Since its 2008 launch, Couch Fest Films has been instrumental in fostering appreciation for independently produced movies while rewarding their creators with cash and other prizes. This film festival is based in Seattle, Washington and screens short length movies using a modest network of residential homes. Each “host” house exhibits a genre-specific program containing nearly one dozen short films by filmmakers around the world. It is not unusual to find a short film program that is based around one central theme such as “Inappropriately Awesome” or “Mixed” rather than easily categorized genres.
The Founder’s Love for Movies and Escape Tactics for Crappy Circumstances
Couch Fest Films was started by Craig Downing who also operates as the programming director for this event. Downing, an avid movie fan and filmmaker started Couch Fest Films to learn how to run a film festival and bring his ideas to fruition. He developed the concept for Couch Fest Films while daydreaming at a crappy job, according to his interview with Chris Holland of B-Side. Previous work experience on the film festival circuit may have helped to cultivate Downing’s plans for Couch Fest Films in such a way that his success could inspire even the most average citizens. His expertise in super 8 film led him to work as a volunteer and then a screener with SXSW in Texas.
One Man’s Daydreaming Results in Movies for Seattle Residents
The inaugural Couch Fest Films event was courageously funded by Downing on his own to get filmmakers to notice the event and. Three filmmakers were awarded over $1,000 in cash prizes and trophies for their winning movies at Couch Fest Films that year. Short films are programmed in lieu of feature length movies as a way of accommodating the varied interests of festival attendees. If you do not like a film during one of these screenings, there is a great chance that it will be over in less than five minutes and new movies that you may like better will follow. Cozy living room couches are the charm that draws audiences to watch around 200 films playing at 10 houses in one day during Couch Fest Films.
Strangers sitting around each other in front of a television screen may seem creepy but purpose of this event is to not only provide short films with an audience but to foster discussions about these movies as well. Having rarely discussed movies with other people at a theater or film festival screening myself, it is refreshing to know that Couch Fest Films is building an active community around the appreciation of entertaining stories.
There are Lessons to be learned from Couch Fest Films
The manner in which Craig Downing started his own film festival is a testament to the fact that professional goals can be met whether you are in the movie industry or not. Couch Fest Films is the result of one man taking action to make his dreams come true, literally. Downing’s willingness to bankroll the operation of this film festival, including footing the bill for prize money and trophies demonstrates that you can experiment with your ideas for business, crafts or art projects without waiting for funding from single investors, venture capital firms or grant associations to give it a chance at success. Couch Fest Films offers a new distribution platform for short length movies and encourages film fanatics to be more social…one sofa at a time.