23rd Seattle film fest sets weekend workshop

SEATTLE — The 23rd annual Seattle Intl. Film Festival, running now through June 8, will climax with a closing-weekend workshop dubbed “Moving Stories: A Forum on Screenwriting and Cinematic Literacy.”

The workshop, which starts June 5 at the city’s recently refurbished Broadway Performance Hall, will feature commentary from such insiders as lenser Michael Chapman, scripter Wesley Strick and veteran Seattle helmer Alan Rudolph.

The first day opens with panels on basic indie development, with guests including “Drugstore Cowboy” producer Karen Murphy and Sundance Institute maven Rachel Chanoff. There’s an afternoon session called “Reality Bites,” in which Brendan Fraser, David Arquette and other actors will talk about what they look for — and sometimes find — in the scripts they’re given. Later, syndie columnist Dan Savage hosts “When Harry Met Sal,” a look at the anything-goes ethos in new cinema.

In keeping with that gender-blending theme, there will be a special reading on June 5 of Stewart Stern’s “Rebel Without a Cause” script, this time directed by Dan Ireland (helmer of “The Whole Wide World” and SIFF co-founder) and featuring “Nowhere’s” Jordan Ladd and Thomas Jane of “The Last Time I Committed Suicide” in the Natalie Wood-James Dean roles. The day also offers sessions on post-production, advanced cinematography and music composition, with the last featuring producer Don Was.

On Saturday Wallace Shawn presents a screening of David Hare’s adaptation of his play “The Designated Mourner,” followed by a Shawn-led panel discussion of the pic’s culture-crashing issues. Same day, three young helmers — “Ocean Tribe’s” Will Geiger, “Fall”-maker Eric Schaeffer and “Boredom, USA’s” Jon Ward — who took fest’s challenge to do a quick skeleton shoot in Seattle will show what they came up with. Mouse house animator Greg Griffith is also set to unspool his promo for the project, called “Fly Filmmaking.”

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