Announcing The Northwest Filmmakers’ Expo

The Northwest Film Center has announced an innovative new addition to this year’s Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival. To complement the festival, the very first Northwest Filmmakers’ Expo will bring together buyers and users of filmmaking equipment and services with top regional and international vendors, offering a hands-on look at their latest technology and the multitude of filmmaking resources available. Already confirmed vendors include Canon, Zeiss, JVC, Panasonic and Sony, among many others. nwfilmmakers

While drawing heavily from film and video industry professionals, the Expo—built into the 42nd Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival—will also feature many of the top creative agencies in the Northwest, making this Expo uniquely suited to the Portland creative film community.

The Expo will wrap up at 5pm, followed by the 42nd Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival’s Opening Night program of short films, and then the Festival’s Opening Night Party with plenty of filmmakers, music, drinks and an out-of-jury premiere screening of Lower Boom’s Joan.

Event time and location:
November 12 – Thursday 10am-5pm
Fred & Suzanne Fields (aka Sunken) Ballroom – 1219 SW Park Ave.

Expo Admission is $10. Advance tickets here.

42nd Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival Opening Night shorts program is $9. Opening Night screening + party is $15. Advance tickets here.

Seattle Shorts Festival Celebrates Five Years

Festival director Daniel Hoyos with filmmakers from Fish Tale.

Festival director Daniel Hoyos with filmmakers from Fish Tale.

It’s been five years since the Seattle Shorts Festival launched, bringing with it the opportunity to see some of the best short films in the world, right beside their talented creators.

Since the festival fits so naturally in the Seattle filmmaking landscape, it might be easy to assume the event has always been around, lighting up November with award-winning animation, drama, comedies and more. The festival returns again this year with twice the number of short movies across two days, November 14-15, at the SIFF Film Center.

Says festival director Daniel Hoyos, “Our goal was and is to bring Seattle film lovers the very best short films from around the globe.”

Still from short film Curfew.

Still from short film Curfew.

And they’ve been successful! Since the first event in 2011, the festival continually plays to sold-out audiences. Past lineups have included Academy Award-nominated shorts, such as Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? (2013) and Curfew (2012), which won the award for best live action picture. And 2015 may be another Oscar-caliber year: the festival will be screening the Student Academy Award finalist The Ballad of Holland Island House in the animation category.

One of the festival’s notable features is the number of directors and actors who attend along with their movie, a luxury often overlooked in larger events that focus more on feature films. Last year, Seattle Shorts hosted over 30 guests, and anticipates an even bigger contingent of visiting artists this year, as the festival doubles in size from one day to two.

Jury member Lucy Walters.

Jury member Lucy Walters.

This year the festival is also proud to have a star-studded jury of powerful female entertainment leaders for the second year running. Jury members include: actress Alicia “Lecy” Goranson, well known for her role as Becky Conner on ABC’s Roseanne, but whose career spans indie film, television and New York theater; actress Lucy Walters, who gained notoriety as the Woman on the Subway in Steve McQueen’s Shame, and currently plays Holly Weaver on the popular Starz series Power; and actress Shannon Maree Walsh, who made a splash playing opposite Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine in Begin Again.

And if that’s not enough of a draw, the festival is holding an all-night Karaoke party for filmmakers at Ozzie’s Five Star Dive-Bar, just down the street from the official hotel sponsor, the MarQueen Hotel, in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.

The Seattle Shorts Film Festival is fast becoming a major Seattle event that attracts high-profile industry leaders and Hollywood fare, while keeping the main focus on filmmakers. Hoyos and programming assistant Jonah Kozlowski are looking forward to having two full days of programming to share with the region this year. The full lineup and tickets are available online at

Inside the Strowler-verse


Photos by Regan MacStravic

Director Ben Dobyns and his Seattle-based production company Zombie Orpheus Entertainment spent the month of September filming the pilot episode of Strowlers. RM-Strowlers-0023 RM-Strowlers-0018 RM-Strowlers-0026 RM-Strowlers-0028

Dobyns took part in this past spring’s Washington Filmworks Innovation Lab, and Strowlers was one of only two projects selected to receive funding assistance. The Innovation Lab aims to invest in the future of film by capitalizing on Washington’s creative community and artists while encouraging original storytelling that uses new forms of production and technology.

Strowlers will do just that via “an entirely new model of global engagement with viewers and creative collaborators” and by the “blending of traditional storytelling and crowd sourced creativity,” according to Washington Filmworks. Set in the modern day, Strowlers tells the story of the misfits, outcasts, artists, and activists who exist on the magical fringes of society.

The pilot stars Spokane native and musical theater actress Tanesha Ross, along with Trin Miller, G. Valmont Thomas and Lisa Coronado.

To find out more, visit or

Lynn Shelton, Megan Griffiths Developing Series with HBO

Seattle filmmaking luminaries Lynn Shelton (Laggies, Touchy Feely) and Megan Griffiths (Lucky Them, Eden), together with True Blood executive producer Gregg Fienberg, are currently in development with HBO on a new series.

