Bend Composer, Chris Thomas, Wins HMMA Award For Outstanding Original Score – Short Film Category

Recently announced by the Hollywood Music in Media Awards that Chris Thomas, Bend composer, and Central Oregon Symphony  cellist – has won the Outstanding Original Score – Short Film award for the live-action short, “Imagine Symphony Live.”  The film is set in Oregon and was produced and directed by Evan Sigvaldsen.  The film depicts the story of a child who, while attending a live orchestra performance, is so inspired by the music that he begins to daydream he is outside exploring the majesty of the Oregon landscape – the magic of the music heightening his experience. Musicians, from the Central Oregon Symphony, including Thomas, are featured.  It was conducted by Michael Gesme.

Thomas is an “award-winning film composer with numerous film and television credits. In 2013, his score for Grow Up, Tony Phillips was voted best soundtrack at SXSW film and music festivals. In 2011, Chris won Best Film & TV Music at the eWorld Music Awards in Hollywood and the Gold Medal Prize from the Park City Film Music Festival. In 2010, Thomas wrote music for the documentary, Woman Rebel, which was short-listed for an Academy Award and nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2007, Chris was nominated for Best Orchestrator at the Academy of Film & TV Music Awards in Hollywood.” (https://www.fjhmusic.com/composer/cthomas.htm)

Read more in the Bend Bulletin

 

 

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Klamath Falls Joins The Oregon Film Trail & Film Screening To Highlight Celebration Of “Phoenix, Oregon” Day Feb. 27

Historic marker on the Oregon Film Trail will be unveiled in downtown Klamath Falls in recognition of the film “Phoenix, Oregon” (shot in Klamath Falls in 2018) with a day-long celebration on Saturday, Feb. 27.

Event Details:
WHAT: Oregon Film Trail marker unveiling and “Phoenix, Oregon” film screening
WHERE: The Daily Bagel (1 p.m.), 636 Main St., Klamath Falls. Ross Ragland Theater (2 p.m.), 218 N. 7th St.
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 27, 1 p.m. available in-person and online livestream
COST: $10 for virtual livestream or theater seat (limited seating)

An historic marker, and part of the Oregon Film Trail will be formally unveiled as part of a full slate of activities in celebration of the film “Phoenix, Oregon” on Saturday, Feb. 27 in downtown Klamath Falls with a simultaneous livestream.

Multiple events are planned for the official addition of the latest historic marker on the Oregon Film Trail – a network of recognizable signage placed in many iconic filming locations across the state, stitching together film history, communities, and celebrating Oregon’s contribution to filmmaking since 1904.

The sign to be placed in Klamath Falls is the 33rd historic marker designated in the State of Oregon, but only the third in Southern Oregon – two were placed in Ashland in 2020. Additionally, the program has created a large exhibit and mural at the Portland International Airport honoring Oregon’s film legacy.

The Oregon Film Trail marker identifies the making of the film “Phoenix, Oregon” in Klamath Falls as well as other notable films at least partially made in Klamath County. The markers serve as an economic driver and recognition of cultural heritage and are actively promoted as tourist stops for film fans. The Oregon Film Trail markers are intended to strengthen the correlation between the film/TV industry and Oregon communities for its economic and cultural impact.

The film stars James Le Gros, Jesse Borrego, Lisa Edelstein, Diedrich Bader, Kevin Corrigan, Reynaldo Gallegos and Luis Rodriguez. The film was directed by Gary Lundgren. It follows two friends who quit their jobs following a mid-life crisis to revive a shuttered bowling alley and sell specialty pizzas.

Actor James LeGros runs down Main Street in Klamath Falls in 2018 during the filming of “Phoenix, Oregon”

The Joma Films team was recently honored at the OMPA Awards in January in recognition of their 2020 charity work raising thousands of dollars through virtual screenings of “Phoenix, Oregon” to support struggling Oregon restaurants, theaters, and wildfire victims.

Meeting directly with multiple community organizations throughout the fall, Klamath Film rallied letters of support and financial donations to cover the cost of the marker’s construction and confirm sufficient community support for the film’s recognition. Pledged support in financial donations or letters was received from Klamath Falls City Council, Klamath County Commissioners, Soroptimist International of Klamath, Klamath Falls Downtown Association (KFDA), Klamath Film and Discover Klamath, along with private citizen donations. This marker was also paid for in part by a grant from Travel Oregon.

