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Fresh Film NW

The end of the Film Center’s 40th Anniversary Season ushers in an exciting development in our long-standing work with young people: the debut of FRESH FILM NORTHWEST (FFNW), a juried survey of work created by 13- to 19-year-olds living in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

At the core of the event is connectivity: linking young filmmakers with each other and to live/online audiences. Last year, more than 16,000 visitors viewed our teen entries online—including viewers as far away as Europe and Africa—pointing toward a new way for us to think about regional filmmaking in a global society.

Living inside the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival, FFNW connects the up-and-coming creative community with today’s professional makers and with opportunities for further exploration and growth. Our schedule of events is designed to encourage the two to intertwine. Even in our dynamic, technology-driven digital world, filmmaking is first and foremost about people encouraging each other and showing the way.

Congratulations to the 20 teen filmmakers whose winning works will screen on November 17 and to the additional 15 whose works will appear online. Congratulations as well to the high schools, community organizations, individual educators and teaching artists, parents, and other mentors who inspired and supported their efforts. It can truly take a village to help inspire a young filmmaker to cross the finish line.

Many thanks to the three filmmaker/jurors who reviewed and recommended the entries for this year’s line-up: Jonathan Stephens, Michelle Swinehart, and Tara L. Johnson-Medinger. Thanks, too, to Karen Wennstrom and Sofia Theodore-Pierce, who worked vigorously behind the scenes to procure and process more than 120 entries and to prepare FFNW for the screen. Their help was invaluable.

Ellen S. Thomas, Education Director

 

JURORS' STATEMENT

When you’re asked to judge entries for something called “Fresh Film Northwest,” the question that quickly comes up is “What is fresh anyway?” We decided to let the entries themselves help us frame a definition, rather than trying to pre-determine what we were looking for. Being open allowed us to sit in a darkened viewing room with great anticipation. For more than five hours, we viewed comedies, documentaries, personal films, animations, and films that simply defied the normal categories.

At the end of the day, while each of us might have worded our definition a bit differently, we were in almost complete agreement about what stood out. “Fresh” is about willingness to take a risk, visually or in terms of how the material is presented. “Fresh” also involves an element of surprise, taking the story off into an unexpected direction or combining multiple techniques to interesting effect.

Perhaps most significantly, “fresh” has to do with the young filmmakers simply being themselves. Serious, funny, irreverent, or not, the winning films are each the authentic voice of their maker and no one else. The desire to create pours out without getting hung up on the details. We are left in awe and with the feeling that the world is going to be all right.

 

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THE JURORS

Jonathan Stephens is an independent filmmaker who has mentored youth at Self Enhancement, Inc.; Michelle Swinehart is a visual and media artist with a background in K-12 arts learning and arts as social practice; independent filmmaker Tara L. Johnson-Medinger is the founder and executive director of POWFest (Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival) and principal with Sour Apple Productions.

 

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THE AWARDS

FRESH FILM NORTHWEST recognizes individual talent, showcases model examples of how media arts can be taught in schools, and engages all of us in helping to build the Northwest regional youth media community of 13-19 year-olds. Selected works are recognized with one of three awards. To view, please visit vimeo.com/schooloffilm or click on the titles below.

 

   

Creative Self Expression

FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATIC STORYTELLING
     

A SKETCHY REALITY
DIRECTOR: SYDNEY PALMER & HANNAH SPITZER - (BEAVERTON, OR)

ABDUCTED
DIRECTOR: MICAH MAHAFFEY - (BEND, OR)

DO YOU BELIEVE?
DIRECTOR: ZACHARY MILLIKEN & NICKY LENZEN - (PORTLAND YOUTH DOCUMENTARY CAMP, HOLLYWOOD THEATRE, PORTLAND, OR)

LOVE AT FIRST BITE
DIRECTOR: ISAIAH HOBAN HALVORSEN - (911 MEDIA ARTS CENTER, SEATTLE, WA)

MY LITTLE BRONY
DIRECTOR: VANN FULFS - (BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL, SEATTLE, WA)

DEEP DOWN
DIRECTOR: ISAIAH HOBAN HALVORSEN, KAILA LAFFERTY, & OONA LOWE - (BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL, SEATTLE, WA)

DREAM HOUSE
DIRECTOR: ANA KRAFCHICK - (BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL, SEATTLE, WA)

WHO DO I SEE?
DIRECTOR: ASHLEA FRISON - (CALDERA, PORTLAND, OR)

 

   

