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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

SpIFF 2020 to open Feb. 28 at the Garland Theater

Above: Chase Ogden's documentary "Super Frenchie" will screen at 7:30 p.m. on March 6, the closing night of the 2020 Spokane International Film Festival.

Before I retired from The Spokesman-Review in 2009, I covered the first dozen years of the annual movie event that would become the Spokane International Film Festival.

I've watched it grow from a small collection of Northwest and Canadian films to a true representation of world cinema.

In recent years, I have served on the festival's board of directors. And this year I shared the title of Artistic Director with Eastern Washington University Prof. Drew Ayers. In that volunteer capacity — and I emphasize the word volunteer — I saw some 25 movies in an effort to help my fellow programmers weed out the best from the many submissions this year attracted.

I write all that as full disclosure to this posting of the announcement that the 2020 edition of SpIFF has listed its schedule. The premiere event will be a 7 p.m. screening on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Garland Theater of the documentary "Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain" (which features former Shadle Park and Washington State University quarterback Mark Rypien). The documentary feature will be preceded by a Best of the Northwest Shorts program.

SpIFF 2020 will run through Friday, March 6, with a 7:30 p.m. screening at the Magic Lantern Theater of the documentary "Super Frenchie," an action-packed base-jumping documentary directed by EWU Prof. Chase Ogden. The festival's closing-night party will be held at 8:30 that same night at the Osprey Restaurant and Bar, which is located inside the Ruby River Hotel.

Click here to purchase tickets to what has become one of Spokane's premiere annual film events.