‘Threads’ and ‘Finding Thea’: Stories of inspiration, determination and liberation

The Gig Harbor BoatShop will present two short films by hometown filmmakers that tell the stories of two women, one local and one half a world away, who take unconventional paths to self-sufficiency. Area filmmakers Nancy Bourne Haley (“Finding Thea”), Cathy Stevulak and Leonard Hill (“Threads”) will be at the fundraising event for questions and answers.

“Finding Thea” tells the story of Tacomas Thea Foss. Starting with a single rowboat, this 19th century Norwegian immigrant became the inspiration for the fictional heroine Tugboat Annie and creator of one of the Pacific’s largest tugboat companies. Through her life and work, Foss became a pioneer archetype for women in the first half of the 20th century. Hers is a classic American immigrant success story born in the Pacific Northwest.

“Threads” was winner of Best Short Documentary award at the 2014 Gig Harbor Film Festival. It is about a visionary Bangladeshi Muslim woman who overcomes social and economic hardships and liberates herself and others by creating timeless works of fiber art, which are now in Queen Elizabeths collection and museums on four continents. Surayia Rahman takes the future of Bangladesh’s women into her own hands, and changes lives for generations.

Stevulak and Hill have owned a house on Herron Island for more than 20 years. Hill told the Key Peninsula News, “We started working on Threads in 2009 while living full-time on the island, and many of the ideas that appear in the finished film come from friends there and on the Key Peninsula. Some of our first focus groups were held in the Brones Room of the library in Key Center. Readers of the Key Peninsula News were some of the earliest financial contributors to “Threads.”

The film website, kanthathreads.com, has detailed information on the film including images of the art of Surayia Rahman that took several years to find around the world.

“We are extremely grateful for all of the help and encouragement we’ve received. People can still make tax-deductible contributions through the International Documentary Association to help bring Threads to other communities,” Hill said.

Screening of the films will be on Tuesday, May 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Gig Harbor BoatShop, 3805 Harborview Drive. Tickets are $20 or $15 for BoatShop Members. Open seating is limited so plan to book early. Hot and cold refreshments will be served.

For information, call (253) 857-9344 or visit gigharborboatshop.org.

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