Laura Jean Schneider [email protected]
In a year that has been a bit difficult to celebrate, something is coming up that you won’t want to miss. The 22nd year of the Port Townsend Film Festival is not only virtually back, there are also plenty of outdoor performances planned this year to wow and delight.
The festival runs from Thursday September 23 to Sunday October 3. Outdoor events are scheduled for the opening weekend evenings of September 24, 25 and 26 and will take place on Taylor Street across from the Rose Theater. . Open-air movies at 7.15 p.m., no ticket needed. Festival organizers recommend grabbing something to eat at a local restaurant and bringing a chair.
At 8 a.m. on Thursday, September 23, viewers can pay $ 15 per movie to access any of the 100+ movies. For real moviegoers, the unlimited virtual pass is $ 120 and allows access to almost all of the festival’s films.
This year’s festival offers a delicious mix of films ranging from feature films to shorts, here’s a little teaser of what’s on the table in 2021.
WHAT IS ON THE MENU?
Well, nothing is free.
âLily Turns the World upside downâ is the first of three free outdoor feature films and stars Lily Hevish, a young Asian woman who is becoming a domino knockdown sensation on YouTube. A big plus? She’s going to be here in the flesh. Enjoy this delicious story at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, September 24 on Taylor Street.
Dress in hot pink and trick your puppy because you don’t want to miss a chance to win the “Look Like Elle and Bruiser” contest. Who are Elle and Bruiser? Well, it’s about time you checked out âLegally Blonde,â the feature film from the Saturday Outdoor Theater on Taylor Street.
The last free outdoor movie on Sunday, September 25 is the home run “A League of Their Own”, bringing a nostalgic dose of Tom Hanks and Rosie O’Donnell circa 1992, surely somewhat effective against the COVID blues. Same time, same place.
Other special events not to be missed include the virtual presentation of a Port Townsend Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award for actor Tom Skerritt, who plays “Ben” in a film adaptation of “East of the Mountains”, a novel written by Seattle novelist David Guterson of “Snow Falling on Cedars”. The special pass costs $ 25 and includes interview materials and prize giving.
Things get loud and heated in “Los Hermanos”, where titular Afro-Cuban brothers Ilmar and Aldo correspond internationally with violin and piano. The film reveals how their music finally comes together in person, in an incredible performance by the siblings, the Grammy-winning Harlem Quartet, and Maestro Joshua Bell. The $ 15 special event includes an interview with the filmmaker and is available in Spanish and English.
How did the stars deal with the pandemic? Watch Julianne Moore, Rosie Perez and Emily Mortimer, among other greats, react to one of the most difficult moments in modern history in “With / In” Volumes I and II. Using just an iPhone and whatever was handy, a flurry of voices and experiences were shared across the screen. The $ 15 viewing fee includes an interview with the filmmakers.
A FEAST FOR THE EYES
Feature documentaries run the gamut from fire to ice.
âWho We Belong toâ is a great fit for Local Eat Month here in Port Townsend.
While it’s not exactly food, it is soil. And climate change, and regenerative agriculture, and a new radical approach to the management of livestock and agriculture. The film follows nine small farms and ranches, from cattle ranches to seaweed harvesters, who are committed to thinking outside the box to help stop climate change. Bonus: also includes an interview with the filmmaker.
Music lovers and nostalgic, take a tour of “Vinyl Nation”. This 90-minute documentary covers the renaissance of the vinyl record over the past decade. A more diverse audience has emerged: they are younger, male and female, and multicultural. This same revival made buying music more expensive, benefited established groups over independent artists, and blurred the question of whether vinyl actually sounds better than other formats. Has the return of vinyl made the music fandom more inclusive or divided?
Get moving with “Firestarter”, the story of how three young Indigenous brothers – Stephen, David and Russell Page – took on a new dance company and, along with its founders and elders, transformed it into a First Nations cultural powerhouse. Through the eyes of the brothers, this documentary explores the loss and reclaiming of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma, and the power of art as a messenger of social change and healing. The 97-minute film includes an interview with the filmmaker.
It will be easy to relax at home with the feature documentary âAfter Antarcticaâ, which immerses the viewer in a world of ice and snow. The film is an intimate portrait of Will Steger, a pioneer and one of the world’s most admired polar explorers. Thanks to never-before-seen archive footage, viewers can follow Steger’s historic 1989 crossing through Antarctica, which was the longest crossing of the continent in history. The film lasts 104 minutes and includes an interview with the filmmaker.