PHOENIX CELEBRATION

To honor the film and celebrate the addition of the marker on the Oregon Film Trail, several community events are being planned for Saturday, Feb. 27. Activities will commence at 1 p.m. with speeches by several dignitaries before the formal unveiling of the historic marker at its permanent location at the corner of 7th and Main Street in downtown Klamath Falls outside of the entrance to The Daily Bagel – where many of the film’s scenes were shot. The Daily Bagel (636 Main St.) will stay open late that afternoon to provide food and drinks for those present. Masks will be required and participants are strongly encouraged to socially distance themselves. The event will also be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.

One block away from The Daily Bagel at the Ross Ragland Theater (218 N. 7th St.) starting at 2 p.m. there will be a screening of the film “Phoenix, Oregon.” This socially distanced film event will be open to only 100 people inside the 785-capacity theater so as to maintain proper social distancing protocols. All attendees will be required to wear masks, and contact tracing and temperature checks will be conducted at the door in accordance with COVID-19 safety protocols. Anyone showing symptoms of illness or a high temperature will not be admitted.

The film and on-stage activities at the Ross Ragland Theater will also be simultaneously live-streamed for a virtual audience. Following the completion of the film, at 4 p.m. there will be a virtual Q&A hosted at the Ross Ragland Theater with several cast members.

Tickets for the film screening are $10 and will provide both a virtual ticket to watch the event live-streams via Eventive and access to the Ross Ragland Theater for the screening and Q&A (limited seating).

#OregonMade

 

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Oscar Nomination For Skye Fitzgerald’s “The Hunger Ward”

Oregonian, Skye Fitzgerald, (now based in Portland and grew up in Eastern Oregon) has an impressive collection of documentaries under his belt including, “Lifeboat” which was nominated for an Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category 2019.  Fitzgerald’s latest documentary, “The Hunger Ward” just garnered a nomination for “Best documentary short subject” in the 93rd Oscar lineup.  The documentary, set against the backdrop of a forgotten war, takes a startling look at the human-caused famine in Yemen and follows health care workers as they work to save the lives of hunger-stricken children in two therapeutic feeding centers.

The 93rd Academy Awards will be broadcast at 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM on Sunday, April 25, 2021 on ABC.

 

 

 

 

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The New Normal – How Our Production Community Is Adapting to Covid-19 – Gary Nolton at Limbo Films

In our series of blog posts – the “New Normal” – we are looking at what creative options have been put in place to offset the disruption that Covid-19 has caused for production businesses here in Oregon.  This month we caught up with Gary Nolton, Owner/Director at Limbo Films.

Oregon Film (OF): Assuming the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted your business, like so many others, what aspect would you say has been the most surprising?

Limbo Films (LF): The surprising thing to me is that even though our industry reacted swiftly to design and distribute Protocols for safe, responsible sets production that has not seemed to relax client fears, and consequently Production is still far slower than normal.

OF: What are the main modifications you have had to make to accommodate this new normal?
LF: All safe practices can easily be implemented, after all, we are Production! By that I mean, we were already a very adaptable, flexible, and fast-moving industry. The challenge is getting clients to understand that 2 things are critical to the success of shoots more now than ever; time & money. To accommodate things like rapid testing and reducing points of contact, etc., we need more of both, not the same and certainly not less!

OF: Are there any surprising areas of growth in your business since the pandemic started?
LF: No, not that I’m aware of. The services that have sprung up as a reaction to COVID-19 seem logical to me.

OF: Have you had to implement new training for your staff?
LF: Yes, but our standards and Protocols aren’t essentially any different than what other Production Companies are utilizing so the crew members we hire are mostly already educated to this.

OF: If there has been any impact on staff morale, how have you successfully been able to mitigate this?
LF: Again, since a degree of uncertainty and constant change are inherent in the business, I think morale is mostly unchanged.

OF: What are you most proud of doing well during this challenging time?
LF: Adapting, surviving, still staying connected to all our crew and client friends. We are all certainly in this together.

Read more about Gary Nolton
Contact Limbo Films at: 1969 S.E. Ladd Ave. Portland, Oregon 97214   503.887.0893      limbofilms.com

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Some Creative Responses To #OregonParkBenchStory. Video Game Writing Presentation Now Expanded.

