Port Townsend Film Festival 2010

Today is the first day of fall. The weather is turning colder and rainier and sweater season is upon us. (Okay, I admit that I was bundled in a sweater for most of  “summer,” but that’s not the point!) I’m actually thrilled for autumn’s arrival because there are so many wonderful arts events scheduled. I’m kicking off the season by attending the Port Townsend Film Festival (PTFF) this weekend, September 24-26.

PTFF is celebrating its 11th season with an impressive slate of programming and guests. With three dozen feature-length films and over 50 shorts, the hardest part will be winnowing down the choices. A standout in the short documentary category, Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol will open the festival on Friday. An iconic, 1942 photograph of Hayashida holding her one-year-old daughter as they departed for a Japanese internment camp became symbolic of the World War II era. Now in her 90s, Hayashida will make a rare public appearance in support of the film. This is a must-see on my list!

Other local, national and international directors, actors and producers will be at PTFF. One standout is Tom Shadyac who will appear Friday and Saturday in support of his new documentary I Am. Shadyac is best known for directing comedy blockbusters such as Bruce Almighty. His new documentary on the meaning of life immediately piqued my interest and already received rousing praise at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival. 

Passes are available for every price level, but PTFF also offers free, outdoor screenings of film favorites. American Graffiti screens on Friday, The Princess Bride on Saturday and the romantic/culinary classic Big Night closes the festival Sunday evening. 

I will be blogging from Port Townsend, so stay tuned! I’ll report on my adventures navigating the festival, flagging down a root beer float from a roller-skating waitress (part of their Friday “dinner block party” - more details to come!) and attempt to stay awake for Saturday’s midnight zombie movie. For now, I’m off to pack—sweaters, of course!

For more information, visit ptfilmfest.com.