One of Northwest Film Forum’s key artist support services is Fiscal Sponsorship. The Forum currently sponsors over 100 film projects and organizations.
If your film or project is approved for this program, we extend the Forum’s 501c3 status as a sponsor for the project, opening up opportunities for grants and fundraising available to nonprofit organizations. Fiscally sponsored projects can solicit tax-deductible donations from organizations or individuals. We administer donations made on behalf of the project and send donor acknowledgments. Our administrative fee is 7% for funds granted, but we do not take any ownership of the project.
Please note that this program does not provide direct financing or fundraising services.
PICTURED: The feature film, Thin Skin, directed by Charles Mudede.
703 features James, an elder gay male protagonist who works through a marital betrayal while calling in his usual pizza delivery order. Claire is a middle-aged musician who makes ends meet working at the pizza delivery call center. It’s Friday night, and James almost always happily chats while he orders the usual from Claire. But tonight is not business as usual; Claire senses something is terribly wrong.
The Women’s March on Washington was an awakening of the American consciousness that helped spur a continual movement of activism. Anxiety over the leadership of the Trump administration has reached a breaking point that hasn’t been seen since the 1960s. America Rise follows the stories of people fighting to improve their communities, country and democracy in the wake of these daunting times.
Is happiness a choice? Grounded in the reflections of five seniors on their life experiences, and with experts in emerging scientific thinking, the film Appleseeds seeks to discover if happiness is more than just a byproduct of happy experiences, but can also be a conscious choice throughout our lives.
Coping with her failing health due to Topical Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome (TSWS), a young, Black theatre actress escapes her pain through musical fantasies only to discover she must face her reality to get the help she needs.
“National treasure,” local celebrity, Holocaust Survivor – Sonia (89) has just been served an eviction notice for the last (and most popular) shop left in a dying suburban mall. Following Sonia on the motivational speaker circuit to schools and prisons – even as she navigates her own struggles – Big Sonia explores what it means to be a survivor and how trauma is passed down through generations. Will you let your trauma define you? Or will your past make you stronger?
Black Cinema Collective
Black Cinema Collective (BCC) is a Seattle-based group of artists and scholars who examine and celebrate works of African and African diasporic filmmakers through programmed screenings and community discussions. With both a Black Feminist and Black Global lens, we hold space for the complex existence and storytelling inventions of Diasporians. We consider intersectional histories and topical stories by supporting multiple forms of filmmaking from local and global artists, activists, documentarians, and organizers. Through our focused events on Black film and visual productions, we exercise agency and care as custodians and students of a broader spectrum of Afro-Diasporic cultures.
The Buffalo Soldiers of the Pacific Northwest
Being African American sometimes feels like the only history you have is that of slavery. But that would be untrue.
This film will look at the legend of the Buffalo Soldiers, and their charge to the Pacific Northwest after the Spanish war. The film will also profile Moses Williams, a recipient of America’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, as well as a look at the men and women keeping the legends of the Buffalo Soldiers alive today.
Coffee & Sugar
Coffee & Sugar is an animated exploration of the memories of a 93-year-old woman as she reflects on her marriage of 62 years. Through an abstract and fantastical mixture of 2D and stop motion animation, Coffee & Sugar will explore the beautiful complexity of love, memory, and time.
East of the Mountains
Retired Seattle heart surgeon Ben Givens (Washington’s own Tom Skerritt) doesn’t have long to live. A year into a cancer diagnosis and a year into being a widower, he’d rather end his life on his own terms. Without telling his daughter (Oscar® winner Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite) about his decision, he and his dog Rex hop into his car and head east over the Cascade Mountains with only a backpack and a shotgun in tow. Now among the apple orchards and gorges of Eastern Washington and near his boyhood home, he is determined to tie up loose ends before he takes matters into his own hands. But as is customary in this kind of story, his journey takes a few unexpected turns, forcing him to reassess what truly matters in life.
