The top banana of local film festivals — the Seattle International Film Festival — is coming right up, opening May 16 with a gala screening of “Jimi: All Is By My Side.” But before that, a flurry of smaller festivals is taking place, all over town and beyond. Here’s the list:
- The Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival began this past weekend and continues through May 4, closing with a gala screening of the drama “Mother of George.” This week brings an assortment of features, short films, panel discussions and themed evenings (such as Wednesday’s “Black Sci-Fi” night). Most events take place at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute; for more information, see the festival website.
- Cinerama presents its second annual Science Fiction Festival, beginning Thursday and continuing through May 12, with dozens of screenings of sci-fi classics and special guests including Sam Jones (“Flash Gordon”), Tom Skerritt (“Alien”), Jonathan Frakes (“Star Trek – First Contact”) and filmmaker/special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull. For more information: www.cinerama.com
- The Seattle True Independent Film Festival begins Friday and runs through May 10, presenting a diverse selection of “independent, underground, experimental and zero budget films.” It takes place in the University District, screening films at the Grand Illusion, Wing-It Productions (the former University Cinema) and Lucid Lounge. More information: www.trueindependent.org
- The Port Townsend Film Festival presents a stand-alone event this weekend: a screening of “Nebraska” with Oscar-nominated screenwriter Bob Nelson on hand for a post-film discussion (moderated by yours truly). Join us at noon Sunday, at the Rose Theater in Port Townsend; more information is at www.ptfilmfest.org.