Couch Fest’s Warm Glow Thaws the Seattle Freeze
Published 11-10-2009 (originally on The SunBreak).

couch fest films promo 2 from Couch Fest Films on Vimeo.

While I'm no weather forecaster, I'm pleased to provide evidence that there is in fact no Seattle Freeze. Ladies and gentlemen of the self-selected internet jury, I present to you as Exhibit A Couch Fest 2009.

How could a city that hosts a film festival that invites strangers to get together in random people's houses be mistakenly considered antisocial?

Couch Fest proposes that once a year we should go to a stranger's house and watch short films with other strangers in the awkward comfort of a strange home. Nine houses participated in hosting this year's film festival, which showed 77 submitted short films. Each house hosted a different selection of films from one of the following categories: Comedy, Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Horror, Mixed or Inappropriately Awesome.

The hosts started their DVD on the hour, showing 8 or 9 films in about 40 minutes with a short intermission. Audience members voted on their favorites and then walked, rode, or drove to the next house of their choosing. Prizes were awarded at the end of the night to the winners.

Each house did their best to make things as welcoming as possible. Couches and chairs were arranged in various fashions and covered in multicolored blankets. One of the comedy houses made chili. The Inappropriately Awesome house converted their garage to a DIY theater. The hosts were friendly and accommodating, even after watching the same films for the sixth or seventh time.

You'd expect us Seattleites to fold our arms and scowl at the sometimes spectacularly less than theater-like screens. You'd expect us to shush the person who talks first during the intermission. However, there was no trace of this "Seattle Freeze" that I read about on the internet. In fact, even your intrepid reporter here, a Seattle native, talked to several strangers he'll likely never see again. (After seeing one friendly couple several times at different venues, my date asked how I knew them. My confused reply was that I had just met them at the festival.)...

The rest of this promo is lost to time (if there was any more). The wayback machine doesn't have it and it is not in my notes.

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Keywords: couch fest, review, sunbreak

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