Each October, Pickford Film Center presents Doctober, our month long celebration of the art of the documentary featuring some of the most diverse and varied programming offered all year. See something different this year. With over 60 films in the lineup for 2019, something for everyone is hardly an exaggeration.
Doctober gives us an opportunity to work with other organizations in Bellingham to bring important issues to the community, frequently with filmmaker visits, special guests, pre-screening receptions and guided discussions. Take a look at each event below to find more details.
All Doctober tickets are now on sale!
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Playing at Limelight Cinema81 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by the Ayurvedic Health Center
Becoming Nobody represents the core arc of Ram Dass’ teachings and life: whether as Dr. Richard Alpert, the eminent Harvard psychologist, or as Ram Dass, who serves as a bridge between Eastern and Western philosophies, he has defined a generation of inner explorers and seekers of truth and wisdom. Through his turns as scion of an eminent Jewish family from Boston, rock-star Harvard psychologist, counter-culture rascally adventurer, Eastern holy man, stroke survivor and compassionate caregiver, Ram Dass has worn many hats on his journey, the narrative of which is revealed in this film.
Playing at Pickford Film Center80 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by Bellingham YWCA
Sponsored by Knechtel Enterprises
Skype Q+As with directors Matt and Katie Maxwell after both screenings, moderated by producer Dina Guttman
Finding Home in Boomtown is a cinéma vérité documentary about Briana and John-Mark Echols, and their dream to build a tiny house community for the homeless in oil boom-town Midland, Texas.
Playing at Limelight Cinema74 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by North Cascades Institute
Sponsored by Knechtel Enterprises
with month-long mushroom specials at Camber and Cosmos Bistro
An artistically-shot, scientifically-sound, life-affirming film about mycelium: the incredible, intelligent network under our feet that has the proven ability to restore our ecosystem, repair our health, and resurrect our symbiotic relationship to nature. Fantastic Fungi aspires to be an educational, inspirational, and ultimately critical film that explores the uses and benefits of fungi in the areas of medicine, environmental engineering, and personal transformation. Narrated by Brie Larson and featuring insight from Paul Stamets, Michael Pollan, and Andrew Weil.
Playing at Pickford Film Center92 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by the Community Food Co-op
Director Peter Nelson in attendance! Join us for the 10/20 screening for a reception featuring honey-sweetened treats, tabling from local organizations, and a post-screening discussion with the director and local pollination experts from the WWU Outback, BeeWorks Farm, and Southern Exposure Family Farm.
Your 10/20 ticket also includes a free glass of wine at our pre-screening reception.
The Pollinators is a cinematic journey around the United States following migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honey bees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts and vegetables we all eat. We will talk to farmers, scientist, chefs, economists and academics along the way to give a broad perspective about the threats to honey bees and what it means to our food security.
Playing at Pickford Film Center123 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention
WBCN and The American Revolution is a landmark feature documentary that tells the previously untold story of the early days of the underground, radical radio station, WBCN-FM, set against the dazzling and profound social, political, and cultural changes in Boston and nationally from the late-1960s through the early-1970s.
The documentary includes never before exhibited film material shot by Andy Warhol and cinema verite pioneer Ricky Leacock, and photographic images from a host of top 1960s photographers including the late Peter Simon, brother of singer Carly Simon, who also appears in the film, and Jeff Albertson.
Playing at Pickford Film Center75 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary, Comedy Rated NR: . Chronicling the decade long run of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival through its farewell show in 2017, It Started as a Joke is a warm and generous inside look at Brooklyn’s alternative comedy community. Begun as, yes, a joke by Mirman in 2008, the festival went on to become a beloved annual tradition, a refreshingly DIY, anything-goes (one’s year’s theme: “The Drunk Show”) showcase for some of New York’s brightest comic talents, including Mike Birbiglia, Wyatt Cenac, Jim Gaffigan, Janeane Garofalo, Kumail Nanjiani, Kristen Schaal, Michael Showalter, and many others. Interweaving priceless standup sets from the festival alongside Mirman’s candid reflections on his creative process and his family’s personal struggles, this delightful documentary is a hilarious and heartfelt ode to the end of an era in New York City comedy.
Playing at Pickford Film Center98 minutes, Germany, UK, Australia, In English, Persian, French, and Mandarin w/ English subtitles, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival
with a recorded introduction from director Gabrielle Brady
The burning of ghost money perfumes the air on far-off Christmas Island where Poh Lin Lee, a trauma therapist, lives on the island with her husband and daughters. While Lee helps detained immigrants work through their trauma, migrating crabs freely move from the jungle to the ocean, coddled by locals who gently rake them from the path of oncoming vehicles. Lee’s therapeutic work, which is filmed in a uniquely intimate way, and her mediation between the unhappy spirits and the detainees take a toll on her relationship with her family. Director Gabrielle Brady conjures a poetic darkness that evinces a confrontation of nature and human suffering.
With a recorded introduction from Director Gabrielle Brady.
