POSTED ON May 8, 2016 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

Four Questions for Rae Tutera, guest & subject at Translations closing night

We are proud to present the Northwest premiere of the excellent new documentary feature SUITED on May 15, as the closing night film for the 11th annual Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival!

Brought to you by producers Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner (HBO’s Girls), this validating documentary spotlights the harsh struggle to find clothes as a transgender or gender-nonconforming person. But it’s far from a hopeless endeavor, as customers visiting the Brooklyn tailoring company Bindle & Keep demonstrate by sharing their common experiences. Whether you’re suiting up to be a trans boy at a bar mitzvah or an attorney in court, whether you’re a student facing discrimination in job interviews or you’re getting married, this business will pull out all the stops to make you feel happy and grounded in your body when you look in the mirror.

We'll be joined for the evening by the film's subject Rae Tutera.

In advance of the screening, we asked Rae a few questions:

What does trans visibility mean to you?
For me, trans visibility means moving beyond the current narratives about transness, the most familiar of which might be the the framework of being trapped in the wrong body. While I understand there are people who identify with and feel comfortable working within that framework, it has limited the lens through which trans identities - which are immeasurably diverse - are understood. It might even limit the lens through which trans people understand themselves. I'd like to see trans folks tell their own stories so that we have ownership over our narratives, and see a spectrum of binary and non-binary identities, and for nuanced femininities and masculinities be equally valued. 

How does your film speak to the issues facing today's transgender communities?
Today's trans communities face  bathroom bills like North Carolina's HB2, legislating discrimination that puts trans women further at risk and trans youth in a position of unprecedented vulnerability.
There are so many communities within the trans community, and we all have to navigate discriminatory landscapes while trying to be our real selves but while also trying to protect ourselves. In the film, we see one of the subjects, my dear friend Everett face the realities of both racism and transphobia. We see Jillian talk about a reality where she thought not existing might be a better alternative to living her life as a trans woman. We see a handful of subjects who are on the non-binary spectrum trying to situate themselves in a world that would prefer they commit to a gender.  
Ultimately, the film gives a glimpse into only a handful of experiences, but it shows some of the indignities trans folks endure - with grace and humanity - both within their own families and within society. I hope that people see the film and are reminded they have the right to be themselves no matter what issues we face within our communities.

Do you consider yourself an activist as well as a filmmaker?
I'm only a subject in this film, and I joined this project to try to be an advocate for my clients (who have become family to me through this process). I'm learning how to be an advocate in a greater context as I answer these questions and attend festivals. 

What are you most excited about for your visit to Seattle?
I'm excited to see SUITED at Translations with an audience of my queer and trans peers - I've only seen the doc twice in the settings of Sundance and the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival. And I'm excited that the audience will include some of my dearest friends who live in Seattle because they'll be seeing the film for the first time after hearing about it for years and supporting me through the process. 

Get your tickets for SUITED on May 15 now!

POSTED ON May 6, 2016 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

Meet Miss Major, star of the Translations opening night film!

MAJOR! is a documentary film exploring the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years. At the heart of MAJOR! is a social justice framework that puts the subjects at the center of their story. MAJOR! was produced in collaboration with Miss Major, the film’s participants, and a transPOC Community Advisory Board to ensure that these stories, which are so often marginalized, exoticized, or played for tragic drama, retain the agency and humanity of those who tell them. 

Click here to watch the trailer or purchase your tickets now. MAJOR! plays Thursday, May 12 at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian.

Miss Major is a veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion and a survivor of Attica State Prison, a former sex worker, an elder, and a community leader and human rights activist. She is simply “Mama” to many in her community. If history is held within us, embodied in our loves and losses, then Miss Major is a living library, a resource for generations to come to more fully understand the rich heritage of the Queer Rights movement that is so often whitewashed and rendered invisible.

Miss Major’s personal story and activism for transgender civil rights intersects LGBT struggles for justice and equality from the 1960s to today. At the center of her activism is her fierce advocacy for her girls, trans women of color who have survived police brutality and incarceration in men’s jails and prisons. In October 2015, Miss Major retired from her role as executive director of the San Francisco-based Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), advocating for trans women of color in and outside of prison.

MAJOR! is more than just a biographical documentary: It’s an investigation into critical issues of how the Prison Industrial Complex represents a wide-spread and systematic civil rights violation, as well as a historical portrait of diverse LGBT communities, told with love and humor, and personalized through the lens of a vibrant and charismatic woman. Through first-person narration and innovative visual story telling, MAJOR! seeks to create a living, breathing history of a community's struggle and resilience, as seen and experienced by those who lived it.

Click here to learn more about the filmmakers and Community Advisory Board. 

