PORT TOWNSEND — U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, human rights activist and award-winning actor Danny Glover will be in the center spotlight of the Port Townsend Film Festival on Friday, Sept. 21, with two special events.
Glover will first speak to a 300-member audience about human rights, illuminated by the soft light filtered through stained glass windows at the 1880-era First Presbyterian Church, Fri., Sept. 21, at 1:30 p.m., 1111 Franklin St.
He will be joined in the sanctuary by Rais Bhuiyan, who survived a random gunshot to the head from a shooter targeting people he suspected were Muslims. Admission is free.
Attendees are urged to arrive early to get a place in line.
Glover’s second appearance will be at the 250-seat American Legion Theatre after his screening of “To Sleep with Anger,” Fri., Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m.
This event is limited to festival pass holders only. A single-event pass is $40. Those buying a concierge or patron pass are guaranteed priority seating with no lines at all films and events.
Passes and information are available at www.PTFilmFest.com and the festival office can be reached at 360-379-1333.
After a parade of filmmakers seated in Rakers Car Club restored vintage cars on Friday afternoon, moviemakers will join those holding festival, concierge and patron passes on Taylor Street for dinner, featuring rare white salmon, salad, dessert and a complimentary glass of wine.
About 600 people dine together each year.
Highlights of the three-day weekend include three special screenings: a single screening Saturday of the Buster Keaton silent film “Steamboat Bill, Jr.,” with original live music played by two former members of Ranch Romance; a second silent film, “Eyes of the Totem,” filmed at a studio in Tacoma in 1924, will screen Friday and Saturday.
Lost for years, “Eyes of the Totem” was discovered and restored, then scored by Tacoma composer John Christopher
Bayman, who will attend for a question and answer session.
A limited release of “Pick of the Litter,” which follows the training of puppies as guide dogs for the blind, will screen Friday night and Saturday in the Rosebud Theatre. Meet over 10 guide dogs and puppies-in-training on Taylor Street with their trainers, Sat., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bhuiyan, who will open the festival conversation with Glover, will appear again Sunday with a series of short films, “The Secret Life of Muslims.”
These films will be screened throughout the weekend prior to feature films.
He will attend the festival with more than 60 filmmakers from around the world.
Filmmakers will include 7-10 professionals discussing aspects of their craft and their favorite stories.
Returning to moderate the panels are popular editor Doug Blush and storyteller and short film director Jonathon Browning.
Admission is free to the public.
Panels will be held at the Jefferson County Museum of Art and History, in the Ferguson Family Gallery, 540 Water St., 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
After dark, Taylor Street will become an outdoor movie theatre with kid-friendly films and free admission.
Friday night, an animated version of “The Lion King” will be shown. Saturday, it will be “The Princess Bride”.
Sunday, the festival will screen the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.”
All screenings will begin at 7:30 p.m., with straw-bale seating provided.
Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and put them up early to guarantee seating.
Over 90 documentary and narrative films will screen in seven theatres with 11,000 seats.
This year’s lineup is both broad and deep, according to a news release.
A complete listing of films and their trailers, more special events and online pass sales are at www.ptfilmfest.com.
Documentary films, which are paired with short, imaginative films, include a race of riders mounted on wild horses galloping across Mongolia’s astounding landscape; “Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin,” with frank interviews with the popular science fiction/fantasy writer; and “Bathtubs Over Broadway,” about the shadow industry of Broadway-level shows created for sales conventions.
The festival also will bring back the popular “My Love Affair with the Brain, The Life and Science of Dr. Marian Diamond,” which screened to a full house at April’s Women and Film weekend.
The Port Townsend Food Coop will sponsor a showing of “Soufra,” a story about Middle Eastern women refugees who, fed up with being broke, start a wildly successful catering business featuring their countries’ favorite dishes. There’s an accompanying recipe book for sale.
Also slated are films such as “Intelligent Lives,” about the worth of disabled individuals, narrated by Broadway and film actor Chris Cooper, whose son, Jesse, lived with cerebral palsy until the age of 17. Cooper was a festival special guest in 2016.
Narrative films include these storylines: A teenager comes of age while his parents’ marriage unravels, with actress Molly Ringwald; a Romanian subway car breaks down and the passengers encounter each other; a struggling minor-league baseball player returns woefully to his hometown; a sinkhole in the middle of Canada’s McGill University opens through time to seven generations of indigenous culture; coming to grips with his mortality, an elderly tailor searches for the man who saved him from the Holocaust; and two Italian kids visit their uncle who lives at Area 51 to search for aliens.
Burgers, kabobs, barbecue, toasted cheese sandwiches, and espresso will be for sale on the plaza adjacent to Pope Marine Park.
The festival Bar on the Dock at the plaza will offer signature cocktails, wine, locally-made hard ciders and non-alcoholic drinks and will be open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Under the big white tent on Taylor Street, the festival will feature a beer garden with seating on hay bales, serving wine and Port Townsend Brewery beer on tap.