A few weeks ago, Washington Filmworks staff had the pleasure of sitting down with Katy Evans and Wade Neal, Assistant Executive Directors at The Grand Cinema, to learn a bit about their organization. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation and things to look out for at The Grand.
The Grand is a non-profit home for independent, foreign, and local film. It operates, in part, thanks to its healthy membership base.
Wade and Katy described the very first outreach program that The Grand is piloting right now, which is a film club at a local high school. Katy said none of the students they’re working with had ever been to The Grand, so they’re giving them an open door to experience what film looks like, and giving them the opportunity to make their own films.
They bring students to The Grand once a month to see a movie. They recently saw their first foreign, subtitled film, which they were very into. Students sit alongside The Grand’s patrons, and then walk out, have pizza and an after-film discussion with The Grand’s film mentors.
“They always go to what we are showing, but I try to find them something that they can connect to,” Katy said. “They don’t always have to be about younger people, but it helps – I don’t want them to feel excluded from independent film right away. I think representation is really important. I’m really glad they can start seeing that, not only are films being made out of experiences that are similar to mine, and about people that look like me, but I can make movies too.”
TCC Diversity Film Series (April 10 – 27)
“This is run in partnership with the Tacoma Community College,” Wade said. The Grand’s website describes this film series as a way to “celebrate the individual and cultural differences that make being human a beautiful experience.”
Internet Cat Video Festival (April 11)
“The Walker Art Center curates this every year – which sold out all four of our screens this year,” Katy said. “The festival has been going on since 2012 and we’ve been in contact with The Walker Art Center because there’s a huge kitty obsession in this area.”
253 Short Film Competition (April 21 – 24)
“You make a film within 72 hours, it has to be 253 seconds or less. This is a great community event,” Wade said. “We have space for 31 teams, and whoever signs up gets in.”
Tacoma Film Festival (October 6 – 13)
“This is our big film festival, which we’re gearing up for now,” Wade said. This fest includes live-action, documentary, animated short, and feature films. It also includes the much celebrated 25 New Faces of Independent Film – which brings as many of the 25 names listed as up-and-coming filmmakers in the independent film world to The Grand for the festival, and allows them to self-select the work they’d like to screen.
Science on Screen (coming soon)
“Coolidge Corner Theater in Boston started this, and they have professors come in and do a short discussion before a science fiction or fantasy film,” Wade said.
Thanks to our friends at The Grand for sharing just a few of the many amazing things you do with us!