Local Sightings 2020 – Opening Night: Vanishing Seattle Series [Online]

View this program on-demand
Sep. 18–27, 2020

[ Opening Night ]
Live Screening on FB/Vimeo:
Sep. 18 at 7:00pm PDT

Post-Screening Q&A
Sep. 18 at 8:15pm PDT*


  • Purchase your pay-what-you-can ticket through Brown Paper Tickets.
  • Your email receipt will contain a link and password for viewing, under “Ticket Details”. (Don’t see it? Check your spam filter.)
  • If you encounter any issues logging in, please contact louie@nwfilmforum.org. (But please, check your confirmation email!)


Vanishing Seattle Films takes a deeper dive into the stories of legacy, resistance, and resilience behind the #VanishingSeattle hashtag.
Vanishing Seattle is a project that documents displaced and disappearing institutions, small businesses and cultures of Seattle – and celebrates the histories, spaces, and communities that give the city its soul.

* The Opening Night screening of Vanishing Seattle will be livestreamed via Vimeo, Facebook, and embedded on this page, at 7:00pm on Friday, September 18. It will be followed at 8:00pm by a post-screening Q&A featuring Cynthia Brothers of Vanishing Seattle, Inye Wokoma of Wa Na Wari, Bjørn Ruud of Scandinavian Specialties, and Karen Akada Sakata of Bush Garden!

The Q&A will take place over Zoom and also be livestreamed on Vimeo, Facebook, and on this page as well. RSVP for any ticket before Opening Night to receive these screening details.

NOTE: Vanishing Seattle gift packs are sold out! Sorry to anyone who missed them!

Executive Producers: Cynthia Brothers & Martin Tran

This film project was supported in part by 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax. Produced in association with Northwest Film Forum.

Executive Producer’s note:

These films were made before the pandemic, before this spring’s uprisings for Black lives. As we’ve come to realize, the seismic events of 2020 have not just exacerbated vast economic, racial, and health disparities – they have made painfully obvious that these inequities are longstanding, pre-existing conditions that continue to go unresolved.

So I hope this film series is more relevant and pressing than ever. So much has happened, yet much remains the same. Despite global crises, the (too damn high!) rent is still due. Luxury development steamrolls forward. Small businesses, artists, and communities of color continue to be priced out at a dizzying pace. And they continue to resist and persist, with creativity and resilience. Capital may be a disaster opportunist, but we – as a “world class city” – are presented with an opportunity to interrogate and reimagine our priorities. Although Vanishing Seattle has largely been a practice of spotlighting specific spaces, I hope they all beg bigger questions. As Capitol Hill artist Jeannine Powers stated: “Through the arts, we question – you’re not supposed to accept what is. You’re supposed to creatively start to seek what you want.

When we emerge on the other side, what kind of city do we want to be? And what will we do now to make that happen?

Featured in this program:

Central District: Wa Na Wari

(devon de Leña & CHIMAERA, Seattle, WA, 8 min)

Wa Na Wari is a 5th-generation Black-owned home in Seattle’s Central District that creates space for Black ownership, possibility, and belonging through art, historic preservation, and connection – amid the context of increasing gentrification in a neighborhood that was once 80% Black.

University District: Hardwick’s Hardware

(Lisa B. Hammond & Derek Johnson, Seattle, WA, 9 min)

Hardwick’s is a 4th-generation independent hardware store in the University District that has supported boat builders, woodworkers, metalsmiths, artists, tradespeople, and countless small businesses, local industries, and Seattleites for nearly nine decades. Hardwick’s Hardware will close and move out of state in Fall 2020, as they and their customer base are being priced out by a changing Seattle and U District.

Ballard: Scandinavian Specialties

(Cody Lewis & Jon Evans, Seattle, WA, 9 min)

Scandinavian Specialties is the last remaining Nordic-focused retail shop in Ballard, a neighborhood that has grappled with preserving its Scandinavian and working-class history against a backdrop of rapid development and gentrification.

Capitol Hill Arts District

(Angela Bernardoni & Laura Jean Cronin, Seattle, WA, 15 min)

This film shares the stories of artists, nonprofit leaders, and small business owners on Capitol Hill as they struggle to maintain a thriving presence for queer arts and culture in the neighborhood.

International District: Bush Garden

(Ellison Shieh, Martin Tran & Christopher Woon-Chen, Seattle, WA, 10 min)

In addition to being the first karaoke bar in the country, since 1953 Bush Garden has been a hub for connection, celebration, and multiracial organizing. After the historic building was sold to a private developer in 2017, a grassroots fight emerged to save both its history and future as a vital community space.

International District: Four Seas/Dynasty Room

(Tuyen Than & Ryan Catabay, Seattle, WA, 11 min)

Built in 1962, The Four Seas restaurant and Dynasty Room lounge was a gathering place for people from all walks of life, until its closure in 2017. However, the space is being reactivated to continue to serve and build community for future generations.

Back to Festival Catalog

Local Sightings Film Festival 2020 [Online]

Presented by Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum, the 23rd Annual Local Sightings Film Festival [Online] virtually showcases creative communities from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The 2020 program, which runs from September 18-27, features a competitive selection of curated shorts and feature film programs, inviting regional artists to experiment, break, and remake popular conceptions around filmmaking and film exhibition.

Local Sightings 2020 champions emerging and established talent, supports the regional film industry, and promotes diverse media as a critical tool for public engagement. This year’s festival also celebrates NWFF’s 25th Anniversary as an organization.


Vote for your favorite films by 12pm PDT on Closing Day, Sep. 27; BEST FEATURE and BEST SHORT winners receive a future screening opportunity at NWFF!

A modern browser is required to view this site.

Please update your browser.

Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

Notify me when new films, events, and workshops are coming up!