NWFF Update

By FoodNerd August 18, 2009

In yesterday's Morning Fizz, we reported that the Northwest Film Forum did not make it's goal of raising $70,000 to address its budget crisis—and that NWFF managing director Susie Purves is leaving and some educational and filmmaking programs will be cut.

Today, NWFF put out press release, updating their situation—they report they've raised $44,000 and say they will be making staff reductions and perhaps replacing their quarterly print calendar with an online-only version.

Read NWFF's press release below the fold.

Northwest Film Forum raises $44,000 after asking its supporters for help

Facing a $70,000 budget shortfall, the non-profit film arts center made an appeal to its supporters. The money raised will be used to preserve important programs and support artists.

Seattle, WA—Northwest Film Forum is pleased to announce that to date it has raised $44,000 from hundreds of donations made since July 30th, 2009, when it was first announced that the organization risked canceling important programs as a result of a $70,000 budget shortfall. A two-week fundraising effort yielded a strong response both vocally and financially from supporters around the world, as well as a matching donation offer from Sub Pop Records for $10,000. The money raised will help the Film Forum continue providing affordable filmmaking equipment rentals and workshops, artist support and ambitious programming in their cinemas.

Like many arts organizations, Northwest Film Forum faced the end of its fiscal year with an income down 30%. Before making major cutbacks, it appealed to its members and supporters to help preserve key programs.

Though unable to reach the $70,000 goal, the organization has received an astonishing and inspiring amount of support. To manage the remaining shortfall, some restructuring will be necessary, including possibly changing the fall quarterly printed calendar to online-only. Two full-time positions have been reduced to three-quarter time positions and one position has been converted to part-time contract work, with all three affected employees being offered continued employment in these roles.

"This year has been a challenging one," says Executive Director Lyall Bush. “But I am heartened by the words from our supporters, many of whom stressed just how important a vital Film Forum was to their daily lives. It is humbling to see so many people open their hearts, and wallets, in this rough economic climate. Our talented staff has been hard at work on a three-year plan for the organization, an initial draft of which was presented to the Board in June. Once we put the current crisis behind us, we look forward to serving the community and continuing to be Seattle’s premiere film arts center."

"I was most impressed with how the Film Forum staff and membership rallied to save the programs they have worked so hard to create," comments Board President Jennifer Roth. "Northwest Film Forum means so much to Seattle, and we are working hard to preserve and strengthen what people love, while also making sure we stay on stable financial ground."

Despite the budgetary challenges, the Film Forum is planning an ambitious fall calendar that includes a visit from independent filmmaking legend Melvin Van Peebles and emerging Argentine director Lisandro Alonso. This season will also feature the first event in the new Live at the Film Forum series, which explores cinema as a collaborative, live art form with performances by several Northwest artists. Fall is also the time of Northwest Film Forum's annual flagship event, the Local Sightings Film Festival, a celebration of local filmmaking achievements.

A complete schedule of events and screenings planned at Northwest Film Forum this fall is available at .

Northwest Film Forum is still accepting donations to help with the financial crisis. Donations can be made at .

About Northwest Film Forum
Northwest Film Forum is Seattle's premiere film arts organization, screening over 200 independently made and classic films annually, offering a year-round schedule of filmmaking classes for all ages, and supporting filmmakers at all stages of their careers. NWFF brings together a community of individuals dedicated to great film in Seattle and beyond. You can learn more at

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