Category Archives: Festivals

HollyShorts Film Festival welcomes Pacific Northwest Alliance!

Award Winning Seattle Filmmakers set to showcase films at the 2016 LA Hollyshorts Film Festival!

Seattle, WA — Media Inc has partnered with Hollyshorts Film Festival as their official press affiliate this year covering the events from the iconic TCL Theater and the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard Aug 11-20.

HollyShorts Film Festival announced last week the 3rd annual inclusion of  the “WA State Film Showcase” for their line-up of special film short screenings.  Hosted at the iconic Grauman’s  Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard and other LA venues (The Roosevelt Hotel, Harmony Gold Theater, OHM Nighclub, Ignited Spaces, Avenue 17 Studios, 33 Taps and Redbury Hollywood), the 12th annual Hollyshorts Film Festival will be featuring works from 400+Indie Film shorts from around the world during a week long odyssey between Aug 11-20 packed with of screenings, conferences, parties, panels, workshops and special events.  Nearly 3000 films from every continent were submitted this year.

Ben Andrews and David S. Hogan

Ben Andrews and David S. Hogan

Pacific NW production companies Evil Slave (ES), Abundant Productions (AP), Mighty Tripod Productions (MTP), Modern Motion (MM) and Capestany Films (CF) will be featuring works from PNW Filmmakers.    Headlining the showcase will be the World Premier of 2015 Award Winning Hollyshorts screenplay “The Lunchbox Brigade”.  Produced  collectively by Lorraine Montez, Ben Andrews, David S. Hogan, Marissa Fujimoto, Ryan Wagenhauser and Christopher Meuer,  this warm and adventurous coming of age tale featured over WA state with a cast and crew filmed entirely in the Evergreen State.

The Lunchbox Brigade follows a neighborhood squadron of kids that discovers their brother-in-arms, Johnny, has gone to camp for the summer. They determine a rescue is in order, and together they embark on an antic-filled plan to infiltrate enemy territory (aka summer camp) and free their friend. But when their leader, Teddy, discovers that Johnny actually wants to be at camp, he must lead the Lunchbox Brigade in a touching tribute to the loss of one of theirown.Media Inc Roosevelt party banner

Casted by David S. Hogan of Mighty Tripod Productions, the local talent included Kyan Zielinski as Teddy, Forrest Campbell as Bugsy, Malakai James as Logan, Kristoffer Holtan as Clyde, Eden Campbell as Sue and Alex Silva as Johnny.  “I had a great time casting the talent for this great film.  The amount of talent we saw during the auditions was very impressive.  The kids that were ultimately cast are some of the region’s best young performers I’ve seen,” said Hogan.   

Hollyshorts is listed by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “top 25 festivals worth the entry fee,” HollyShorts awards the winner of the screenplay competition with an automatic entry in the following year’s festival.

Seattle-based producer and filmmaker Ben Andrews, creative director of Evil Slave, recognized an opportunity to create a strong alliance of filmmakers from Seattle, Tacoma and Los Angeles when he met the HollyShorts leadership early in 2014 at SXSW. “It happened pretty quickly,” said Andrews. “I discussed the need to highlight Washington filmmakers and they discussed the need to expand and further their outreach.”

“It’s truly an honor to see our dreams becoming a reality, having our esteemed HollyShorts Screenplay competition winner Kyle Thiele get his short made via our partners Evil Slave, Abundant Productions and Mighty Tripod Productions along with Shoreline Community College’s Filmmaking Department,” said Theo Dumont and Daniel Sol, HollyShorts co-founders. “This alliance truly signifies the new pathway between the Pacific Northwest and Hollywood, a bridge that creates incredible opportunities across the board for filmmakers everywhere and we are delighted to be involved.”

