WHEN I SPOKE TO JOEL S. BACHAR of Blackchair Productions about digital film, he was very frank about its current condition: "No one knows what it means yet; it is very new." And this is an important point. Though everyone anticipates that digital technology will impact filmmaking, no one knows how extensive this impact will be -- if it will change the production and distribution of movies so much that it will become outmoded to call what is taking place "filmmaking." We once thought an 8.1 earthquake would take down Hollywood, but maybe it'll actually be the home computer! Or maybe it will strengthen it. Not even Bart Cheever, founder and executive producer of D.FILM, a "traveling and online showcase for films made with computers," is certain of exactly where all of this is heading.

All we have at the moment are small opportunities to glance at the possibilities of digital filmmaking. One such glance has been put together by Seattle Landmark Association and Blackchair Productions, which will present Cheever's D.FILM Digital Film Festival at the Moore Theater. As Bachar says, "This is the oldest existing theater in Seattle presenting the latest in film technology." He explains that for the screening at the Moore, a state-of-the-art $90,000 digital projector will be used to show the shorts. I have seen one short ("Somebody Goofed" by Rodney and Syd) on my TV screen, and it is remarkable -- but to see it projected on a big screen by such a powerful machine has to be nothing short of stunning.

The film festival will present work from unknown filmmakers along with fairly famous ones, such as Spike Jonze (director of the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" music video), Doug Liman (director of Swingers), and even a short from DJ Qbert, a brilliant Bay Area turntablist. In fact, the festival is opening with a performance from Live Nude Girls, a local trio who combine sampled images with sampled music into the art of DJ-ing. Indeed, we live in exciting times. FILM

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