253 Film Summit 2018

Our celebration of local filmmaking has begun!

32 film crews competing in our annual 72 hour competition started their journeys on April 25 (follow along on the hashtag #253seconds). 

Their films will debut at the 253 Film Party May 10 and then, the very next day, we head to the University of Washington Tacoma to the 2nd annual 253 Film Summit.


Film in Tacoma partners with the UWT Film Club to present a free, day-long gathering at the University of Washington Tacoma campus for filmmakers, media professionals, and creative entrepreneurs who want to learn, connect, and create.

253 Film Summit Alma Mater 2018

We look forward to the Summit's second year! 

Following the annual 253 Film Party screening, this summit is a unique, extended opportunity for local filmmakers, emerging professionals, students, and those who participated in the 253 Film Competition to get to know one another, pitch ideas and projects, and plug in to the growing industry of media professionals and creatives in the South Sound.

We have five engaging sessions for our attendees to enjoy including a presentation from Washington Filmworks, a discussion about Tacoma Creates, and lunch with the Washington Lawyers for the Arts.

We’re also very excited about two new guests joining us this year: writer/director Megan Griffiths, and Manager of Research & Education for the Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Initiative, Jess Fuselier. Read on to learn more!





The 253 film Summit is delighted to host director Megan Griffiths as our special guest. We'll close out the conference with a Conversation with the Director hosted by local filmmaker and Grand Cinema board member Jamika Scott.

Don't miss this incredible opportunity to hear from an acclaimed, northwest based writer/director! 

Megan Griffiths is a writer/director working in film and television. She has directed shows for HBO, TNT, and Netflix. Prior, she wrote and directed the thriller THE NIGHT STALKER, starring Lou Diamond Phillips as serial killer Richard Ramirez. Her film LUCKY THEM starring Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church and Johnny Depp premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was distributed by IFC Films. Megan’s film EDEN, based on the true story of a young woman captured into the world of human trafficking, was a breakout at SXSW 2012, winning the Emergent Narrative Director Award, the Audience Award for Narrative Feature as well as a Special Jury Prize for lead actress Jamie Chung. Megan's feature THE OFF HOURS, distributed by Film Movement, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

She has produced several projects including Lynn Shelton’s YOUR SISTER’S SISTER and the Sundance comedy THE CATECHISM CATACLYSM. Megan was the recipient of the 2012 Stranger Genius Award for Film, was named the 2013 City Arts Film Artist of the Year, and received the 2015 Seattle Mayor’s Award for Film. She is the vice president of the board of the Northwest Film Forum and is an active advocate for sustainable production.

Megan's sixth feature film, SADIE, which stars Melanie Lynskey, John Gallagher Jr, Danielle Brooks and Tony Hale, and features breakout performances from its young stars Sophia Mitri Schloss and Keith L. Williams, premiered at the 2018 South by Southwest Film Festival and is now available via iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and on Videos on Demand through cable providers all over the country.

Megan writes about her experiences in the entertainment industry for her blog Thoughts on Film, and discusses recent releases for the film commentary site The Talkhouse.


(L-R) Daniel Perlaky and Jess Fuselier speak at the Sundance Institute Creative Distribution Workshop St. Paul. © 2017 Sundance Institute Photo by Tomas Leal

(L-R) Daniel Perlaky and Jess Fuselier speak at the Sundance Institute Creative Distribution Workshop in St. Paul. © 2017 Sundance Institute Photo by Tomas Leal


The independent film distribution and marketing landscape is constantly evolving. Sundance Institute's Creative Distribution Initiative (CDI) stands at the front lines of the industry, collecting data and analyzing trends to empower filmmakers with insights and best practices.

Join Manager of Research & Education, Jess Fuselier, as she breaks down CDI's most current learnings and provides you with tools to optimize the distribution and marketing of your film. Jess will join us virtually and the workshop will be facilitated by summit organizer Katy Evans.

The Creative Distribution Initiative from The Sundance Institute helps independent storytellers build audiences and sustain careers through innovations in marketing, distribution, and data transparency and imagine a world without barriers between storytellers and their audiences. The Creative Distribution Initiative empowers filmmakers navigating the changing business of independent film.

Through online resources, live workshops, and a network of allied organizations, the program provides support and insights on creative funding, marketing, and distribution. For Institute alumni, the Creative Distribution Initiative offers a wide array of digital distribution opportunities, promotion and consultation for Kickstarter campaigns, and strategies for audience engagement.