Indie haven

Movie fans flock to Northwest Film Forum
Vanessa McGrady

Sure, everyone loves going to the movies. But no one in Seattle loves movies more than Michael Seiwerath, executive director of the Northwest Film Forum. On any given day, you might find him putting together a director's retrospective for NWFF's new flagship theater, moderating a Q-and-A session with a visiting director, or working to produce a film by a local auteur.

Year-round at the NWFF's 120- and 49-seat screening rooms, you can watch documentaries, short films, and retrospectives that are normally seen only at film festivals. When he's screening a piece by a hometown filmmaker, Seiwerath says, "those are the happiest days of the year."

Seiwerath's mission is not only to nurture a film during its creation, but to serve audiences rich and varied artistic fare, with offerings they could never devour at their local multiplex. Happily, Seiwerath has a willing audience of moviegoers in the Northwest, where late-autumn weather is usually lousy enough that you want to go to the movies but not so cold that you can't leave the house. "Seattle has the lowest per capita churchgoing population," Seiwerath says. "People don't go to church, they go to the movies."

INFO: For showtimes and special events, contact the Northwest Film Forum (tickets from $7.50; 1515 12th Ave., Seattle; www.nwfilmforum.org or 206/267-5380).