Young filmmakers from around the globe shine each year at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, but 2014 puts a new, added focus to the girls. Since women make up less than 10 percent of directors in the movie business, NFFTY will add an award for Best New Female Filmmaker in hopes of inspiring girls to pick up a camera a create from behind the lens. Who knows? One of these kids might be the next Megan Griffiths or Lynn Shelton. Cinerama and SIFF Uptown, $11–$36.
Apr 26–May 4
Langston Hughes African American Film Festival
Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, now it its 11thyear, continues to present positive, provocative and penetrating independent films created by emerging and established filmmakers on race, culture, history, and much more. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, $10–$25; festival pass $50–$150.
Thru May 18
Truth Like the Sun
Seattle’s fascination with the 1962 World’s Fair remains unwavering, because it provided the seed of imagination that eventually grew into the city we know today. Jim Lynch’s novel explored the connection between the Fair and modernity in his novel Truth Like the Sun, which now receives its Book-It Theatre adaptation. The story follows the fictional Roger Morgan, aka “Mr. Seattle,” as he’s the toast of the town showing off the city to guests like Elvis during the Worlds Fair in 1962, and as an surprising mayoral candidate in his 70s who is hounded be an overzealous Seattle P-I reporter named Helen Gulanos in 2001. Book-It Repertory Theatre, $33–$42.
CLASSICAL & MORE
Sun, Apr 27
Video Games Live
Video game music has evolved drastically since the 8-bit bleeps of the iconic Super Mario Bros. theme. These days game soundtracks for titles like BioShock or the Legend of Zelda titles often feature rich orchestration that not only fleshes out the world, but can also adapt in real time in response the way gamers choose to play. The touring Video Games Live employs a full orchestra to tackle the most famous works of the genre from the bright sounds of Sonic the Hedgehog to the understated horror scoring of Silent Hill. Paramount Theatre, $25–$65.
BOOKS & TALKS
Fri, Apr 25
Hugo Literary Series: Some Like It Hot
From the polar vortex to record summer highs, climate change has been acting especially kooky recently. For the latest Hugo Lit Series event, authors Nick Flynn, Rick Bass, and Jennine Capó Crucet come together to share their written reflections on balancing our potentially harmful modern lifestyles and our desire to not ruin nature. Richard Hugo House, $20–$25.
Fri, Apr 25
Is Nate Silver a witch? The Internet had fun theorizing as such when the formula that the statistician and writer created correctly predicted every state in the 2012 presidential election. Silver now is transforming his FiveThirtyEight blog into a mega site for statistical writing under the Disney/ESPN umbrella. He’ll talk stats, the new site, and probably receive an influx of job applications when he visits UW this spring to deliver a lecture entitled “Ahead of the Curve: predicting baseball, politics, and everything in between.” Meany Hall, sold out.
Thur, Apr 24
Franz Ferdinand seized the spotlight with their 2004 hit “Take Me Out,” but they’re back with more of the same driving upbeat post-punk tracks in their latest album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. They’ll take the stage at Showbox SoDo with all of their hits, and possibly some of their rare but well-loved covers that span from LCD Soundsystem to Gwen Stefani. Showbox SoDo, sold out.
Fri, Apr 25
Hot Java Cool Jazz
Stellar jazz programs are the not so secret gems of the Seattle public school system. The annual Starbucks Hot Java Cool Jazz event gives these sterling student jazz bands a chance to showcase their skills on the historic Paramount stage while raising money to help fund their respective programs. This year’s lineup includes national jazz powerhouses Garfield and Roosevelt, as well as Ballard, Bothell, and Mountlake Terrace high schools. Paramount Theatre, $20.
Fri, Apr 25
Tokyo Police Club
Canadian indie rock band Tokyo Police Club provides a blueprint for not letting hype go to your head. The band's sizzling debut album A Lesson in Crime garnered the group a ton of "the next big thing buzz" back in 2006, but those initial expectations never fully materialized. Instead of getting discouraged, Tokyo Police Club kept right on turning out new music including 2010's stellar Champ. The band comes to town with a new album, Forcefield, and opening support from fellow Canucks Said the Whale. Neumos, sold out.
Sat, Apr 26
Seattle Rock Lottery
Checking out a new rock band always feels like a gamble as an audience member, so why shouldn’t the performers feel the same anxiety of the unknown? The annual Seattle Rock Lottery brings together performers from established bands, randomly mixes them up into five new groups, and gives them 12 hours to crank out three to five songs. Past incarnations have included songwriters like Damien Jurado, David Bazan, Reggie Watts, and Josh Tillman (aka Father John Misty). This year's talent pool features Hollis Wong-Wear (the Flvr Blue), Scott Teske (Seattle Rock Orchestra), and Daniel Blue (Motopony), so everyone’s likely to come out a winner at this show. The Crocodile, $10.