Tonight

SIFF: Local Film Debuts as State Snubs Local Film Industry

By Josh Feit May 26, 2011



Tonight, SIFF is screening Treatment, the debut film by co-directors Steve Schardt (co-producer of Lynn Shelton's Humpday) and Sean Nelson (best known for his rock and roll with Harvey Danger, but also a writer, critic, and solo performer.) [pullquote]On an ironic note, this homegrown indie flick is debuting a day after the legislative session in Olympia wrapped up and just about the only tax break legislators actually closed was a $7 million break to help the burgeoning local film industry.[/pullquote]

The movie, which seems nestled around Seattle's neo-mumblecore scene, or at least around Lynn Shelton (Humpday cameraman Ben Kasulke loaned his skills and Humpday's Joshua Leonard plays the lead), is about a sorta aspiring moviemaker who pretends to be an addict, hits up his pal's trust fund, and gets into a swank rehab center so he can be near a bigwig actor he wants in his film. Once he's inside, self-discovery ensues.

Nelson, who starred—and was hilarious— in Shelton's 2008 quiet drama My Effortless Brilliance, plays the trust fund friend.

On an ironic note, this homegrown indie flick, sponsored by 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Washington State Arts Commission, is debuting a day after the legislative session in Olympia wrapped up and just about the only tax break legislators actually closed was a $7 million break to help the burgeoning local film industry. Despite the fact that the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) determined the film companies who received funds in 2009 had a total economic impact on the state of $72 million, they ended that tax break while keeping loopholes such as the $83 million tax break for big banks in place.

Today, Seattle Office of Film and Music director James Keblas released this glum statement:
As most of you know by now, last night the legislature adjourned without the House voting on Washington's Motion Picture Competiveness Fund, effectively ending any future funding for the program...Seattle alone has seen a 34% increase in production since the incentive program was put in place. Additionally, this program has seen strong support from labor and business, and also received a thorough audit by JLARC who recommended the continuation of the Fund to the legislature...With this kind of momentum and demonstrated success, accepting the failure of the bill this session is difficult.
Share
Show Comments