Lorainne Montez

Lorainne Montez

Pacific Northwest producer Scott A. Capestany, Creative Director at Capestany Films, has sponsored and supported this new alliance and movement since its inception. “We are proud sponsors of the HollyShort film festival each year in support of Ben Andrews’ efforts in helping bridge the gap between the L.A. indie film market and our local market,” he said. “His resilient efforts have helped open up new relationships between Puget Sound businesses and Hollywood decision makers that support the growth of our Washington State economy and our vibrant film/TV local industry.”ATP Blue poster_HS laurel

Capestany’s latest film “Across The Pond” starring University of Washington alum and now Hollywood writer/producer/actor PARIS DYLAN, was selected to screen during this years WA Film showcase.  “It was an honor and privilege to have worked with such a great team on this film. Pulp Digital Productions really pulled out all the stops and delivered an impressive film.   Rene (Bourke) really worked hard leading us all for over a year to make this film come to reality,” Dylan said.  “I’m so proud of our amazing team, Pulp Digital Productions, Paris Dylan, and special mention to Capestany Films for their consulting, guidance, and marketing expertise to see this film through to showcased in the worlds entertainment capital of Hollywood at this prestigious Hollyshorts Film Festival.” Said Executive Producer and lead actress Renee Bourke.  Also supporting the 2016 Hollyshorts Alliance are industry leaders Terri Morgan of TCM MODELS and Peter Barnes of  CLATTER & DIN, Inc.Hollyshorts 2016

“I’m honored to be the winner of the 2015 Screenplay competition with HollyShorts and am impressed with the professional caliber of the Pacific Northwest filmmakers producing the short,” said Thiele, writer and director of The LunchBox Brigade.

The 12th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival and Film Conference/Film Market is scheduled for August 11-20, 2016 at the world famous TCL Chinese Theatres.  The WA State Film Showcase will take place August 14, 2016 from 10am-2pm followed by an Abundant Playhouse special screenwriting event.   MEDIA INC MAGAZINE will host a special kickoff event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Saturday August 13th from 7-10pm. RSVP HERE.  Visit for more information. Hollyshorts on Twitter and Instagram

NFFTY – National Film Festival for Talent Youth – Celebrates 10th year!

Filmmaker Celia Jensen poses with her friends on the Opening Night red carpet at the Seattle Cinerama during NFFTY 2014. Photo by Mark Malijan

Filmmaker Celia Jensen poses with her friends on the Opening Night red carpet at the Seattle Cinerama during NFFTY. Photo by Mark Malijan

Press Release provided by NFFTY 

Congrat’s to NFFTY (pronounced ‘nifty’, standing for the National Film Festival for Talented Youth) for turning 10 years old this past 2016 year! In addition to inspiring us to present another great festival in 2017,  this years anniversary also gives us a chance to look back at the many highlights of the past decade.

NFFTY was founded by Seattle native Jesse Harris, who, after producing and distributing his feature film Living Life as a college student, realized there was no festival specializing in presenting the work of young people. He teamed up with Jocelyn R.C. and Kyle Seago, and in 2007 the first ever NFFTY took place as a one-night event, showing work from around the country.

By 2008 the festival was a three-day affair, with a full program of screenings, panels and two concerts. In 2009 we began accepting international submissions, making the festival a truly worldwide event. By 2010 the now four-day festival included 190 films representing 33 states and 16 countries, and in 2011 NFFTY was officially the world’s largest film festival for emerging filmmakers.

Over the years we’ve featured the work of some truly tremendous talents, and we couldn’t be more proud of our alumni. Former NFFTY filmmakers are now working for prestigious companies such as The Weinstein Company, Pixar, and Trigger Street Productions, including Kevin Klauber who edited the Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.


Seattle Channel ‘Art Zone’ Hostess Nancy Guppy (w/ mic) interview 2016 NFFTY filmmakers.

Though our founder Jessie Harris has since moved on to pursue his own film projects, the festival now boasts award-winning producer and nonprofit executive Stefanie Malone as the manager of the organization.


Executive Director Stefanie Malone (L) and Shannon Snider (R) + Family. Photo By NFFTY

Under her leadership beginning  in 2014, NFFTY created our Young Women in Film initiative, a year-round effort to support young female filmmakers around the world. NFFTY also formally launched an in-house production company known as NFFTY Creative with the mission of connecting sponsors and brands with the festival’s most promising alumni to work on original branded content projects. The first major project, “A Supporting Role,” has earned multiple accolades including ADDY Awards and a Telly Award.

