Sandpoint Filmmakers Network launches movie night

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Film lovers rejoice: Starting this month, you can watch some of the world’s best movies at the Panida Little Theater with a like-minded audience. Mulholland-WEB

The Sandpoint Filmmakers Network, a local coalition of movie makers and movie lovers, is launching a monthly movie night with a discussion to follow. The night kicks off 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, at the Little Theater with director David Lynch’s surrealist masterpiece “Mulholland Drive,” recently voted the greatest movie of the 21st century in a worldwide survey of film critics.

According to Panida Theater director Patricia Walker, the theater is constrained by licensing agreements as to which films it can screen. On the other hand, a private group unencumbered by the need to drive revenue can legally screen a movie through its home media release. That’s where the Sandpoint Filmmakers Network comes into the picture. The group plans to rent the Panida Little Theater once a month, with each night devoted to a movie of cultural or artistic importance. According to Aric Spence of Sandpoint Filmmakers Network, the hope is to expand the regional community of movie lovers while promoting film discussion.

“There is a severe lack of cinematic culture being provided and nourished within our community,” said Josh Vitalie, a local film lover. “With only one theater providing few options beyond commercially successful franchises spit out by the Hollywood machine, local cinephiles and casual moviegoers looking for something fresh are often left hungry and wanting.”

The SFN Movie Night is an effort to provide a venue for some of those acclaimed movies. It got its start through discussions between Spence, Vitalie, local filmmaker Robert Lindner and yours truly, but the idea is to expand it into a full community where each member has an opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas.

In order to meet the legal requirements of a private screening, the movie night is hosted by the Sandpoint Filmmakers Network. There is no charge to become a member—simply visit to register.

The movie night itself is also free, although organizers recommend a $5 donation to cover the cost of the theater rental. And since the Panida is providing the Little Theater at a substantially discounted rate, organizers encourage attendees to support the theater through its in-house beer and wine sales. All in all, it promises to be a night where movie lovers will truly feel at home.

“Perhaps there will be that one person who stops in one night just to kill some time and discovers that movie which forever changes their life, sparking a new passion within them to go out and make their own films,” Vitalie said.

Contact the Sandpoint Filmmakers Network at or 208-263-3278.

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