The third annual Bellingham Music Film Festival is a showcase of music through the medium of film. The films include music videos and shorts all focused around music-inspired subject matter. The Bellingham Music Film Festival is an inclusive space inviting both student and professional filmmakers from both the Pacific Northwest and international landscape.

Nestled between Vancouver and Seattle, Bellingham, Washington has always been a hub for music and film. BMFF would like to celebrate the union of the two by screening exclusively music-related films and connecting this community on a global scale.

Not only will a wide range of film formats be featured at multiple screening sites, but the weekend will be powered by live music.

Awards & Prizes

  • Best Short: $100
  • Best Music Video: $100
  • Best Regional Music Video/Short: $100
  • People's Choice: trophy

2017 Schedule

  • 7P–9P| MUSIC VIDEO NIGHT (free event during art walk)
  • SYNESTHESIA LIGHT SHOW: Sierra Tucker, 7:32, Student, Bellingham
  • OFF SCRIPT–SCARVES: Benjamin Owens, 2:31, Bellingham
  • GLOBAL HEAT | FOR A LIFETIME: Katie Ann Plick, 3:53, Bellingham
  • CHERRY GLAZERR–TOLD YOU I'D BE WITH THE GUYS: Riley Blakeway, 4:35, Los Angeles
  • KLEFTO - "LIKE DAAAM!": Conor OKeefe, 2:40, Student, Bellingham
  • ARCADIAN: Sherif R.Alabede & Kasson Crooker, 5:06, Shoreline
  • TOM ROSENTHAL–I GOT MYSELF A FINISH: CUMULUS & Thomas Vernay, 2:06, France
  • DEMON EYE: Mikah Washburn, 3:30, Student, Bellingham
  • LIGHT THIEVES–GOON YEARS: Chris Mathews Jr, 5:15, Seattle
  • LOCAL GHOST–LESS I BECOME: Talking to Crows, 5:12, Bellingham
  • TAYLOR PAYNE APPARITION: Angie Fleming, 3:28, Australia
  • FINGERS, THE CLOWN–Johnny Thursday: Adam Kane & Michael Barone, 2:47, Student, Bellingham
  • "BAD INTENTION"-100 WATT MIND: Ronny Huffstutter, 2:55, Ashland
  • MY ETERNITY: Jonathan Martin, 4:00, Utah
  • SLEEP FURIOUSLY: Maddy Ruppel, 2:45, Student, Bellingham
  • FIRES–CHRISPY: Benjamin Owens, 3:41, Bellingham
  • MOS GENERATOR–CATSPAW: Chris Mathews Jr, 3:55, Seattle
  • FIREFOX AK–HEART OF MINE: Mats Udd, 5:13, Sweden
  • OMIE HOMAGE: Jenna Veatch, 4:30, Bellingham
  • FALLING–"MORDECAI'S MASQUERADE": Wilson Large, 4:36, Bellingham
  • ALIVE: Lorène Yavo, 3:15, Belgium
  • LIGHT: Julien Scherliss, 4:35, Bellingham
  • mïus–STROBE and NOISE: Peter Varsics, 5:26, Hungary
  • WORDS: Adam Ardekani, 2:16, Student, North Carolina
  • THE LONELY ONE: Justin Katz, 3:35, Student, Massachusetts
  • URBAN AUDIO SPECTRUM: Marina Schnider, 3:43, Student, Germany

