Category Archives for "2017"

This category is reserved for documentary feature films and documentary short films that have been named official selections of the Oregon Documentary Film Festival 2017. The Oregon Documentary Film Festival is a theatrical screening event of international independent short and feature documentary films in Portland, Oregon. Submissions to the Oregon Documentary Film Festival are only eligible if submitted through the following submission portals: FilmFreeway, Withoutabox or Festhome.

last month

“Song in a Day” Directed by Kris Jones

"Song in a Day" is a documentary film from director Kris Jones.

Song in a Day is an impressive film from Kris Jones who explores the creativity of song writing, recording and completion in just one day. The judges enjoyed the personalities of this group of musicians that all seem to bring their talents together and weave them into one cohesive mix. There are some bumps along the road, but at the end of the day, Kris Jones captures the twists and turns of this back story and delivers an enjoyable film.

  • Film Name: "Song in a Day" 
  • Director: Directed by Kris Jones
  • Director of Photography: Michael Nipper
  • Editor: Aaron Filipowsky
  • Runtime: 14 Minutes
  • Screening: Friday, November 10th, 2017
  • Website | Facebook Instagram | LinkedIn
  • Tagline: "​Can art be created under constraints? What happens to the creative process under the pressure of time and collaboration? Five Portland musicians accept the challenge of working together to write, compose, record and mix an entire song in just one day. Viewers see behind the scenes during the songwriting process — from the small sparks which start the creative fires of collaboration, to pushing boundaries before setting structure. Find out how a creative process which normally takes weeks, or even months, can benefit from a high-wire sense of urgency."

"An impressive film from Kris Jones who explores the creativity of song writing in just one day." - Mikel Fair

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"Song in a Day" Poster Director Kris Jones

Director Kris Jones

Kris Jones’ film explores the tension between creativity and constraints; asking the question: Can limitations actually enhance the creative process? Jones’ most recent film, Song in a Day, challenges five Portland musicians to meet on a Friday morning to write, compose, record and mix an entire song by the end of the day. A trained graphic artist, Jones brings her deep love of music and unending curiosity about the creative process to this inspiring film. Song in a Day launches her exploration on how collaboration and constraints can springboard creativity.

last month

“Throwline” Directed by Mia Mullarkey

Director Mia Mullarkey Oregon Documentary Film Festival 2017

"Throwline" is a documentary film from Irish director Mia Mullarkey.

With excellent visuals and a creative score, Mia Mullarkey has captured the story of a group of ordinary citizens that have taken action to help prevent suicides in Kilkenny, Ireland. The Oregon Documentary Film Festival judges were inspired by this story and mesmerized by the personalities of these concerned citizens.

  • Film Name: "Throwline" 
  • Director: Directed by Mia Mullarkey
  • Director of Photography: Jass Foley
  • Composer: Anna Mullarkey
  • Runtime: 14 Minutes
  • Screening: Friday, November 10th, 2017
  • Website | LinkedIn
  • Tagline: "A group of taxi drivers in Kilkenny, Ireland, join together to form a suicide prevention group. Uniquely positioned to patrol the night, the drivers keep vigil over the city's streets and bridges and offer help to those who feel forlorn."

"The drivers keep vigil over the city's streets and bridges and offer help to those who feel forlorn."

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We had an opportunity to catch up with director Mia Mallarkey for a short interview about the "Throwline" film's back story. 

  1. Why did you think that the Oregon Documentary Film Festival was a good place to submit and screen your film? “Throwline is an independent documentary so I was looking for festivals which support this kind of work.”
  2. What is the title of your film and is there any special meaning to the title? “Throwline. The title refers to a line thrown into water to rescue someone from drowning. This has a concrete and a symbolic reference to the film in that they drivers keep throwlines in their cars for emergencies and they also offer a symbolic throwline to those in need.”
  3. Why did you choose to tell this particular story? “I love stories about people who are immensely compassionate, so when I heard about Derek's work I called him straight away.”
  4. How did you fund this film? Did you use crowd funding? Do you have pressure to recoup the production costs somehow? “I financed the film myself and don't expect to recoup the costs. I felt it was an important story and just started working on it straight away.”
  5. What kind of audience reaction are you getting to this film? Discuss any Positives or Negatives that you feel comfortable talking about. “The best thing that has come out of this film is that people approach me and the taxi drivers after watching it to talk about their experiences of suicide, whether it's personal mental health stories or the loss of a loved one. The film allows people to open up and talk. Another great thing to come from the film is that people offer to support Taxi Watch because they are deeply moved by the work.”

