Tag Archives for " 2017 "
Avalon Theatre, 3451 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214 (713) 305-4895
Avalon Theatre, 3451 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214 (713) 305-4895
Avalon Theatre, 3451 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214 (713) 305-4895
As one of five children, Sabrina Linville learned the power of collaboration and communication at a young age. Her enthusiasm for human interest stories led her to purse a BFA in Film and Television Studies at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). As a producer and director, Sabrina has had the privilege of working with a variety of artistic talents from her student documentaries' inception to final cut. Her favorite motto "team work makes the dream work" derives from these beautiful learning experiences.
Daniel Roher's "Ghosts of Our Forest" introduces the viewer to the musical and culturally rich, Batwa tribe. This documentary touched and inspired our judges.
Review: "A touching story about an African tribe that lost their home overnight and how they are trying to survive in today's world. You really feel for the children in this story and wonder how what their lives will be like in the future. The film features vivid images, great music and a story by Daniel Roher that unfolds in an hour, but feels like fifteen minutes."
"the indigenous Batwa tribe was forcefully removed from their ancestral home by the Ugandan government."
In 1992, as pressure from international conservation groups to protect the great forests of Uganda mounted and the indigenous Batwa tribe was forcefully removed from their ancestral home by the Ugandan government. One of the most ecologically diverse places on earth, the Bwindi impenetrable forest nurtured the Batwa, and in turn the tribe worshiped all that it gave them. Upon eviction, however, the Batwa received nothing in the way of compensation or support, and so fell into poverty.
A young Batwa named Gad Semejeri is doing everything he can to preserve his culture in the face of social oppression and substance abuse. Along with a group of young Batwa, he founded the Batwa Music Club, a band that strives to reclaim its cultural heritage by performing traditional songs that speak out against the injustices the the tribe has suffered.
With Gad’s leadership, the group is rehearsing for its biggest gig to date, a concert in Kampala where they will take centre stage and make the plight of the Batwa known to the whole of Uganda.
The young Batwa are threading together rapturous tales of traditional life and stories from Batwa elders. The Batwa Music Club struggles for survival on a daily basis and is still performing original music. Ipalaki is an inspiration and vibrant testament to the importance of indigenous knowledge in the globalized world.
Fattitude exposes the hollywood and media bias towards overweight people. The directors expose the bias and empower people of all body types with a great message. The judges loved this film and feel like it's a wake-up call for western society.
Fattitude is a feature length documentary that exposes how culture – particularly media culture - encourages weight bias and then offers alternative ways of thinking that embrace body acceptance at all sizes. Informed by a post-modern, post-colonial, feminist background, Fattitude is very conscious and attentive to the idea that fat hatred crosses the lines of race, class, sexuality and gender.
The film features a diverse variety of voices such as academic scholars and activists. Hollywood directors and writers, as well as, psychologists. Rebecca Phul, Jackson Katz, Marilyn Wann and Sonya Renee Taylor present their views. Virgie Tovar, Jen Posner, Lindy West, Ricki Lake, Winne Holzman, Guy Branum, Tess Munster and Andrew Walen include their testimonials as well.
"Fattitude is a conscious the idea that fat hatred crosses the lines of race, class, sexuality and gender."
We had an opportunity to catch up with director Lindsey Averill for a short interview about the "Fattitude" film's back story.
What drives someone to say, "this morning I'm going on a Salton Sea Walk and I won't stop for three years?" Director Corbin Schweitzer does a great job with telling the story of this environmental crisis. The disappearance of the Salton Sea could be catastrophic to the environment and Randy Brown's movement is worthy of attention.
The Salton Sea, California's largest lake, is rapidly drying up. After 2017, the largest rural to urban water transfer will exponentially accelerate the rate at which the sea shrinks. This will expose acres of dried lakebed. The exposed playa, containing 100 years worth of farm chemicals, could become airborne. This could send billowing clouds of toxic dust towards major population centers in the Southwest. The Salton Sea is located 230 feet below sea-level. In this desolate pocket of Southern California's Colorado Desert, the plight of the sea is largely ignored.
"Randy Brown, set out to do something no one had ever attempted to walk the entire shoreline of the Salton Sea."
There are a few outspoken people who claim to know how to save it. Randy Brown, community activist, set out to do something no one had ever attempted. To walk the entire shoreline of the sea. In June of 2015, with temperatures reaching 120 degrees, he set out on his 6 day, 115 mile journey. His mission is to raise awareness for the sea. A forgotten place of peace and beauty. Will the people be inspired to save it before it's too late?
We had a chance to catch up with Director Corbin Schweitzer for a behind-the-scenes look at "The Salton Sea."
"Several years ago, I received a call about a community activist, Randy Brown. He was seeking to do what no man had attempted before and walk around the hazardous 116-mile shoreline of California’s Salton Sea. This began what would become a three year journey to document his story. Ultimately we hoped to bring to light an incredibly beautiful and forgotten piece of natural history. The Salton Sea has been left to evaporate and disappear. At the end of this year, the remaining flows of the Colorado river will be diverted to outlying cities and areas. This will leave the Salton Sea without a new source of water. This film seeks to raise awareness and prevent what could become one of the worst ecological disasters ever recorded."
A riveting story about US War Veteran Stu Steinberg, the judges were blown away by the story and struggle with PTSD that so many of our veterans are dealing with on a daily basis.
"We were blown away by the story and struggle with PTSD that our veterans are dealing with on a daily basis."
We had an opportunity to catch up with director Clay Kempf for a short interview about the "Stu Steinberg" film's back story.
John West explores a dark part of US history in "Human Zoos." A racially charged story that will mesmerize you with the stories and reality of a time where people were exploited in ways that are unimaginable in today in society. You have to see it to believe it and then wonder why they didn't teach you this chapter in history class.
