Make Believe Seattle Film Festival 2024 [In-Person Only]


All festival passes and individual event tickets are sold through Make Believe Seattle’s website.

Click for Accessibility Info

Ticketing, concessions, cinemas, restrooms, and our public edit lab are located on Northwest Film Forum’s ground floor, which is wheelchair accessible. All doors in Northwest Film Forum are non-motorized, and may require staff assistance to open. Our upstairs workshop room is not wheelchair accessible.

The majority of seats in our main cinema are 21″ wide from armrest to armrest; some seats are 19″ wide. We are working on creating the option of removable armrests!

We have a limited number of assistive listening devices available for programs hosted in our larger theater, Cinema 1. These devices are maintained by the Technical Director, and can be requested at the ticketing and concessions counter. Also available at the front desk is a Sensory Kit you can borrow, which includes a Communication Card, noise-reducing headphones, and fidget toys.

The Forum does NOT have assistive devices for the visually impaired, and is not (yet) a scent-free venue. Our commitment to increasing access for our audiences is ongoing, and we welcome all public input on the subject!

If you have additional specific questions about accessibility at our venue, please contact our Patron Services Manager at Our phone number (206-329-2629) is voicemail-only, but we check it often.

Made possible due to a grant from Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Sensory Access, our Sensory Access document presents a visual and descriptive walk-through of the NWFF space. View it in advance of attending an in-person event at, in order to prepare yourself for the experience.

⚠️ COVID-19 Policies ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. We are not currently checking vaccination cards. Recent variants of COVID-19 readily infect and spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about NWFF’s policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

March 21-26, 2024

Let's Make Believe!

MAKE BELIEVE SEATTLE was born in 2023 and is the Pacific Northwest’s first and only imagination-focused film festival celebrating the weird, wild, and wonderful.

While Make Believe specializes in genre cinema, we exist to expand those narrow definitions; to create a more diverse and inclusive slate of films, and to celebrate and champion a more diverse and inclusive set of filmmakers.

Let’s make believe… together!

Make Believe Seattle is fiscally sponsored by FRACTURED ATLAS and operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit entity (EIN: 113451703). Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extend of the law.


Click each showtime/title below for tickets + info

The following films are only those that play at NWFF. Visit Make Believe Seattle’s homepage for the full festival schedule!

Mar. 22 at 5:45pm | "Queen of the Deuce" (screens with Matinee Baby)

(Valerie Kontakos, US, 2023, 90 min, in English & Greek with English subtitles)

Chelly Wilson was a Christmas-celebrating Jewish grandma, a lesbian who married men, and a proud owner of porn theaters in 1970s NYC. Through audio recordings, Chelly recounts her pre-war escape from Greece up through her unlikely motherhood and rise to wealth as a shrewd businesswoman on “The Deuce,” aka New York’s infamous 42nd Street. Fascinating WWII and NYC archival footage illustrate this entertaining story of a family and its matriarch, a truly unique character with chutzpah in spades.



Mar. 22 at 6pm | Shorts Block: Silent Scream (Wordless)

(72 min)

The true universal language… is FEAR! An eclectic collection of dialogue-free shorts that will leave you speechless. Curated by Kristen Grote.


Mar. 22 at 8pm | World Premiere: "A Most Atrocious Thing" (screens with "The Warmest Color Is Blue")

(Ben Oliphint & Christian Hurley, US, 2024, 75 min, in English)

When a group of young Chapman University students got creative during the pandemic, on a shoestring budget of $5,000, something special was born. A Most Atrocious Thing is that ‘something special’, a wild and blood-soaked thrill ride that feels as if the Please Don’t Destroy gang got in bed with Troma (Lloyd Kaufman even makes a cameo). When a group of friends preparing to step out into adulthood get together for a wild weekend getaway, they make the tragic mistake of eating infected deer meat, thus turning them into crazed, bloodthirsty maniacs. But, while it’s a grisly, feral, ‘atrocious’ affair, it’s also riddled with ample amounts of humor and heart, a tricky tonal accomplishment for any filmmaker. A Most Atrocious Thing is a labor of love from a group of friends who understood the assignment. It’s the type of film we love at Make Believe because it embodies everything we ‘believe’, and everything we are.



Mar. 23 at 1:45pm | Shorts Block: Drawn to Death (Animation)

(103 min)

Die, come alive, disintegrate, and reanimate all over again—get your animation adoration on with 2D, CG, hand-drawn, hand-painted, and stop-motion shorts galore! Curated by Hannah Baek.