Even Hell Has Its Heroes
Finding Bapu is a comedy about grief. It explores a child’s perspective into the complex world of loss, cultural identity and belonging. Sometimes, the hardest part of loving someone is learning to let go.
In a near future where the State of Israel has ceased to exist, Goshen puts an intimate frame around two women navigating the Jewish Diaspora on conflicting paths of righteousness. A graduate student thesis film, this 20-minute morsel of cloistered science fiction offers a twist on the ‘Nazi Hunter’ genre that’s bound to cause a stir.
In GRANDMA’S ROSES, filmmaker Jordan Thierry explores the poignant life of his grandmother, and that of others, to reveal the complicated relationship America has with women’s love and labor. Reflecting on his experience as a grandson and recognizing that he knew her only as a grandmother but not as a whole person, the filmmaker travels across the country to hear the stories of similarly dynamic, wise, and courageous grandmothers who’ve lived boldly in the face of sexism and racism to see striking parallels emerge. GRANDMA’S ROSES expands upon the familiar notions of grandmothers as centerpieces of family life by also showcasing their contributions outside of the home reflects on the expectations set for them by society.
In Her Hands: Key Changes in Jazz
Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway
A new Afrofuturist Sci-Fi! A WTF thriller! A final punch against global corruption! An underground James Bond! Far beyond The Matrix!
From the team that made Crumbs (2015) this new sci-fi adventure will knock you off your seats with its cornucopia of weirdness interdimensional travel, astonishing spy plots and kung-fu adventures.
Marcie, a bartender with a dream, has to rally her people to save her community and the surrounding forest from development.
The Marsha Turner Taylor Visionary Award
The Marsha Turner Taylor Visionary Award extends the philanthropic goals of the Thread LLC by supporting charitable activities and making grants to individuals who embody the social and media activism of Marsha Turner Taylor, who at 15 years old, helped launch and grow the Free Breakfast for Children Program, created by the Black Panther Party in Oakland, CA in the late 1960s. Her family now lives in the Pacific Northwest where the Marsha Turner Taylor Visionary Award is based. The Award acknowledges youth media artists with a unique vantage point to a game-changing moment in history, and who use their position to make the world a better place.
The Most Dangerous Year
In 2016 a group of Washington State families with transgender kids join the fight against the wave of discriminatory anti-transgender legislation sweeping through the nation and into their home state. With the help of a coalition of state lawmakers and civil rights activists, these families embark on an uncharted journey of fighting to protect and preserve their children’s inalienable human rights and freedoms in this present-day civil rights movement.
Pinwheel Horizon is a narrative short fantasy/drama about three elite warriors who must confront the division between them before facing 40 warriors—their final confrontation. The film is an allegory about long-term struggle and the courage it takes to grow and adapt, from writer/director Ian Ebright.
A metaphysical buddy comedy for a bleak new decade!
RECKLESS SPIRITS is a hyperreal buddy comedy featuring two best friends—Yvette, a neurotic Asian American therapist, and Syd, a gender-fluid Latine performance artist—who are led by a series of supernatural events into an uncanny new world of psychics, spirits, and a cult leader that’s threatening to tear their friendship apart.
Reel Witness follows Hameed — a young Muslim who left everything behind in war-torn Iraq at 16, in a solo quest for a brighter more peaceable future. Now 22, like Isatou of Little Rebel, his salvation is scholarship in Seattle bound by a big altruistic dream. From flight to refuge, Reel Witness seeks to humanize the facelessness of emigration and celebrate personal tales of resiliency.
Generations of Blackfeet have, over the millennia, navigated impossible obstacles and successfully retained their native lands, traditions, and their independence. History paints a sensational picture of native culture from a bygone era, framing Native Americans as a part of a shared American history. This narrative underscores the reality of broken government treaties, reservations, and other atrocities the Blackfeet Nation has overcome.
This is a story of an ancient people who retain their spirit and culture surrounded by modernity and the threat of assimilation.
