‘Ingress,’ shot on Bainbridge Island, screens here May 10

By Kirk Boxleitner
Posted 5/8/24



The Port Townsend Film Festival’s “Focus Film” series offers a double-header in May.

The Balcony Theatre in Suite 401A at 211 Taylor St. is set to host …

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‘Ingress,’ shot on Bainbridge Island, screens here May 10




The Port Townsend Film Festival’s “Focus Film” series offers a double-header in May.

The Balcony Theatre in Suite 401A at 211 Taylor St. is set to host the National Film Festival for Talented Youth’s curated selection of short films by filmmakers 24 years old and younger that take on the topic of mental health on Wednesday, May 15, at 6:30 p.m.

But before that, the Balcony Theatre is slated to screen “Ingress,” a contemplative science fiction film written, directed by and starring Rachel Noll James of Bainbridge Island, with a showtime scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 10, followed by an opportunity to converse with the filmmaker, whose parents have lived in Port Townsend for years.

Noll James shot “Ingress” exclusively on Bainbridge Island in 2021, and while she was working with what she described as “a very small budget,” she credited the surrounding community of her home with making the film’s modest production possible, as friends and neighbors cooked meals for the cast and crew, and even donated shooting locations for the film.

Noll James likewise credited at least one investor with providing sponsorship, while a number of other folks contributed tax-deductible donations, but amusingly, it was a shift in popular culture that facilitated the making of a film about her initially esoteric chosen subject.

“Ingress” centers around a woman who can move between parallel realities, and who seeks to overcome her past traumas by traveling through the multiverse in search of a loved one whom she’s lost, but when Noll James originally spoke to people about her idea, “Nobody understood what I was talking about.”

Although Noll James’ aspirations of incorporating parallel realities into her cinematic storytelling well predated 2022’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” as well as 2021’s “Loki” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” she acknowledged that superhero media had popularized the concept of the multiverse.

“What was once considered a fringe concept has become much more trendy,” Noll James said. “But now that more people are familiar with the concept, I want to show that it doesn’t have to be owned exclusively by big-budget productions. It can be used to tell more character-driven, intimate stories.”

Noll James credited part of her philosophical bent to her years spent in Santa Fe, which she described as “the Port Townsend of New Mexico” for its artistic, metaphysical culture, as well as to her father, a physicist whose books on subjects such as quantum physics she devoured.

“Once you understand how little we actually know about the universe, you realize how much is actually possible,” Noll James said. “I wanted to use that to explore how, when a relationship ends in grief, it’s natural to wish we could have some closure, so what if we had a chance to get back what we’d lost, and maybe even do some things differently?”

Noll James is pleased to see her film screen in her parents’ hometown, and she’d even thought that the Rose Theatre’s Starlight Room would have been well-suited to host its Port Townsend premiere, but she’s nonetheless gratified that “Ingress” can play in the Balcony Theatre.

“I want this film to find an audience,” Noll James said. “I’m looking forward to hearing whatever questions people might have about it. My goal was to tell a story that would ask more questions than it answered, and that could resonate with personal experiences that its viewers have had in their own lives.”

Tickets are available at https://ptfffocus.eventive.org/schedule/660b26c419ff0e00bea41b9b.