POSTED ON Feb 29, 2016 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

2nd Annual Rainbow Cinema Award Winners Announced!

2nd Annual Rainbow Cinema Award Winners Announced!

Our 11th Annual Academy Awards Party was a shining success last night!

We are so excited for all of the Academy Award winning actors and films.

While all of the great films and talent at the official ceremony desereved recognition, we also wanted to recognized others that made it such a powerful and gorgeous year.

The 2nd Annual Rainbow Cinema Award winners are:

Best Documentary: DRAG BECOMES HIM

Best Actress: Lily Tomlin, GRANDMA


Best Director: Todd Haynes, CAROL

Best Picture: TANGERINE 

POSTED ON Jan 27, 2016 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

Vote for the 2016 Rainbow Cinema Awards!

Vote for the 2016 Rainbow Cinema Awards!

The Academy unfortunately failed to nominate some outstanding films and performances again this year. In light of this, we want to showcase the talent and beauty of the women, queers, and people of color who make the world of cinema the exciting and dynamic art form we love.

Please take 30 seconds and tell us which of the films and actors you think deserve awards from our list of nominees or feel free to write in your personal favorites!

You have until Feb 25th to cast your ballot!

Winners will be announced at our 11th Annual Academy Awards Party.

Take the survey here.

POSTED ON Nov 25, 2015 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

Three Dollar Bill Cinema Artwork For Sale!

Three Dollar Bill Cinema Artwork For Sale!

Need some great holiday gift ideas?

Consider giving your special someone a piece of our history with one of the posters or prints featured in our art exhibit, Queer as a Three Dollar Bill: 20 Years of LGBTQ Visibility Through Cinema.

If you haven't checked it out already, we encourage you to come by and see the progression of our festivals and our organization through our artwork. The exhibit is located just outside our office on the second floor of the 12th Avenue Arts Building (1620 12th Ave) and can only be viewed through December 3rd.

Limited Edition, hand-pulled screen prints (unframed) of 13 Black Cats, the artwork for the 13th Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, can be purchased for $50 each. (see above)

Framed posters of three important films featured in our programs over the years are listed at $250 each.


If you are interested in purchasing any of these items, please email:

Happy Holidays!

POSTED ON Oct 19, 2015 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

SLGFF20 Audience Award Winners!

SLGFF20 Audience Award Winners!

Here are this year's SLGFF20 Audience Favorites as determined by popular vote!

Favorite Narrative: FREEHELD by Peter Sollett

Favorite Documentary: THE GLAMOUR & THE SQUALOR by Marq Evans

Favorite Lesbian Short Film: (We have a tie!)
BOXEADORA by Meg Smaker

Favorite Gay Short Film: TRÉMULO by Roberto Fiesco

Favorite Transgender Short Film: RAISING RYLAND by Sarah Feeley

Click here for our SLGFF20 Jury Award Winners.

POSTED ON Oct 18, 2015 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

SLGFF20 Jury Award Winners Announced!

SLGFF20 Jury Award Winners Announced!

The winners of the juried prizes at the 20th annual Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival are as follows:


A rarity in queer cinema, this film is an intimate portrait of two young Muslim men that places gay relationships within a political, even geopolitical, context. 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM: UPSTAIRS INFERNO by Robert Camina [pictured above]

Utilizing brutally honest interviews and visceral footage, Upstairs Inferno is an important record of the largely unknown yet deadliest attack in LGBT history. 

Important and entertaining biography of a filmmaker and artist whose honest, beautiful and explicit work unabashedly celebrated gay sex and social justice in pre-AIDS era NY and London. 


Distinguished by gorgeous cinematography and a rich, compelling visual narrative, TRÉMULO tells the story of an unlikely romance between a soldier and a young man, with tension, beauty, and tenderness.



Pop-up porno takes a story we've never heard and tells it in a wholly original and innovative way. 

[Photo credit: Urban Focus Photography]

POSTED ON Oct 8, 2015 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema



In 1935, at eight years old, Joani Hannan picked up a pair of drumsticks and beat her path in entertainment history. Joani was a pioneering female jazz drummer who traveled the world in the USO and played alongside Marilyn Monroe in "Some Like It Hot.” Despite the challenges and constraints of the 50s and 60's for women and queers, Joani transcended stereotypes exemplifying to all who she met - the strength, self love and courage to be true to oneself no matter what. The film recollects Joani's unconventional adventures as a female drummer, entertainer conquering Hollywood and becoming an independent queer business person who only wanted to give gays and lesbians a place where they had the freedom to be themselves. Joani inspired everyone she met and does so again for the viewer of "Joani: Queen of the Paradiddle" as we get to experience her devastating smile, charm, humor and candor. “Joani: Queen of the Paradiddle" is Joani in her words recollecting her life and adventures in this unique and intimate documentary of a friend, mentor and gay rights trailblazer.

