Doctober, Pickford Film Center’s month-long celebration of the best documentaries currently available for theatrical exhibition, has its roots in Bellingham’s longtime curiosity about people, places and things. Many of The Pickford Cinema’s biggest hits have been documentaries: from Bowling for Columbine to Rivers & Tides, from March of the Penguins to The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, documentaries have occupied lofty positions in our top grossing films.
In 2006, Pickford Film Center joined forces with True/False Film Festival, in Columbia, Missouri, to produce True/False West Film Festival, which won a 2007 Mayor’s Arts Award, and shocked Bellingham with over 25 films in three days at several venues. While the festival was a success, festival politics made it untenable to continue as a Spring festival. From this festival, Doctober was born in 2007 in an effort to continue to bring great documentaries—and often guests—to Bellingham, and give our patrons a month to see as many as possible.
Each year we feature documentaries that may not have received theatrical distribution, or are in distribution but have more niche-oriented audiences and will thrive in a festival-style setting. Doctober also gives us an opportunity to work with other organizations in Bellingham to bring important issues to the community, frequently with special guests and guided discussions.