Beasley Performing Arts Center on April 15. Tickets are on sale now through TicketsWest, www.ticketswest.com or (800) 325-SEAT. Cost is $59.50, with a discount for WSU students, faculty and staff.

Spotlight: SpIFFys are in, topped by Wang’s ‘In the Family’

The results are in. The recently concluded Spokane International Film Festival has announced its juried awards, the SpIFFys. In the feature film category, “In the Family,” from writer-director-star Patrick Wang and featuring Spokane Valley actor Trevor St. John, won this year’s Gold SpIFFy. The Silver SpIFFy went to “Sandman,” from director Peter Luisi.

Actor serves up help for burned ‘Vision’ icons

Actor Matthew Modine is in Spokane this weekend, in part to promote fundraisers to restore two iconic Spokane landmarks. He’s helping raise money for Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle and Ferguson’s Café, two Garland District historic buildings badly damaged in a Sept. 25 blaze.

SpIFF has grown into 11-day event filled with wide variety of genres

Over the years, the Spokane International Film Festival has been the premiere film showcase in Spokane, bringing a diverse selection of stories, styles and genres, as well as the filmmakers responsible, from all around the world. SpIFF, now in its 14th year, has flourished since its inception, growing from a handful of screenings at the old Met Theater to an 11-day event that involves the Magic Lantern, AMC, Bing Crosby and Garland theaters. This year, festival entries have been divided into categories the programmers call Sidebars, which designate the theme and tone of each film.

Spotlight: CdA’s Owens achieves visual success in Hollywood

Michael Owens, who lives in Coeur d’Alene, is an Oscar nominee for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his work on the movie “Hereafter.” Owens is the real deal: He was a longtime visual effects supervisor for George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic. He got his start as a camera assistant on “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial” and as a visual effects cameraman on films such as “Star Wars VI, Return of the Jedi” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

Spotlight: It could be a wicked long line for ‘Wicked’

Start lining up, Broadway musical fans: Single tickets for “Wicked” will go on sale to the general public on March 5, 7 a.m. at the INB Performing Arts center box office. For the next three hours, that’ll be the only place you can grab them. Then, at 10 a.m., any remaining tickets will go on sale through TicketsWest outlets (www.ticketswest.com, 800-325-SEAT).