Northwest Film Forum Welcomes Executive Director Lyall Bush

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Lyall Bush has accepted a permanent position at the Seattle-based film arts organization.

Northwest Film Forum (NWFF), Seattle’s film arts organization, is proud to announce that Lyall Bush has been hired as its new Executive Director. In his new position Bush will continue to bring new energy and vision to the position left by Michael Seiwerath in 2008, as he solidifies a three-year plan that will invite new audiences into Northwest Film Forum.

Bush comes from a nonprofit background and has worked in the area of film for over a decade. He organized film festivals when he worked for Humanities Washington and as written about film for a wide variety of publications. Bush’s involvement at Northwest Film Forum began several years ago when he was vice-president of the board; over the years he has also moderated panel discussions and given talks on filmmakers at the Film Forum.

“NWFF is thrilled to welcome Lyall as our Executive Director,” says president of the board Jennifer Roth. “Since November, when he first came to us as Interim Executive Director, he has led our new three-year strategic planning process. His work with the board and the staff has brought an exciting new vision to us for our future.”

Bush started as Interim Executive Director on November 10 last year. He took over from the previous Executive Director Michael Seiwerath, who announced plans to leave Northwest Film Forum in the spring of 2008.

“Northwest Film Forum is built on a strong foundation of passionate people working for a great cause,” says Bush. “I have been very impressed these past few months by the dedication of the board of directors and by the intelligence and creativity of the staff. When I was offered the permanent job I accepted immediately. Michael spearheaded tremendous growth throughout his time here and that has made my work of exploring new directions for the organization a lot easier.”

Most recently Bush served as the Executive Director of Richard Hugo House, where he raised the organization’s visibility in the city and energized the board and staff around his new vision for programs and development. In 2003 NWFF entered into a new era with its expansion into a well-equipped 8,000 square foot space in Capitol Hill. Bush plans to use his experience to continue NWFF’s path of becoming the leading film arts organization in the region.

The Film Forum operates the region’s first and only non-profit center for the film arts. Community members can view films 360 days a year. NWFF prides itself on attracting a wide variety of audience members from long-time cinephiles, to children and families, artists, students and more. The organization also boasts the impressive Start-to-Finish program, which partners with a local artist to produce a feature length film. NWFF provides a funding strategy for the project, allowing local film artists and directors to bring their work to a much larger arena. The most recent film made through Start-to-Finish, David Russo’s The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will screen next week as well at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

The current space, located at 1515 12th Ave (between Pike and Pine), is Seattle’s first proper cinematheque. It houses two theaters, which play 200 films per year, year-round classes for emerging filmmakers, equipment for filmmakers, and artist support. The Film Forum is unique in that it focuses on bringing great films to the community, on fostering and nurturing local film artists, providing access to filmmaking equipment; and granting funds directly to working film artists.

There are now several homegrown producers, cinematographers, writers, and other crew members that are working steadily, in Seattle and abroad, due to the connections made and experience achieved through Northwest Film Forum.

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