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Seattle's Lesbian & Gay Film Festival starts in two weeks
Seattle's Lesbian & Gay Film Festival starts in two weeks
Launch of printed program at Bailey/Coy draws crowd

by Robert Raketty - SGN Staff Writer

Three Dollar Bill Cinema launched its printed program for the 2007 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival at Bailey/Coy Books on Monday, September 24. Over 60 people turned out for the presentation from Executive Director Rachael Brister and Programming Director Jason Plourde, who also talked about festival planning and showed clips from the festival's four featured films.

"I think it was great. We had a really great crowd and there was a lot of enthusiasm from folks who came up to me afterwards," Brister later told the Seattle Gay News. "They were saying things about how good the program looks; how excited they are; and people were asking about how to get a pass. So, I took that to mean we were received really well." Considered by many to be one of the biggest cultural events in Seattle's LGBT community, the 2007 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival will run from October 12-21, 2007, and will include screenings at several Seattle venues. Brister told the SGN this week that festival line-up is "the best we have ever had."

"I think the festival accomplishes a lot of different things," said Brister, "like bringing communities together; putting images on the screen that people can share and watch together-things that people don't get to normally see; and raise the profile of the LGBTQ communities in Seattle. You name it."

Brister boasted about some new additions this year. "We are doing some really cool things," she said. "We are doing our TV series. Some people might be surprised that a film festival has a series focused on television. We are holding some screenings at SIFF Cinema and Central Cinema, two new venues we have not been to before. So, that is new this year."

The festival opens at the Cinerama on Friday, October 12, at 8 p.m. with the West Coast premiere of The Walker by director Paul Schrader. Part political drama, part noir thriller, the film stars Woody Harrelson, Lily Tomlin, Lauren Bacall and a whole host of other well known names. The opening will be followed by a gala at the Naval Reserve Building (860 Terry Avenue, Seattle).

"We are thrilled to be opening with The Walker," said Brister. "It's a quiet thriller, which is definitely a little different for our usual opening night. However, I think the performances are amazing and people are going to be wowed."

The festival also features two centerpiece films, Shelter by Jonah Markowitz on Saturday, October 13, at 7:00 p.m. and The Witnesses by Andr? T?chin? on Monday, October 15 at 7 p.m. Both films will screen at the Cinerama. The first is a romantic story of love, family and finding your way in Southern California, while the other tells the story of five people in France in 1984 whose lives connect over the course of the year in various ways. Both showings are followed by galas.

"Our centerpieces are great," said Brister. "They are two very different films."

The festival will close on Sunday, October 21, with the showing of Itty Bitty Titty Committee by Jamie Babbit at the Cinerama at 7 p.m. Described as an "unforgettable ode to freedom, rebellion, sex, and grrl power," this film tells the tale of a feminist guerilla group and the love that blossoms between two of its members. The closing gala will be held at the South Lake Union Discovery Center (101 Westlake Ave. N., Seattle).

"I think Itty Bitty Titty Committee is going to be a totally amazing and fun screening," said Brister. "All of these four gala films are important films and films we wanted to put a spotlight on... The fact that all of these will screen at the Cinerama really adds so much extra to the screening because it is such a glorious cinema."

Brister said there will be films that will appeal to everyone, but she encouraged people to push themselves to see films they might not otherwise consider.

"A lot of people go to see things they want to see, obviously, or they might naturally be attracted to. I like to tell people to challenge themselves and see something they normally wouldn't see or gravitate towards," she said. "Go see that shorts program if they know they only love features. Check out shorts because you never know what you might see. See something about a community that's not yours. That is another thing that the festival accomplishes; the enrichment and educational part of what we show."

Tickets are on sale now through Ticket Window or can be purchased at the door on a space-available-basis. Most tickets start at $9. However, the first showing each day is only $6. The galas and special programs range from $12-$30. A Party Pass is $70, while a full festival pass is $185. Discounts are available for members of Three Dollar Bill Cinema.

"Some of our screening will definitely sell out," said Brister. "One ticket that I think people should get a hold of early is An Evening with Jane Lynch, because I am pretty sure that is going to go quickly."

For more information about the 2007 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, visit www.seattlequeerfilm.org.
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