"Moved by how many people were being rescued, I embarked on filming Taxi Watch in action. To capture the driver's world at night we had a special car roof mount built to counteract the bumps of the road. Cameras were also attached to the bonnets and doors of cars to create an immersive visual experience. My main goal when creating the film was to reveal the deep kindness of the drivers involved in Taxi Watch." - Director Mia Mullarkey

Official Poster for "Throwline" Documentary Film

Director Mia Mullarkey Bio

Following her studies in philosophy and psychology, and after working as a psychologist for a short time, Director Mia Mullarkey completed a masters in film production and theory in 2009. In 2011 she set up a production company called Ishka Films to create music videos and digital content. Several of these projects have won awards and gone viral. Mia's short documentaries have screened at film festivals worldwide and collected a number of nominations and awards. In 2016 Mia received film grants from the Irish Film Board; Science Foundation Ireland in association with Galway Film Centre; and National Women's Council of Ireland in association with the National Lottery Fund.

"Throwline" Taxi Driver
last month

“The Mustached American of the Year” Directed by Anna Yeager & Peter Subaiya

Director Peter Subaiya Oregon Documentary Film Festival

"The Mustached American of the Year" is not just a film about an international mustache competition.

It's a fun story about a family man. The judges of the Oregon Documentary Film Festival loved this film for it's structure, story telling, cinematography and, of course, the personality of Mr. Rivas. "The Mustached American of the Year" starring Troy Rivas is an official selection of the Oregon Documentary Film Festival 2017.

  • Film Name: "The Mustached American of the Year"
  • Directors: Anna Yeager and Peter Subaiya
  • Featuring: Troy Rivas
  • Runtime: 15 minutes and 28 seconds
  • Screening: Friday, November 10th, 2017
  • Website | LinkedIn | Voted Best New Mexico Documentary Short
  • Tagline: "After growing a mustache in honor of his unborn son, Troy Rivas finds himself pitted against national stars in a fierce online mustache competition. While navigating the new realms of fatherhood and fame, Troy embarks on a journey to give back to the community that embraced his eccentrically styled ‘stache."

“... keep an open mind about how you envision the final product. Stories evolve as you dive into them.” Anna & Peter

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We had an opportunity to catch up with Directors Anna Yeager and Peter Subaiya for an interview. There is an interesting back story to "The Mustached American of the Year."

  1. Why did you think that the Oregon Documentary Film Festival was a good place to submit and screen your film? “In a nutshell, we love Oregon and we love documentaries. We moved to Oregon a little less than two years ago, so we are looking forward to contributing to and getting to know the documentary film community here. We love watching and creating documentaries, so this festival seemed like a perfect fit.”
  2. What is the title of your film and is there any special meaning to the title? "The Mustached American of the Year" is the title given to the winner of the American Mustache Institute's annual competition.”
  3. Why did you choose to tell this particular story? “We wanted to tell a story that could inspire audiences to do something good for our world, and at the same time, we wanted that story to be lighthearted, comedic, and fun to watch. We felt Troy's story was just that.”
  4. Did you discover certain story elements during the production of this film that you never expected to find in the planning stages of this project? “As we dove deeper into Troy's past, we discovered unexpected family history that ultimately changed the course and theme of our story.”
  5. What camera(s) did you use to during the production of this film? Discuss any advantages or limitations that you may have run into, from an equipment perspective. “We shot our film on a Canon C100 mark ii and a Canon 5D mark iii. We've been longtime Canon users, and for this project we felt that this setup allowed for easy run-and-gun shooting which worked great for this project.”
  6. How did you fund this film? Did you use crowd funding? Do you have pressure to recoup the production costs somehow? “We self-funded the entire film from start to finish from savings, which consisted of a very small budget.”
  7. What kind of audience reaction are you getting to this film? Discuss any Positives or Negatives that you feel comfortable talking about. “The feedback we received at the film's premiere was that it was refreshing to see a documentary that made them laugh.”
  8. Do you have plans for a sequel or future film that you are working on? Please discuss. “We have no plans for a sequel, but have started brainstorming our next short documentary. Keep an eye on our website (shotsofyeager.com) for updates!”
  9. You have completed a documentary film, which is a huge achievement. Do you have any advice for a future filmmaker that is about to start a documentary project? Advice that you wish you had been given before you started yours? “It's important to have a solid idea of what story you want to tell before you start shooting, but keep an open mind about how you envision the final product. Stories evolve as you dive into them.”
Mustached American Year Oregon Documentary Film Festival
Director Anna Yeager Mustached American Year Oregon Documentary Film Festival

Director Anna Yeager Bio:

Anna Yeager studied film and video production at Columbia College Chicago. More than a decade of producing videos for a variety of clients and organizations taught her that her true love is producing meaningful stories for non-profits. Her passion is creating compelling video of the highest quality for mission-driven organizations of modest means. She has created videos for non-profits across the country including the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, the Rendville Art Works, the International Folk Art Alliance, and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Upworthy and Good Morning America.