  • Hamoody is a teenager plays the violin, but he lives in a garbage dumpster with a dream that someday he will play in a concert, so his little sister seeks with the kids of the dumpster to make his dream come true.
    Chris Mathews Jr. brings an astral display of vibrant colors and dreamy swirls with the video for “Goon Years." Perhaps because Mathews also is responsible for the recording and mixing of the newest LP, the visuals flow organically with the fluid, mellow and yet still effervescent quality of the music, in symbiosis with its lyrics: “A nest of dreaming fools, just leave me with my eyes closed.”
    I went to Ireland in July with Peadar MacMahon and two other regional musicians to perform his beautiful album 'The Legacy of Percy French.' We played a bunch of shows and this short film shows the venues, the ensemble we are, and features interviews with Irish people on the significance of Percy French songs to them and the Irish psyche and cannon of songs.
    A traveller finds a mysterious statue and falls under its spell.
    Can art be created under constraints? What happens to the creative process under the pressure of time and collaboration? Five Portland musicians accept the challenge of working together to write, compose, record and mix an entire song in just one day. Viewers see behind the scenes during the songwriting process — from the small sparks which start the creative fires of collaboration, to pushing boundaries before setting structure.
    A successful music artist struggles with fame and fortune as a VooDoo woman helps bring him back to his roots remembering that music is For a Lifetime.
    Torrey Pines is a stop-motion animated feature film by director Clyde Petersen. Based on a true story, the film is a queer punk coming-of-age tale, taking place in Southern California in the early 1990's.

    Raised by a schizophrenic single mother, Petersen's life story unfolds in a series of baffling and hallucinated events. With a mother fueled by hallucinations of political conspiracy and family dysfunction, Petersen is kidnapped at the age of 12 and taken on a cross-country adventure that will forever alter the family as they know it.

    I feel that I need some kind of external visual stimulus to help me recall past events, which is part of the reason that I love taking photographs and making videos. MemoryLapse is the answer to a pretty weird question I asked myself recently: what would happen if I exported my entire photo library and made a giant chronological timelapse comprised of 32,000 photos and three years of my life? It turns out that absorbing photos at this pace results in a surprising amount of memory recall and is actually a great way to reflect on my college experience. This video is essentially a massive sensory overload, and is not recommended to viewers sensitive to rapidly flashing lights.
    Music video we produced for Bellingham band Local Ghost about a boy liking a girl, and getting disappointed.
    As the line between what ‘is’ and ‘isn’t’ authentic becomes increasingly blurred, the lack of filter between the life and music of Thomas Hansen is as rare as it is heartbreaking. Thomas Hansen was one of the most honest and uncompromising voices in Norwegian music. Haunted by the terrifying effects of mental illness, his music mirrored his life, emotional, often explosive, but always tethered to a sense of heartfelt candour.

    The life of Thomas Hansen is a story that deserves to be told. Not because he was a uniquely talented artist and not because of the violence and tragedy he left in his wake, but because of the humanity he engendered in those around him. A simple story about family and friends and an illness all too often hidden behind closed curtains. In this, the first feature documentary about his life, Thomas’s story is filtered through the memories of those closest to him. A story that slowly breaks your heart with the perfect soundtrack to accompany it.


    A video showcasing two distinct forms of performance simultaneously; live music and Luchador wrestling.
    Arcadian is a song about escapism ~ consciously & intentionally making a choice to transform from one state to another as a form of leaving something painful behind, even with a loss of identity. Arcadian has officially been accepted into the SXSW 2017 Film Festival.

    The idea behind "Arcadian" video was to create visuals that hinge on fantasy, escapism and use dance as the expressive language. A prison setting and impending execution seemed an appropriate metaphor to convey those themes. There had to be a sense realism in capturing subject matter as dark as a prisoner being executed (the "transformation"). As such, a conscience effort was made to lighten up the mood using a vibrant pink color palette. Pink became a dominate color in the fantasy world, whereas greens and pure blacks showed the stark environ of the real world.

    Song by Seattle-based indie-electronic act Symbion Project and video created by LA director Sherif R. Alabede, featuring choreography and dance by Marcos Aguirre.
    La Folía is a visual anthology of twenty-four short stories, from the imaginations of over a dozen different people and all inspired by variations on the same ancient melody. The thematic story that links La Folía’s stories begins and ends the film, returning its protagonist full circle, yet changed.

    The story follows the pain, loss, joy and redemption of a young ballet student whose body type excludes her from being considered for a role for which she is eminently qualified in skill and passion.

