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Seattle International Film Festival features two films with Tacoma and Gig Harbor connections

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on May 20, 2013 at 11:20 pm with No Comments »
May 28, 2013 7:46 pm
A scene from "The Geography Club" movie, screening this week at SIFF. Photo courtesy SIFF.
A scene from “The Geography Club” movie, screening this week at SIFF. Photo courtesy SIFF.

We’re used to the Tacoma Film Festival featuring plenty of local content, but this week the 39th Seattle International Film Festival chips in, with “Geography Club,” a Gary Entin film adapted from the 2003 novel of former Tacoman Brent Hartinger, and “Her Aim is True,” a documentary by British filmmaker Karen Whitehead on photographer Jini Dellacio, who shot albums and concert images of Tacoma’s most famous garage rock bands The Sonics, The Wailers and Girl Trouble.

“Geography Club” won Brent Hartinger a handful of awards, got him on some Banned Books lists and secured his place as a writer of young adult fiction. Hartinger was living in Tacoma at the time, and based a lot of the scenarios of the gay teen coming-of-age story on T-town. Entin filmed the screen adaptation last summer in Los Angeles, starring Cameron Deane Stewart as the protagonist Russel Middlebrook, and Justin Deely (“90210”), Nikki Blonsky (“Hairspray”) and Ally Maki (“Ten Things I Hate About You”) alongside. When I blogged about the filming back in January Hartinger was murmuring about a Tacoma Film Festival premiere, but instead it’s screening at SIFF this week, with Entin (and presumably Hartinger) attending.

7 p.m. May 22. $12/$11. Egyptian Theater, 805 E. Pine St., Seattle.

11 a.m. May 25. $7. Harvard Exit Theater, 807 E. Roy St., Seattle. siff.net

Jini Dellaccio in "Her Aim is True." Photo courtesy SIFF.
Jini Dellaccio in “Her Aim is True.” Photo courtesy SIFF.

The other SIFF film with South Sound connections – “Her Aim is True” – tells the remarkable story of former Gig Harbor photographer Jini Dellacio. This time last year I had the pleasure of meeting the now-96-year-old self-taught photographer, who captured the aesthetic of the 1960s Northwest garage rock scene through iconic album covers for The Sonics and The Wailers shot on her misty, tree-covered waterfront property – the Harbor History Museum showed a 50-year retrospective of her work. British filmmaker Karen Whitehead’s documentary covers all that and more – her fashion, fine art and live rock photography, her tenacious yet generous spirit, plus interviews with members of the bands. Tacoma theater director David Domkoski helped Whitehead out with historic photos and the final scene, shot with Buck Ormsby of The Wailers at the Tacoma Armory building.

“I’ve seen an early cut of the film,” says Domkoski. “There’s a lot of Tacoma in it, and it is stunning.”

4 p.m. May 26 and 2 p.m. May 27. $9/$7. Harvard Exit Theater, 807 E. Roy St., Seattle. siff.net


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