Emily Alm – Founder and Director
In 2004, Emily Alm enrolled in the Film and National Identity class during her freshman year at the University of Puget Sound and fell in love with cinema. The same year she was inspired by Sofia Coppola’s latest work, LOST IN TRANSLATION, and there was no question—Emily would dedicate her career to film. After graduation, she was hired by the Grand Cinema, Tacoma’s only non-profit art-house theater, working as the Director of Communications. In 2009, Emily was also asked to program the Grand’s annual Tacoma Film Festival.
Emily brings four years of experience as the Tacoma Film Festival’s programmer and director to the DCFF table. She honed her programming skills while at the Grand, selecting films for the festival that were later nominated for and won Academy Awards, BAFTA awards, and Independent Spirit Awards. In addition to her work with TFF, Emily has served as the Managing Director of the Rainier Independent Film Festival in Ashford, Washington, since 2011, and has recently joined the feature film programming team for the Seattle International Film Festival.
During her five years in the film festival arena, Emily has further expanded her knowledge of festival operations by attending the International Film Festival Summit, and such festivals as: Ashland Independent Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, and the Palme d’Or of film festivals, the Cannes International Film Festival.
The Destiny City Film Festival was born from Emily’s vision of what a film festival should be about—incredible films and curating a larger audience to support the local film community.
Emily hopes DCFF will add to the promising future and vitality of filmmaking in Tacoma and the Northwest by contributing another outlet for the underrated river of filmmaker talent flowing through Washington State. The high-quality programming expectation set by the DCFF Director and Founder aims to raise the standard of independent film in the South Sound.
Moving forward with DCFF, Emily couldn’t think of a better place to fulfill her film destiny than in the City of Destiny. A Colorado native, Emily was ultimately taken with Tacoma and firmly planted new roots along Puget Sound. On Saturday mornings you’ll find her at the Proctor Farmer’s market—on Sundays she drinks Tacoma IPA and shouts while watching the Seahawks game. The rest of the time you’ll find her screening DCFF submissions and working in the Events Department of the Broadway Center of Performing Arts in Downtown Tacoma.
Brook West – Operations Manager and Screenplay Competition Manager
Brook’s parents let her watch THE COLOR PURPLE when she was eight years old and she hasn’t been the same since. With a passion for storytelling, Brook’s involvement in filmmaking grew behind a computer screen, instead of a camera, writing screenplays that only a mother could love. Except for one, ROUTE 17, which reached the quarterfinal round of the Nicholl Screenwriting Competition in 2011, the same year she graduated from TheFilmSchool. Located in Seattle, Washington, TheFilmSchool is a storytelling school geared toward filmmakers and offered Brook a rewarding experience, both personally and creatively, and is why DCFF has decided to waive submission fees for TheFilmSchool alumni.
Brook is a Tacoma transplant, having previously lived in Kentucky, Colorado, Kentucky again, and Los Angeles, but has never felt more at home than in the Pacific Northwest. She has been Emily’s off-record festival assistant since 2010 and is ready to embrace the day-to-day challenges of working a film festival from the ground up. More than ever, she is thrilled to experience new gripping stories as they emerge from the independent scene and to share these films with the Tacoma community. Outside of DCFF, Brook writes screenplays, short fiction, poems, and is nurturing her first novel.