OPB Press Release:
Oregon Public Broadcasting brings indie-theater directly into your home over five nights in August as the work of some of the Pacific Northwest’s most talented independent producers is showcased on OREGON LENS August 16-20 at 10pm.
“We’ve some exceptional films in season 12,” said Steve Amen, executive producer and host of OREGON LENS. “Oregon is rising fast on the independent filmmaking scene. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a course in filmmaking at PSU over the past couple of years, and I continue to be amazed by the talent in our community,” said Amen. “OREGON LENS provides viewers who may not have access to indie theaters in their communities a great opportunity to see the kind of innovative filmmaking for which this area is becoming known.”
Monday kicks off the festival with two documentaries: “Kings of the Road” (produced by Dan Schaefer) tells the story of the Portland Buckaroos professional hockey team. In 1959, with its future in doubt — a handful of players, an uncompleted arena, and the press denouncing the team as the worst ever fielded in the league — all they could do was skate. Inconceivably, they eventually rise as division leaders and champions, winning more games than any other team in professional hockey from 1960-74. Next, “Every War Has Two Losers” (Haydn Reiss) uses the journals of poet and conscientious objector William Stafford to present another point of view on war and its ability to create security.
This year, one night is devoted exclusively to short animated films. On Tuesday, August 17, humorous stories, music videos, sci-fi and poignant messages are depicted in a variety of features running from a few seconds to several minutes. Opening the evening is “operation: FISH” (Jeff Riley) which took seven years and the help of many artists from the Portland animation scene, to produce.
On Wednesday night, several short films headline the night, including: “Last Night, Long Ago” (Scott Ballard) about a woman preparing to move and her memories of the place she’s leaving; “Between Night” (Scott Ballard) which shows how a rare find by a street sweeper leads to a break from routine; and “Reception,” (C.K. Lichenstein II) an unsettling story of a woman who wakes up injured, confused and lost in the woods and makes a desperate phone call to the only person she can get a hold of — a man who wants to help her and yet seems to know more than he’s letting on. “I really enjoyed these short films,” said Amen. “The stories are great and the cinematography exceptional.”
Thursday night stay tuned for more short documentaries. “Fumiko Hayashida The Woman Behind the Symbol” (Lucy Ostrander) looks at Japanese internment camps during WWII. “Enter the Beard” (Scott Ballard) is Matt Lawrence’s documentary about the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Anchorage, Alaska. And the “Adreneline Film Project” (Kate Brown) is a behind-the-scenes look at the University of Oregon’s intensive narrative film production workshop in which university students and local filmmakers write, shoot and edit a film in just 72 hours. “Hook It and Book It” (Rebecca Toews) looks at “repoman” Jay Gates line of work.
Friday’s finale includes two short documentaries: “Silent Conversation,” (Elizabeth Weissenborn) — a beautifully shot film profiling two Argentine tango dancers and their relationship with the dance, and “Pushing It” (Elizabeth Weissenborn) — a conversation with a motorcycle high-speed racer. The evening and our series concludes with, “Know Your Stuff: What’s in a cup of coffee” (Wen Lee). This behind-the scenes look at production of coffee is followed by a trip to Costa Rica in search of a coffee adventure.