Port Townsend Film Festival: The Halfway Mark

The Port Townsend Film Festival (PTFF) concluded its second day and I’m trying to keep pace with the locals. Today I saw two feature films, seven shorts and attended a presentation with featured guest Dyan Cannon. Nonetheless, my schedule pales in comparison to diehard PTFF fans. I overheard someone proclaim that he saw six films yesterday. Wow! The trick must be to skip meals and subsist on popcorn!

I particularly enjoy that short films are sometimes screened before the feature presentation. This morning, I attended a feature film that was preceded by a 22-minute documentary entitled Pax. Co-directed by Glenn Close and Sarah Harvey, Pax chronicles the Puppies in Prison program. Female inmates train service dogs who are then adopted by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. There was hardly a dry eye in the house! It’s wonderful that PTFF promotes short works such as Pax that audiences might otherwise miss. 

It was a multiple hanky day for me. I later attended a showcase of short films which included Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol, a film that chronicles the plight of Hayashida and other Japanese-Americans interned during World War II. Hayashida, now 99 years old, attended the screening with director Lucy Ostrander. Again, there was barely a dry eye in the house. Seattleites can see it at the Northwest Film Forum as part of the Local Sightings Film Festival, October 1-6.

Thankfully, the day ended with laughter. This year’s featured PTFF guest is Oscar-nominated actress Dyan Cannon who attended a special screening of her 1969 film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. Cannon participated in a post-screening Q&A and discussed her career, marriage to Cary Grant and recounted stories of working with icons such as Warren Beatty and Johnny Carson. Cannon is the most recent in a long list of film legends to attend PTFF including Peter Fonda (Easy Rider), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) and Tony Curtis (Some Like It Hot). Who knows who it will be next year! 

Sunday concludes PTFF’s 11th season. Check back for my last round of film updates as well as recommendations of other sites to visit in Port Townsend. For now, I need to rest in preparation for the final day. Perhaps there is still hope of keeping up with the locals!

Visit the Port Townsend Film Festival for more information.