    The twenty-four stories underlie the young dancer’s narrative arc and embody the joy, absurdity, sorrow, fury, and ecstasy she must face before realizing her own irrational fears and doubts are all that prevent her from performing a triumphant audition.
    Meet Boston radio legend Bob Bittner whom The Boston Phoenix weekly called "The Last Auteur of Terrestrial Radio". Bob owns and is the sole programmer of four, listener supported, radio stations all of which play his carefully curated blend of American popular music from the 40s through the 80s.

    "A malignant spirit forces a girl into a perilous journey through a watery underworld." -- An authorized music video for "Atlas World" (Solomun Day Remix) by Liu Bei.

    Over centuries, lay songs have had a central place in Norwegian culture. This film is about a small community, high up in the mountains near Hardangervidda, where this musical tradition is understood and continued to this day.

    Through these songs, people around Møsvatn create meaningful stories about their lives, forming connections between past and future, memory and anticipation. Through constant interaction– from daily life to special occasions, from the cradle to the grave – songs are used to retell old stories while creating new ones, keeping a heritage alive and evolving.

    Culture is not something given, but a neverending and unfinished task. This film is about taking care of an ancient tradition, and developing it further. Warm and intimate, joyous and mournful, Every Song a Story tells us about belonging, about going away and longing for home.


  • 8:30P| AFTER PARTY
  • Briana Marela
  • Cumulus
  • I Love You Avalanche


  • Ticket info for BMFF 2018 will be available in March, 2018. Come back and visit to find out more about our affordable rates!

Submission Process

Bellingham Music Film Festival accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, unlimited video storage, digital press kits, and more. Find out more about deadlines, categories, fees, and other details by clicking below.

Rules & Terms

  • Please read carefully the following terms and conditions regarding any submissions you make to the Bellingham Music Film Festival. You must accept these terms and conditions before your entry can be considered.
  • All films must be focused on or inspired by music. We accept music video, narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated genres.
  • Short films and music videos must be under 20 minutes.
  • Student submissions must upload their student ID, use their school email address, and provide what school they attend to be considered a valid entry. Applicant must have been a student during production. (To upload a student ID, Go to 'My Projects' – 'View', then use the 'Files and Attachments' tool toward the lower right side of your Project Page to upload a copy of your student ID.)
  • Regional applicants must reside in Washington or Oregon during production. Regional submissions must provide current regional address.
  • All films must have been completed no earlier than January 1, 2016.
  • We invite films from all countries. However, entries must be in English or subtitled in English.
  • We only accept online submissions for review through FilmFreeway. After notification of possible acceptance, we may request a higher-resolution copy of the film than was submitted for review. If one is not provided, the festival may screen the lower-resolution copy that was submitted, or cut the film from the program at its discretion. Once accepted, the applicant will be informed of the desired specific file formats.
  • Multiple entries are allowed by each filmmaker, but will be treated as separate submissions. Entry fees are in U.S. dollars, per film entry and are non-refundable.
  • BMFF has a very limited budget to offer travel assistance to category winners, but we encourage applicants to attend and visit our beautiful community.
  • The number/value of awards given may vary depending on the number of submissions received/accepted.
  • Not all submissions are guaranteed acceptance. All decisions are made solely by BMFF, which retains the right to accept or decline any submission.
  • By submitting to the festival, the applicant agrees to allow their film to be screened by the festival during the festival run, for which they are submitting, at no charge to the festival.
  • BMFF is hereby granted the right to use the applicant’s name, the artist’s name, and utilize an excerpt or image from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival for promotional purposes.
  • The applicant is responsible for all copyrights and has secured all necessary rights for picture, sound, participants, and locations featured in the film, and exhibition will not violate or infringe upon any rights, including but not limited to music, images, and content. The applicant is legally authorized to enter the film in the festival and, if selected for the festival, authorized to give screening permission.
  • The applicant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Bellingham Music Film Festival, from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.
  • The submitted film remains the sole property of the author.
  • The committee of BMFF reserves the right modify these terms due to any unforeseen circumstances.


