This year’s Outdoor Adventure Film Grant (OAFG’23) called for personal stories from and about the BIPOC community and Oregon’s outdoors. This year’s theme was specifically “The Nature Gap” – the uneven and inequitable distribution of wild, outdoor space based on race or socioeconomic status.
The OAFG’23 aims to help support and amplify stories and storytellers (both in front of and behind the camera) by utilizing Oregon’s outdoor spaces as a backdrop. Experienced BIPOC filmmakers and their on-camera subjects were invited to apply with a short film pitch that would inform, inspire, capture, and/or reveal a personal journey involving an outdoor pursuit that is set against the backdrop of Oregon’s majestic landscape.
This year we awarded two projects “El Que Busco Encuentra” and “Healing & Brotherhood on the Coast.”
“El Que Busco Encuentra” comes from Ricardo and Veronica Fernandez-Alvarado, two siblings who grew up in Woodburn, and “Healing and Brotherhood on the Coast” comes from Devin Boss, a native Portlander.
The Alvarado Siblings, Ricardo Alvarado, and Veronica Fernandez-Alvarado were brought up with a love for intersectional storytelling and directing, stories that blend cultures, and warps ideas that move past individualism and into community. Being raised in a majority Latinx community, seeing the representation needed to truly present a more dense portrayal of Latinx communities in the United States. Previous projects they’ve collaborated on have been short films such as DOÑA and MORA, and a podcast called Horchata Squad for the Daily Emerald. Veronica Fernandez-Alvarado, who saw the need to advance the coverage of her community, earned a BA in Journalism and Ethnic Studies from the University of Oregon; and is currently completing her Masters in Journalism from Georgetown University. She currently works for NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists in Washington DC.
Devin Boss has worked with Black organizations such as Black Parent Initiative, NxNE, Brown Hope, SEI, Oregon Black Pioneers, and more, to tell stories of struggle, perseverance, passion, community, and triumph, in a way that honors the truth of each individual. Most recently his work was featured in Hollywood Theater’s QDoc – “Never Look Away: A story of Portland’s First Queer Mural.” Boss says that in the 2 years, he has been in operation, he has “given opportunities to Black men and women either looking for more meaningful work or ingress into an industry with an alarmingly high barrier of entry. We do this not to reach diversity goals, but because we know storytelling requires talent, skill, and different angles of perception in order to tell the full story.”
The two winning projects coincidentally share a setting – the Oregon Coast.
“Healing and Brotherhood on the Coast,” tells the story of a group of thirty-something old Black men spend a weekend on the Oregon coast. The trip is a testament to the camaraderie, candor, and intimacy surrounding their love of each other, pressures of family responsibilities, changes with age, and exploration of identity with the backdrop of the stunning coastline. “El Que Busco Encuentra” chronicles a day in the life of a Latinx grandmother, Abulita Carmela, a person with disabilities, unable to move without support from her daughter and granddaughter, as they travel to Cannon Beach.
We hold these three values to be important; justice, opportunity, and community – combining together to form a more equitable future.