Ben Andrews co-founded the Seattle Film Summit in 2013 when he and his peers felt like there was a disconnect between creative professionals in the region.
He described the film industry in Seattle at that time as “anemic” and devoid of creative cooperation, missing a sense of community.
It would be an event both for industry insiders as well as outsiders.
Seattle Film Summit organizer, Chad Hutson, said it was meant to be a place not only for an established make-up artist, but also the accountant who is really interested in doing make-up for horror films.
“It allows people to get a glimpse of the industry,” said Hutson.
Andrews said the Seattle Film Summit is about building the creative economy in the region and building connections to strengthen the creative sector as a community.
What began as a way to promote creative collaboration and film projects in Seattle grew to be more than just that, as the event grew its reach outside of the region.
Andrews said the last in-person SFS at the Hyatt in Renton in 2019 had over 750 attendees, showing significant growth from their first event in 2013. He added that last year’s virtual film summit included virtual attendees from 27 different countries.
He said he believes the event has become somewhat of a “catalyst” for not only film partnerships that did not previously exist, but for the entire creative sector of the economy in our region.
“I like to think we had a piece of the puzzle,” Andrews said.
He pointed out that politicians are now beginning to recognize the value of the creative sector. This year’s event will include a pitch competition with a judge’s panel that includes public policy experts, ready to give advice on how creatives can obtain public funding for their passion projects.
Andrews said a focus of this year’s hybrid virtual and in-person film summit will be teaching creators how to advocate for themselves, create opportunities that were not previously available and to work together with other passionate creatives.
“We are trying to build this community and to let everyone rise at the same level, at the same time,” said Andrews.
While the pandemic created significant challenges for the organizers of the Seattle Film Summit to convert the whole event to a virtual format, they understood the need to bring folks together amid a tough year for artists, musicians, film makers and other creators.
“People have relied on the arts to get us through this mess,” said Hutson
Andrews said he believes there is a relationship between how people collectively celebrate art and community following a pandemic. He pointed to the Renaissance following the Bubonic Plague or the “Roaring 20’s” that followed the Spanish Flu.
The SFS organizers said there will be an opening night mixer and reception on Sept. 4, before a series of virtual events in the following days. On Sept. 10 there will be a tour of King County’s new Harbor Island Studio, with more in-person festivities on Sept 11 at the Hyatt in Renton.
For more information or to register for the event visit: seattlefilmsummit.com