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From the Studio: Spokane International Film Fest 2023

Aaron Spickelmire and Tom Dineen preview some of the 50+ films in this year's SpIFF

Spokane International Film Festival organizers Tom Dineen and Aaron Spickelmire entered the KPBX studio to talk with E.J. Iannelli about some of the films in this year's festival, which opens this Friday.

More than 50 films from around the world will be shown as individual features or as part of group showcases at SpIFF 2023.

The festival, now in its 24th year, officially kicks off on February 3 with the Best of the Northwest showcase. Short films from the western side of the state, such as Bellingham's Belief and Totems, will be presented alongside We Live in Water, local filmmaker Sean Finley's adaptation of a Jess Walter short story set in Idaho.

SpIFF also includes a popular Animation Showcase. This year there are a number of shorts from The Netherlands—Blèh!, Nobody and Varken—that take a wry look at the potential pitfalls of technology.

Dineen and Spickelmire said they were particularly excited about two feature-length films: Chicory Wees' Circus of the Scars and Mikiech Nichols' Mountainside. Circus of the Scars is about the extreme, often grotesque Jim Rose Circus Sideshow; Mountainside incorporates a variety of cinematic styles and techniques, such as using found footage.

Several in-person events will also host the filmmakers for an audience Q&A.

SpIFF will offer in-person screenings at the Bing Crosby Theater and the Magic Lantern Theatre as well as a virtual component. The festival officially opens this Friday (Feb. 3) and runs in person until Feb. 5. The virtual screenings will remain available until Feb. 9.

For tickets, schedules and more information about the individual films, visit the SpiFF website.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director