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About Us

Blackchair Digital is a moving image consultancy that helps businesses, non-profits, festivals and other organizations with the discovery, aggregation, production, curation, and utilization of moving image content.

Whether it be the selection of moving image art for digital signage, video for corporate marketing, the development of a film festival, or the insertion of video into a business & marketing plan, Blackchair has the experience and relationships to deliver success.

Founders Joel S. Bachar and Patrick Kwiatkowski have over 35 combined years of experience and relationships with local and international artists and organizations.  We act as a \”virtual agency\” – this allows for maximum diversity, creativity, flexibility and affords our clients an excellent value proposition. 

Our History in Moving Image Art \"buildingb\"

In 1996, Blackchair began exhibiting and distributing experimental, ambient, video and moving image art, through our short film and video festival, Independent Exposure. This series introduced us to well-established and emerging international moving image artists. In 2000, Blackchair founded Microcinema International  to distribute works via DVD and digital means that specialized in art and culture, including a comprehensive collection of ambient media. Microcinema closed its distribution business in 2014 and now Blackchair Digital focuses on helping clients use video for messaging, marketing, and fulfilling their mission.

joel bachar

Joel S. Bachar

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\”I have a diverse background that spans film, food and wine – things that I adore in equal measure and I have been blessed to make my professional life a labor of love.\”

Joel created Blackchair Productions in Seattle in 1992.  From 1996 to 2012 he curated and promoted Independent Exposure, a pioneering traveling  screening program that ultimately featured over 2000 short works to audiences in 45 countries including Palestine, a Mt. Everest base camp and Antarctica.  All of this was initially accomplished through PINE email servers at the Speakeasy Internet Cafe in Seattle, VHS tapes, and US Mail! If there is a will there is a way.

In January of 2000, Bachar and Patrick Kwiatkowski co-founded Microcinema International to distribute shorts, ambient works,  and cultural films.  In 2003, Microcinema International formed Microcinema DVD which became one the most important international cultural film distributors, representing the DVD titles of world renowned artists such as William Wegman, Maya Deren, Bill Plympton, John Cage, as well as for institutions such as the National Gallery of Art, the Menil Collection, Aurora Picture Show, ARTPIX, and the Slought Foundation.  

Bachar has deep roots in communications and publicity.  He co-founded and promoted Satellites: Screens from Outer Spaces, the yearly alternative media festival to the Seattle International Film Festival.  He also promoted the 2nd and 3rd Annual Seattle Underground Film Festival and the D.Film Digital Film Festival.  Bachar also co-founded the Seattle Independent Film and Video Consortium, an inter-organizational and inter-disciplinary network and community.  In 1999, Joel was invited to sit on Seattle Mayor Paul Schell’s Arts Task Force. Joel has been a member of the National Nominating Committee for the 1998 and 1999 Rockefeller Foundation’s Film and Video Fellowship, and he also has sat on numerous arts granting panels and film festival juries.

Bachar and his activities have been featured in numerous press including The San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Wired Magazine, IndieWIRE, National Public Radio, and PBS.  He also has been published in Movie Maker Magazine for an article he co-wrote about the history of Microcinemas.

Since moving to San Francisco in 2001, Joel has acted as Publicist for the 45th San Francisco International Film Festival and the 25th Mill Valley Film Festival, and was Publicist and Programmer at the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco. Recently, Bachar served as a Board Member for the Association of Independent Film and Video Makers in New York City and was a nominator for the 2006 Phelan Awards.

In addition to consulting for Blackchair Digital – he is currently an associate producer for San Francisco KQED-TV\’s James Beard and Emmy Award-winning program “Check, Please! Bay Area”.

Joel also finds the time to work part time on weekends in the local wine industry at various nearby wineries and holds a WSET Level 2 Certification.

In 2014 he created and actively contributes to the wine and craft cocktail blog \”Bites-n-Sips\”.

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Patrick Kwiatkowski

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\”Ever since I left Grand Rapids I have found myself in East Lansing, Akron, LeHavre, Paris, Chicago, San Francisco, Cleveland, and finally Houston – each city holds a strong place in my heart.\”

Patrick was recently name one of Houston\’s \”Most Fascinating Persons of 2015\” by the Houston Chronicle for his work developing a joint partnership between the Houston Cinema Arts Society and NASA – the creation of a short film competition called \”Cinespace\”.

In 2000, Kwiatkowski co-founded Microcinema International and managed it from a start-up to an internationally recognized specialty film distributor.  In 2014 he closed the chapter on Microcinema and now focuses on Blackchair Digital and other endeavors.   He has over 25 years of international sales, marketing, distribution, and business development expertise with private and Fortune 500 corporations, including many years as a marketing and product manager with the international Chemical Division of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in France. He received a MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School and a chemical engineering degree from Michigan State University.  Go Sparty!

Active in commercial and independent radio for 10 years prior to forming Microcinema, he created, produced, and hosted Ketchup and Marmalade, a 2-hour alternative music weekly in French, on radio OUI FM 102,3 Paris, France as well as radio shows on WHPK in Chicago and KUSF San Francisco.

Kwiatkowski has been invited to appear on numerous panels and round tables at film festivals and events including SXSW Film Festival, NALIP, Cleveland International Film Festival, FIFA Montreal, CPX:DOX Copenhagen and many others.  

Active as a volunteer in the communities where he resides – Kwiatkowski is a founding board member and now advisory board member of the Houston Cinema Arts Society, and an emeritus executive board member of Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP).  A board member of the Neartown Little League in Houston, he received the Volunteer of the Year award in 2011 and 2013 for managing fields and grounds.

Patrick is now working on a project to keep his Great Lakes and chemical engineering skills honed – the creation of a hard cider production facility in a secret undisclosed location!  Watch this space.