The Seattle Film Critics Society (SFCS) Announces Nominees for 2023 Pacific Northwest Filmmaking Award

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The Seattle Film Critics Society (SFCS) Announces Nominees for Second Annual Pacific Northwest Filmmaking Award and Local Screenings at SIFF Cinema Egyptian in December

Since 2022, the Seattle Film Critics Society (SFCS) has honored Pacific Northwest filmmaking as part of our annual awards. The Pacific Northwest Filmmaking award celebrates the many talented filmmakers who call our region home and who produce work here.  

A nominating committee of SFCS members carefully considered films released throughout the year whose primary production took place in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, or Idaho) and selected five finalists. In collaboration with SIFF, each of the nominated films will screen at the Egyptian in December. 

  • Even Hell Has Its Heroes – Tuesday, December 5th (6:30 pm)
  • Richland – Wednesday, December 6th (6:00 pm)
  • Showing Up – Wednesday, December 6th (8:00 pm)
  • Dreamin’ Wild – Thursday, December 7th (6:30 pm)
  • Fantasy A Gets a Mattress – Saturday, December 9th (6:30 pm)

Further information about tickets is available at The winner will be determined by a vote of the full membership and announced alongside SFCS’s other annual awards on January 6, 2024.

“This year has been a high-water mark for filmmaking in the Pacific Northwest, and we’re thrilled to call out a selection of the finest films from a strong slate of contenders. They follow in the wake of local favorites, like Nancy Savoca’s Dogfight or Robinson Devor’s Police Beat, and we can’t wait for more movie lovers to discover these films” said SFCS President Kathy Fennessy.


  • Dreamin’ Wild: Bill Pohlad’s narrative feature tells the unlikely true story of the rediscovery of Eastern Washington teenagers Donnie and Joe Emerson’s long-forgotten 1979 album by Light in the Attic Records in the early 2000s. In her review from its SIFF premiere, Kathy Fennessy (Seattle Film Blog) called itA film to stand alongside other Pacific Northwest portraits of sibling musicians, like Ulu Grosbard’s Georgia and The Fabulous Baker Boys,” and Josh Bis (The SunBreak) wrote “Pohlad evocatively transports us into the complex emotional journey that comes with the tantalizing prospect of an unexpected midlife encore.”
  • Even Hell Has Its Heroes: Clyde Petersen’s unorthodox and wide-ranging meditation on drone metal band Earth, its visionary founder Dylan Carlson, and the changing face of the Pacific Northwest over more than three decades of music history. Calvin Kemph (The Twin Geeks) praised it as “a stunning documentary built out of its own melancholic vibe, full of grief, dulling memories of a sonic soundscape that defines a sense of place.” 
  • Fantasy A Gets A Mattress: Noah Zoltan Sofian & David Norman Lewis’s wildly eccentric and hyper-saturated look at a local rapper’s odyssey to book a gig and find a good night’s sleep in a city increasingly hostile to the arts. Sellout crowds and critics alike have been wowed by the Seattle-made production, saying it “underlines that Seattle is still a city worthy of making art in” (Jas Keimig, South Seattle Emerald) and praising the “ludicrous and endearing blend of Gregg Araki energy, Harmony Korine grime, and John Waters caricature … a microbudget miracle–a madcap ode to the brash Seattle pipe dreams that keep the city weird.” (Ryan Bordow, Sitting in the Cinema)
  • Richland: Irene Lusztig’s closely observed portrait of a community whose identity was forged by the nuclear age as it confronts the contradictions of a violent past that echoes into the present day. Celebrating the film’s Tribeca debut, Joan Amenn (In Their Own League) reflected that the documentary “lets the locals speak for themselves, which is brilliantly poignant and sometimes infuriating in their inability to grasp the human cost of their work at Hanford.”
  • Showing Up: In her fourth collaboration with Michelle Williams, Kelly Reichardt’s sensitively-rendered portrait of a working artist in Portland evocatively explores the rewards and challenges of pursuing a creative life even as the demands of work, family, a broken water heater, and a wounded bird compete for precious time. Chase Hutchinson (Collider) celebrated the film as one that “proves to be present and powerful in its accumulation of small moments that come together into something spectacular.” 

The Seattle International Film Festival screened two of this year’s nominees: Dreamin’ Wild (World Premiere) and Even Hell Has Its Heroes (North American Premiere). Richland had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Showing Up premiered In Competition at Cannes in 2022 before being released this spring by A24. Fantasy A Gets A Mattress had its world premiere at the Seattle Black Film Festival and has been claiming prizes and winning over audiences ever since.

The Seattle Film Critics Society is an association of professional critics working to facilitate a community that supports local productions and festivals; enhances public education, awareness, and appreciation of cinema; and strengthens the bonds of critical dialogue as it pertains to the cinematic arts.

Further information about the Seattle Film Critics Society’s annual awards can be found at

Contacts: | @seattlecritics |