'Tis the season for The Tacoma Film Festival

By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index

There are a few events – and even a few places – in Tacoma where I have to stop and remind myself that I am, in fact, in Tacoma. The Tacoma Film Festival (TFF) is one of those times.

TFF is an indescribable (and usually glorious) gathering of film makers, movie nerds and all-around screen entrepreneurs and appreciators. Yes, it is not your usual Tacoma crowd. In fact it is a reminder that vision, creativity and merging community will, and in fact must, prevail against the seemingly unceasing drumbeat of dreary and demoralizing news.


The voices and vision you may see at TFF are many, are contradictory and, many times, inspiring.

We, our neighborhood, our nation and ourselves, are not stuck – we are in motion. Who we are today does not mean we are bound or obligated to be – or believe in – tomorrow.

Many, if not most, of these films explore challenge, betrayal, survival and, sometimes, triumph, but most of all, learning and transformation.

I’d suggest looking at each of these films with a focus on the primary characters – how are they different at the end the film from how they were at the beginning?

Each film is a story, a world unto itself, with its own rules, characters and setting.

Each one of as a viewer, incorporates and absorbs our experience into the larger, ever-changing context of our lives and community.

TFF is our collective opportunity to share snippets of a week’s-worth of unforgettable cinema.

Some films will have their debut here, some will return for a fuller run, many will never be shown in Tacoma again.

Many directors and participants will be in attendance. Most are not well known – yet. Many will be, or even already are, ground-breaking film makers.

TFF is your opportunity to see, experience and be a part of something far larger than what you might usually expect from Tacoma.

Yes, Tacoma is “gritty” but we reach for, we envision, and we sometimes capture something far beyond our expectations.

If you have never been part of TFF, see here for a sense of the “vibe” of previous TFFs – http://www.tacomafilmfestival.com/archive/.

If you’d like to experience a behind the scenes view of the film-making process and work, you might consider hosting a film-maker. Most of them are from out of the area and could use a place to stay for a night or two – or several.

If you are interested, you can see details here – http://www.tacomafilmfestival.com/host-filmmaker/.

Selecting movies at a festival is always a challenge. To see the full program – or to check out a color coded grid that summarizes film showings based on their schedule  go to this link –  www.tacomafilmfestival.com/program/.

See innovative and original films at a variety of venues, from Proctor’s Blue Mouse Theatre, UWT, Alma Mater and The Grand Cinema and meet fellow film nerds. Don’t miss the 2018 TFF!


Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.  –  James Cameron





If you are a student – at any level from kindergarten to college – visit The Grand Cinema box office starting October 1 or any TFF venue during the festival, and sign up for a free Student Film Pass. (Must show student ID.)

Then just show your pass at the box office for free tickets to as many regular TFF screenings as you’d like! Students are any currently enrolled primary, secondary, college, or trade school student of any age.

Some screenings excluded: Opening Night, Closing Night, Family Shorts, Track 03, The Veldt Preview Party


Everybody has something that chews them up and, for me, that thing was always loneliness. The cinema has the power to make you not feel lonely, even when you are.  Tom Hanks