The tyranny of the multiplex and the sheer force of Hollywood's marketing machine renders the work of smaller and truly independent media artists virtually invisible to the general film-going populace—even to the many who consider themselves adventurous. But those with an ear to the ground know that independent film continues to thrive in the Northwest, with bright new talents emerging with an ever-quickening pace.

Overcoming the tunnel vision that keeps artists and audiences apart is what the Northwest Film & Video Festival attempts to correct.
This year (our 31st) we hope to introduce you to friends and neighbors who have something to say without the benefit of a mass marketing machinery or a big budget PR campaign.
Judging solely by the entries, over 300 such friends and neighbors here in the Northwest made new films this year—and those are just the ones that were entered. Of these, a select 46 shorts have been choosen for Festival screening, plus a number of invitational pieces. We mention this not only to emphasize the difficulty inherent in making choices, but also as a disclaimer that no festival can hope to exhibit the full scope of filmmaking in our region. As vibrant as the community of makers is the network of presenters, events, festivals, and venues throughout the region that offer the opportunity to see the ongoing, onscreen vitality celebrated here. The Festival offers merely the tip of the iceberg—an iceberg we sincerely hope you will explore more fully once the lights come up and the doors open.

We would like to thank this year's guest judge Sam Green, the Oscar-nominated director of THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND, for contributing his time, expertise and vision to shaping this year's view of the region's media arts community. His appreciation of the pure voice of the artist is evident in the diverse selections present in the Festival. Our thanks also go to the Festival's lead sponsors, The Paul G. Allen Foundation, addidas, Willamette Week and the National Endowment for the Arts, and to the many other partners in the regional film and video community who continue to help the Festival flourish.

We appreciate the effort it can take to bypass the multiplex and look closer to home for an evening's entertainment and inspiration. On behalf of the filmmakers, those friends and neighbors whose feverish work has fashioned the magic you are about to see on screen, thank you for being part of the 31st Festival.

Andrew C. Blubaugh, Festival Coordinator
Bill Foster, Director, Northwest Film Center