Our legislative team has reiterated it is vital that supporters of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program continue to file “letters of opinion” in support of 2ESSB 5539.

As of this afternoon we are still waiting for Governor Gregoire to sign 2ESSB 5539, the bill that renews the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, into law. We have confirmation that her office has received the bill. Legislators remain in special session and many bills that require action from the Governor’s Office are pending.

Our legislative team is still in Olympia, putting pressure on the Governor to sign the bill prior to the midnight deadline on 3/31. As many media headlines have indicated, the House and Senate remain in the middle of difficult budget negotiations. This has delayed the Governor’s signature on many pieces of legislation.

If you have already written the Governor, please write again and help spread the word. Do not delay.

To contact the Governor’s office, please use the following link to send an e-message:


The online contact form will ask you “What is the subject of your message?” Please select “Legislation” and include the name of the film bill, 2ESSB 5539, in the body. Instructions on reaching the Governor’s Office by telephone and mail are also provided in the link.



2ESSB 5539, the bill that renews the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, passed the Washington House of Representatives late on the evening of March 8th, the last day of regular legislative session. We were very pleased with the favorable vote, 92 to 6. This vote is a testament to the hard work and passion of our state’s filmmaking industry and the community that supports them.

As of the date of this newsletter, Governor Gregoire has not scheduled a signing ceremony for 2ESSB 5539. According to a recent article in the Bellingham Herald, there are approximately 177 bills that passed the House and Senate and still need action from the Governor’s office. If Governor Gregoire does not have time to schedule a signing ceremony for all of these bills, they will take effect without her signature after midnight on 3/31.

We will keep the community updated, as we know more. Please stay tuned to our legislative blog for breaking news.



Two Washington-produced films celebrated world premieres at SXSW this March. 2011 incentive productions ‘Eden’ and ‘Fat Kid Rules The World’ screened in the Narrative Feature Competition, beating out more than a thousand other submissions for their coveted slots at this year’s festival.

Screening at the festival is quite the feat, but our Washington Filmworks’ alumni raked in a slate of awards as well. ‘Fat Kid Rules the World’ took home the Narrative Feature Spotlight Audience Award and ‘Eden’ took home the Feature Film Audience Award. ‘Eden’ Writer/Director Megan Griffiths also shared the SXSW Special Award for Emerging Woman Director.

As an added treat, Business Insider recently released their predictions for “The 10 Movies From SXSW That Are Most Likely To Be Hits”. 1/3 of the films from this list were shot in Washington during our 2011 incentive production season. ‘Eden’ and ‘Fat Kid Rules the World’ were included, as well as another feature produced through the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’.

These were only a few of the amazing successes Washington’s film community was able share with legislators in recent weeks. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect to showcase the great work that is coming out of our state. Kudos to our amazingly talented local cast and crew who made these productions happen.










Raise a glass with industry peers at the next Film + Music + Interactive Happy Hour, tomorrow evening, March 28th. FMI Happy Hour events are held on the last Wednesday of every month in Seattle, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Spitfire in Belltown.

The March Guest Speaker is Russell Sparkman, co-founder of FusionSpark Media and director of the Langley Center for New Media. FusionSpark Media is a communications firm focused on the use of inspirational, authentic online content and storytelling in support of corporate, non-profit and government communications initiatives.

This entertaining and informative event is open to everyone 21 and over. Find out more information on the FMI Happy Hour page. Please help spread the word about this great monthly mixer.  Cheers!






As our state’s film industry fought for their future in Olympia, one of our most valuable training pipelines for that workforce remained on life support. The Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) Film and Video Communications program has been successfully preparing students to work in professional film and create artistic works for decades. Sadly, that may all be over. Due to drastic cuts to the state budget, and subsequently the SCCC budget, this program is scheduled to close later in 2012, leaving the future of existing students in question.



On March 5th, Washington Filmworks’ Executive Director Amy Lillard, actor Tom Skerritt, and SCCC Film Program faculty member Sandy Cioffi participated on a panel about the future of the program, moderated by Warren Etheredge. The panel was part of a public forum organized to discuss the benefits of retaining this valuable asset to SCCC, the film industry, and our community.

To find out more about the cause watch Sandy Cioffi’s interview on THE HIGH BAR.






Let’s say you wanted to film a live-action role-playing game,
complete with all the usual consequences of a battle with a demon from hell.
In 2010 the producers of the Washington incentive film “Knights of
Badassdom’ found precicely what they were looking for at the Riverside State
Park.  The Park is a diverse recreation area in Spokane, Washington,
featuring areas for boating and off riad vehicles, hiking and horse trails, and
much more.


Credit:  Pete Moroz

Park’s Equestrian Area played host to the majority of the ‘Knights’ shoot,
offering a great combination of open fields and wooded areas to help this
particular brand of action comedy come to life. You can get a better sense of
the variety of locations at the Riverside State Park in this entertaining
trailer for ‘Knights of Badassdom’.

If you’re looking for a film-friendly recreation area in
Eastern Washington, be sure to check out the Riverside State Park. The Park
Manager is Chris Guidotti and you can reach his office at 509-465-5065.

Find out more information about the park here:


Or contact
info@washingtonfilmworks.org for further assistance.