Thousands of indigenous peoples were put on public display in America in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes, these native peoples were harassed, demeaned, and jeered at. Their public display was arranged with the enthusiastic support of the most elite members of the scientific community, and it was promoted uncritically by America’s leading newspapers. The documentary also tells the story of a courageous group of African-American ministers who tried to stop one such 'Human Zoo' in New York City. The documentary features Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Pamela Newkirk, author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga.
In September 1906, nearly a quarter of a million people flocked to the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Many came for a startling new exhibit in the Zoo’s Monkey House. But it wasn’t a monkey they came to see. It was a man. His name was Ota Benga. A pygmy from the African Congo, Ota Benga was exhibited in a cage along with monkeys.
Benga was not alone. He was one of literally thousands of indigenous peoples who were put on public display throughout America in the early twentieth century. Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes and as examples of the “lower” stages of human evolution, these native peoples were harassed, demeaned, and jeered at. Their public display was arranged with the enthusiastic support of the most elite members of the scientific community, and it was promoted uncritically by America’s leading newspapers.
Human Zoos tells the horrifying story of this effort to dehumanize entire classes of people in the name of science. It will also tell the story of the courageous African-American ministers in New York City who tried to stop what was going on. Finally, the documentary will expose how some organizations are still trying to cover up their involvement in what happened and re-write the past.
The documentary featuresl interviews with a number of experts, including Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Pamela Newkirk, author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga.
We had a chance to catch up with Director John West to get a behind-the-scenes look at this powerful documentary film, Human Zoos.
Zach Putnam is a concerned citizen who decided to research an environmental pollution problem in Oregon and expose the truth to the world.
We had an opportunity to catch up with Director Zach Putnam for an in-depth look behind the scenes at this film.
"When Zach Putnam saw a news article that suggested he was living in a hotspot of lead pollution, he took action."
A touching story about Nina and Lisa and how their relationship continues to grow after Lisa is diagnosed with autism. Director Nina Vallado gives the viewer an inside look at the struggles and rewards of dealing with this medical condition. The Oregon Documentary Film Festival judges were inspired by this story and appreciate Nina's ability to give the viewer a first person experience with this beautiful family.
"Sisterhood is a different matter, and adding autism into the mix, only complicates the matter more." Nina Vallado
We had an opportunity to catch up with director Nina Vallado for a short interview about the "Sisterly" film's back story.
The relationship between siblings is difficult to define. A relationship between parent and child, or between friends, is easily understood and carries certain expectations. Sisterhood is a different matter, and adding autism into the mix, only complicates the matter more. My film is about the complexities of a sisterhood without communication. My sister Lisa is diagnosed with autism, and for the first 16 years of her life she did not communicate. After learning rapid-prompt method, a communication method using a stencil board, her life changed. While Lisa’s life was beginning anew, my life remained almost unchanged. Two people living under the same roof, sharing the same family, sharing similar experiences, yet, living almost opposite lives. The world of autism is one that isolates and builds unwanted walls between neurotypicals and those on the autism spectrum. Misunderstanding and broken communication have been the bricks that separated my sister and me. I have faced these walls for years , but rarely tried to climb over them, or tear them down. In the four years of my thesis production, I have learned more about my sister than I have my entire life. My camera allowed me to focus more clearly on her struggles, her pain, her story. Throughout the production of this film, I have questioned my role in her life as her older sister. In my film, I intertwine the search for connection with my sister with her personal search for independence. My film is a pursuit for a meaningful relationship within the world of autism. The story builds as we learn to communicate. The more we learn about one another, the more we tear down the walls that separate us. The film is not meant to resolve all of our problems, but to come to terms with the sisterhood that we are creating for ourselves.
Nina Vallado was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and moved to the United States of America at the age of six. She received her BFA in Documentary Film from Andrews University. Nina’s passion for social justice and equality is stemmed from her experiences as an immigrant and her close relationship with autism. Nina strives to tell stories that can evoke empathy and connection between human beings. She strongly believes that storytelling is the world’s greatest tool for change. Nina has worked on short documentary projects that have won awards, such as "Then Came Sandy" and "Papi". Her senior project, "Sisterly," for her undergraduate studies, focuses on her complex relationship with her sister with autism. "Sisterly" is a student film produced over the course of four years and has involved artists and professionals from Brazil, United States of America, Portugal and Iceland.
A time lapse filmmaker, Sam captured visuals of Oregon in ways that exceed imagination. The vibrant colors of the landscape are breath taking. The judges were truly impressed with the images and filmmaking of Sam Forenicich.
"Created entirely with infrared converted cameras, Invisible Oregon is a study of light across time and space."
"Ever since my youthful days of “experimentation” I've often wondered about the nature of reality. Those of you that still believe in science understand the limitations of our perceptions, and it's no secret that many creatures exceed our abilities to interpret the world around us. The idea that we have to process the sensory data coming into our brains makes it seem like we are already a step removed from the real world. So what exactly are we missing? What do animals experience that we can't, and how do our human perceptions vary from person to person? While this film does nothing to answer these questions, time-lapse and infrared photography do, in a metaphorical sort of way, extend our sensory abilities so we can imagine a world beyond ours. Ultimately I think this is what draws us to these forms, not to solve the mystery, but to flirt with it's boundaries." - Director Sam Forencich
We had a chance to interview Director and DP Sam Forencich for a behind the scenes look at his "Invisible Oregon."
Sam Forencich is a time-lapse film maker and photographer based in Portland Oregon. Sam is the principle time-lapse contributor to the NBC production Grimm, and the NBA team photographer for the Portland Trail Blazers. See more of his work here: https://www.samforencich.com/