Maritime City Film Festival's Outdoor Movies

Outdoor Movies at the Maritime City Film Festival in Gig Harbor, WashingtonGig Harbor moviegoers gave a big thumbs-up to last weekend's inaugural film festival with rave reviews about both the films and the idea in general. We got a lot of positive feedback, Paula Lillard, festival planning committee member, said Monday. The film festival was successful on a number of different levels. By and large the most successful film, other than the ones at the park, was ‘Her Best Move.' These were more intellectual films, Tom Watkins said. This could be the start of a good thing for Gig Harbor. Hank and Bunny Searles were also impressed with Life Among Whales. This is the best thing I've seen in a long time, Bunny Searles said. It was so magnified so intimate. I was most impressed with the beauty of this production and highly recommend it, Hank Searles said. You could feel Payne's intensity resonate off the screen. Dr. Roger Payne is the activist and biologist who created the film. Moviegoer Bill MacKay said that of the two films he had seen so far, he enjoyed one but didn't care for the other. But the idea of the film festival is absolutely terrific, he said. It's nice to see something other than the standard film fare. They make you think, Nancy MacKay said. It exposes you to movies you wouldn't normally see. Galaxy Theatres manager A.J. Witherspoon said that, even with a multiplex theater, showing independent films on a regular basis is not as easy as it may sound. It's not that we don't want to, but securing the product is difficult, he said. They won't let you just cherry-pick their films. There's so many mainstream films out there, and sometimes we can't even show all of them. It's hard to pass up on the studio stuff for something you're not sure is going to work. Witherspoon said Galaxy Theatres has shown independent films in the past when it had an open time slot, and they've done OK. Normally theaters that show independent films have cultivated relationships with the indie film industry we have relationships with the major film industry, he said. It's not that we don't want to run the small stuff we would love to do it. But with all the major films out there, we usually have more movies than we have screens to show them on. During the festival, Witherspoon noted the reactions of film viewers were different than those during regular movies. People were moved by what they saw, he said. They were coming out of the theaters having discussions about the movies. I don't see that with many major films. It's kind of nice to bring that stuff in. It's not easy, but we'll do anything we can to keep trying. For now, the festival's committee members are taking a breather after all the hard work and planning it took to bring the show to town. I'm sure as the weeks unfold, we will continue to move forward, Lillard said. There's a number of things we're talking about creating that will be exciting to many people who enjoyed this festival. The inflatable screens used for the festival were provided by Open Air Cinema.

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