Couchsurfing, Revisted

Strangers are not to be feared, but befriended. 

At least that’s what the organizer of the annual Couch Fest Films festival told me. 

Instead of herding audiences into traditional theater spaces, Couch Fest invites viewers to sit back and relax in a stranger’s living room, houseboat, or even tricked-out van.

Craig Downing, founder of the festival, developed the idea shortly after arriving in Seattle from Austin, Texas, when he realized he missed a certain kind of community vibe he’d left behind in Texas. 

“I’m raising my hand to get the high-five and getting metaphorically left hanging,” Downing said. With Couch Fest he “could get people to open their goddamn doors for each other.” 

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