“Joani” is an interview style documentary with excellent raw archival footage of Joani as a musician, entertainer, business owner and softball player. The film incorporates music from the era and is a sometimes humorous and thoughtful remembrance of the early gay rights movement. Interviewed at Joani's homes in the Humboldt Hills and Desert Hot Springs, shot in HD video, the documentary also incorporates excellent archival footage of Joani from early childhood through the 70's - “Joani: Queen of the Paradiddle” has a jubilant nostalgic feel as it takes the viewer back in time to the early gay movement.

"An important film about a seminal female drummer that paved the way for all women in music. Joani was a fearless leader in the gay community during a time when homosexuality wasn’t accepted by society. As a musician and a queer woman, I owe a lot to Joani’s legacy. A must-see.”

-Patty Schemel, drummer

World Premiere at the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival - 3:15pm 10/18 at AMC Pacific Place

Run Time: 31 minutes

POSTED ON Oct 5, 2015 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

SLGFF20 Narrative Spotlight: WINNING DAD

SLGFF20 Narrative Spotlight: WINNING DAD

Colby's dad knows his son is gay, but he doesn't like talking about it. He respects it, but ignores everything about that aspect of his son's life–he doesn't even know about Colby's long-term boyfriend, Rusty. 

Increasingly committed to Rusty, Colby hatches a plan to trick his father into camping with Rusty under the pretense that Rusty is Colby's straight friend and future business partner. Colby is convinced that, given the chance, his father and his boyfriend will get along great...

Winning Dad celebrates the idea that family love strengthens romantic love, and that romantic love–even gay love–strengthens family love too.

In 2010, writer-director Arthur Allen joined the US Merchant Marine to write Winning Dad. Returning from sea in 2012, he was recruited to campaign for Marriage Equality in Washington State. During this time he cast the film and began putting together his creative team.

In 2013 the Winning Dad creative team fundraised $31,000 on Kickstarter from 532 supporters of the film. The campaign closed on Father's Day, and in July 2013 principal photography was shot in Seattle and the North Cascades of Washington State. The crew shot 34 locations in 21 days.

After a year of editing, the rough cut of the film was selected for the 2014 USinProgress program with the Champs-Élysées Film Festival in Paris. Arthur was flown to Paris to present the film to 40 film professionals, who each spent 15 minutes with him giving their critiques and observations. With these insights, Arthur returned to Seattle to recut the film and finish sound and color post production.

Winning Dad premiered at the Boston LGBT Film Festival in April 2015 as the Harvard Square opening night film. It continues to screen at festivals around the world and will be available on VOD December of 2015. 

Screening October 13 at 7pm for the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Run Time: 81 minutes

POSTED ON Oct 1, 2015 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

SLGFF20 Director Spotlight: Barbara Hammer

SLGFF20 Director Spotlight: Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer is a visual artist primarily working in film and video.  Her work reveals and celebrates marginalized peoples whose stories have not been told. Her cinema is multi-leveled and engages an audience viscerally and intellectually with the goal of activating them to make social change. She is most well-known for making the first explicit lesbian film in 1974, Dyketactics, and for her trilogy of documentary film essays on queer history Nitrate Kisses (1992), Tender Fictions (1995), History Lessons, (2000).

Welcome To This House, her new feature documentary on the poet Elizabeth Bishop, was funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship (2013-14). It is a feature documentary film on the homes and loves of poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), about life in the shadows, and the anxiety of art making without full self-disclosure.  Hammer filmed in Bishop’s ‘best loved homes’ in the US, Canada, and Brazil believing that buildings and landscapes bear cultural memories.  Interviews with poets, friends, and scholars provide “missing documents” of numerous female lovers. Bishop’s intimate poetry is beautifully performed by Kathleen Chalfant and with the creative music composition by Joan La Barbara brings Bishop into our lives with new facts and unexpected details.

"In 2010 I was thinking about a film on Cape Cod comparing the landscapes around the places I had lived during summer months, the old dune shacks and the modern houses that are being rebuilt. I realized I needed a human figure for physical and emotional scale to populate the architecture and the geography. The poet Elizabeth Bishop had lived both at a girls youth camp in Wellfleet and as a young adult in the Province Lands dune shacks of her friends....

...Bishop was in the closet to the outside world, but she seemed to have as many lovers as she had homes. I glove trotted on her trail and found more and more female lovers emerging from interviews with friends, colleagues, critics and poets. Bishop was a lusty woman and I respect that, but writing openly of those experiences wasn't possible due to her need for privacy propelled by the homophobia of the times."

Screening: The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival October 15th at 5pm

Location: Northwest Film Forum

Run time: 79 minutes

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