Lynn Shelton and Rosemarie DeWitt on the set of Touchy Feely. Photo by Eliza Truitt

Lynn Shelton and Rosemarie DeWitt on the set of Touchy Feely. Photo by Eliza Truitt

Set in Seattle, Family Drama is an anthology comedy series that will follow a different family each season “as an explosive event or revelation rips open and exposes the family’s driving emotional flaw, forcing its members to finally confront and deal with each other,” according to TheWrap.

The trio would co-write and executive produce the series, and Shelton, who has directed such TV shows as New Girl and Mad Men, would direct the pilot.

Megan Griffiths

Megan Griffiths

Shelton already has a working relationship with HBO, with plans to direct Madame X, a mini-series starring Anna Paquin, for the network. This, along with Fienberg’s involvement, would seem to bode well for Family Drama’s development into a series, but it’s still very early in the process to speculate. At press time, the team behind the series was unable to comment.

If the series does come to fruition, the likelihood of it filming in Seattle would depend on the availability of the state’s film incentive.

As Shelton told Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger back in March, “[The network] has been very clear about this. If the incentive is not there, we have to shoot elsewhere.”

Stay tuned as Media Inc. continues to develop this story.

The Rainforest Launch Party


Photos courtesy of Capestany Films

On August 29, a launch party for the television pilot The Rainforest was held at 7 Cedars Casino in Sequim, Washington. 12032968_10156053577505183_3511655742726845559_n

The party featured a presentation by Scott A. Capestany, the show’s creator, writer, director and executive producer, as well as cast introductions, live music from singer/songwriter Melanie Dekker, catered food, raffle and gaming.

At press time, the pilot was set to began filming in late September in various Olympic Peninsula locations.

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Eight More Years: Legislative Win in Oregon

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor

On July 20, 2015, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2171 into law. HB 2171 extends the sunset of the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF) to January 2024, thereby making Oregon more attractive for long-term television series productions.

Gov. Kate Brown

Gov. Kate Brown

With three television shows shooting in metro Portland this summer, legislative support at the state level has been extremely important.

“What the Legislature provided us with is hugely valuable,” said Nathaniel Applefield, the interim executive director of the Oregon Media Production Association, “which is certainty for the next eight years. The Oregon Legislature has reaffirmed its commitment to Oregon’s quickly growing film and TV community.”

The Oregon film and TV community also sought to raise OPIF’s cap from $10 million to $20 million, but was ultimately unsuccessful. “But with the extended sunset,” said Applefield, “now we’re free to go back to the Legislature in the next session and make the case for why we need more incremental funding to grow the number of jobs in this industry.”

Nathaniel Applefield

Nathaniel Applefield

According to the Oregon Department of Employment, the media production industry in Oregon has seen 70 percent job growth in the last five years, with over 350 companies participating in film and television production in the area. That translates to over 3,000 Oregonians employed in the media production sector.

“We were one of the only sectors during the great recession to actually grow and not shrink considerably,” Applefield commented.

The OMPA has turned its focus to some internal matters in the months leading up to the next short legislative session in February 2016. The organization is in the midst of a search for a new executive director to replace Tom McFadden, who resigned his post in February 2015. “The board hopes to fill the position by October 1,” said Applefield.

In the meantime, OMPA members came together on a sunny Saturday in August for the OMPA’s annual summer fundraiser, the Classic Golf Tournament, held at the Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City. This golf/croquet/wine tour/dinner event, held on August 21, “brings together people from all walks of life from our community and industry,” remarked Applefield. “It’s a great networking event and it’s always a lot of fun.”

SB 699 Passes in Oregon
In addition to HB 2171, another production-related bill passed through the Legislature this session and was signed into law in July.

Initiated by Celena Rubin, founder of the Art of Makeup School in Vancouver, Washington, SB 699 specifically affects all working makeup artists in Oregon by expanding exemptions for makeup artistry and hair styling. Two years ago, SB 836—also initiated by Rubin—was passed, allowing makeup artists to work in film, TV, stage and professional photo shoots without needing a cosmetology or esthetic license. SB 699 expands on this law, and allows for temporary hairstyling for film, TV, stage and professional photo shoots without a cosmetology license.
The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Ginny Burdick and Representative Jennifer Williamson, is effective as of July 27.

Leavenworth: A Bavarian Gem

Photo Credit Leavenworth Chamber

Photos courtesy of Icicle TV

Discover the most unique gem in Washington State! Once a vibrant logging town, then teetering on extinction, and through perseverance, ingenuity and a lot of committed town people, Leavenworth has become the Bavarian Village, alive with activity year-round. It is truly the story of the American Dream.bavarians_downtown-1

It helps that we are a beautiful, old world architecturally designed village, nestled in the magnificent Cascade Mountain Range, on the sunny side of the state! Leavenworth offers live outdoor theater, nationally ranked outdoor recreational opportunities of enormous proportions, remarkable sights, and four spectacular seasons, each filled with adventure, festivals, food and fun.

