PORT TOWNSEND — The 24th annual Port Townsend Film Festival begins Thursday and continues through Monday with 53 films from all over the world, filmmaker forums and a number of special filmmaker guests.
Films will be shown at six venues — including one outdoors on Taylor Street — from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. On Monday will be interviews with filmmakers at 8 a.m., followed by a finale concert by the Indigo Girls at 7:30 p.m. in collaboration with Centrum at McCurdy Pavilion, 200 Battery Way.
For information about tickets, films and special events, see https://www.ptfilmfest.com.
Two films at the festival will feature the Indigo Girls: the documentary “It’s Only Live After All” and a musical called “Glitter and Doom.”
“There is a musical focus on the film festival this year,” said Danielle McClelland, executive director of the festival, pointing also to a documentary “Joan Baez I am Noise” and “Omoiyari: A Song Film By Kishi Bashi.”
“Another exciting aspect of the festival includes film forums which present two-hour seminars featuring aspects of filmmaking,” McClelland said.
Lindsay Wagner, best-known for her Emmy award-winning portrayal of Jaime Sommers in “The Bionic Woman,” who will be at the gala on Thursday night and will discuss filmmaking with her son Alex Kingi, an actor and stuntman, during a forum on Sunday.
The festival will begin with an Opening Night Gala from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St., followed by the first film of the festival, “Red White & Brass,” at 8 p.m. at the American Legion Theater, 209 Monroe St.
On Friday, the Filmmaker Parade will wend its way in antique cars along Washington and Taylor streets at 5:30 p.m. This year, attendees can join in the parade with visiting filmmakers and special guests by dressing as their favorite movie characters and dancing down Washington Street to the beat of Chaotic Noise, a Seattle-based renegade marching band. Filmmakers arrive in their chosen vintage car, then step onto the red carpet near Haller Fountain.
On Saturday will be the awards party at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Vintage by Port Townsend Vineyards at 725 Water St. All Deluxe and Festival Pass holders can celebrate with visiting filmmakers and special guests at this wine and hors d’oeuvres event by the water.
This year also features a new spin on a Port Townsend Film Festival tradition. Attendees can enjoy grab-and-go picnic meals from participating restaurants between films or as they gather for the outdoor movies. Live music from Chaotic Noise, Jonathan Doyle Trio and others will accompany the dinner break. Bar Car will offer craft cocktails, beer and wine on Taylor Street between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Free outdoor movies will be presented on Taylor Street at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
The outdoor film schedule includes “James and the Giant Peach” on Friday, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” on Saturday and “Matilda” on Sunday.
As of Monday, the film festival had exceeded the amount it had sold in tickets in 2022 — which was just over $41,000 — and the biggest sales are generally the week just before the festival, McClelland said.
This season features a robust lineup of filmmaking seminars, panels, workshops and networking opportunities for film lovers and industry professionals, collectively called the PTFF Forums.
Several of the presenters are Port Townsend Film Festival alumni. The offerings include:
• “Documentary Lab” with Doug Blush and Lisa Klein.
• “Mini-Pitch Workshop” with Kiwi Smith.
• “Music Supervision” with Jessica Berndt.
• “Screenplay Crash Course” with Mark Schwartz.
• “Acting for the Screen” with Amy Hesketh.
• “Filmmaker Panels” with a variety of visiting filmmakers.
For those unable to attend the film festival in person, the online film festival will be available the day that the in-person festival ends (Monday). Attendees can watch from the comfort of their home; online viewing is available Monday through Oct. 1.
Helpful links are: General information: ptfilmfest.com; passes and tickets: ptfilmfest.com/ptff-2023-buy-passes; film guide: ptfilmfest.com/ptff-2023-film-guide; festival schedule: ptfilmfest.com/ptff2023-schedule; how to fest: ptfilmfest.com/ptff-2023-how-to-fest.