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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 7, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 36
Gala films announced for the 23rd annual TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival
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Gala films announced for the 23rd annual TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival

Early-bird tickets and passes on sale now

Three Dollar Bill Cinema has announced the four gala screenings for the 23rd TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival to be held October 11-21. Early-bird discounted tickets and passes are on sale now.

For the first time in more than 15 years, all four festival gala screenings will take place on Capitol Hill. Opening Night, Closing Night and both Centerpiece screenings will be held at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian Theatre (805 E Pine St). 'We are very excited to return to Capitol Hill for Opening Night and to experience these premier screenings and parties in Seattle's historically queer neighborhood,' said Ben McCarthy, Three Dollar Bill Cinema's new executive director. 'I have been a fan of Three Dollar Bill Cinema and avid TWIST attendee since I moved to Seattle, and I look forward to meeting the many supporters of this fabulous organization at this year's festival.'

This year's gala screenings are THE HAPPY PRINCE, written, directed and starring Rupert Everett; RAFIKI, a Kenyan film banned in its home country; TRANSMILITARY, the 2018 SXSW audience award winner for best documentary; and RIOT, an Australian film from multi award-winning director Jeffrey Walker.

'I am eager to share this lineup of diverse, powerful gala films with our audience,' said Kathleen Mullen, TWIST Festival Director. 'There is so much talent represented in these films both in front of and behind the camera.' Mullen was previously TWIST Festival Director in 2015 and 2016.

Early-bird discounted tickets and pass sales are on sale now. Full Festival Passes, Ultimate Party Passes and Opening Night and Closing Night tickets will all be discounted through September 19th. Early-bird pass prices range from $72.00 to $195.00, Gala ticket prices range from $15.00 to $28.00. Prices will increase on September 20. threedollarbillcinema.org/twist/

The full festival program launches online September 20 at threedollarbillcinema.org/twist/.

Opening Night: THE HAPPY PRINCE
Rupert Everett; UK/USA; 2018; 105 min.

'To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life,' wrote Oscar Wilde from his prison cell, after being convicted of sodomy and 'gross indecency' and falling from grace in London's haughty literary circles. THE HAPPY PRINCE focuses on the last years of the life of the infamous poet, author, and playwright (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome, The Importance of Being Earnest). Now suffering from the effects of two years of hard labor, poverty stricken, and alienated from his wife Constance (Emma Watson) and children, Wilde (Rupert Everett, who also directed) finds his way back to his playboy love Lord Alfred Douglas, better known as Bosie (Colin Morgan); his devoted former lover Robbie (Edwin Thomas); and loyal friend Reggie (Colin Firth). Traveling from Dieppe to Naples to Paris, Wilde survives thanks to his wit and a bohemian, streetwise underground he entertains with panache. Still getting into trouble in his final days, Wilde is depicted with the affection and dark tragedy fitting of the gay king of nineteenth-century English literature.

THE HAPPY PRINCE, a labor of love for openly gay actor and first-time director Rupert Everett (MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING, AN IDEAL HUSBAND), took over ten years to come to fruition. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival to much acclaim, Everett's directorial debut is both a humorous and moving biopic of Wilde's genius and eccentric later life, during which he lived and loved unabashedly.

Closing Night: RAFIKI
Wanuri Kahui; Kenya; 2018; 82 min.

On a sunny afternoon in Nairobi, Kena is hanging out with her friends in a local café when she spots Ziki - and is instantly smitten with her vibrant, free-spirited energy. Turns out, though, that Ziki's father is running against her own father in a local political campaign. Despite their families' rivalry, the two young women start to meet up and get closer. Keeping their attraction secret, they spend time discussing their dreams and ambitions, soon finding intimacy in a little camper away from prying eyes in the gossipy neighborhood.

As their relationship develops, family pressure and danger lurk for the two lovers. In a place that does not want to admit that queerness exists and love is love, Kena and Ziki are destined to be wives and mothers. Both must choose how to survive in this coming-of-age story where the stakes are high.

This remarkable achievement by director Wanuri Kahiu - the first LGBTQ Kenyan film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival (in the prestigious Un Certain Regard section) - received a 10-minute standing ovation but has been banned in Kenya for its 'clear intent to promote lesbianism.'

Closing The Seattle Queer Film Festival with a moving, sexy, and unapologetically queer film about fighting for love is a reminder that our work continues. Through Kena and Ziki's strength, we find the hope we need so much today.

Centerpiece: TRANSMILITARY
Fiona Dawson & Gabriel Silverman; 2018; USA; 93 min.

'I served in the Middle East. I served in Korea. And yet, none of it was as harrowing, as perilous, as wearying, as the fight every day to push down and keep inside the person that I knew that I was. The person that I knew in my heart of hearts that I was and that I knew I needed to become.'

With these simple words, Allyson Robinson poignantly and eloquently puts a human face on the issue of transgender Americans serving in the armed forces. By coming out publicly as transgender, Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Villanueva, Captain Jennifer Peace, and First Lieutenant El Cook put their careers on the line to fight for their right to serve in the United States military, the nation's largest employer of transgender people. While the ban on transgender Americans serving openly in the military was lifted in 2016, given the current administration's stance, the futures of these warriors (as well as an estimated 15,500 others) remain uncertain. This timely, powerful documentary debut won the Audience Award at this year's SXSW Film Festival and opened Frameline42: The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival.

Centerpiece: RIOT
Jeffrey Walker; 2018; Australia; 105 min.

The streetlights hum. Music wafts around those gathered like a gentle, rolling breeze. The sound of marching footsteps grows into a thunderous staccato. The faces of men, of women, of everyone in between and beyond, are expectant, poised for the important fight ahead. A bigoted police officer tells Lance Gowland (Damon Herriman), activist and lead organizer of the assembled group of protesters, that this night will end in suffering. Gowland snaps back: 'You'll get shamed out of beating us long before we stop being able to take it.' And so it begins.

Jeffrey Walker's RIOT shines a light on Australia's gay rights movement in the 1970s, chronicling the creation of Sydney's LGBT Mardi Gras - but more importantly, illustrating why it was needed and vividly bringing to life those passionate individuals who were unwavering in their fight for recognition and equality. The powerful camerawork and expert sound design puts you right there on Oxford Street, where, amidst the brutality of the police, brave people of all genders marched, people like Gowland, Marg McCann (Kate Box), Peter de Waal (Luke Mullins), and Robin Plaister (Jessica De Gouw). RIOT is the story of the birth of a revolution, and a celebration of a victory not yet won but - much like justice - inevitable.

About TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival
Beginning as the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in October 1996, TWIST has grown into the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, gaining industry and audience recognition for showcasing the latest and greatest in queer film, from major motion picture premieres to emerging talent. An important venue in the Seattle film scene, the festival provides unique opportunities for visiting and local filmmakers to engage and entertain the greater Seattle region's LGBTQ and allied community. For more information, visitthreedollarbillcinema.org/twist.

About Three Dollar Bill Cinema
Three Dollar Bill Cinema is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides access to films by, for, and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and a forum for LGBTQ filmmakers to share and discuss their work with audiences. Annual programs include TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival, Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival, Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema and Reel Queer Youth. For more information, visit threedollarbillcinema.org.

Courtesy of Three Dollar Bill Cinema

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