There’s a lot to love about SIFF, but the thing I always look forward to is ShortsFest, which SIFF programmers correctly bill as “a mini film festival.” Get all of the amazing variety (fiction and documentary, animated and live-action, from foreign to hyper-local) of the 3-week film festival in just a few days, packaged in inventive 5-30 minute nuggets from around the globe. This year #FilmInWA includes a short documentary about Hama Hama Oysters and another about the innovative man changing fishing in Haiti. My other favorite programs are Animation4Adults, WTF (surprise endings!) and Indigenous Without Borders, featuring indigenous filmmakers from around the world. Attend all of ShortsFest or pick a program or two to head to after the sun goes down.
If you go: ShortsFest, SIFF Cinema Uptown, May 25-29 ($14 individual program tickets)—N.C.
Every year, SIFF throws an epic party, complete with live music, prizes, and costumes. This year it’s an ‘80s Teen Movie High School Reunion (why NOT pretend we’re less jaded and live in a different time for one night?). SIFF provides the live music by 80s Invasion, hilariously staged scenes from ‘80s movies by Ian Bell’s Brown Derby Series, your favorite music videos of the era on the big screen and to top it all off, you'll receive your own Reunion yearbook. Start teasing your hair, finding the acid wash and get ready to belt out “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” with as much emotion as an angsty 16-year-old released from Saturday detention.
If you go: '80s Teen Movie High School Reunion, The Neptune Theatre, May 26 ($15)—N.C.
Marcus Harrison Green
Marcus Harrison Green, the award-winning journalist and founder of The South Seattle Emerald (also a former Crosscut Courage Award
winner) has also been a scholar-in-residence for the past few months at Town Hall Seattle. He’ll cap off that residency with a celebration of Flying to the Assemblies, a just-published, limited-edition book edited by Green and Mark Baumgarten of The Seattle Weekly. The book collects essays from a whole host of locals who weigh in on hope, politics and division. Essayists will read for their work.
If you go: Marcus Harrison Green, Town Hall Seattle, 5:30 p.m. May 26 ($5)—F.D.
With degrees expected to be in the 80s, could anything be better than Northwest Folklife this Memorial Day weekend? Some 5,000 performers on 25 stages over four days for F-R-E-E. A Bollywood showcase and roots music (Friday); avant-jazz, Northwest singer-songwriters (Saturday); indie songwriters, youth Gospel, funk, a Latin dance party (Sunday) and Jamaican reggae, blues and Italian and Iranian cooking demos (Monday). Go and power this largest community arts festival in the country.
If you go: Northwest Folklife, May 26-May 31, Seattle Center (free)—F.D.
At Western Washington University, Noel Franklin became friends with fellow art student Deborah Penne. They moved to Chicago after graduation. They took lots of road trips and talked a lot about not wanting to settle down. Then that friendship came to an abrupt and tragic end when Penne died in an airline crash. Franklin is working on a graphic memoir about this friendship and she will distribute free copies of a sample excerpt from Girl on the Road.
If you go: Noel Franklin, Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar, 5 p.m. May 28 (Free)—F.D.
Free Burgers at Li'l Woody's
Li'l Woody's already has some of the cutest- swift service, Northwest beef burgers that hit the spot. Whether you're in the mood for a classic or something adventurous (I love the Fig and the Pig), they are good even when you pay. For Memorial Day, they're offering free burgers though, from 2-5 p.m. at their Capitol Hill and Ballard locations — extras are (of course) extra, and there's a limit of one per customer. While you're there, you should probably get some house-made queso with hand-cut fries. Add in a Full Tilt milkshake — it's a holiday after all.
If you go: Free Burgers at Li'l Woody's, Ballard and Capitol Hill locations, 2-5 p.m. on May 29—N.C.