Annual Destiny City Film Festival announces February lineup


Proctor’s historic Blue Mouse Theater will host the sixth annual Destiny City Film Festival Feb. 22-24. This year’s program will feature 34 films from across the globe, and from the Pacific Northwest. Four of this year’s films are nominated for 2019 Academy Awards in various categories. The three-day festival will highlight films across a variety of themes, and will bring professional screenwriters to Tacoma to participate on a screenwriting panel. This celebration of art and film is an opportunity to bring together local filmmakers, artists, families and friends from the Tacoma community and beyond.

The festival will open Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. with “All Square,” a full-length drama directed by John Hyams that follows an uncommon friendship between John Zbikowski, a down-on-his-luck bookie, and his ex-girlfriend’s 12-year-old son, Brian. When Zbiowski’s clients don’t pay their debts, he tries to recoup his earnings by taking bets on Brian’s baseball games. Prior to the film, guests are invited to the opening night party at the Blue Mouse for food, drinks, live music from Tacoma’s own The Happy Sinners, and an opportunity to connect with other attendees and filmmakers.

Saturday, Feb. 23 will begin with a morning of free family-friendly programming, featuring playful short films that explore whimsical realities of an animated sasquatch, a down-on-his luck pirate, and a young woman who dreams of becoming an astronaut. Filmmaker D. J. Haye will be in attendance for his short film “The Bag and the Bike.” The afternoon programming focuses on international narratives that explore ideas of finding strength, what it means to find home, testing the limits, and finding the courage to live your truth. “Fauve” by Jeremy Comte and “Bonobo” by Zoel Aeschbacher are two films that explore stories of how our limits are tested by both Mother Nature and bad luck. “The Driver is Red,” by Randall Christopher, follows the true-crime story about secret agent Zvi Aharoni as he searches for a mysterious man named Ricardo Klement. This program will also feature Italian filmmakers Andrea Brusa and Marco Scotuzzi’s “Magic Alps,” about an Afghan refugee seeking asylum in Italy.

The Feb. 23 afternoon programming includes “Above the Clouds,” about 18-year-old Charlie’s journey of finding her biological father. “The Stories We Tell” shorts program takes us on a journey through narratives about gun violence, getting cold feet, changing your entire way of life, and learning more about family members who have a surprising past. The package features the Academy Award-nominated “Weekends,” an animated tale of a young boy shuffling between the homes of his recently-divorced parents. The award-winning feature length documentary “The Feeling of Being Watched” showcases journalist Assia Boundaoui’s investigation into rumors of surveillance in her Arab-American neighborhood in Chicago, where she uncovers one of the largest FBI terrorism probes conducted before 9/11 and reveals its enduring impact on the community. The evening will transition into “After Dark Shorts,” bringing together a combination of dark comedy, documentary and horror. “The Quiet Room” follows the story of Michael, whose suicide attempt awakens a psych ward demon. This program will also feature film a from a Seattle editor: “Sac De Merde,” a dark comedy about an unlucky-in-love, yet irrationally optimistic New Yorker who thinks her luck has changed when she spends the night with the man of her dreams. “Black Sheep” is an Oscar-nominated documentary about a young man who takes a drastic step to survive in a town run by racists.

The closing day, Sunday Feb. 24, will begin with the world premiere of the locally-produced feature drama “Aberdeen,” which follows Mia as she attempts to establish herself in the male-dominated sports journalism industry and begins to expose the dark underbelly of high school sports in her small hometown. Cast and crew will be in attendance for a Q&A. The celebration of local filmmaking continues with the “Evergreen Shorts” program, including six films produced in the Northwest with filmmakers in attendance for each film to talk about their projects.

The festival will close on the afternoon of Feb. 24 with two nostalgic documentaries: “Earthrise,” focused on the story of the first image captured of the earth from space in 1968, and “My Indiana Muse,” about a painter who embarks on an artistic project that takes longer than a decade to complete. The 2019 Storyteller Award winners will be announced prior to the films, and guests are invited to the closing night party at Peaks and Pints afterwards to celebrate the festival’s final night. Peaks and Pints will also have the Academy Awards broadcast on their big screen so we can continue the celebration of cinematic storytelling – and find out if any of DCFF’s four Oscar-nominated films end up as winners!

Tickets purchased online and at the door are $15 for opening night, $10 for closing night, $9 for general admission, $7 for military and seniors, and $6 for students. VIP all-access passes can be purchased online or at the box office for $70. Four-pack tickets for $25 are available online only.

The 2019 DCFF is funded in part by the Tacoma Arts Commission. The Destiny City Film Festival is a homegrown, community-based festival built to showcase the best independent films from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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