Mustached American Year Oregon Documentary Film Festival
last month

“Perception: From Prison to Purpose” Directed by Jonathan Reed

Prison: Perception to Purpose Poster Film by Jonathan Reed
Jonathan Reed Perception From Prison to Purpose Oregon Documentary Film Festival 2017 Screenshot 03
"Perception From Prison to Purpose" Oregon Documentary Film Festival

Watch the transformation of Noah Schultz

On April 14th, 2009, Noah Schultz was arrested for attempted murder in Portland, Oregon. This is the story of his transformation. During his seven years of incarceration, Noah took advantage of every program, workshop and educational service provided. He pushed himself not only to be better, but to challenge our perceptions of what it means to be an inmate

Prison: Perception to Purpose Poster Film by Jonathan Reed

From gang member and drug dealer, to college grad, author, and TEDx speaker, Noah's determination and spirit have launched him to success. Since his release in October of 2016, he continues to advocate for programs in youth correctional facilities, and has inspired countless other inmates to follow similar paths. Noah hopes to achieve reform not only in our prison systems but also in our nation's widespread views of how we perceive inmates and ex-cons. Noah's story is unique, but it doesn't have to be.

last month

“Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery” Directed by David Brown

Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery

"Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery" is a documentary film directed by David Brown.

An incredible inspirational feature film about the survivors of traumatic brain injuries. Director David Brown takes the viewer through the process of recovery for the survivors and their families. The film is a favorite of the judges for it's detailed editing, music and diversity in each one of the four stories.

  • Film Name: "Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery" 
  • Director: David L. Brown
  • Editors: Steven Baigel, Tal Skloot & Marta Wohl
  • Produced, directed and photographed by David L. Brown
  • Edited by David L. Brown, Marta Wohl, Steven Baigel, Tal Skloot
  • Executive Producer: Rob Howard
  • Music by Steven Cravis, John Keltonic and Jaime Kibben
  • Colorist: Gary Coates; On-Line Edit: Jesse Spencer
  • Sound Design & Mix: Paul Zahnley, Disher Music & Sound
  • Runtime: 60 Minutes
  • Screening: Saturday, November 11th, 2017
  • Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook
  • Tagline: "Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery" is an inspirational hour-long character-driven documentary in which four survivors take us inside the experience of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to reveal their personal stories of devastation, heroism and hope. Weaving cinema vérité scenes, interviews, home movies and archival footage, Going the Distance explores the physical, emotional and economic challenges of TBI and disability for these survivors as they reinvent themselves.
Going the Distance Collage 02

Synopsis:

'Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery' is a hour-long character-driven documentary exploring the dramatic but little understood phenomenon of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Called 'the Silent Epidemic,' TBI impacts 2.5 million Americans and costs American society $60 billion every year. 'Going the Distance' focuses an intimate lens on the daunting, inspiring journeys of four TBI survivors and the people who love and care for them. The film’s profiles in courage include: Jason Poole, an African-American Iraq War vet nearly killed by a roadside bomb; Kristen Collins, a nurse who was badly injured in a motorcycle accident; Jay Waller, a Yale graduate who was the victim of a savage road-rage beating; and Ian McFarland, a six-year-old who survived the auto accident that made him an orphan.

For Jason, Jay, Kristen and Ian, 'Going the Distance' involves both acceptance of an impaired new self as well as learning to adapt to the changed person they have become. Although the individual stories and circumstances are unique, the dilemmas they face are universal and profoundly human, impacting that part of ourselves, the brain, that informs who we are and governs our personality, thoughts, feelings and perceptions. An injury to the brain is an injury to the essential self, which is why Kristen explains that she and all TBI survivors “have to reinvent who they are.” Interweaving cinema vérité scenes, interviews, home movies and stock news footage, 'Going the Distance' explores the physical, emotional and economic challenges of traumatic brain injury and disability for these survivors as they reinvent themselves.

The documentary also explores the parallel journeys of family members and friends whose lives are dramatically altered by TBI: most are totally unprepared to deal with a TBI survivor, and “caregiver burnout” is a huge and unacknowledged problem. The film features interviews with the characters’ professional caregivers, including physicians, psychologists and therapists, who provide enough scientific, medical and policy information to orient the viewer without resorting to abstract terminology or overwhelming the film with data.

