New sci-fi movie ‘Blindfold’ to be filmed in Spokane this month

Blindfold Movie Poster
Courtesy of Misty Shipman
Movie poster for Blindfold.

SPOKANE, Wash. — This month, in downtown Spokane, local filmmakers will start filming a new sci-fi movie that will explore themes of marriage, courtship, power and control.

Writer and director Misty Shipman and producer Lisa Skvarla said “Blindfold,” is a social satire and allegory about the Starship Incubator that has been in space for 73 years, looking for a planet to inhabit.

The story centers on a young woman named Mae who, following her eighteenth birthday, enters The Season, a courtship ritual designed to ensure prospective partners meet their perfect match. But during this process, things go amiss and rumors of an insurrection mount, come to a frenzy and then explode.

“With this film there is something for everyone in it. You have sci-fi fans that will enjoy it,” Skvarla said, who also plays as the Facilitator in the movie. “Older audiences will appreciate it because there’s a lot of old school references in it, it’s kind of funny. And younger audiences will enjoy it because the characters are young; it’s about young adults, young love and technology, so they’ll be able to relate to it as well.”

Shipman, who is a member of the Shoalwater Bay Tribe, said it is an important time right now for women, women-led stories and women produced-stories to get out into the world.

“I think that women have traditionally been kicked out of sci-fi, and these speculative worlds of the imagination have tended to belong to old boys clubs,” Shipman said. “I also think women in space operas have a tendency to be perceived as victims and they tend to be acted upon, rather than people with agency and their own ability to take action. So showing a strong female lead is really important.”

Although it wasn’t planned to be this way, Skvarla said they have a female-dominant crew and it was nice to see them in directing, screenwriting, script supervising, production designing and other roles in making the film.

Emma York, a senior at North Central High School who will play as Mae in her feature film debut, said she is excited for the opportunity to work on something new and different from theatre. Even though the memorization process will be different from her usual process in plays, she’s excited to dip her toes into this medium.

“This movie is very abstract and futuristic, but even in such a far removed setting it captures the essence of being a person and how people act and interact with each other in small community, and how they act under stress,” York said.

York added it is important to support local artists because anyone can go see a major film, but there are so many people, in their own community, creating beautiful things that sometimes get overlooked. For “Blindfold,” she said it is a community-based film and it is important for people to see and has characters and events that are relatable.

Filming will occur between May 24 and June 8 in downtown Spokane at Community Minded Television (CMTV), one of their community partners, with sets built by local crafting company The Botanical Alchemists. Local artist Alex Romero will also be responsible for building the hallway and space corridor from scratch, Skvarla said.

Skvarla said 50-60 local people are involved in the movie, as well as people from Seattle and Pennsylvania. She hopes the movie will appear at film festivals as well as on streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Prime.

There will be a “Writing for the Screen” workshop that acts as a fundraiser for the movie on Saturday, May 8 from 12 – 2 p.m., which will be taught by Shipman. The event will be hosted by Playhouse Northwest Acting School and costs between $25-$50. Those interested in registering can contact the school at playhousenw@gmail.com.

More information about the movie can be found on its gofundme page.