Playing at Pickford Film Center88 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Sponsored by Shake & Shine Canine Wash and Deli
Competitive creative dog grooming is the most colorful competition in America and Well Groomed captures the hearts, minds and imaginations of the artists involved. Follow four champion groomers and their gorgeous, vibrant dogs through a year in the life on the technicolor competition circuit, playfully exploring their creative process. From South Carolina to California, New York to Arkansas, these women are revolutionizing the age old question – what is art? Director Rebecca Stern has captured an up-close and revealing look at pets, families, friendships and the glory of dog grooming through a bright spectrum of color.
Playing at Pickford Film Center88 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by Whatcom Youth Pride and Queer Youth Project
Skype Q&A with director Mikey B. and executive producer Alex Schmider on 10/25
Mack Beggs made headlines last year when he became the Texas State Champion in girls wrestling — as a boy. Fighting Texas State policy and drawing international media coverage, he was heralded as a hero by some while receiving hate and threats from others. The tumultuous press surrounding his success continues to pull Mack in multiple directions as he and his family navigate the media and this year’s State wrestling tournament, all while trying to graduate high school. We hear two other stories from trans high school atheletes, and these courageous kids offer us the opportunity to see their successes and struggles through their eyes.
Playing at Limelight Cinema91 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated PG-13: (for thematic material and brief strong language) Sponsored by TrueBearing Consulting
Jim Allison: Breakthrough is the astounding, true story of one warm-hearted, stubborn man’s visionary quest to find a cure for cancer.
Today, Jim Allison is a name to be reckoned with throughout the scientific world — a 2018 Nobel Prize winner for discovering the immune system’s role in defeating cancer — but for decades he waged a lonely struggle against the skepticism of the medical establishment and the resistance of Big Pharma.
Jim Allison: Breakthrough takes us into the inspiring and dramatic world of cutting-edge medicine, and into the heart of a true American pioneer, in a film that is both emotionally compelling and deeply entertaining.
Playing at Pickford Film Center94 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by Talking to Crows
featuring a panel discussion on 10/28 only.
Few realize that sound is 50% of the cinematic experience. Building on the pioneering sight-and-sound discoveries of iconic filmmakers, this documentary features the first generation of recognized Sound Designers who designed great movies with sound before a frame was shot. We will explore the collaborative relationship between Sound Designers and the visionary directors they work with by entering their creative realms via interviews and clips from their movies. We check out the latest discoveries and advances in sound technology and learn how sound transforms not only the cinematic experience, but also our lives.
Playing at Pickford Film Center115 minutes, Austria, In English, German, Hungarian, Spanish, and Italian w/ English subtitles, Documentary Rated NR: . Several billion tons of earth are moved annually by humans – with shovels, excavators or dynamite. Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Homo Sapiens, Our Daily Bread) observes people, in mines, quarries and at large construction sites, engaged in a constant struggle to take possession of the planet.
Playing at Pickford Film Center88 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by Greater Bellingham Running Club
As a young refugee ripped from his home in Sudan and dropped into high school in New Hampshire, Guor Marial struggles to adjust to life as an ordinary student without speaking English and with no friends or family in the States. But things change forever when he meets track coach Rusty Cofrin and his Olympic dreams become a future he could never have imagined. His difficult and triumphant journey from refugee to world-renowned athlete is told through intimate interviews with gorgeously animated flashbacks, as he strives for athletic greatness.
Playing at Limelight Cinema79 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by Mindport Exhibits
“Before you can see, you have to look”. Come early to ‘look,’ ‘see,’ and interact with exhibits provided by Mindport.
Jay Myself documents the monumental move of renowned photographer and artist, Jay Maisel, who, in February 2015 after forty-eight years, begrudgingly sold his home–the 36,000 square-foot, 100-year-old landmark building in Manhattan known simply as “The Bank.” Through the intimate lens of filmmaker and Jay’s protégé, noted artist and photographer Stephen Wilkes, the viewer is taken on a remarkable journey through Jay’s life as an artist, mentor, and man; a man grappling with time, life, change, and the end of an era in New York City.
Playing at Pickford Film Center82 minutes, USA, Mexico, In English and Spanish w/ English subtitles, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival
Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy is a feature-length documentary offering a candid look into the world of 92-year-old British chef and cookbook author Diana Kennedy, widely regarded as the world’s authority on Mexican cuisine. Standing barely five feet tall with a still-thick English accent, Diana is a formidable critic of any individual who doesn’t agree with her subjective views of Mexican culinary traditions, or, God forbid, doesn’t recycle.
Playing at Pickford Film Center81 minutes, ., In Spanish, French, English w/ English subtitles, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force
This documentary takes place in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, two ethnically and culturally distinct countries that have been forced to share an island since colonial times. The film follows Pikilina, a Dominican-born woman of Haitian descent, and her family. Racial and political violence erupt when the country of her birth, the Dominican Republic, reverses its birthright citizenship law and she is left stateless, along with 250,000 others. With the stroke of a pen, generations of people are left without a homeland. This sets Pikilina off on an epic journey as she struggles to regain her Dominican citizenship. Pikilina now faces the choice of fighting for her rightful citizenship and exposing herself to danger, or fleeing with her family to Haiti, a country she barely knows.