Local newspapers still play a crucial role in disseminating critical news. âStorm Lakeâ follows a city of the same name in Iowa, which has seen its fair share of change in the past 40 years. Great agriculture. Migrant workers. A pandemic. Pulitzer Prize winner, 63, Art Cullen and his family newspaper, The Storm Lake Times, still deliver sharp local news and editorials on a shoestring budget for their 3,000 readers.
Short rolls can have a big impact.
âLove Lost and Foundâ is a collection of several short films that warmed the hearts of the Port Townsend Film Festival crew. Appropriate topic for the title, heartwarming and only costs $ 15 to feel better than what you have all year round.
Girl Power is the force behind the small but mighty selection of “Go Gurrls!” The story of Marlie, a symbol of resilience and vigor, is included. She was born with an aggressive brain tumor and spent her early years in the hospital. Today, 7-year-old Marlie insists she eats mutton in her free time.
If you like random surprises, âJane’s Favsâ is a sure-fire victory. Director of the festival’s programming, Jane Julian could not let go of these seven short documentaries. Old-fashioned goodness is what binds highly unlikely chords together. Each is a little gem without a wasted minute.
Cinematic excellence and unique perspectives merge into âPot-pourri,â a handful of notable short films, including a ship story (that’s Port Townsend, after all). Once the pride of a fleet of North Sea trawlers, “The Annie” struggles to survive in a wave of apathy and neglect. When tragedy threatens their future, the crew strive to define not only themselves, but their way of life as well.
What to do with these 30- to 40-minute films? Well, sit back and watch three in a row, watch one and take a break for dinner, hop on the elliptical with your favorite charactersâ¦ Travel from Germany, Spain, London and venture with it the âBe Inspiredâ collection of shorts.
A FEAST OF FEATURES
Here’s the scoop on some satisfying selections for each palette.
Take a trip to Germany and meet Wanda, a 35-year-old caregiver for 70-year-old Joseph at her family villa by the lake. The work is poorly paid, but Wanda needs money for her own family in Poland. The tranquility of Swiss Lake is juxtaposed with what goes on inside the wealthy residence, revealing a tangle of relationships. Unexpected little news boils everything simmering just below the surface. “My Wonderful Wanda” is filmed in German and lasts 111 minutes. Bonus: it features a beautiful cow carrying two children on its back!
Stream “Till the End” in English, Icelandic or Portuguese. Paulo is on vacation in Iceland when he finds out that the world is ending in a few days. Unable to return home, he finds himself stranded in a small village where he spends his days wandering, forging his last human relationships. The film includes an interview with filmmakers.
Music lovers, this one’s for you: While “Best Summer Ever” has a familiar plot, the movie knows it and winks at it. These talented teens exist in a world where waiters, cops, sports presenters, camp counselors, teammates, and cheerleaders are disabled alongside people who don’t. No one looks or wonders out loud about what they can or cannot do. This relaxed inclusion gives the story a surprising warmth and camaraderie. The film is most captivating of its many original musical numbers, which are staged and shot with zest and precision. With Benjamin Bratt and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Just take the “Jump, Darling” and embark on an adventure starring Russell, an actor turned drag queen. He receives a heartbreaking ultimatum as the curtain rises. Overwhelmed by indecision, he flees to his grandmother’s house in the countryside, where he finds Mamie Margaret (Cloris Leachman in her last leading role before her death this year), in sharp decline. In a perfect, albeit precarious, solution for the two, he moves in to protect her from his greatest fear. You’ll have to watch it to find out exactly what it is.
“Luzzo” is a boat story, for a boat town, starring an actual fisherman in his very first acting concert. For three generations, the Luzzo boat has taken the family’s fishermen out to sea and brought them home safely. But Jesmark, who inherited the boat, sees change on the horizon. Struggling with dwindling fish harvests, a ruthless fishing industry and pressures from home, Jesmark struggles to support his young family. The options for living on the docks get darker and more dangerous, the returns ever darker. Although Jesmark seems at odds with the world and the direction he wants to take it, the connection he has with his boat and the tenderness with which he takes care of her is deeply touching. Shot in Maltese on the island of Malta, the film is accompanied by an interview with the filmmaker.
GET THE POPCORN
The Rose Theater at 235 Taylor Street currently has its hands full to gracefully navigate the pandemic. Fear not, the theater will be collaborating with PT Film Fest again in 2022.
La Rose is open to vaccinated customers and will present a range of films to complement the festival screenings. Start
On September 24, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” plays at Rose, along with other handpicked selections.
Their signature popcorn, made with real butter, will be available to theatergoers and moviegoers alike. Don’t forget to grab take out from local restaurants, relax and enjoy the show.