The Olympia Film Society's new Pride Film Festival shines the spotlight on lifestyles that still aren't often shown in popular culture.
It also shines a spotlight on Facebook sensation and former "Star Trek" star George Takei, the subject of the documentary "To Be Takei."
The festival, happening this weekend, features an international array of films, each presented with a short film and a brief presentation by organizers of community groups working with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Festival programmers Stephanie Summers and Sara Jade Webb, who are partners and both volunteer at OFS, came up with the idea for the festival.
"I was kind of sad we didn't have one here in Olympia," said Summers, who worked at queer film festivals in New Mexico and Seattle before moving to Olympia two years ago. "It's something that I find really enriching. It seemed like it was something missing from Olympia."
In a festival illuminating the lives of those often underrepresented in the media, Takei is the exception.
"He's become more of a celebrity later in life than he ever was before," said Harry Reetz, the film society's marketing and events coordinator.
The actor and activist's witticisms have won him more than 7 million fans on Facebook. On Monday, Takei posted this about having a crush on Ricardo Montalban, star of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan": "Ricardo Montalban (Khan) was charming, witty and gracious in the old-school way, and, at the same time, warm and down to earth and very good-looking," Takei wrote. "He was disciplined with his fitness program and he had a great physique. Those pectorals and six packs were really his -- oh myyy."
But if the film is lighthearted, it's not all frivolity. The film covers Takei's groundbreaking career at a time when few Asians appeared on TV, his quarter-century relationship with his husband, Brad, his activism in helping to promote gay marriage, and his childhood experiences in internment camps during World War II.
The organizers promoted the film festival last weekend at Capital City Pride, and "To Be Takei" definitely drew the most attention, she said.
"The film is a great mix," Webb said. "It has funny parts, and it has sad parts. It's a really great film."