Hollywood producer Dana Brunetti (House of Cards, The Social Network, Fifty Shades of Grey) speaks on the keynote panel during NFFTY 2011. Photo by Bobby Bonsey

Hollywood producer Dana Brunetti (House of Cards, The Social Network, Fifty Shades of Grey) speaks on the keynote panel during NFFTY.  Photo by Bobby Bonsey

And we haven’t stopped growing! 2015 had a record-breaking 248 films representing 30 states and 25 countries. The festival continued to support female filmmakers with a closing night screening called “Femme Finale.” Forty-eight percent of the films screened at the festival were directed by young women, a major accomplishment compared to Hollywood where women direct less than nine percent of films.

NFFTY now looks toward its 11th year taking place again in Seattle, WA  April 27 – 30,  2017.  Over 1,000 emerging filmmakers from around the globe submitted their work for consideration this past year reaching a major milestone of the festival’s history.

We are now taking 2017 Submissions! Read more HERE!

Visit our website for more information.


The staff of Three Dollar Bill Cinema with Maureen Bradley, director of the 2015 Best Narrative Feature, Two 4 One.

The staff of Three Dollar Bill Cinema with Maureen Bradley, director of the 2015 Best Narrative Feature, Two 4 One.

Seattle Transgender Film Festival is a constellation of shining stars & original stories

By Sam Berliner Festival Director
Photos courtesy of Three Dollar Bill Cinema

The 2016 edition of Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival is all about connecting audiences with stars and stories. This year we are excited to celebrate some of the champions who have led the way for transgender communities and highlight connections through an array of voices and perspectives.

One of the most visible and highly acclaimed transgender-centered series is the groundbreaking Transparent. Join us during this year’s festival for an exciting discussion with some of the remarkable talent behind the making of this captivating show, including pioneering star Alexandra Billings—the first openly trans woman to have played a transgender character on television back in 2005. Our guests will share some inside scoop, thoughts on the broader implications of the show’s success, reflections on what it means being transgender both in front of and behind the camera, and where they see trans representation going in the future.

Festival director Sam Berliner

Festival director Sam Berliner

We’re incredibly excited for the Northwest premiere of Major! about Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, the 73-year-old Black transgender woman who has fought for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years. From the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion to the Transgender
Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), Miss Major’s life is a testament to the fierce survivalism, resilience and celebration of a community that has been historically traumatized and marginalized. The film, which recently sold out its San Francisco premiere at the historic Castro Theatre, shows one woman’s journey, a community’s history, and how caring for each other can be a revolutionary act.

And when it comes to unique stories, Suited fits to a tee. This documentary—fresh from its Sundance premiere and produced by Lena Dunham—tells the story of Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn tailoring company that makes custom suits for gender -nonconforming and transgender clients. Among the people on the gender spectrum sharing their stories are a trans boy preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, a New York City cab driver, a young Southern law student and a trans man preparing for his wedding. At its heart, the film is an intimate journey of coming into a new identity, accepting difference and living bravely in one’s own skin. It’s another Northwest premiere!

Co-directors of last year's Best Documentary Short Film, Passing, Lucah Rosenberg Lee (left) and J. Mitchel Reed (right).

Co-directors of last year’s Best Documentary Short Film, Passing, Lucah Rosenberg Lee (left) and J. Mitchel Reed (right).

Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival is not only a groundbreaking film festival that provides the Pacific Northwest with a venue for films by, for, and about transgender people and the issues facing the transgender community, but one of only a few transgender film festivals in the world. The goal of the event is to place emphasis on visibility and positive representations. Join us for four days of shining stars and exciting stories from our community.

Translations takes place May 12-15 at the Northwest Film Forum and 12th Ave Arts. To read more or purchase tickets, visit and

Asian American Festival Bridges Culture in Seattle

Photo by Sherry Zheng

Photo by Sherry Zheng

This past February, audiences enjoyed the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, which screened at the Northwest Film Forum over four days. Media Inc. spoke with the co-directors of the festival, Vanessa Au and Martin Tran, to hear about the festival’s contribution to the Seattle film and cultural landscape.

