Skip to content

The Guatemalan Handshake and Rat Pack Rat

After winning the Special Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival for his surreal mystery The Guatemalan Handshake (2006), director Todd Rohal buried the film in the New Mexico desert in despair over not being able to find distribution. One of the film’s producers was Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths, who also co-produced Rohal’s Sundance-winning short Rat Pack Rat (2014) with Justin Zimmerman. In 2017, Zimmerman discovered the only remaining 35mm print of The Guatemalan Handshake in the basement of a theater in Los Angeles, ready for fresh reappraisal. Tonight’s screening of these two award-winning films is also the opportunity for a conversation about what it means to have reached a certain moment and then watch things crash and burn before rising again to grow even stronger. Rohal, Griffiths, and Zimmerman still work together and will be on hand to discuss their films and experiences and the hard road of the independent filmmaker.

Appears in: Northwest Tracking

Genres: Narrative

Other Films by Megan Griffiths


Seattle-based director Megan Griffiths’ sixth feature is both a coming-of-age tale and a glimpse into the heartache of loneliness. Young Sadie lives with her mother, Rae (Melanie Lynskey), in an economically depressed community to which her soldier father has not returned for several years. While Rae knows quite well that he may never return, she


VISITING ARTIST—Independent feature filmmaking in Seattle is flourishing, led by filmmakers like Megan Griffiths (THE OFF HOURS) who are finding national audiences. In her new film, an electrifying thriller inspired by true events, Jamie Chung (THE HANGOVER, THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS) stars as Hyun Jae, a young Korean-American girl abducted and forced into