Civilized Film Fun in Port Townsend
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By Rebecca Redshaw
Reprinted from NotesFromHollywood.com
Having attended film festivals in Los Angeles, New York City, Park City and countless cities in between it was a treat to be initiated to the fledgling film festival in a small town northwest of Seattle, Washington.
The Port Townsend Film Festival [PTFF] is in its third year; long enough to iron out most of the kinks but not too long to be jaded. Actually, given the audience it attracts – involving the community businesses as movie sponsors and encouraging the locals to volunteer and attend, PTFF shows every indication of succeeding long term.
The three-day event offered an eclectic array of movies chosen by Linda Marie Yakush, Director of Programming and Peter Simpson, Executive Director.
A tribute to Patricia Neal with the screening of three of her movies found the actress looking good, in terrific voice, and with sense of humor in tact.
Neal was graciously available throughout the festival, not only for ticket moguls (folks who paid $500 or $1000 for passes), but also at the high school for aspiring actors and Jefferson Medical Center for stroke victims and family members.
The 2001 productions of THE MAN WHO SUED GOD, from Australia and Portugal’s I’M GOING HOME were two audience favorites.
There are never enough opportunities to view documentaries particularly one’s as well executed as DAUGHTER FROM DANANG and THE GOOD WAR.
This year PTFF added a video venue anticipating an ever-increasing market with films shot digitally. At the other end of the spectrum, offering a trip down memory lane for some, were the showings of AMERICAN GRAFFITI and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL screened under the stars and free to the public.
DAY FOR NIGHT was coupled with STOLEN MOMENTS, a tedious talking heads tribute to Françious Truffaut. Unfortunately, the feature print was extremely poor quality. In the future when showing old films, PTFF should strive for a better representation for the paying public. This really was the only negative experienced.
The beautiful Pacific Northwest offers the perfect setting for this festival that is all about the enjoyment of movies.
NotesFromHollywood.com goes far beyond the boundaries of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. Many who visit this website would require a passport to take part in events posted if it were not for the magic of the Internet.
More than a thousand miles north of the Palm Springs “Festival of Festivals” held this coming November (and featured on NotesFromHollywood) is another fledgling film festival far different in size and location. However, one quality the Port Townsend Film Festival [PTFF] shares with Palm Springs is the love of good movies and the opportunity to see them!
Three years ago this stylish Victorian town (located west and north of Seattle on the Strait of Juan de Fuca) held its first festival. This year’s event beginning Friday, September 27th offers a wide range of subject matter on film and digital video as well as prestige talent with the presence of Oscar winner Patricia Neal.
Described by Peter Simpson in the program as “our third annual block party,” the community is invited to three, free outdoor screenings. “American Graffiti,” directed by George Lucas in 1974, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” starring Patricia Neal, and the documentary “ABC Africa.”
A screening of “Hud” is billed as “A Very Special Evening with Patricia Neal” and promises to be a treat. Her courage in conquering the physical challenges in her life may have at times overshadowed her career but her acting talent is without question. Hollywood film notable Robert Osborne will host the post-screening interview with Neal.
Osborne, a Washington native, will also be on hand to talk with screenwriter Stewart Stern after the screening of “Rachel, Rachel.” This powerful 1968 realize starring Joann Woodward and directed by Paul Newman, is one of several scripts Stern has penned. “Rebel Without a Cause,” “The Ugly American,” and “The Outsider” are also among his credits.
This smattering of memorable old classics is sandwiched between an intriguing list of new film efforts hoping for a distribution deal.
Films to be reviewed at this site in the hope that they will have wider and accessible distribution are “Journey to Kafiristan,” “The Man Who Sued God,” “The Good War,” and “Stolen Portraits.”