Media Inc: Tell us a bit about the Seattle Asian American Film Festival. It had been on hiatus starting in 2007, and then it was resurrected in 2013. What about the festival has changed?
Vanessa Au and Martin Tran: Since SAAFF’s resurrection, we’ve made several changes. We kick off every festival with an opening night party featuring live performances from local Asian American musicians, artists and dancers. We’ve also tried hard to bring the filmmakers to the festival so that they can network with one another and meet the audience, whether that’s during post-film Q&As, panel discussions or in the theater lobby. Finally, we’ve spent a lot of time doing outreach to the Asian American community through our co-presenters program. We get at least one API (Asian Pacific Islander) nonprofit group to promote each program and in turn provide them with a table to distribute info about their organization and a few minutes at the start of the screening to tell the audience about their org.

Photo by Amy Zhong

Photo by Amy Zhong

MI: What are some of your goals with the festival? How does it contribute to the Seattle community?
VA/MT: One of our top goals is to contribute to the Asian American community by bringing attention to various organizations and bringing community organizers to the festival. Some of the groups who’ve participated as co-presenters include API Chaya, Asian and Counseling Resource Services (ACRS), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Seattle, Vietnamese Friendship Association, Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Greater Seattle, Trikone, International Community Health Services (ICHS), and others. We also use the opening night party to feature local live Asian American talent.

MI: What were some highlights about this year’s festival?
VA/MT: The biggest highlight this year was the number of filmmakers that were in attendance. It was amazing to see them meet one another and the greater Seattle community, be it at official events like our Opening Night Party, Filmmaker Brunch, VIP party, and Q&As after their screenings, to more casual settings like the lobby of the Northwest Film Forum, or in our VIP Lounge or at an impromptu dinner the last night of the fest. It was just really wonderful to see people coming together, and to share our wonderful city with these visiting filmmakers.

Photo by Amy Zhong

Photo by Amy Zhong

MI: Can you speak about some of the Northwest filmmakers that were showcased in the festival?
VA/MT: Every year we do our best to showcase local filmmakers, and we were lucky to have so many great short films to share. Tadd Mitsui told a touching story about a man and his place in our ever-changing city in The Car Doctor Pat Abe. Jade Justad brought such a beautiful visual eye and drew out naturalistic performances from her young actors with her short film, Creased, about a young Asian American woman struggling with self-image and what it means to be beautiful, let alone “normal,” in this world. She brought a deft touch to the issue of Asians having the double eyelid surgery that makes them look more “White.”

We also showcase films from ACRS Southeast Asian Young Men’s Group, shepherded by Joseph Mills. This year we screened Model Minority Stereotype by Minhkennedy Pham and Chanthadeth by Chanthadeth Chanthalangsy. Both films spoke to our perceptions of identity, on both very personal and political levels.

MI: Thanks so much for sharing about the festival. We look forward to it in 2017!

More information about the Seattle Asian American Film Festival is available online at

Catherine Hardwicke Showcased at POWFest’s Ninth Year

Tara Johnson-Medinger and Catherine Hardwicke

Tara Johnson-Medinger and Catherine Hardwicke

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor

POWFest wrapped up another year of showcasing film work by women in Portland. The festival, in its ninth year, ran March 3 through 6 at the Hollywood Theatre.POWFest 2

Filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke attended the festival as the guest of honor. POWFest screened three of her films—Twilight, Thirteen, and Miss You Already—and hosted a discussion with the seasoned director. Hardwicke is a vocal advocate for women in film, as highlighted by POWFest’s executive director, Tara Johnson-Medinger.

“Catherine Hardwicke’s strong voice and willingness to step publicly into Hollywood’s gender discussion is something to celebrate,” said Johnson-Medinger. “Because of her, women are less fearful of being vocal as there has been a groundswell of support to amplify these voices. There is a revolution going on and she is one of the women in the lead.”

Catherine Hardwicke presents a master class at POWFest.

Catherine Hardwicke presents a master class at POWFest.

The festival opened with Abigail Disney’s The Armor of Light, which follows an Evangelical minister tackling the issue of gun violence in the U.S. Over 35 other film directors attended the festival to screen their films, including Northwest filmmakers Dawn Jones Redstone, Kia Anne Geraths, Christian Henry and Misty Eddy. POWFest’s
educational initiative, POWGirls, also presented films. POWGirls is a program open to girls age 15 to 19 who learn skills in media-making. POWGirls participants spent three days writing, producing and editing films, which were then screened at the festival.



