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Olympia Film Festival dishes out the goods

HUMP! Fest, Glam Gala and first-ever Lifetime Achievement Awards

CAPITOL THEATER: Audrey Henley, left, and Lisa Hurwitz know how to throw a party. photo credit: Nikki McCoy

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Riding on the successful (sold out) wave of Night of the Living Tribute Bands, Olympia Film Society keeps the drive alive into this year's incredible lineup of screenings, events, guests and kick-ass gala that is the 29th annual Olympia Film Festival.

The event runs Nov. 9-18, and while there are many worthy screenings and highlights of this year's festival, I'm getting straight to the point - I can't wait to see HUMP! and Dan Savage at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14.

I once had some friends that made a little video on top of the pinball machine at Old School Pizzeria for HUMP! - Dan Savage's annual film festival of amateur sex cinema - but I've never actually seen any of the HUMP! festivals. Now in its seventh year, I'm looking forward to a raunchy time - especially since The Stranger columnist Savage will be in the house looking cute and answering questions.

"It was controversial bringing HUMP! down here," says Audrey Henley, manager at the Capitol Theater, which hosts the Olympia Film Festival. "But, we all have that animalistic side. Plus its amateur filmmakers and we encourage film making and creativity in general."

Henley also said that two of the theater's projectionists have made films for past HUMP! events and that it "seems natural" to bring the event to Olympia.

Ok, time to reluctantly drag my mind out of the artistic gutter and touch on other festival highlights.  

The Opening Night Gala will match previous year's spectacles. The "Glam Gala" gets fabulous at 6 p.m. with glamorous costumes galore. The gala includes a screening of Velvet Goldmine that includes a VIP reception with director Todd Haynes.

"He's one of my favorite directors," admits Olympia Film Festival Director Lisa Hurwitz, who has been in this position since June and a member of OFS for three years. "I guess that's one of the perks of the job."

Other highlights of the event include annual favorite All Freakin Night featuring five freaky films to chill you, Locals Only filmmaker showcase, a kung-fu double feature with Crippled Avengers and Fist of White Lotus, House of Wax presented in 3D, special kids' films and the Best of the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

A first-ever Olympia Film festival lifetime achievement award will be presented to two people. Comedian, actor and writer Fred Williard will be honored at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13. On closing night, Philip Kaufman - whose greatest success has been the film The Right Stuff, which received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture - will be honored.

"Olympia Film Fest is the annual centerpiece for OFS, and one of the biggest events on Olympia's arts calendar," says Hurwitz. "For being such a small town, this event has such a world-class lineup."

For a complete listing or for tickets visit www.olympiafilmsociety.org.

CAPITOL THEATER, NOV. 9-18, $7-$10 SINGLE TICKETS, PASSES AVAILABLE, 206 E. FIFTH AVE., OLYMPIA, 360.754.6670

LINK: 2012 Olympia Film Festival schedule

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