Integrative Learning

FOR INNOVATION IN INTEGRATING MEDIA INTO ACADEMIC CONTENT
     

CELILO FALLS: BENEATH THE SURFACE
DIRECTOR: CASEY HOLZMAN, ADAL MARTINEZ-GUZMAN, KEENAN COLLINS, ZOE HOPKINS, FENN PAIDER, REBECCA JOHNSTON, JORDAN CHARISTON, OMAR LACHINA, BRYNN SEARCY, LUIGI HERNANDEZ, ADRIAN RAMIREZ, RILEY BAUER, & SOPHIA MARBLE - (COLUMBIA CENTER FOR THE ARTS, HOOD RIVER, OR)

EPILOGUE
DIRECTOR: ALEX FORTMAN - (LAKE OSWEGO, OR)

TURN ON THE DARK
DIRECTOR: ALEX ANDERSON, ARIEL KAMM-STONE, & BEULAH RANGER - (NORTHWEST DOCUMENTARY EXPLORERS CAMP + OMSI, PORTLAND, OR)

DON’T THROW TRASH IN THE BAY
DIRECTOR: BRANSON LASZLO - (WHEELER, OR)

 

   

Heart

FOR AUTHENTICITY AND HUMANE TREATMENT OF A SUBJECT
     

HEART’S LABYRINTH
DIRECTOR: SHANIA KEATING - (CALDERA, REDMOND, OR)

WE KNOW WHERE WE CAME FROM
DIRECTOR: LINDSEY NORDIN, CAELAN HENSLEY, & BROOKE REICHERT - (NORTHWEST DOCUMENTARY + LEWIS & CLARK NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK, ASTORIA, OR)

 

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HONORABLE MENTION

To view, please visit vimeo.com/schooloffilm or click on the titles below.

PREMARIN AND HORSE SLAUGHTER: THE UGLY TRUTH BEHIND THE LABEL
DIRECTOR: ALEXANDRA GRITTA / PORTLAND, OR
(DOC) A passionate call for alternatives to hormone replacement therapy. (9 mins.)

DEAR DAD, WHY?
DIRECTOR: PRESCOTT PREUSS / NORTHWEST DOCUMENTARY + THE DOUGY CENTER, PORTLAND, OR
(DOC) Exploring a complicated father-son relationship. (4 mins.)

PERMANENT
DIRECTORS: LEROY BRANDON IV, MARRISA WAGNER, & ZOE RAIN / PORTLAND YOUTH DOCUMENTARY CAMP, HOLLYWOOD THEATRE, PORTLAND, OR
(DOC) Why people choose to get certain tattoos. (9 mins.)

MR. MUFFIN
DIRECTOR: SONJA FERKINSTAD / WHITMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL, SEATTLE, WA
(ANI) Out of the oven, and ... (1 min.)

THE PASSING
DIRECTOR: SHAFER GILSON / THE CENTER FOR ADVANCED LEARNING, GRESHAM, OR
(NAR) A veteran struggles to put the past behind him. (6 mins.)

THE SLIP
DIRECTORS: CONOR ABERLE, AARON ABESON, JUAN BLYLER, GINA GARAVENTA, KATIE KELLY, JAZMIN LOPEZ, NATE PEREIRA, LUCAS POWERS, ALEX ZELENSKY / MEDIA ARTS ACADEMY FOR TEENS, NORTHWEST FILM CENTER, PORTLAND, OR
(NAR) The road to self-forgiveness is not easy. (10 mins.)

TALKING OF SORROW
DIRECTOR: AARON HENRY / VANCOUVER SCHOOL OF ARTS AND ACADEMICS, VANCOUVER, WA
(EXP) Loss and grief are processed through visual poetry. (2 mins.)

FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD
DIRECTOR: SPENCER SLOVIC / PORTLAND, OR
(NAR) A food critic’s journey through restaurants and girls. (3 mins.)

THE HOLLOW MEN
DIRECTOR: DAKOTA WIXOM / VANCOUVER SCHOOL OF ARTS AND ACADEMICS, VANCOUVER, WA
(EXP) Bizarre, apocalyptic imagery interprets T.S. Eliot’s poem. (4 mins.)

GAME-O-HOLIC
DIRECTOR: MATTHEW MANSKER / PORTLAND YOUTH BUILDERS, PORTLAND, OR
(NAR) RPG video game characters come alive. (17 mins.)

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SPECIAL THANKS

These and other contributors support FRESH FILM NORTHWEST and other Film Center education programs:

Faerie Godmother Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation
Henry Lea Hillman, Jr. Foundation
Frank Hood Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation
King Family Foundation
The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Oregon Arts Commission
Portland State University
Pro Photo Supply
Regional Arts & Culture Council
Willamette Week Give!Guide

 

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