PORT TOWNSEND — “The impact of the Port Townsend Film Festival has to do with the stories our films tell and the rich resonance those stories find with our audiences,” said Festival Executive Director Danielle McClelland.
After two years of virtual festivals and some outdoor screenings in 2021, patrons will be able to attend screenings of nearly 60 movies at five indoor venues and free outdoor movies every day on Taylor Street, starting Thursday and running through on Sunday.
“Independent filmmakers are looking to have a profound impact on a specific audience rather than the mass appeal of studio productions,” McClelland said. “Our programmers look for movies that they know will affect the people of Port Townsend and our guests.”
The venues will be the Rose Theatre, the Rosebud and the Starlight Room in the 200 block of Taylor Street and the American Legion Hall and the Cotton Building, both on Water Street. They are all within walking distance of each other.
Most of the 60 movies on offer at the Port Townsend Film Festival (PTFF) will also be online next Monday through October 2 for those who want to watch a variety of movies in the comfort of their homes at their own schedules. alone or with a group.
Screenings and in-person events begin Thursday with an opening ceremony, “Gathering the Storytellers,” at 5:30 pm at the Taylor Street Outdoor Theatre. The ceremony precedes the free outdoor movie A League of Their Own.
The following night, at 4 pm Friday, the red carpet of visiting filmmakers will arrive in vintage cars provided by the Rakers Car Club at the bottom of the Taylor Street steps at Haller Fountain.
On Friday at 4:45 pm, Seattle-based Dekoboko Taiko will host a percussion performance along with the documentary Finding Her Beat. The event will be at the American Legion Hall at 209 Monroe St.
On Friday at 6 pm in the Rose Theater, there will be an awards ceremony for special guest John Cooper, honoring him for his three decades with the Sundance Film Festival, culminating in his service as a director.
“From 2010 to 2020, he oversaw all aspects of the annual Sundance Film Festival working closely with Sundance founder Robert Redford,” says PTFF on its website at www.ptfilmfest.com.
Following the ceremony, All is Lost, starring Redford, will be screened.
Two other special guests will be honored at the festival. Jared and Jerusha Hess are two American filmmakers best known for their work on Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Nacho Libre (2006), and Gentlemen Broncos (2009).
Napoleon Dynamite was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and won first place at the Comedy Arts Festival USA.
It will be on display at the American Legion Hall at 6:30 pm on Saturday. After the screening there will be a discussion about the film.
Napoleon Dynamite will also be shown as a free movie on Taylor Street on Sunday.
Other Taylor Street movies, all at 7 pm, are Goonies on Friday and Sing on Saturday.
McClelland said the online version of the festival will have a total of 27 screening blocks of 90 to 120 minutes. Twenty-two of them are feature films and five of them are blocks of shorts made up of a group of shorts.
McClelland mentioned “Daughter of a Lost Bird” as “an exciting movie being offered online.” She said that “it has a special meaning for this area.”
According to the film’s website (daughterofalostbird.com), “The story follows Kendra, an adopted Native American adult, as she reconnects with her birth family, discovers her Lummi heritage, and confronts issues of her own identity. Her unique story resonates with many affected by the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Indian Adoption Project.”
Visit vimeo.com/533738588 to watch a trailer for “Daughter of a Lost Bird.”
Some filmmaker interviews are available only at the online film festival, included in the price of your films, while some films can only be seen in person in Port Townsend.
“The best thing about the online festival is that you have access to unique interviews with most of the filmmakers,” said McClelland.
“Staff, community members, and film industry professionals have compelling conversations with the writers/directors/producers behind these incredible films.
“A lot of the filmmaker interviews available online are with artists who can’t be here at PT, so that’s a plus, for sure.”
Ten films will be shown in person only. They are Butterfly in the Sky, It Ain’t Over, Fashion Reimagined, The Territory, Sam Now, Finding Her Beat — an advance screening, Bad Axe, Pez Outlaw, Make People Better and Savage Waters. Everything else will be available online.
For unlimited viewing, an online pass is $135, compared to $250 for unlimited in-person viewing. Individual show passes are $15 to view online, $20 to attend in person. Online single pass sales start on the day of the online festival, but other passes are now available.
Visit ptfilmfest.com for more information, a complete listing and synopsis of each film, where and when it can be seen, and to purchase passes.
For details on viewing online, visit ptff2022.eventive.org/HowtoFest-virtual.
Emily Matthiessen is a reporter for the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is comprised of the Sound Publishing Peninsula Daily News, the Sequim Gazette, and the Forks Forum. Please contact her at [email protected]
Executive Editor Leah Leach contributed to this story.