Mar. 23 at 2pm | "Gunfighter Paradise" (screens with "Maize")

(Jethro Waters, US, 2024, 98 min, in English)

A hunter returns home to North Carolina with a mysterious green case. Following the death of his mother, he settles back into the family home where his mind begins to disintegrate. Stalked by divine voices and unholy visions – a cable man, a mummified cat, zealous neighbors, and a killer swirl through this darkly comic Southern gumbo. With Gunfighter Paradise, director Jethro Waters has crafted a gauzy, eerily romantic, and disquieting picture about loss, regret, and the dark and twisted capacities of the human mind. It’s a riveting debut feature and the type of grass roots Americana that would make Altman and Lynch extremely proud. Featuring a memorable performance from the great character actress, Jessica Hecht (Breaking Bad, Friends).



Mar. 23 at 3:45pm | Centerpiece: "Bonus Track" (screens with "AIKANE")

(Julia Jackman, United Kingdom, 2023, 94 min, in English)

Part Heartstopper, part Sing Street, and all coming-of-age charm, Bonus Track is a warm and tender portrait of young love and artistic adventure. George is 16-years-old, filled with musical aspirations, and discovering himself in his very small town. When the son of a famous musical duo arrives, the two form an unlikely bond as they prepare for the school talent show, awakening feelings and talents otherwise dormant. Produced by and co-starring Josh O’Connor (The Crown, Challengers), with Jack Davenport (Smash, The Talented Mr. Ripley), Bonus Track is a film for anyone who’s ever had a dream…a crush…a burning desire to express themselves. We’re not kidding when we say it’s the loveliest film you’ll see this year.



Mar. 23 at 5:45pm | "Lost Soulz" (screens with "M.T. Nestor")

(Katherine Propper, US, 2023, 95 min, in English)

One of our biggest surprises of the year comes from the state of Texas and first-time feature filmmaker, Katherine Propper – the exuberant, poignant, and unforgettable Lost Soulz. A young rapper leaves everything behind and embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery, music, and friendship in the heart of Texas. Featuring inspired performances from a cast of mostly unknown actors, and music that won’t leave your head for days, it’s the sort of debut that signals great things on the horizon. It’s impossible not to get swept up by the simple pleasures of this film, a coming-of-age story that doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll wish the soundtrack was instantly available. With any luck, it will be.



Mar. 23 at 6pm | World Premiere: "The Lonely Man with the Ghost Machine" (screens with "Shadow Brother Sunday")

(Graham Skipper, US, 2024, 90 min, in English)

After a global catastrophe, the last man on Earth finds himself questioning his purpose and sanity as both his deceased wife and a mysterious stranger confront him with his past, his present, and whatever future might remain in the wastes of a dead world. Part I Am Legend, part A Christmas Carol, and tinged with all the Lovecraft your cosmic hearts can handle, this World Premiere from actor (Suitable Flesh, The Leech, Mind’s Eye) and filmmaker (Sequence Break) Graham Skipper is a clearly personal endeavor that allows the director to test his mettle in a claustrophobic environment, and the actor a complicated and emotionally ignited character that provides enough meat on the bone to feed a family of six. We’re elated to share this madness with the world!



Mar. 23 at 8pm | "Monkeys" & "Monkeys 2: Fight the Future"

(John McGuigan, US, 2002, 120 min, in English)

When filmmaker John McGuigan, then in high school, directed his magnum opus (Monkeys) and its sequel (Monkeys 2: Fight the Future), he could never have known that – years later – a weird, wild, and wonderful genre festival in Seattle would dust them off and showcase them to new audiences looking for something filled with love and passion. Every kid with a camera made movies like these, with their friends, starting from scratch and seeing where the story took them. Both of these forgotten gems are brimming with kinetic filmmaking zeal, and the kind of youthful exuberance that is already making our backs ache. For fans of Avatar, Lawrence of Arabia, Remember the Titans, Lonesome Dove, and The Pelican Brief. Curated by Chris Thomas Devlin.

When Prago (Peter Rago) and John (John McGuigan) start to notice that their friends are changing, they accidentally uncover a secret plot for world domination. It seems as if their friend Mark (Mark Wilhelm) has been taken over by a group of monkeys hell bent on destroying the Chicago-land area, as well as parts of Indiana. Their evil leader, Ka-Zar, needs Prago’s car (Prago’s Grandma’s Car) to follow through with his plans. But he’s gonna have to get through Prago and John first. And that won’t be an easy task now, that they have their friend Brian (Brian Wessel) on their side. And with the sage-like wisdom of the Bum (Eric Grau) there’s no way this group of mischievous jokesters can lose. Let’s just hope this gang of party animals can get that car back before disaster strikes. Even if they don’t, you’ll be taken on a magical slapstick journey through funnytopia!


