Friendly faces at the Homer Theatre
Kimmi, Leighanne, and Katie--a few of the friendly faces ready to serve you.
Theatre owners, Lynette & Jamie, with hot dog slingers, Craig and Otto.
Docfest regulars enjoying their hot dogs on Gala Opening night.
About the Founders
Lynette arrived in Homer in 1976 and built a cabin 11 miles out East End Road. In 2003 she said, “Let’s buy the funky old theatre, even though it floods in heavy rains and the seats are curved plywood with duct tape for cushions. We can fix it up! We can show great movies in a much nicer setting, and we can have a film festival!” So that is what she and her husband, Jamie, did.
When Jamie was in the 3rd grade, his teacher showed the class “Harvest of Shame," about the plight of migratory farm workers in California, by Edward R. Morrow. That dramatic and life changing film made him a devoted proponent of documentaries and caused the Homer festival to focus exclusively on documentary features.
Our target is to present the 9 best documentaries in the world over the course of the festival week, with 4 showings a day (at 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00). Unable in our professional lives to screen the hundreds of candidate films, we have developed a strong relationship with the program directors of the largest and most well regarded doc fests in the world. In anticipation of our selection, we talk to directors at the festivals in Toronto, Amsterdam, London, Silver Docs in Washington D.C., Tribeca, LA, San Francisco, and beyond. And we pose to them, “Which films do you insist we must play if we are to show the 9 best?”
From that consensus list of about 25, plus the documentaries we see during the year at the Mill Valley Film Festival theatre, located near our winter home in San Francisco, we review screeners and chose a mix that is diverse enough to be both entertaining and provocative. We always have a few that are nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and most often we have included the film that is the eventual winner. We schedule the showings so that movie viewers can see all 9 movies over the weekend. We also make all of the movies available in the evening for busy viewers.
At our Gala Opening, we serve reindeer sausages and, of course, the best hot dogs cooked over the grill by real Homer cowboys. We invite one of the film makers to join us in “America’s Halibut Fishing Capital” and to address the attendees.
If you want to see the best documentaries in the world, this is the festival for you, and it takes place in a location that is, hands down, the most beautiful.