Hardwicke presented a Master Class for festival attendees, and also participated in a Q&A session with Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, a website devoted to exploring gender issues in the film and other media industries. The festival also presented workshops on crowdfunding and the art of the pitch.

More information about POWFest is available at

Ashland Independent Film Festival Celebrates its 15th Anniversary, Celebrates Groundbreakers While it Blazes New Trails

By Judy Plapinger

April 7-11, 2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the Ashland Independent Film Festival, which  has grown from 73 films in four days at the beautiful art deco Varsity Theatre to more than 90 films and dozens of special events across Ashland in five art-packed days. This year the festival expands across town and across genres not only with its films, but also with live performances and art installations at two local museums.

As the festival embarks on its next chapter, organizers are reaching out to new groups—not simply appealing to traditional demographics defined by age, ethnicity, gender or gender identity, but across arbitrary boundaries to a shared artistic ideal. When media fills every screen, and screens are everywhere, it’s fair to ask: Why come to a film festival at all? The answer is simple: For the shared experience of seeing a film together; to expand and expound on that experience with filmmakers, performers, animators, artists, and of course, fellow film-goers.

The festival’s new director of programming, Richard Herskowitz, is forging connections from film to art and the performing arts community. While early festivals featured gallery exhibits, a live opera singer, arts cars and hula dancers, this year the festival will link art, science, animation, cinema, music and dance to create new forms of image making and storytelling that delves into the “beyond.”

In addition, this year, women in indie film will be a singular focus, with films and special appearances by Women Make Movies executive director Debra Zimmermann, filmmaker and choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall, visionary lesbian filmmaker Barbara Hammer, and more. If that weren’t enough, live performances that bridge cinema, art and music will include noted animators and performance artists Laura Heit and Jeremy Rourke, as well as flutist Rozalind MacPhail, who will perform a live score to accompany the feature film He Hated Pigeons.

The Fits

Independent film is nothing less than a movement to transform mainstream culture, to promote voices and perspectives neglected by commercial media. To honor its 15th anniversary, AIFF is reaffirming its mission to promote independent filmmaking by honoring the groundbreaking people and cinema that set the standards, including


Women Make Movies and the venerable Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams). As Herskowitz says, “At AIFF16 we will pay tribute to indie institutions—production, distribution and exhibition companies—that have built the infrastructure of the independent film movement, and challenge Hollywood’s dominance.” This very infrastructure provides the springboard for this exciting 15th anniversary festival and for festivals beyond.

Addicted to Sheep

A full schedule of films and other events, including Q&As with directors, free panel discussions, workshops, art installations, awards and nightly entertainment, is available at

Tickets are also available at

Eugene Film Fest Celebrates 10 Years

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy introduces The American Gandhi team at EIFF 2015. Photo by Mike/SUSMI Global.

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy introduces The American Gandhi team at EIFF 2015. Photo by Mike/SUSMI Global.

By Mike Dilley Executive Director, Eugene International Film Festival

The Eugene International Film Festival celebrated its 10th season with the world premiere screening of The American Gandhi, starring James Patrick Stuart (All My Children, Still Standing, Monsters vs. Angels). The EIFF has celebrated filmmaking with awards, receptions, workshops and networking with celebrity mentors throughout its first decade.

Hosting the red carpet gala, premiere and VIPs associated with the making of The American Gandhi was a fitting tribute to the pluck it takes to bring a story to the screen. Producer Hari Ghadia was presented with the festival trophy for Best Film in the 2015 Eugene International Film Festival. The film was also awarded at the EIFF with the Best Cinematography award for its locations and sets used in filming. “I would like to thank the jury of EIFF for this award. We hope to start a global conversation about illegal mining with this inspirational story,” said Ghadia, while accepting the award.

Guests from as far away as McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and Melbourne, Australia, have joined with others from across North America and Europe to enjoy the camaraderie of the festival, wineries, brewpubs, river paths, bicycling, and easily accessible locations such as the Oregon Coast.

