In Plain Sight Film Series [Online]

Apr 12 - May 21, 2020
4 Films


Sliding scale admission: $0–25
Please pay what you can; proceeds support our move to a virtual platform!
Showtime listed is Pacific Standard Time.



Northwest Film Forum is SCREENING ONLINE! NWFF’s physical space is temporarily closed in light of public health concerns around COVID-19, but community, dialogue, and education through media arts WILL persist.

• • HOW TO WATCH • •

  • Purchase a ticket through Brown Paper Tickets. Registration ends 1 hour before the start time.
  • 30 minutes before each screening, NWFF will send a link and password to your registered e-mail address! (Don’t see it? Check your spam filter.) The password will expire at the end of the film. No late seating!
  • If by showtime you do not receive an e-mail with details, please contact for a quick follow-up. (But please, check your spam!)

The Henry Art Gallery and Northwest Film Forum co-present the In Plain Sight Film Series

The Henry Art Gallery and Northwest Film Forum co-present the In Plain Sight Film Series

The Henry Art Gallery and Northwest Film Forum co-present the In Plain Sight Film Series on the occasion of In Plain Sight, a museum-wide group exhibition that highlights narratives, communities, and histories typically hidden in our public space imagining new possibilities for the future.

Coinciding with the Henry’s exhibition, the Forum’s film series invites engagement with hidden histories and contexts unearthed with the aid of moving image media. Programs explore the myriad shades of nuance in disciplinary synthesis and delight in the discovery of new relationships between poetry, artifactology, and cinema.

Presented in partnership with ByDesign Festival, Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, and Black Cinema Collective, these programs will all be presented ONLINE, on NWFF and Henry Art Gallery’s physical spaces are temporarily closed in light of public health concerns around COVID-19, but community, dialogue, and education through media arts WILL persist. Read about how to watch each program at its individual listing.

Learn more about Henry membership and NWFF membership and support the arts during this challenging time!

Mar. 18 at 7:30pm – Hidden (Escondido) w/ Space Needle: A Hidden History

(Miguel Baratta, Argentina, 2019, 70 min)

Inspired by abuses in Argentina’s dictatorial past but maintaining a global perspective, Hidden highlights the art of suppressed personal ideologies, experiences, and memories. Director Miguel Baratta dissects the morphology of design and the potential to resurrect hidden stories through physical objects—from the bones of victims of the Mapuche genocide to the remnants of songs written by Holocaust prisoners. Hidden opens windows into the past while considering the possibilities of art to transcend oppression in the future.


Screens with Space Needle: A Hidden History

(BJ Bullert, US, 2019, 18 min)

Space Needle: A Hidden History unfolds like a mystery to create a new origin story of this icon of the region, tracing the creative inspiration for the Needle’s shape back to a wooden sculpture called “The Feminine One.” The film connects dance, art, and architecture, and explores the creative legacies of architect Victor Steinbrueck and Seattle-born African-American dancer, Syvilla Fort.

Trailer >

Presented in conjunction with ByDesign Festival at Northwest Film Forum.

Apr. 12 at 6pm – The Tuba Thieves by Alison O'Daniel [Online]

Seven shorts by In Plain Sight artist Alison O’Daniel, priced on a sliding scale from $0–25

Drawing upon her experiences with hearing loss, O’Daniel expands definitions of sonic experience beyond ear-reliance as our sole auditory skill. This multi-chapter video project threads together anecdotes of marching bands’ whose tubas have been stolen, footage of the deaf drummer Nyke Prince, the 1952 premiere of John Cage’s 4’33”, and the last punk show at the Deaf Club in San Francisco in 1979.

Northwest Film Forum is SCREENING ONLINE! NWFF and Henry Art Gallery’s physical spaces are temporarily closed in light of public health concerns around COVID-19, but community, dialogue, and education through media arts WILL persist. Learn more about how to watch here.