This is a story of resilience.
This is the story of the very first Americans.
The Road to Nickelsville
Caution, survival, and hope. The residents of Nickelsville, an organized homeless encampment in Seattle Washington, share how they became homeless; caution how quickly it can happen, and how they persevere. Director of the Low Income Housing Institute, and a district court judge who presides over child custody cases involving homeless families, provide institutional context.
Seattle Black Panthers Fight for Justice & Freedom
The Black Panther Party (BPP) shined the light on systematic oppression, police brutality, and the targeted victimization of black people; they led the charge to tear down the stronghold of institutional racism, inhumane treatment of black people, bigotry, and injustice in America and all over the world.
Shelf Life Community Story Project
Shelf Life is a community story project motivated by the rapid change and displacement taking place in Seattle’s Central Area neighborhood.
We are recording oral histories with people who live, work, and/or have roots in the neighborhood.
We believe neighborhood stories can interrupt the narratives of erasure that accompany gentrification; contribute historical context to conversations about change; and reconnect those who are experiencing displacement.
Since I Been Down
Since I Been Down explores the complicated balance and tensions between violent crime, punishment, justice, activism, and compassion. The documentary invites viewers to take an in-depth look at incarcerated men and women, in order to better understand processes of their transformations and their ultimate role, as models for all of us on being human.
The documentary follows men and women in Washington State prisons, incarcerated between 13 and 25 years of age for violent crimes, and who are remarkably turning their lives around and creating social justice programs from within prison in spite of the controls of public life.
An experimental horror film about four friends who leave Seattle for a weekend in a remote, rain-soaked corner of the rustic Skagit Valley. The foreboding October landscape begins to warp their minds, plunging each of them into alternate realities where they must grapple with personal demons, sexual tensions, and a sinister natural world as they claw their way back to sanity.
A Taste of Home
A Taste of Home is a feature length documentary tracing a new Asian immigrant’s journey to find her sense of place in a foreign America, through food. The film followed Val’s search for a taste of home, through 100 years of Asian American history and into the kitchens of 5 of the oldest food establishments in Seattle Chinatown. On her quest, Val was confronted with a bigger question: “Are Chinatowns dying?“
Thank You, MS PAM
Part Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Mister Rogers, part Solid Gold and Arsenio Hall, Thank You, MS PAM is an educational and entertaining television show for all ages starring and created by artist, Tariqa Waters who owns and operates, MS PAM (Martyr Sauce Pop Art Museum) located in downtown Seattle’s Historic Arts District, Pioneer Square.
The film Thin Skin, which is based on based on Ahamefule J. Oluo’s grand-scale comedic pop opera of the same name, is about a musician and struggling stand-up comedian named Aham. His marriage has just collapsed. He is desperately trying to sever all physical, financial, and emotional connections to this bad marriage. He is moving into a new place. He is adrift. He has to rebuild his life from scratch. One night, Ahamefule performs at a local jazz club and meets a young woman, Megan…
Coming in March 2023, [UN-TITLED] is a site-speciﬁc, multi-locational work where guests are guided through a series of engagements and reckonings with site histories, community meaning, cultural memory, and healing in the Central and International Districts of Seattle. Performance and activations spaces at INSCAPE Arts and Wa Na Wari.
upstart crow collective
upstart crow collective produces classical plays with diverse casts of women and non-binary people, re-imagining these works for a contemporary audience.
Vanishing Seattle documents the displaced and disappearing institutions, small businesses, and cultures of Seattle – often due to gentrification and development – and celebrates the spaces and communities that give this city its soul.
Your Lucky Day
Your Lucky Day is a morality tale set on Christmas Eve in a small convenience store near the bottom of the socioeconomic food chain where a hostage situation breaks out over a $156 million lottery ticket. When things inevitably spiral, the film becomes a hardboiled look at how the poisonous heart of the American dream is actually a nightmare.