Tacoma Film Festival is back!

Catch TFF - October 5-12

By Morf Morford, Tacoma Daily Index

The past several years have been tough for many of us. From local businesses to renters and non-profit and entrepreneurs, this has been a difficult season to get through.

From work schedules to school days to daily routines, very few of us have the same priorities or activities we had just a few years ago. Like many of us, I have gotten out of the routine of going to movies.

With the recent influx of super-hero sequels, prequels and remakes, there has not been much to inspire most of us to nudge us away from our Netflix and streaming at home to get out and catch a new film – even if we could find one, schedule it and budget for it.

Going out to see a movie has become something like an investment. But it is also something like a ritual – a ritual that we share with friends, family and companions. All we need is a good reason to do it.

Tacoma Film Festival is that reason

Traditionally held in and around Tacoma’s Grand Cinema, (606 Fawcett Avenue) the Tacoma Film Festival has returned with its usual roster of local, independent and art films, and a few sessions for aspiring film-makers (of all ages) to mingle, network and find inspiration for that lingering film project that needs a little nudge to get moving. This includes a free gathering held by Washington Filmworks on Tuesday, October 10, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM. You can hear about funding for local filmmakers making projects under $1 million and new education forums and mentorship programs.

You can see a full online version of the entire program here.

We’ve written about previous TFFs here.

I have attended most, if not all previous TFFs, and have previewed several of the films scheduled for the 2023 TFF.

If there is one thing you can count on at TFF, it is that you are likely to encounter films, expressions and perspectives you have probably never considered before. You might discover whole new avenues and approaches to creativity of all sorts – and meet others who appreciate the kinds of film you do.

If you want films like you’ve already seen, the megaplexes will offer you more of the same. If you are looking for films (and ideas) that stretch, inspire and, at times, redefine what film, as a medium, can do, don’t miss TFF.

Free for students

Thanks to partnerships with Tacoma Creates (and others) students from local schools can get free passes for the entire festival. You can get a pass if you meet the criteria – which is very simple – students are any currently enrolled primary, secondary, college, or trade school students of any age, limited to Tacoma/Pierce County residents and must have current student identification.

Other film festivals in Washington

If you can’t make it to the Tacoma Film Festival – or if you want to experience how other communities gather and present films around the state – or if you want to experience an ethnic (from Jewish to Southeast Asian and more) or theme related film festival (from Bigfoot to fantasy to horror and much more) take a look at this link to film festivals through out the year and all around the state.

Merlino Arts Center

The Grand Cinema has been at the Merlino Arts Center at 606 Fawcett Avenue since it was first established in 1997. And the Grand Cinema has always been about far more than film – it’s been about building a community. The Merlino building has been home to dancers, bakers, artists, independent theater – and much more.

For the first time, the Merlino is on the market and the Grand Cinema is raising money to buy the entire building. The cost of the Merlino Arts Center is $5 million. If you’d like to support this pulsing center of Tacoma culture, consider a donation here;

Tax And Contact Information:

EIN: 91-1774658, Grand Tacoma Cine Club d/b/a The Grand Cinema,

606 Fawcett Ave Tacoma WA 98402


Donations to The Grand are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Grand Tacoma Cine Club is registered under RCW 19.09.