Image credit: Alison O’Daniel, The Tuba Thieves, courtesy of the artist.

Apr. 15 at 7:30pm – Sight Lines: Video Poetry Showcase [Online]

Direct and unobstructed, the video poetry in this screening opens lines of sight into narratives, communities, and hidden histories through overlooked voices and untold stories. Video poetry provides a space outside of academia and canon where diverse poetic disciplines engage in unpacking individual histories excluded due to race, ethnicity, or class; explorations of coded language for protection, secrecy, or both; the illumination of invisible or covert systems of labor, exploitation, and capitalist control; and translation through surreal, oblique, or fantastical frameworks.

Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, presented by Northwest Film Forum, programmed in collaboration with Seattle author Chelsea Werner-Jatzke and artist Rana San, is a series of screenings, workshops, and discussions on the genre of video poetry, throughout National Poetry Month. Cadence fosters critical and creative growth around the medium of video poetry, approaching it as a literary genre presented as visual media.

Presented in conjunction with Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, this program will be streamed ONLINE. Learn more about how to watch here.

May 6 at 7:30pm – Community Action Center

(A.K. Burns & A. L. Steiner, US, 2010, 69 min)

** This film features explicit sexual content and is intended for audiences 18+. **

Community Action Center is a 69-minute sociosexual video by A.K. Burns and A.L. Steiner which incorporates the erotics of a community where the personal is not only political, but sexual. This project was heavily inspired by porn-romance-liberation films, such as works by Fred Halsted, Jack Smith, James Bidgood, Joe Gage and Wakefield Poole, which served as distinct portraits of the urban inhabitants, landscapes and the body politic of a particular time and place. Community Action Center is a unique contemporary womyn-centric composition that serves as both an ode and a hole-filler.

Because the video contains sexually explicit content, the term ‘porn’ is relevant and the artists have an interest in exploring the trappings of the term itself. Sex, sexuality and the complexities of gendered bodies are inherently political. Queer sex and feminist agency is a shared acknowledgment of reciprocal penetration. This project is a small archive of an intergenerational community built on collaboration, friendship, sex and art. The work attempts to explore a consideration of feminist fashion, sexual aesthetics and an expansive view of what is defined as ‘sex’. Burns and Steiner worked with artists and performers who created infinitely complex gender and performance roles that are both real and fantastical, set to a soundtrack of music and original compositions by artists culled from the worldwide sisterhood. The video seeks to expose and reformulate paradigms that are typical of porn typologies, intentionally exploiting tropes for their comical value, critical consideration and historical homage. Using the gallery to exer/exorcise the mystical and discreet lost spaces of homosocial configuration, the artists have created a reason and a space to reflect on the cultural realness of homo-grown lesbian sexuality. The work aims to be a hedonistic and distinctly political adventure.

Image copyright of the artist, courtesy of Video Data Bank,, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Trailer (NSFW/18+) >

May 13 at 7:30pm – L'Appel à la Danse au Sénégal

(Diane Fardoun, France, 81 min)

In Senegal, traditional dance forms preserved for generations mix with modern dance influences from around the world. The interaction between tradition and globalization, catalyzed by creative young dancers, fuels an intense new cultural context for artistic expression. The Call of Dance is a raw, immersive collection of moments in modern Senegalese dance that capture the complexity of this new era of multiplicity.

Throughout the film, dancers’ movements embody individuality, history, emotion and aspiration, sharing everything from solitary meditations on the nuance of the everyday to the kinetics of collective experience. At the Dakar Cultural Center, in a Krump battle, by the ocean, before a wrestling contest, at a village initiation ceremony – all of life is a site for the medium of dance, and every stage contributes its own energy.

The Call of Dance is a sensory and philosophical journey through the Senegal of today. It clearly and brilliantly draws the lines that link dance to self-transcendence and cultural heritage.

Trailer >

Curated by Berette Macaulay for Black Cinema Collective.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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