“I am happy when I see a crowd of people watch a film, love it and walk out feeling like they are not alone.”
What is the story behind The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival and what is its association with Three Dollar Bill Cinema? The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is the flagship program of the year-round LGBT organization Three Dollar Bill Cinema lead by Executive Director Jason Plourde. The Festival has been a part of the GreaterSeattle LGBT community and beyond since 1996 and has become the largest festival of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. The festival has garnered national recognition for showcasing extraordinary and award-winning work.
What are some of your favorites films from this year’s film festival? We are just confirming some titles which will include Club King, a documentary about club promoter Mario Diaz— a Seattle native now known as the “King of LA’s Gay Nightlife.” Some other confirmed documentaries include Letter to Anita, Back On Board: Greg Louganis, and Regarding Susan Sontag. Two feature titles that I am excited about are Tiger Orange and Blackbird.
What is the most exciting aspect of the festival? It is a festival with a very loyal audience in a city that is excited about cinema. The LGBT community comes out to view the films from all around the world from the lighter fare to the more serious dramas and documentaries. This year we will be at the newly re-opened Egyptian Theatre, the Northwest Film Forum and the AMC Pacific Place.
What sparked your love of films and film festivals? I have always loved the movies from when I was a little girl till now. As a child, I would watch musicals like Singing in the Rain, The Sound of Music and Brigadoon and when I became older I continued my love of film with young adult films such as The Outsiders. In 1995 I went to see queer shorts at Out on Screen: Vancouver LGBT Film Festival and became hooked. I remember seeing Personal Best and Go Fish and knowing I wanted to work in the LGBT film industry.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of working at The Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival? Being able to watch so many wonderful LGBT themed films from shorts, documentaries and feature films and then to be able to decide on which films to play at the festival. I love working with my colleagues and the programming committee to find the films that speak to an audience. I am happy when I see a crowd of people watch a film, love it and walk out feeling like they are not alone.
How has this festival created awareness surrounding important issues within the LGBT community? The festival is a place for established and emerging filmmakers to bring their talent to the big screen. The films range in subjects and create a discussion and awareness within the LGBT community and outside of it.
What is the one thing you would like the world to know about your film festival? The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is an event where LGBT people and their allies come together to watch films that reflect their diverse experiences and lives—a little bit of fun, romance, and sex with the more serious moments and experiences that the LGBT community deals with internationally. The Festival is part of a dynamic and popular year-round organization, Three Dollar Bill Cinema, which hosts Translations, an Outdoor Cinema series, Reel Queer Youth and other events throughout the year.