Mar. 23 at 8:15pm | "Bloody Bridget" + Burlesque Performance

Filmmaker Richard Elfman and star Anastasia Elfman will be in attendance and producing a special musical burlesque performance before the screening!

(Richard Elfman, US, 2023, 80 min, in English)

From the warped and genre-defining masterminds behind Forbidden Zone comes the latest from horror camp maestro Richard Elfman, the wild and raucous Bloody Bridget.

Bridget O’Brian has a trailer park background and big aspirations. After a series of extremely abusive events, she meets the Haitian voodoo deity of life and death, and becomes empowered as a “valentine vampire.” Bridget becomes the “Sword of Justice,” defending women against the evil and oppressive. Starring Anastasia Elfman as “Bridget” and with a score by Danny Elfman.



Mar. 24 at 1:45pm | "The Concierge" (screens with "Promise")

(Yoshimi Itazu, Japan, 2023, 70 min, in Japanese with English subtitles)

Akino is a trainee concierge at the Arctic Department Store, an unusual department store that caters exclusively to animals. Under the watchful eyes of the floor manager and senior concierges, Akino runs around to fulfill the wishes of customers with a myriad of needs and problems in her pursuit to become a full-fledged concierge.



Mar. 24 at 2:15pm | Screen Drafts Live!

Returning for year two of Make Believe! Experts and enthusiasts competitively collaborate in the creation of screen-centric “best of” lists. Hosted by draft commissioners Clay Keller and Ryan Marker, and featuring all-stars Clarke Wolfe, Graham Skipper, Chris Thomas Devlin, and Billy Ray Brewton. “Most impeccable taste in guests.” – Entertainment Weekly


Mar. 24 at 3:45pm | "Dickweed"

(Jonathan Ignatius Green, US, 2024, 85 min, in English)

Two people got kidnapped. One man lost his dick. No-one got any money. This heist-gone-horribly-wrong led one Newport Beach detective on an international manhunt for the most twisted criminal he’d ever hunted. In 2012, Michael, a local weed dispensary owner, got home from work and plopped down on the sofa like any other weeknight. Three hours later he was zip-tied and eating dirt as three men tried to beat him into admitting where he’d buried the million dollars. And he would have gladly told them rather than endure what happened next. The only problem was, he hadn’t buried a million dollars, and after they tortured him and left him to die, he still had no idea who these men were.


Mar. 24 at 5pm | Shorts Block: Unknown Forces (Black Lens)

(97 min)

These four shorts depict various iterations of the Black experience. Some comedic, some horrific, and some tangibly profound, these works showcase the incredible creativity in the genre world from Black artists.


Mar. 24 at 6pm | Secret Screening

(?, US, 2024, 90 min, in English)

We’re saving one slot for something extra special. We’ll announce the week before the festival!


Mar. 24 at 7pm | "Gush" (screens with "This Is TMI")

(Fox Maxy, US, 2023, 71 min, in English)

As experimental as it is fully-formed, Fox Macy’s extraordinary debut feature makes a strong case for her being a filmmaker to watch. Pieced together from a decade’s worth of personal archives, Gush delivers a kaleidoscopic look at horror and survival. The film weaves through a stream-of-consciousness meditation on the impact of sexual violence and healing through collective joy, speaking to its viewers on its own terms and demonstrating the radical possibilities of filmmaking. Gush blends an intimate collage of personal footage and fixations that – true to its director’s form – creates its own cinematic language.


Mar. 24 at 8:15pm | Closing Night: "Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person" (screens with "World to Roam")

** NWFF’s staff pick! **

(Ariane Louis-Seize, France, 2023, 92 min, in French with English subtitles)

The vampire sub-genre has explored just about every angle imaginable, which makes the revelation of Humanist Vampire… all the more remarkable. Sasha, a 16-year-old vampire, hates the idea of killing people for their blood. When her supply is cut off by her parents, she enlists the help of Paul, a suicidal boy who agrees to being Sasha’s victim as long as she spends a night helping him accomplish everything he wants to do before he dies. This dark and redeeming coming-of-age picture takes everything you know and love about vampires, humanizes it, and presents a world unlike any we’ve seen in a film like this before. Sara Montpetit and Felix Antoine-Benard are truly inspired as “Sasha” and “Paul”, and you won’t believe just how impactful this little film feels in the end.



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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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