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2016 Fresh Film Northwest

Fresh Film Northwest (formerly the Young People’s Film Festival) is an annual opportunity for Northwest youth filmmakers, ages 13-19, to have their work viewed by professional media artists and presented to the public.

Now in its 40th year, this annual glimpse into the heart and spirit of Northwest filmmaking’s next generation has recognized individual talent and showcased models of how media arts can be taught in schools. The goal for Fresh Film Northwest is to encourage young people to use media to creatively express personal concerns, to explore important social issues, and to share engaging stories about the world today.

Entries selected by a jury of professional Northwest filmmakers will be shown at an awards ceremony as part of the 43rd Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival in the Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, Oregon and distributed online for year-round, international audiences.

Juror Statement
What a pleasure it was for us to view this year’s submissions to the 40th Annual Fresh Film Northwest Festival. From the moment the lights went down, entry after entry we were drawn into worlds of passion, inspiration, and deep thinking. On screen were compelling teen-eye views of race, gender, and equality, and treatises on such tough issues as bullying, addiction, and sex trafficking. We witnessed robust and healthy representations of women from a range of backgrounds. Far from being awkward “first films,” the works demonstrated that, as a whole, today’s teen filmmakers are savvy and sophisticated (which is why we really, really, wanted to keep watching even when the last entry was over). This made our job both difficult and fun. The films that stood out for us created and followed through on elaborate stories and settings, taking risks with such creative elements as Foley and sound design. They peeled back layers of cultural cues to place characters and issues in the context of greater society. Does this mean that our favorites fully grasped the complex subtleties of storytelling? Maybe not quite yet, but as suggested by the selections and honorable mentions below, these young filmmakers are clearly on their way to finding their unique voices in our media universe.

Erin Boberg Doughton – Performing Arts Program Director at PICA
André Middleton – Director of Equity and Inclusion at Portland Community Media
Mark Shapiro – Head of Marketing and Brand Management at LAIKA

Full lineup:

Budding Romance (3 mins., Narrative), Portland, OR
Filmmakers: Elaina Albers, Katherine Bentz, Lucca Jenkins Law, Danielle LeBlanc, Evangeline Liu
Love between a girl and her potted plant.

Eileen (6 mins., Narrative), Seattle, WA
Filmmakers: Brendan Hickey and Sam Cleary
A friendship forms outside the principal’s office.

Comeback (5 mins., Narrative), Seattle, WA
Filmmakers: Skala Leake, Cameron Miller, Avery Davis, Aaron Miller
A young soccer star can’t run from a new reality.

Home (8 mins., Narrative), Vancouver, BC
Filmmakers: Joshua Costea, Raluca Ciobanu, Lettie Costea
Abby’s strange powers help her find a world to call home.

Lincolnshire Groove (3 mins., Experimental), Portland, OR
Filmmaker: Jasper Thun
The secrets of the Cold War still linger…in miniature.

Living Honestly (7 mins., Documentary), Seattle, WA
Filmmakers: PJ Hase and Skala Leake
What it’s like to come out to families and friends.

Losing Alberta: Gentrification in Northeast Portland (11 mins., Documentary), Portland, OR
Filmmakers: Sawyer Montgomery, Joshua Webb, Mackie Mallison
How gentrification has changed a Northeast Portland community.

Sticks and Stones (5 mins., Experimental), Portland, OR
Filmmakers: Amanda Macready, Aya Dosla, Raine Shank, Christina Yu, Hannah Cumming
Stopping the cycle of hurtful words.

Strings (8 mins., Animation), Portland, OR
Filmmaker: Arden Butterfield
Alone in a world turned sideways, and holding on.

Rectangles & Straight Lines (3 mins., Experimental), Portland, OR
Filmmaker: Courtney McLeod
A cityscape full of patterns, shapes, shadows, and movement.

Toccata (3 mins., Experimental), Vancouver, BC
Filmmakers: Claire Mackie, Daniel Ortiz, James Vancuren, Mutte Chen
Striving for perfection, piano practice turns to obsession.

What Would I Say (6 mins., Narrative), Portland, OR
Filmmaker: Zulema Young-Toledo
True Feelings are revealed in hypothetical terms.

Shakesburn (5 mins., Narrative), Portland, OR
Filmmakers: Pablo Reese, Anna Smith, Annie Winner, Ethan Harmon, Mimi Smith
A stolen tri-cycle, fruit-cakes, and clever insults collide.

Screening times:
November 12 – Saturday 12 pm

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