Uniquely, you can’t miss in Leavenworth. We are never “out of season”! You can always get a chance for a “Bavarian Sighting,” whether it’s Icefest, Accordionfest, Maifest, Kinderfest, Oktoberfest, outdoor beer and brat gartens, or the sweet melody of a drehorgelspieler (German organ grinder) and the twice daily alp horn concerts, all throughout the year. Uniquely too, when winter hits, Leavenworth continues the fun.Photo Credit Icicle TV (2)

Leavenworth in the winter captures the dream in every child’s heart of what Christmas looks like; with the glistening snowfalls comes our Village of Lights, the place to go in Washington for a traditional, magical holiday experience. Christmas season features sleigh rides, sledding, tubing, skiing (both Alpine and Nordic), snowmobiles, dog sleds, and three magical weekends of Christmas lighting, caroling, characters, hot spiced wine, concerts, harps and handbells. It’s no wonder Leavenworth has been awarded the Ultimate Holiday/Christmas Town by A&E, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and the Travel Channel.

For more information about filming in Leavenworth, visit

Exploring Oregon


Vast and Varied Locations for Every Production Need

Photos courtesy of Oregon Film

Oregon has been a filming destination since 1908 and remains an iconic location for just about every landscape need.

From the Overlook Hotel (Timberline Lodge) in The Shining to the Delta House (Eugene) in Animal House; from the railroad tracks (Cottage Grove) in The General to the tent cities (Baker) of Paint Your Wagon—the history, talent and support structure for creating content throughout the state still remains as deep and varied as ever, stretching from The River Wild to Wild and back again.7 1

Grimm and Portlandia use the state’s largest city as a backdrop for monsters and social satire, but Ashland was recently recognized as the nation’s #1 small city to live and work in as a filmmaker, while Bend and Central Oregon play host to countless high-profile commercials and outdoor & extreme sports spots. It’s hard to find a more diverse environment in such close proximity to creative companies and talent.

Visit for more location ideas.

A Historic Journey Through Albany


In the center of Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley, the city of Albany has beckoned to wave after wave of settlers since the first pioneers in the 1840s. As a result, this friendly city offers authentic locations as varied as a pioneer-era trading post, a Victorian mansion and a WWII army barracks. Surrounded by open farmland and framed by rolling hills and misty forests, Albany is an ideal filming location.IMG_1892

Albany is home to the most eclectic collection of historic buildings in Oregon: more than 700 structures, with both residential neighborhoods and commercial districts that could stand in for nearly any era in U.S. history. Nearby are both a water-powered flour mill and a steam-powered lumber mill. The Willamette and Calapooia rivers converge in Albany, and riverfront parks and bridges provide scenic views. Just a few miles outside of town are curving country roads dotted with covered bridges, old barns and farmhouses, hazelnut orchards, and fields of wheat and corn. Remote trails, cascading waterfalls and old-growth forests are minutes away.

Albany’s mild climate rarely falls below freezing or soars above 90, but still reflects changing seasons, with frosty mornings and brilliant fall foliage. With its unique buildings and stunning landscapes, Albany provides the best of city and rural scenery.

Visit to find out more.

BE Inspired in Bellingham, WA

Fairhaven. Photo by Peter James Photography Studio

Fairhaven. Photo by Peter James Photography Studio

The Bellingham Experience is intensely inspired by nature. The Whatcom County region in the far northwest corner of Washington State is home to snow-capped Mount Baker and the North Cascades National Park. Mount Baker Highway is a national scenic byway that departs from Bellingham and traverses 58 miles east, making many switchbacks as it rises to 5,140 feet, terminating with incredible alpine vistas at Artist Point in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie wilderness area. Due to world-record snowfall at Mt. Baker Ski Area, the final 6 miles of the road are only open in the summer and early fall.

The General Store at Pioneer Park. Photo by Annette Bagley

The General Store at Pioneer Park. Photo by Annette Bagley

At sea level, the city of Bellingham hugs the scenic Salish Sea with a thriving Victorian-era historic district. Bellingham is home to Western Washington University, recently named one of the nation’s “30 most beautiful coastal college campuses.” A second scenic byway, Chuckanut Drive, runs south from Bellingham into the Skagit Valley on the cliffs above the shoreline.

Lynden windmill. Courtesy: Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

Lynden windmill. Courtesy: Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

The region is also home to Lummi Island, with a population under 1,000 and many picturesque homes, as well as the Dutch inspired city of Lynden, which is an agricultural area, specializing in dairy and raspberry production. The city of Ferndale has the largest collection of pioneer-era, cedar-plank log cabins at Pioneer Park.

Fairhaven Shopping. Photo by Brandon Saway

Fairhaven Shopping. Photo by Brandon Saway

Hiking, running, mountain biking, road biking, and paddling are all popular sports in the Bellingham region, and beers at the bottom are embraced by the locals at the rapidly growing number of craft breweries. The area is also a hub for the local food movement, inspired by abundant small farms and a widely recognized and picturesque farmer’s market.

Visit for more.

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