Maybe you know this (or rather, hopefully you’ve experienced this at least once), but our Ninkasi Better Living Room at TWIF headquarters has some amazingly comfortable couches. Add to that Ninkasi Brewery’s winter beers readily available on tap and you have an atmosphere that’s prime for a Netflix night. Except Saturday we hosted Couch Fest for over a dozen Seattle ticket holders to watch the festival’s 2014 selection of independent short films from around the globe.
When you consider our Couch Fest event, the idea of inviting someone outside of your circle to watch short films can come off to some crowds as something far left of what's expected, but there really is more to it if you look a little closer.
This is a niche audience of film lovers.
Sometimes people just want more movie options than what's out there. (Haven't you felt like that at one time or another?)
Are we seeing the next step in collaboration?
Altogether we're finding ourselves thrust into a rapid shift in preference toward how we consume media and the degree to which we're willing to share our belongings. The May 2014 issue of Wired looked at the effect that the sharing economy is having on our interactions. Airbnb, Dogvacay, & Relayrides have changed the way we do business and some of that is reflected in our community interests. If the lines of commerce have blurred a little more, and you pair that with the momentum of on-demand video, then Couch Fest seems like a natural progression of those comfort levels.
What have we learned from the film selections?
Part of what's great about short films is that they have to get to the point. There's no mistaking The Beauty of Mathematics; I'm sure some people would argue that it did more to explain the real world application of mathematics in our lives than some high school text books (but that's none of my business).
There are also the stories that stoke the emotions. The story of Maikaru highlights a well-known problem of sex trafficking in this city but more importantly the story gives a face to those who've found lives after they've escaped.
TWIF will continue to pull together community interests in fun ways that encourage collaboration. As we move into our 6th year, there's plenty to be done. Won't you join us?
-Ramón Bentley is a Social Media Coordinator and Blogger for The World is Fun