James Patrick Stuart starred in The American Gandhi, and attended the festival in Eugene. Image courtesy of SUSMI Global.

James Patrick Stuart starred in The American Gandhi, and attended the festival in Eugene. Image courtesy of SUSMI Global.

It is no stretch of the imagination that the screenplay for The American Gandhi originated in Eugene, a region that many in world arts call home. There is something about the quality of life that makes people creative.

Director and co-writer Joseph Mungra is no exception. He has created a number of independent films, shooting within the region, in Hollywood, Greece and now India. Joining him in creating The American Gandhi were area residents Kale Dawes (co-author and sound design) and casting director Linda Burden-Williams.

In The American Gandhi, Mark Martin (James Patrick Stuart), an experienced mining analyst, is hired by his billionaire friend Brad Harrison (Jim Storm, The Bold and the Beautiful) to manage and upgrade rare earth metal mines in India. Confident, but naive, Mark finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. Does he cater to rampant police corruption and blatant disregard for the law, or follow his conscience? No matter the choice, he will pay a price.

Bend Turns Outside In with 12th Annual Festival

Photo by Karen Cammack Photography

Photo by Karen Cammack Photography

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor

For four days in October, Bend held its 12th annual film festival, hosting over 80 films, several panels and rockin’ parties for filmmakers and film aficionados alike. The festival’s theme, “Turning Outside In,” welcomed audiences to partake in a selection of documentaries, short film programs, and feature narratives.

Highlights of the festival include Best in Show and Best Narrative Feature Petting Zoo, a Texas-produced film directed by Micah Magee about a teen girl contemplating the consequences of a pregnancy. Erik Shirai was awarded Best Director and Best Documentary for The Birth of Saké, a documentary about the craft of saké production in northern Japan.

Portland-based filmmaker Brian Lindstrom presented his film, Mothering Inside, about the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility’s approach to nurturing incarcerated mothers’ relationships with children. The film received the festival’s Best of the Northwest award.

Eric Shirai. Photo by Karen Cammack Photography

Eric Shirai. Photo by Karen Cammack Photography

The festival gave filmmakers and audiences a chance to delve into industry issues with panel discussions devoted to first feature films, incorporating real-life characters into narrative films, using social media in film promotion, and women working in film.

According to BendFilm executive director Todd Looby, the festival improved this year as a result of changes that were made. One influential component was BendFilm’s drive to shift around organizational finances so that it could fund filmmaker travel.

“Once we could help filmmakers get here, we could anticipate a bigger response from filmmakers,” says Looby. “It can be a challenge to get to Bend from other parts of the country, and if we can help with expenses, filmmakers are more excited about submitting to the festival.”

Todd Looby. Photo by Tina Ellis Photography

Todd Looby. Photo by Tina Ellis Photography

BendFilm brought on festival programmer Mimi Brody to curate the festival’s films. Brody hails from Chicago, where she is the Curator of Film and Director of Block Cinema at Northwestern University. She is a former film programmer for the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the Los Angeles Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. Looby said, “Mimi brought her experience and encyclopedic knowledge of films that helped us program great films in Bend.”

BendFilm also brings various screenings and events to Central Oregon. It recently held a screening of the Sundance Film Festival selection, The Mask You Live In, a documentary about contemporary discourses around masculinity and the struggle of several boys and young men in navigating their identities. The film, produced by the director of Miss Representation, was co-presented by BendFilm Festival, Cascades Academy of Central Oregon and Moementum, Inc.

On tap for 2016 is a partnership with Caldera Arts to offer an Artist in Residence spot for a filmmaker in nearby Sisters, Oregon. Austin filmmaker Brittany Reeder is the recipient of the month-long filmmaker residency, and during her tenure at Caldera, Reeder will pursue a three-part multimedia collection of memories from her childhood in Florida.

