September 21, 2021

Susie Purves, Executive Director
Pickford Film Center
(360) 647-1300

Pickford Film Center announces new Program Director

On October 1, Pickford Film Center (PFC) steps into a new era as it welcomes Melissa Tamminga as its new Program Director.

Melissa comes to PFC with a strong background writing about film and 16 years experience teaching about film to Whatcom Community College students. She has dedicated herself to creating, curating, and presenting cinematic content selecting films for them they might never otherwise experience – repertory cinema, international, indie, arthouse, and the work of under-represented filmmakers.

Tamminga notes, “The dialogues possible in this diverse community—where individuals rediscover movies or discover them for the first time and then connect movies to their own lives and to each other’s—is truly fulfilling, and I see the Pickford as a space where even more expansive sets of local and distinct, but interconnected, communities within and around the county can come together around a celebration of movies and of the human experience.”

A regularly published writer about film, Melissa Tamminga may be read in Seattle Screen Scene, Think Christian, Muriel Awards and A Journal of FilmShe is also frequently seen and heard on Podcasts, Radio and Video including as a guest and regular contributor on Filmspotting/WBEZ-NPR; multiple time guest on The /Filmcast; The Frances Farmer Show; and David Chen YouTube .

Pickford Film Center held a three-month national search for a new Program Director, attracting many fine candidates. Executive Director, Susie Purves says, “We are delighted that Melissa is from right here in Bellingham, attuned to Whatcom’s diverse communities and interests and immediately ready to introduce the Pickford to new audiences and our existing audience to new films. She has spent her career writing and talking about film and we’re looking forward to lots of public conversation about what we love most, movies.”

Founded in 1998 as the Whatcom Film Association, Pickford Film Center serves as a forum and resource for independent cinema, strengthening community through education, dialogue and the celebration of film. PFC offers year-round, independent, foreign and documentary film, world-class performing arts, and related special events. PFC is also proud to host K-12 schools, universities and community organizations for educational programs and special events. Located at 1318 Bay Street, the Pickford welcomes the general public to its two state-of-the-art cinemas

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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