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News Roundup -- Local cinema this weekend

Local cinema this weekend

Spearheading the Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival for all of its eight years, Kathleen Thorne has seen a lot, yet she’s always amazed at the quality of the offerings.

“I’m astonished at the variety and skill of Bainbridge filmmakers,” Thorne said, “especially from the teens.”

All films are screened before the yearly festival takes place, Thorne said, “but we don’t jury them.”

The rules are brief: there has to be a Bainbridge connection and good production qualities.

All movies were either filmed on Bainbridge or feature a Bainbridge Islander in the cast or crew. This year’s 34 entries include full-length and short documentaries, student projects, children’s animation films, short features and experimental works.

“We screen for anything that would be inappropriate, excessive violence, nudity,” she said. “It’s for all ages.”

This means anything not suitable for young eyes – such as a teen slasher film – is shown late at night.

“The least objectionable goes on early,” Thorne said. “We’re pretty lenient.”

Per usual, Thorne had to turn away films because so many were entered. This weekend’s offerings include a wealth of subject matter, from getting ready for prom night and underwater poetry to salmon survival, Bainbridge liveaboards, the Iraq War and zombies by filmmakers young and older and seasoned and fledgling.

How big the crowds are depends on the film, Thorne said.

The more esoteric offerings may have the smaller audiences. Thorne expects the big draws to include “The Bainbridge Connection,” “Out of Gas,” “Torrents of Change,” “Eagle Harbor Liveaboards,” “Teachings of the Tree People: The Work of Bruce Miller,” “Vanishing Generations: The Stories of Bainbridge Island” and “Bicycle Blues in the Key of E.”

The festival’s main feature – and one sure to fill up – is “Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story,” a documentary about the Bainbridge Island lead singer of rock band Mother Love Bone, who died of a drug overdose at the age of 24. Wood’s mother will introduce the film, which will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We have quite a few documentary videographers on Bainbridge Island and a lot of amateurs,” Thorne said. “That’s why we don’t jury them. We hope people won’t compare them. It’s why (filmmakers) say they do this festival.”

Putting on the festival is a family affair, with everyone from the Lynwood Theater on down volunteering their time and services.

The donation policy, Thorne said, is to “make it as easy and accessible as possible (to the community). And, it’s easier on us not to charge admission.”

Because the festival grows each year, things could change, she said.

“I kind of hope not. I really like the funky kind of feel to it,” she said. “I think people really appreciate it so much. A couple of years we’ve had special needs and people poured in money for it.”

This year’s need is another lens for the new DVD projector that will stay at the Lynwood, which chipped in for it and will use it for community screenings.

The weekend is barely here and yet Thorne already has plans for the 2007 festival.

“I have a few films lined up for next year. I really hope the filmmakers have them ready in time,” she said. “We have to figure out a way to get more time. We definitely are consistently getting more films.”

As an incentive to viewers, Thorne and her crew are putting out an “early bird special”: donuts and coffee the first hour of the festival – or while supplies last – on Sunday.

“Safeway is donating them for free,” Thorne said, adding the little bribe is to help out the not-so-popular first screenings.

“Someone has to go early,” she said.

– Rhona Schwartz

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Island flicks

The eighth Annual Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 11 and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Lynwood Theatre. Admission is by donation. For a full schedule see www.artshum.org/programs/celluloid.

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