Please welcome Brian Zitzelman, our newest contributor. He's a member of the newly formed Seattle Film Critics Society and for his first post he's interviewing the founder of that society Michael Ward. A little inside peak for you. - Editor
by Brian Zitzelman
Beyond being a genuinely kind, smart man, Michael Ward has done what few have; he's created a film critic's society. The Seattle Film Critics Society to be exact.
Despite being home to a near month-long film festival, a multitude of cinemas devoted to older movies and generally being pretty comfortably snobby about the arts, the city of Seattle hasn't had a proper Film Society for over a decade. Mr. Ward changed that with months and months of work dealing with studio reps here and cavalcades of other oddities. In between tallying the final votes and writing sensationally for his own site Should I See It, I spoke to Mike about the joys, troubles and curveballs of what it takes to develop something that’s usually an established institution in other parts of the country.
BRIAN ZITZELMAN: Let me start with the obvious question; How happy are you to have this first year of the Seattle Film Critics Society behind you?
MICHAEL WARD: Well, it feels premature to say that we have a full year under our belts. We are still working with a team to complete the infrastructure but I am comfortable in saying that lots of people have put in lots of time to make this a reality. We are planning on voting in a Board of Directors in February 2017, and at that point, more than two years of hard work will definitely have paid off.
Can you walk us through the whole concept? I think most people assume every major metropolitan city has its own film critics circle, especially those with a history of the arts like Seattle.
While this iteration of a Seattle Film Critics Society is new, there was an organization that existed from 2001-2004. Unfortunately, when they disbanded it was an ugly dissolution, and people are still reeling from how that all apparently went down. But you're absolutely right Brian, most major cities have a film critics society or organization which most people typically only hear about during awards season...