As someone born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I approached an invitation to curate the shorts in this year’s Festival with trepidation. I disappeared from the area long ago. What would I know of regional filmmaking now? But it seems that I still have a special affinity for regional storytelling after all. As the saying goes, “You can take the magician out of the theatre but you cannot take the theatre out of the magician.” There isn’t such a saying? There should be.
Storytelling remains as relevant to my five-year-old daughter as it is for my over-one-hundred-year-old grandmother-in-law. Evidently, it is relatively essential to you as well. The shorts programs present an ideal opportunity for call-and-response. Narrative or non-fictional material addressed in one way is revisited elsewhere in another context. At least that was the intention. In these stories, the outcome depends on the decisions that you–the viewer–make and the directions that you take. Think carefully about your choices as they will affect your response to each program as it ends. In any event, consider that these words (and images) will continue to exist forever until they cease to be read (or seen) by anyone. So shall it be.
Jonathan Marlow is a film curator, critic, cinematographer, and occasional producer with numerous shorts to his credit. His eclectic arts and business career includes serving as director of the San Francisco Cinematheque, stints at Amazon and VUDU, and co-founding the subscription film service and social-sharing platform FANDOR—experiences which have put him at center of an expanding technology-centric film distribution world as a knowledgeable champion of independent film. Most recently, Marlow has joined San Francisco-based Kanopy, the leading on-demand streaming video service for higher educational institutions, as Chief Strategy Officer.