Jed Bailey

Jed is a long-time Pickford member. He has participated in some local filmmaking — acting in numerous Bleedingham and Trailer Wars entries, as well as being the writer-director of a few. Jed stays occupied by growing organic vegetables on his family's farm. When not seeing every movie that comes though town, he likes learning about self-defense combatives, and pondering the dynamics of identity and belief.

Brian J. Bowe

Brian is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at Western Washington University who specializes in music journalism. Bowe has written biographies of The Ramones, The Clash and Judas Priest, and he co-edited the 2007 anthology CREEM: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine. He has also written liner notes for projects by the Stooges, the MC5 and Was (Not Was). As a musician, Bowe is one-half of the shoegaze/dreampop duo Voluptuous Panic. 

Hanna Brown

Hanna grew up in the PNW on Camano Island before moving to Bellingham in 2013 to attend Western Washington University. In her last year, Hanna will be graduating with a Public Relations major and a Film Studies minor. During her second year at WWU, she took a course in LGBTQ+ Cinema, and has been dedicated to film ever since. One of her favorite films, Dirty Dancing, is a film that relies heavily on its use of music, and she has always been interested in the relationship films have with song and sound in general. Judging the BMFF for the second year, she is excited to once again see how others interact with music and film. When she has free time, her and her dog Coco can be found watching movies on the couch, preferably watching something with a strong woman lead.

Carrie Cooper

With an undergraduate degree in video production and a life-long love of film, Carrie Cooper has served as a judge for BMFF for the past three years. When she’s not watching movies, Carrie makes embroidery art, spends way too much time in art museums, and co-owns the Temple Bar with her husband. 

Colin Dalvit

Colin is an award-winning screenwriter, producer and animator. He lives and works in Bellingham, Washington.

Mikayla Nicholson

Mikayla was once called “more movie than person,” which she took as a compliment. Mikayla moved to Bellingham in 2015, and joined Pickford Film Center as an intern a year later. Most of her favorite experiences have taken place at the Pickford, from serving the Bellingham Music Film Festival, to seeing Anomalisa three times. She loves art house theaters and video stores, and now divides her time between both. 

Andrea Tjoelker

Andrea Tjoelker is an artist and the store manager of Everyday Music in Bellingham, WA. Andrea received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on mixed media studio art from Western Washington University. In the fifth year of her BFA program, she was the director of the Viking Union Gallery. She served on the Film Is Truth Nonprofit Board of Directors from spring of 2016 to fall of 2017.

Andrea is an avid supporter of the Bellingham music, art, and film community. She has displayed art in local galleries, booked in-store performances at Everyday Music, and attended countless live concerts, art openings, and films.   

Chris E. Vargas

Chris is a video maker, interdisciplinary artist, and the Executive Director of MOTHA, the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art—a semi-fictional arts and hirstory institution highlighting the contributions of trans art to the cultural and political landscape. He teaches Time-Based Art in the Art/Art History Department at WWU.

Gary Washington

Gary graduated in from Fairhaven College/WWU With a B.A in Visual communications with focus in social justice in 2012. After teaching video workshop classes and working for a few non profit organizations, Gary now works in marketing during the day and shoots horror films at night. Since then, most of his time is devoted to the local DIY film community, through various projects. In addition, Gary is the co- founder and curator of the horror short film festival Bleedingham. This festival occurs annually in Bellingham, WA at the Pickford Film Center.

Cole Wilder

Since moving to Bellingham from the greater Seattle area in 2014, Cole Wilder has been a member in the town's music and film communities and has been known to travel absurd distances (this is debatable) for either concerts or film screenings. Currently, some of his favorite bands include Pile, Jeff Rosenstock, and Brockhampton; and some of his favorite movies are Playtime (1967), Ratcatcher (1999), and The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017). He considers Stop Making Sense and Shut up And Play The Hits to be the two best concert films ever made. Outside of those interests, he is currently starting his last quarter at Western Washington University (studying English literature and film) and finds great joy, as well as physical pain, in grinding coffee beans to feed his mild caffeine addiction. 