BendFilm Party (L to R) Diego Onargo (Dir. Bob and the Trees), Tim Morton (Lead actor: Men Go to Battle), and Courtney Sheehan (Shorts Jury). Photo by Karen Cammack

BendFilm Party (L to R) Diego Onargo (Dir. Bob and the Trees), Tim Morton (Lead actor: Men
Go to Battle), and Courtney Sheehan (Shorts Jury). Photo by Karen Cammack

One of the best things about Reeder’s participation, according to Looby, is her fit with Caldera’s mission. “She has so much experience in personal storytelling,” Looby says. “Caldera is all about using art to express yourself, to tell your story. Brittany is a great fit for the inaugural year of this partnership.”

BendFilm is also planning monthly screenings and events to draw audiences and raise the organization’s profile in the area. “We’re planning some special showings for the year,” says Looby. “We want to get the community out and excited about film.”

Visit for information about various film-related events as well as information about the 2016 BendFilm Festival.

39th Portland International Film Festival Announces Opening Night Film


The Northwest Film Center recently announced the 39th Portland International Film Festival (PIFF 39) dates and Opening Night film.

This year’s festival, running February 11 – 27, will kick off with the Opening Night selection The Fencer, from director Klaus Härö. The Fencer is this year’s Oscar-submission from Finland and tells the story of a Russian asylum seeker whose successful fostering of an Estonian youth fencing team poses a threat to his freedom. The Fencer will screen simultaneously on Opening Night at the Whitsell Auditorium, located in the Portland Art Museum and at Regal Fox Tower 10.

After the screening of The Fencer, attendees are invited to celebrate the opening of this year’s festival with co-hosts Umpqua Bank, the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, the Finlandia Foundation, Voodoo Doughnuts, Montinore Estate, Elk Cove Vineyard, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Opening Night tickets are on sale now at

Following Opening Night, PIFF retains a sizable presence downtown and throughout the city with screenings at the Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, located inside the Portland Art Museum, Cinema 21, Regal Fox Tower, World Trade Center, OMSI, Moreland Theater, and Roseway Theater.

Over the last 39 years, the festival has populated its schedule with diverse and innovative films for an audience of more than 40,000 annually from throughout the Northwest. As Oregon’s largest, most culturally diverse film event, the Portland International Film Festival pulls together a multi-faceted experience with over 150 films (97 features and 62 shorts) and special events presenting a full spectrum of features, documentaries, and shorts – and featuring submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and works by both returning masters and emerging talents.

The full PIFF 39 Program is available online at

Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is now TWIST!

After a successful 20th anniversary festival this past October, Three Dollar Bill Cinema is excited to announce a name change for their iconic film event. This year, The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival becomes TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival.

The intention to change the name was announced by Three Dollar Bill Cinema’s Executive Director Jason Plourde on opening night of the 2015 fest, where he stated, “After 20 years of producing an amazing festival, we felt it was time to give the event a more special, inclusive, and engaging name.”

The organization then launched a survey that garnered hundreds of responses and held numerous meetings with staff, board, and stakeholders. “We made sure to listen to many people and considered the extensive list of suggestions we received. It was important to make a well-informed, collaborative decision. We also enlisted our talented Design Director Corianton Hale to create a compelling visual identity that reflects the fun, inclusive nature of this festival.”twist

So, why TWIST? The word has film connotations: a physical filmstrip winding through a projector, or the elements of story structure such as a plot twist or an intriguing revelation.

Moreover, “twist” evokes a festive, social, and celebratory spirit that is so often cited by Three Dollar Bill Cinema audiences and industry, who applaud the unique, appealing quality of the festival experience in Seattle.

Additionally, “twist” connects with “queer” by suggesting something unique and off-center, an unexpected surprise to be discovered and revealed, beyond the usual norms and conventions. It transcends the traditional LGBTQ nomenclature to create something new and different—a little more daring and a lot more fun—and sets a tone and direction that reflects our distinct community.

Says Plourde, “We heard from hundreds of people and held discussions to figure out what could capture the fun, unique, and cinematic qualities of our queer film festival. It became clear that TWIST captures our sensibility and will be more relevant and exciting to our audiences.”

The name change will be a continuation of the beloved annual event—this October 13-23 will bring the 21st TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival. Explains Plourde, “We’re just bringing a new name and fresh attitude to our steadfast community event. Our fans can still expect the spectacular films, great parties, and creative programs we’ve produced all along.”

Find out more at