Ebert loves it. Fans at the just-concluded Toronto Film Festival loved it. Now Weinstein-free Miramax Films is hoping you'll love it, too, having spent about $1 million to acquire Ward Serrill's Seattle-shot basketball documentary, The Heart of the Game. Screened in rough form at SIFF this spring, it follows the Roosevelt High School girls' squad over six years under volunteer coach Bill Resler, a UW tax professor. Everyone has compared the doc to Hoop Dreams, natch, and standout guard Darnellia Russell becomes the troubled yet compelling young heroine of its uplifting trajectory. (She also attended the fest with Serrill, Resler, and others.) With luck, the movie will be on Seattle screens by year's end (to be eligible for Academy Awards consideration), by which time Russell may be closer to her dream of playing major-college ball. Next March, of course, she could be choosing a gown for Oscar night. BRIAN MILLER
Out of the infinitely depressing ashes of grunge in 1995 sprang No Depression, the Seattle-based magazine that caught the alt-country wave and seemed guaranteed to die young and scruffy: It was scholarly and penniless and given to covering septuagenarian twangmeisters and bands with no record-store rubric to call their own. "I came up with $2,000 to pay the first printing bill, and that's the only capital that ever went into the magazine," says co-editor Peter Blackstock, the P-I alum who runs the local NDoffice in Poulsbo, Wash. (Co-editor Grant Alden, ex-grunge-epoch managing editor of The Rocket, holds down the Moorhead, Ky., bureau.) But the mag about American roots has taken root itself, and celebrates its 10th anniversary with 10 shows around the nation, concluding Thursday, Sept. 22–Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Sunset Tavern with acts including Christy McWilson, whose band, the Picketts, graced the first issue (see music listings, for details).
Since Blackstock and contributing editor Kurt B. Reighley are the only ND staff bylines still living here, most of its 39,000 readers doubtless don't realize it's another Seattle phenom. It really is a phenom, though: It won Utne Reader's Alternative Press Award and beat Rolling Stone on The Chicago Tribune's list of the 50 Best Magazines. Its anniversary also features a book, The Best of No Depression (University of Texas Press), and a redesign. Alden writes that for the first decade, he "meant to update the look of a magazine you might have found laying around in the waiting room of a muffler shop in the late 1950s. With the 10th anniversary redesign, I have sought to move the magazine's visual identity a few years forward, say, to the Kennedy years." TIM APPELO
Seattle Symphony raised $45,000 to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina at its benefit concert last weekend. For more local relief efforts, see www.seattleweekly.com. LYNN JACOBSON