Weekend Film Agenda April 24

The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) is a festival of film screenings, film making panels, concerts by young bands and networking opportunities for young filmmakers (age 22 and under) from all over the world. It takes place here in Seattle with events at SIFF Cinema, Cinerama, and EMP/SFM. Screening include both feature and short length films in such categories as narrative, documentary, animation, experimental and music video. NFFTY runs April 24 through April 26; check out the site for full schedule. The carbon neutral festival includes a selection of 113 films by filmmakers aged 7 through 22 from 20 different US states and eight countries.

The Seattle Jewish Film Festival opened April 23 and continues through May 3. Some of the choices this weekend include Lemon Tree, a story of conflict between a Palestinian woman and her Israeli defense minister neighbor who wants to chop down her beloved lemon grove because he thinks it compromises his security (Saturday, 9:30pm at Cinerama); and One Day You Will Understand (Sunday, 6:40pm at Cinerama) in which the incomparable Jeanne Moreau stars in a drama about “Holocaust memory, reconciliation, and family”.

Northwest Film Forum offers you two choices of full length films each accompanied by a relevant short: Examined Life uses a moving camera to accompany some of the greatest thinkers of modern times (including Martha Nussbaum, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Cornel West) as they stroll or row across a lake talking about the things that are on their minds. It is paired with Portrait of a Ghost, “A portrait of a lost and decomposing jazz musician who struggles to face his past, present and future.”

Bird Song at NWFF is a luminous rendition of the tale of the Three Magi turned into a study of landscape and the human body; it’s paired with Eros, a view of a mysterious man getting ready to go out accompanied by a recording by Beat Poet Rod McKuen. And if you really like Bird Song, you’re going to want to see Waiting for Sancho, a documentary about the filming of Bird Song, director Albert Serra, his professional crew and his nonprofessional actors.

The Langston Hughes Film Festival wraps up this weekend with an excellent selection of films, workshops and presentations. If you missed Medicine for Melancholy the engaging drama about a one night stand turned into a thoughtful conversation on class, identity and urban life when it was at NWFF, you should jump on the chance to see it Friday at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Saturday’s highlights include a Flash animation workshop, a workshop on production values in independent cinema and Spirit of My Mother, the tale of a woman who leaves Los Angeles for Honduras to learn about her family’s culture and appease her mother’s ghost who is haunting her dreams. For complete schedule check the site.

The Grand Illusion hosts the Social Justice Film Festival, a program of film and video work done to promote social change around the world. Friday’s opening gala features Mr. Big about the eponymous undercover sting by the Mounties that would be considered entrapment in most countries, including the US. The full series of shorts and feature length films continues through Thursday; for a complete list of films see the online schedule.

Join the Grand Illusion 10pm Friday and midnight Saturday for two nights of explosive exploitation programming brought to you in conjunction with Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema programmers Lars Nilsen and Zack Carlson who will be on hand to introduce rare and unseen grindhouse epics from their extensive vaults.

Central Cinema spices things up with a Kung Fu Double Punch double feature with The Black Samurai and The Street Fighter, films whose titles tell you everything you need to know about them. Perfect with pizza and a beer or two.

Midnight at the Egyptian: Party on, dude, with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the stupidly wonderful comedy starring a young Keanu Reeves.

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