Arts and Entertainment

Celluloid Bainbridge kicks off second decade of feting local filmmakers

A scene from the Richard Lasser’s short “I Scream” about two grown men who enter an ice cream competition.    - Courtesy Photo/Celluloid Bainbridge
A scene from the Richard Lasser’s short “I Scream” about two grown men who enter an ice cream competition.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo/Celluloid Bainbridge

In the pervasive spirit of doing less with more, the festival will be one day only this year, March 15 at the Lynwood Theatre.

Paula Elliot, a transplant to Bainbridge, had always felt an irresistible draw to the island’s arts community.

She’d visited for years, having always had the summertime getaway perception of Bainbridge, until she and her husband retired to the island. Upon their arrival, she knew she wanted to be involved in the arts community, she just didn’t know how.

So she got in touch with the island’s Arts and Humanities Council, and soon got word that a certain local film festival, Celluloid Bainbridge, was entering into its second decade and was in need of an organizer. She took the job of accepting and organizing the hours of entries into this year’s festival and found herself amongst a wealth of both creative-minded people and those who support them.

“One impression that’s hard not to get is how supportive of the arts and how arts oriented so many people are on the island, and how passionate they are about the arts,” Elliot noted of the overall notion she got from this year’s entries. She was also taken aback by how many working artists there are on the island, including amateur filmmakers featured in Celluloid.

For the past 11 years, the Arts and Humanities Council, in association with the public access television station BITV, has been encouraging filmmaking among Bainbridge Islanders by hosting an annual free film festival exclusively for films and filmmakers with ties to the island. This year, the festival will be one day only, March 15 at the Historic Lynwood Theatre, 4569 Lynwood Center Road on Bainbridge.

“Each year this local film festival has screened at the Historic Lynwood Theater to large audiences,” Lynwood Manager TJ Faddis wrote in a press release. “Quite by accident, the project has served to record much of the history of the island community, as well as its colorful denizens.”

To that end, “A Portrait of Louise,” a 45-minute documentary directed by Steve Stollee, explores the intriguing life and times of longtime islander Louise Mills, a Grande Dame of sorts in the local arts culture, responsible for spawning two amateur theater companies (including what is Bainbridge Performing Arts today).

“I hate to highlight any because they are all so great,” Elliot said of the film roster. “There’s a huge variety of stuff, they’re really all over the place.”

In the interest of the viewer, the shorts have been grouped into thematic categories. For example, Stollee’s “Portrait” will be a part of a group of films with Bainbridge-based themes titled “A Bainbridge Bouquet,” which will be shown following a set of films titled “Morning Meditations,” including trips to the Redwood National Forest of California and the rebuilding of post-Katrina New Orleans.

The matinee feature, which plays at 1:30 p.m. is an Emmy Award-winning film written by islander Renee Longstreet about a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who’s afraid to tell her family because she is their main source of income. The evening feature, which plays at 8 p.m., is a 1987 Emmy Award-winning made-for-TV movie “Foxfire” produced by Hollywood distinguished Bainbridge transplants Marian Rees and Anne Hopkins.

CELLULOID BAINBRIDGE, the 11th annual local film festival, will play from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. March 15 at the Lynwood Theatre, 4569 Lynwood Center Road on Bainbridge. All Ages, free. Info:, or call (206) 842-3080.

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