The camera moves over huge spaceships, half in shadow. A closer look, though, and viewers see that the spaceships began life as egg cartons, cardboard boxes, and/or construction paper. Strange creatures appear, too-large humanoid heads smushed down onto too-small bodies, like cartoons. They run the spaceships and talk a little philosophy on the side. Ray guns might enter the picture at some point.

That’s all part and parcel of “Constant Space,” a new claymation feature film from Snohomish’s Emmett Fifield. A 71-minute science fiction extravaganza animated a few frames at a time in a basement, the debut feature from Fifield — who was 16 when he began shooting, and 22 when he wrapped — makes for only one item on the menu for this year’s Local Sightings Film Festival, which is being held Sept. 22-30 at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave.

“Local Sightings has become a major platform of discovery for new talent, and an important annual showcase for established filmmakers from across the region, said NWFF executive director Courtney Sheehan. “From a small gathering of friends and colleagues, it has grown to include local premieres of films that first start out premiering at Sundance and other international film festivals. We have also added many more networking events and workshops for filmmakers in recent years.”

Celebrating its 20th year, the festival began at the Grand Illusion Cinema operated by WigglyWorld Studios. It’s open to dramatic feature films, documentaries and short films from Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia.

“One of the most exciting programs is the Puget Soundtrack, which is a collaboration between local anti-surf rock band, Baywitch, and the Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound,” said festival director Sophie Donlon. “MIPoPS has created an incredible compilation of archival footage from numerous local cultural institutions, including King County Archives, Seattle Municipal Archives, University of Washington Libraries, Media Center and University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.

“This program was conceived as a way to bring together the history of film in the Pacific Northwest with the awesome music scene that exists in Seattle, to put the two in conversation, and to give audiences a new experience of silent film.”

“Danger Diva,” a cyberpunk musical thriller starring Molly Sides of THUNDERPUSSY, and featuring music by the popular Seattle band, will play 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, followed by the world premiere of “THUNDERPUSSY live at the Egyptian” and an after-party.

Asked about the biggest-draw films and presentations for this year, Sheehan mentioned “Walking Out,” from the brotherly team of Alex and Andrew J. Smith, who have previously collaborated with Sherman Alexie, a live performance from dance and visual art company zoe | juniper slated to sprawl out over several rooms, and a retrospective of several films from Makah filmmaker Sandy Osawa.

 “The documentary ‘No Man’s Land’ is an extremely compelling and timely political documentary that shouldn’t be missed,” Donlon said of some of her favorites. “All of the shorts programs are very strong, but among my favorites are ‘Kinetic Kinships,’ ‘Wild Days & Squalid Nights’ and ‘Natural Experiments.’ These programs show the diversity of focus and talent in the PNW in a wide range of genres.”

Click here for a complete Local Sightings schedule.