Set against the picturesque backdrop of Vashon Island, the second annual Vashon Island Film Festival (VIFF) is primed to make its return from Aug. 10-13. As festivalgoers bask in the island’s natural allure, they’ll have the added delight of experiencing the event at the newly refurbished Vashon Theatre. This year’s edition promises a showcase and a full-blown celebration of trailblazing independent cinema.
An Impressive Collection of Films
This year’s film slate boasts 12 captivating features and 10 shorts, all of which have earned accolades on the festival circuit. According to Mark Mathias Sayre, an internationally renowned film producer and a proud long-time resident of Vashon Island, the festival’s primary goal is to champion the spirit of independent filmmaking while offering patrons a unique cinematic treat.
Sharing his enthusiasm, Sayre remarked, “Our program this year has a wide appeal. It includes coming-of-age tales, intriguing stories of families and individuals, spine-chilling horror shorts, a motivational look at a women’s football league, a gripping spy chronicle, and heartfelt tributes to two iconic Pacific Northwest bands, among other engaging pieces.”
A Thoughtful Selection Process
The film curation was collaborative, with Sayre working closely with the Vashon Film Institute’s programming team. VFI, the non-profit body steering the festival, is passionately committed to enriching the youth and the wider community through its educational offerings, special events, and workshops.
Putting emphasis on the festival’s objectives, Sayre added, “We’re dedicated to presenting an exceptional lineup of truly ‘independent’ films. Moreover, we feel that patrons from off the island will discover what locals have always known: Vashon Island’s unparalleled beauty makes it a breathtaking venue for the festival.”
Highlighting a Rock ‘n’ Roll Legend
One of the standout presentations at VIFF this year is “Boom: A Film About the Sonics,” directed by the talented Jordan Albertsen. This exclusive director’s cut documentary charts the untold journey of The Sonics. Hailing from Tacoma and founded by Bob Bennett, Rob Lind, Larry Parypa, Andy Parypa, and Terry Roslie in 1960, the film navigates through the band’s meteoric rise, hiatus, and eventual reunion. The narrative unravels how The Sonics, beyond their chart-topping hits, played muse to global bands like Sound Garden and Heart.
An All-rounded Experience
The festival isn’t solely about films. Attendees can look forward to ‘Rock on the Rock’ on Friday evening at The Backlot—a perfect setting to network with filmmakers and enjoy local performances. The Saturday Night Soirée is poised to be a hit with its live music, diverse street food, and beer/wine garden.
For those eager to be a part of VIFF 2023, tickets for individual screenings and discounted packages for those buying in bulk are up for grabs. Given the limited seating capacity of the theatre, it’s recommended to arrive ahead of time since entry will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
VIFF 2023 is more than just a film festival—it’s an experience set amidst nature, brimming with tales that inspire, challenge, and entertain.