Straight outta SIFF comes a one-night-only screening of Inlaws & Outlaws, the locally made documentary about relationships outside of the "biblical" template of marriage as a goal of procreation. On Thursday, July 7, the Cinerama is offering its screen for two evening showings, with ticket sales benefiting a host of organizations battling the puritanical agenda of the Bush administration.

Those who want to target donations to the movie itself can buy tickets to a "big, splashy fundraising gala" taking place at the Palace Kitchen after the 7:00 p.m. screening. While you're there, you should approach Inlaws & Outlaws producer Lisa Halpern and congratulate her on the second-place finish of her script 8 Items or Less in the Washington State Screenplay Competition. Third place went to Kristin Kirby for her script Stone's Throw, while the grand prizewinner was Clay Eide for Blisters. Eide may not live in Washington State, but he's been up for the Seattle International Film Festival many times, first with his award-winning feature Dead Dogs, and then to make a couple of Fly Films. He's sure to return for a reading of his script and, hopefully, if the movie goes into production we can talk him into shooting here.

In other screenwriting news: I'll be teaming up with supremely talented screenwriter, filmmaker, and teacher Brian McDonald to run SIFF's year-round Screenwriter's Salon. After a brief hiatus, the Salon is starting up again at the Hugo House on Monday, July 11, and it will continue monthly through the end of the year and beyond. The next one is called Character vs. Plot: Attacking Your Screenplay, and it opens up an age-old debate raging since the time of Aristotle: character versus plot. Basically, character people believe plot is too rigid and emotionless, while plot people tend to see character-heavy stories as meandering and ponderous. Take sides as panelists John Jacobson, Kris Kristensen, and Dickey Nesenger hash things out.

Over the last few years, events like the 48 Hour Film Project, in which teams of filmmakers are given a genre, character, prop, line of dialogue, and 48 hours to finish a short film, have gotten notice around the country, not because they've turned out great filmmakers or films but because they're an engaging stunt. The Seattle chapter will be shooting this weekend, with a screening at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, at the Neptune. Winners will be entered into the national competition for some sort of prize. I'll be one of the judges.

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Speaking of alternative forms of attention-getting distribution, all you local filmmakers should mark your calendars for the launch party for IndieFlix, taking place on Thursday, July 14, at the Northwest Film Forum. I've done a little bit of research on this, and it seems like an innovative way to help you self-distribute your feature or whatever on DVD while still making money off of every sale. For more information, you can talk to the founders of this brand new service on Thursday. ■