Caleb Young

Caleb is a Pacific Northwest director, producer and creator of stuff. He directs branding content for local, national and international clients, as well as directing and producing independent films. He has won several Addy awards, as well as a Gold Addy Award (through Hand Crank Films) for the Mackie DLM Speaker Series. His feature film, Do You See Colors When You Close Your Eyes? was Official Selection at Seattle International Film Festival. He is currently drinking coffee and talking Harry Potter with his daughter. He dreams of making more feature films, eating great food and traveling with his wife and daughter - hopefully all at the same.


Kacey Morrow

Festival Director

Kacey Morrow is an Associate Professor of New Media in the Department of Design at WWU. She founded the Bellingham Music Film Festival while serving on the Make.Shift Art Space board in 2016 and doing freelance design for the Pickford Film Center. She thought the event would be a way to give back to the community and raise funds for the two non-profits, while celebrating the marriage between music and film.

She is also an experimental filmmaker, freelance graphic designer, and illustrator. Her award-winning experimental videos have appeared in several film festivals and exhibitions nation-wide including the Seattle International Film Festival and Atlanta Film Festival. She co-wrote the third edition of the textbook, Producing for TV and New Media and illustrated the book, Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations about Film, Television, and Theater.

Lindsey Gerhard

Programming and Promotions Director

Lindsey joined the Pickford in 2013, shortly after moving to the NW. She got a taste for event coordinating during her years in Austin, Texas and though she misses the hot hot heat, she couldn’t be happier in Bellingham. Her favorite part of the Pickford is the endless variety of topics in the films on screen. The rotating door of fascinating stories allows her to connect with many facets of the community, while also feeding her need to be a perpetual learner. Lindsey believes that music makes the world go round, and that creating is always more fun with a great soundtrack.

Mikayla Nicholson

Festival Coordinator

Mikayla was once called “more movie than person,” which she took as a compliment. Mikayla moved to Bellingham in 2015, and joined Pickford Film Center as an intern a year later. Most of her favorite experiences have taken place at the Pickford, from serving the Bellingham Music Film Festival, to seeing Anomalisa three times. She loves art house theaters and video stores, and now divides her time between both.

Katie Gray

Music Director

Katie has been an active member of the Bellingham music scene since she moved here in 2011. She’s a singer-songwriter and currently fronts The Katie Gray Band. Her career in radio began in 2013 as the maintenance engineer for KUGS at WWU. After earning her BA in Music and minor in Audio Technology she went on to commercial radio at KAFE 104.1 & KGMI AM790. Katie worked with Make.Shift for 3 years to put on her miniature music festival, MiniHam, before joining the official Make.Shift family in March 2017 as Station Manager of KZAX and taking over as Executive Director in January 2018.

Michael Barone

Print Traffic Manager

Michael joined the Pickford clan in the Summer of 2016 soon after graduating from Western. He received a Film Production major through Fairhaven College, where he and three other classmates made a feature-length film entitled “Gone” as their senior project and premiered it at the Pickford! His work in film started out as a fun hobby that slowly evolved into a lifelong passion and career path, as much of his time is spent working as a freelance filmmaker around town. Michael also finds astronomy fascinating and he enjoys any movie that involves space as well as sci-fi, thriller, and horror films (although he finds it impossible to pick a favorite film because it’s always changing). On his days off, Michael loves to cook, garden, play video games, think of bad puns, and of course, go to the movies.

Venues & Organizers

Films and music will be playing at all-ages makerspace, Make.Shift Art Space and independent movie theatre, Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, Washington.


Feel free to contact us with any questions.


306 Flora St, Bellingham, WA 98225

Please allow a few days for us to get back to you.