Film festivals have played a vital role in the cultural landscape for decades, giving filmmakers valuable response to their work, as well as connections with other filmmakers and distributors; and for audiences the often singular opportunity of discovering the unexpected gem.
But the film industry is in the midst of the biggest transformation in its history. It weathered the transition from silent to sound film, and the advent of television in the 1950s. But today streaming services - Netflix, Apple, Disney and more - is creating the biggest disruption yet. Some worry that local theatres are on the endangered list.
All of this makes the Port Townsend Film Festival even more important. For 20 years they have created a culturally rich event that gets better year-after-year. Given all the challenges we face in our world today, the festival both entertains and allows us to engage with these challenges, as depicted by film artists.
My lesson of the week: Never underestimate the enduring appeal of DOWNTON ABBEY. Our sneak preview of the film on September 12th was sold out, and tickets are selling like Nan's Shepherd's Pie for the four days following PTFF (Monday 9/23 - Thursday 9/26). During those four days it will be playing in the Rose and the Starlight.
Even if you're not a big fan of jazz, MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL is an excellent profile of this truly brilliant, ground-breaking musician. The film, along with GIVE ME LIBERTY will be sharing the Rosebud screen through Thursday, September 26th, and HONEYLAND plays only through this Thursday, September 19th.
Starlight Friday, September 27th for regular engagements - THE BOWMAKERS, BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON and DOWNTON ABBEY.