A name change is not the only new thing about the TWIST Seattle Queer Film Festival.
This year's event, which runs Oct. 13-23, includes the new TWIST 360º program and a TWIST Twerkshop taught by The Lady B at V2.
TWIST360º is a program to train queer artists and artists interested in making queer-themed content. Part of the program includes a TWIST360º Bootcamp, a one-day lab taught by Seattle’s leading 360º content makers. The bootcamp will provide instruction in 360º conceptualization, shooting and editing, and is offered on Oct. 15 and 22. Festival attendees also have the opportunity to experience a live virtual reality body swapping experiment from Barcelona.
"What we're doing this year is broadening our horizons into new realms of visual storytelling,” said festival director Keith Bacon.
Bacon and the TWIST team have been working more than five months to select this year's films, which will be spread out at locations all over downtown and Capitol Hill. Venues include the SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Northwest Film Forum, AMC Pacific Place and Cinerama. The opening and closing nights and the Twerkshop will be held at V2.
"We spend a lot of time looking for films,” Bacon said. “We go to other film festivals to see what they're showing. It's a very extensive search to find the best films, and also to present a very diverse slate to represent the widest range of queer people as possible."
TWIST has partnered with Northwest Film Forum and Three Dollar Bill Cinema for many years. In fact, "Third Antenna," a documentary on the evolution of drag, is showing at the Egyptian exactly 15 years to the day when it first premiered at Northwest Film Forum, during what was then the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
When the decision to change the name came about, the TWIST crew did research with marketing professionals, talked to audience members and held focus groups.
"The name change was done for two reasons; one was to have a more marketable name rather than the mouthful of Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and also a more inclusive name," Bacon said. "The Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival was not accurate anymore because we show films about bisexual people, trans people and gender nonconforming people as well."
The name has been received well by most in the film and queer community.
"It was really cool to see the process," said Courtney Sheehan, executive director of Northwest Film Forum. "It's a great effort to try to have the best identity to the audience they are serving."
A full festival pass is available for $240, and a Party Pass, which allows entrance to both the opening and closing nights as well as the three Centerpiece films, "Pushing Dead," "Out Run," and "Women Who Kill," is available for $85. Single film screening tickets may also be bought. All prices are discounted for Three Dollar Bill Cinema members.
This year's TWIST opens with the world premiere of Clyde Petersen's “Torrey Pines” at the Egyptian. The stage performance includes live music performed by members of Petersen's band, "Your Heart Breaks," and live sound effects by a Foley artist.
"I would recommend people take full advantage of these types of films that wouldn't be screened in Seattle, as well as the once-in-a-lifetime live performances," Sheehan said.
Although the new name has been received well within the community, it has not permeated through all of the Seattle community yet.
"I think in time people will know what TWIST is and what it's all about," Bacon said. "It brings all the parts of the community together to celebrate, interact, and to learn, and to support each other."
For more information, visit twistfilmfest.org.