By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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A free shuttle provides transportation among all of the Port Townsend Film Festival venues, leaving frequently from the Jefferson Transit park-and-ride lot off Sims Way near Safeway.
Here's the complete list of venues for the festival today through Sunday.
■ The Rose Theatre, 235 Taylor St.
■ The Uptown Theatre, 1120 Lawrence St.
■ The Peter Simpson Free Cinema, aka the American Legion, 209 Monroe St.
■ The Outdoor Cinema, Taylor Street at Washington Street.
■ The Silverwater Theatre, upstairs at 237 Taylor St.
■ The Broughton Theatre, aka the Key City Playhouse, 419 Washington St.
The festival is bigger than before, with 93 films and more than 40 directors, cinematographers and actors poised to appear at six venues, said Port Townsend Film Institute press secretary Sana Gomes.
And admission is free to nearly 20 of those showings, which means you can see some of the more notable films, provided you arrive early enough at the Peter Simpson Free Cinema.
That venue, aka the American Legion Hall, 209 Monroe St., is named for a cofounder of the Port Townsend Film Festival.
Then there are the Outdoor Cinema movies, projected onto a giant screen downtown on Taylor Street tonight, Saturday and Sunday: Those are free for all at 7:30 each night.
The variety awaiting audiences of this 14th annual festival is as impressive.
There are documentaries from “Unhung Hero” and “Tiny: A Story about Living Small” to “Battle for the Elephants” and a short film, “Crow Quill Night Owls,” about the local band by that name.
There are narrative features, such as “The Forgotten Kingdom,” a coming-of-age story set in South Africa, and “The Glass Menagerie” with festival Special Guest Karen Allen.
And there are short films, animated movies and special features including “A Life in the Mountains: The Legacy of Lou Whittaker” and “Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton.”
The former is about the famed climber of Mount Everest while the latter looks at an exuberant poet who lived his last decade in Port Townsend.
To ascend the mountain that is the Port Townsend Film Festival, pick up a program at headquarters: the Cotton Building, 607 Water St., or at any of the festival venues.
Then determine whether you want a pass or just a rush ticket or two, Gomes advised.
A 1-Pass for $35, for example, includes one movie screening plus a yearlong Port Townsend Film Institute membership, while a 4-Pass gets you four screenings this weekend plus the membership.
The benefits: access to the institute's large library of DVDs; 20 percent off breads at Pane d'Amore in Port Townsend; and $1 off admission to the First Tuesday Film Salon at the Rose Theatre here.
Passes are “really about having a membership,” Gomes said.
“The library is really fantastic. It has all the films we've screened in previous years at the festival.
“But if you just want to watch a movie,” she said, “do a rush ticket.”
To rush, join the line outside the venue showing the film of your choice. If seats are still available 15 minutes before show time, they will be sold for $10 each — except at the free venues, where they cost zero. Getting in line with plenty of time is a good idea in any case.
Opening ceremonies begin at 4 p.m. today at the Haller Fountain at Taylor and Washington streets just outside the Rose Theatre; magician Joey Pipia, a Marilyn Monroe parade and the Lawn Chair Rhythm Planet Drill Team are scheduled to appear.
But the festival starts much earlier, with movies screening from 9 a.m. today until after 9 tonight. Saturday's schedule stretches from 9 a.m. on past 10 p.m.; on Sunday it's 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with the festival award winners announced at 6:30 p.m. at the Rose Theatre.
Gomes, who moved from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Port Townsend a year and a half ago, revels in her front-row seat. She's already viewed all of the movies in this year's festival.
Gomes also served as a judge for the PDN-PDQ Three Minute Film Competition, whose winners will be shown on the Outdoor Cinema screen starting tonight.
A graduate of Brazil's Universidade Federal Fluminense, Gomes worked with fellow filmmakers Jim Ewing and Virginia Bogert to select Tenille Tosland and Torrie McIntyre's “Pink,” Peter Ray's “Hareloom Seeds” and David Gough's “Because It's There.”
The Outdoor Cinema lineup goes like this: “Hareloom Seeds” will screen just before “Starman” tonight; “Pink” comes before “Finding Nemo” on Saturday night and “Because It's There” screens before the surfing movie “Step into Liquid” on Sunday.
Another joy of this job is “working with the people here, and meeting the filmmakers,” said Gomes, adding that many of them will be on hand to conduct question-and-answer sessions following the screenings of their films.
To find out about these Q-and-A exchanges and other activities, stop by the Cotton Building headquarters or any of the festival venues.
There are two new ones this year: the Key City Playhouse, aka the James Broughton Theater, and the Silverwater Theatre, upstairs from the Silverwater Cafe.
Information also awaits at www.PTFilmFest.com and 360-379-1333.