Framing its individual stories within the broader social context of an embattled health care system and a nation coping the costs of the War on Terror, 'Going the Distance' paints a complex and compelling portrait of TBI survivors, their loved ones and communities. In spite of undeniable and enduring hardship, including life-long cognitive and emotional challenges, each protagonist has an inspiring recovery arc in which he or she regains a significant measure of his or her pre-injury dream and envisions a new life path. Their heroic efforts model the universal struggle to shape our destinies, and, in their example, we may find a reflection of our best selves.

Called 'the Silent Epidemic,' TBI impacts 2.5 million Americans and costs American society $60 billion every year.

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David Brown Interview:

We had an opportunity to catch up with director David Brown for a short interview about the "Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery" film's back story. 

  1. Why did you think that the Oregon Documentary Film Festival was a good place to submit and screen your film? “I knew there was a sizable documentary audience in Oregon. And the organizers had experience producing another festival.”
  2. Why did you choose to tell this particular story? “I was commissioned to produce the first two-day shoot, a 24-mile cross Lake Tahoe standup paddle, a benefit for the Bob Woodruff Foundation. There I met several survivors of traumatic brain injury and was galvanized to make the film on their inspirational stories.”
  3. Did you discover certain story elements during the production of this film that you never expected to find in the planning stages of this project? “Yes, I discovered three of our four survivors after launching the project. Their stories, along with their families, were extraordinary and deeply inspiring.”
  4. What camera(s) did you use to during the production of this film? Discuss any advantages or limitations that you may have run into, from an equipment perspective. “I used a Sony EX1 then a Sony PMX200.”
  5. How did you fund this film? Did you use crowd funding? Do you have pressure to recoup the production costs somehow? “Foundations, private donors, along with an IndieGoGo campaign. Producers cash help with the completion.”
  6. What kind of audience reaction are you getting to this film? Discuss any Positives or Negatives that you feel comfortable talking about. “Very positive from many works-in-progress screenings. The only caveat from the brain injury community was that our survivors were relatively fortunate and don't fully represent the typical TBI survivors.”
  7. Do you have plans for a sequel or future film that you are working on? Please discuss.
    no sequel. “Other projects are underway. The main doc is on a Latino poet activist and the roles of activist writers.”
  8. You have completed a documentary film, which is a huge achievement. Do you have any advice for a future filmmaker that is about to start a documentary project? Advice that you wish you had been given before you started yours? “Build and sustain trust, hire the best pros you can, be patient with fundraising, surround yourself with a community of like-minded filmmakers for support.”
"Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery" Director David Brown
Going the Distance Journeys of Recovery Screenshot 02a
last month

“The Business of Boxing: Part One” Directed by Rob Maloof

"The Business of Boxing" is a documentary film directed by Rob Maloof.

Director Rob Maloof's film is a powerful display of cinematography and captures the sport of boxing at a level that HBO should be envious of. The images of the boxers training are stunning and the story of each of these young men is powerful. You can literally feel their energy and love for the sport.

  • Film Name: "The Business of Boxing: Part One" 
  • Director: Rob Maloof
  • Assistant Editor: Jared Lenox
  • Runtime: 10 Minutes
  • Screening: Saturday, November 11th, 2017
  • Website | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn
  • Tagline: "A sports documentary short on the business of boxing: what amateurs and early professionals can expect when starting a career in boxing."
"The Business of Boxing" Directed by Rob Maloof

"amateur experiences, turning “pro”, and what makes a fighter marketable."

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"The Business of Boxing" Directed by Rob Maloof

This ongoing project has developing stories concerning the laser-focus determination of fighters, in the face of constant assaults on the mind and body. This film follows the progress of two professional fighters (Kevin Cobbs & David Benavidez) and one amateur fighter (Shane Jordan). The fighters, their trainers, promoters, and industry experts comment on: amateur experiences, turning “pro”, and what makes a fighter marketable. At the time of filming, Cobbs and Benavidez were scheduled to fight at a nationally televised event in Los Angeles.

"The Business of Boxing" Director Rob Maloof

Director Rob Maloof has been active in the creative industry since 2005, when he worked primarily as an audio engineer. His career in audio included producing & recording local bands, as well as developing skills in electronics bench work & acoustics testing/design. Always a long-time fan of photography, an afternoon camera lesson from a childhood friend was the start of his evolution into visual arts. The next logical progression from the audio/photo workflow was motion picture, and has become the focus of his practice at Gauntlet Films.

"The Business of Boxing" Director Rob Maloof