Playing at Pickford Film Center87 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . After a decade of making music together, Jim and Sam, a recently married singer/songwriter duo from Los Angeles, were not the conventionally successful band they hoped they’d be. Feeling stuck and anxious about their future, the duo made a spontaneous decision to go “all in,” making a pact to play one show every day for a year. With suitcases and a guitar, the troubadours ventured out for a 365-day tour down unexplored roads, and onto unexpected stages, bringing their music to new audiences throughout 14 different countries. After So Many Days is an intimate front row seat to the highs and lows of what it’s like for two people to pursue a dream, together.
Playing at Pickford Film Center85 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Ten years after the Wall Street meltdown of 2008, questions still linger over whether insiders could see it coming or do more to stop it. Inside Lehman Brothers is an involving autopsy of what led to the largest bankruptcy filing in US history. The film profiles several insiders who had early warning signs about the dangers of subprime mortgages and tried to sound alarms from within. The stories of these whistleblowers deepen our understanding of the mindset that caused the crash and serve as a stark warning for the future.
Sponsored by Gravity Payments
Playing at Pickford Film Center85 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Join us for our 11/2 screening for a panel discussion following the film, featuring:
+ Rick Eggerth, Sierra Club and Zero Waste Washington
+ Michael Lilliquist, Bellingham City Council
+ Eleanor Hines from Surfrider and RE Sources
We are in a plastic crisis.
Plastic pollution is everywhere we look, smothering our oceans and poisoning communities around the world. Meanwhile, Big Plastic only plans to expand production. We need to chart a different course.
Playing at Pickford Film Center99 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by Bleedingham and shown as part of our series The Queens’ Vernacular
Your ticket for Scream, Queen! on October 31 gains you entrance to A Nightmare on Elm Street II, screening at 8:30pm!
Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street sets the records straight about the controversial sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street, which ended Mark Patton’s acting career, just as it was about to begin.
Scream, Queen follows Patton as he travels to horror conventions across the U.S. Each new city unwraps a chapter from his life that is met with equal parts joyful and bittersweet detail, as he attempts to make peace with his past and embrace his legacy as cinema’s first male “scream queen.” The film also finds Patton confronting Freddy’s Revenge cast and crew for the first time, including Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund.
Playing at Pickford Film Center87 minutes, English, In Horror, Doctober Rated R: (adult situations/language, nudity, violence) Presented by Bleedingham
Your ticket to Doctober documentary Scream, Queen! gains you free entrance to A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge! You can also purchase tickets to just Nightmare 2 at the link below.
Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton) moves with his family into the home of the lone survivor from a series of attacks by dream-stalking monster Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). There, Jesse is bedeviled by nightmares and inexplicably violent impulses. It turns out Freddy needs a host body to carry out his gruesome vendetta against the youth of Springwood, Ohio. While Freddy gains influence, Jesse and his girlfriend, Lisa (Kim Myers), race against the clock trying to figure out what’s going on.
Playing at Pickford Film Center107 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by WWU Chemistry Department in honor of National Chemistry Week
Sponsored by Knechtel Enterprises
Screenings introduced by biology and chemistry professors from WWU
A breakthrough called CRISPR has given us unprecedented control over the basic building blocks of life. It opens the door to curing diseases, reshaping the biosphere, and designing our own children. Human Nature is a provocative exploration of CRISPR’s far-reaching implications, through the eyes of the scientists who discovered it, the families it’s affecting, and the bioengineers who are testing its limits. How will this new power change our relationship with nature? What will it mean for human evolution? To begin to answer these questions we must look back billions of years and peer into an uncertain future.
Playing at Pickford Film Center0 minutes, USA, Australia, Germany, Ghana, Nicaragua, UK, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by WTA + Smart Trips, with post-screening panel discussions featuring local parents, commuters, and business owners who have discovered the power of cargo bikes.
Motherload is a crowdsourced documentary about a new mother’s quest to understand the increasing isolation and disconnection of the digital age, its planetary impact, and how cargo bikes could be an antidote.
Filmmaker Liz Canning cycled everywhere until she had twins in 2008. Hauling babies via car was not only unsustainable but took the freedom and adventure out of life, and Liz felt trapped. She Googled “family bike” and uncovered a global movement of people replacing cars with cargo bikes: long-frame bicycles designed for carrying passengers and heavy loads. Liz set out to learn more, and Motherload was born.
Playing at Pickford Film Center0 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: . Presented by Echoes
In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws in Southern states and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South. Led by Gay Chorus Conductor Dr. Tim Seelig and joined by The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, the tour brings a message of music, love and acceptance, to communities and individuals confronting intolerance. Over 300 singers travelled from Mississippi to Tennessee through the Carolinas and over the bridge in Selma. They performed in churches, community centers and concert halls in hopes of uniting us in a time of difference. The journey also challenges Tim and other Chorus members who fled the South to confront their own fears, pain and prejudices on a journey towards reconciliation.