Late last year, the Oregon Made Creative Foundation, Willamette Writers, Soma Games, and Travel Oregon  came together and asked people to help unpack 2020 by imagining sitting on a favorite Oregon park bench, reflecting on 2020, and posting an image to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using one of the prompts below:

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself for 2020?

What genre would you name your year in 2020?

If 2020 were a video game, what 3 items would you have prepared yourself with?

If 2020 were a novel what would you call it?

What was your favorite unexpected adventure of 2020?

We are all storytellers at heart it seems – we had some amusing, poignant, and thoughtful responses.

The tradition of storytelling has shaped cultures across the globe for thousands of years. The uniquely human tradition of storytelling is a powerful tool that connects across generations, cultures, and countries.  Through the ages on every continent, people would gather in caves, in the desert and forests, on the savannah, and much later on village greens, in town markets and city green spaces – all coming together to talk and share.  In more recent times, the humble park bench has become a familiar icon, a tangible place for all people to gather to think, talk, share, debate, complain, recite lore –to tell stories. As social media has evolved, storytelling has moved on-line, and in some ways moved away from a collective telling to a much more individual telling. ​

Willamette Writers and Soma Games want to provide you with an access-all-areas pass into the craft and career of video game writers!

Watch this space for news of an online presentation where participants will learn the ins and out of video game writing, both from a technical and a business perspective. Explore the words and worlds behind some of SOMA’s most popular games and hear from a panel of industry experts who will transport you into a space where your imagination is celebrated!

Video games are places where exploration of characters, circumstances, and conflict sit front and center just as they do in books and short stories. The craft and career of a games writer, although differing from other forms of media, is rooted in the fundamentals of compelling storytelling. With video games now arguably situated as the most influential form of media, writers would be amiss not to consider this industry as their chosen career path.

Regardless of your writing experience level or background, our presentation will equip you with inspirational ideas and approaches to craft your stories for this ever-growing audience and sector.

Thanks to all those who reflected on the #OregonParkBenchStory.

We dedicate this project to the memory of John Bergquist, one of the founders of Soma Games, (along with Chris Skaggs and Rande Bruhn) who recently died as the tragic result of an auto accident. John, who had been working with us on this idea from the beginning, brought much creativity, energy, and thoughtfulness to the project. We hope that by dedicating this bench, and the #OregonParkBenchStory to John, in some small way will help his kindness and wisdom will live on.

Thank you to RedwoodNorthwest.com for the stunning bench. #OregonParkBenchStory

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The McMinnville Short Film Festival 2021

From February 18-28, we’re excited to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the McMinnville Short Film Festival – going entirely virtual for the first time ever! While COVID-19 restrictions necessitated the shift from our typical in-person festivities, pivoting to an all-virtual format means our film festival can be streamed from anywhere in the world. We love a good silver lining. Bringing our beloved McMinnville to the global film stage, by expanding the reach of our annual festival virtually, is something we’re really proud of for our community. Also, it’s a symbolic evolution of technology that didn’t exist when our festival was founded in 2011! 

This year, we will screen 127 films over the course of our 10-day festival. View the festival schedule here: https://msff2021.eventive.org/schedule.The 127 films will be shown in 13 separate screening blocks, with each screening “open” for streaming from your home TV or computer over a specific 3- or 4-day period. There are also three screenings that are entirely free, and will be open for streaming over the entire course of the 10 days. 

What’s more, the Opening Night on February 18, and the Closing Night Awards Ceremony on February 28, are also free and open to the public to stream live via avcast.me/msff! Yours truly will kick off the festival Thursday, February 18th with the Opening Night. Rounding out the 10-day celebration of films, the Awards Ceremony takes place Sunday, February 28th, hosted by Portland-based filmmaking entrepreneur Dr PK Glazer, PhD, and is also free and open to all for streaming via avcast.me/msff. 

Individual tickets to any of the 13 screenings are $10 each, and can be purchased via https://msff2021.eventive.org/passes/buy/general_admission_ticket. Each ticket purchase includes an automatic entry into a gift card raffle – gift cards generously donated by local McMinnville businesses. Purchase 3 or more tickets to individual screenings, and the price drops to $7/screening. 

An All-Access Pass grants access to all 13 screenings for just $85, a $45 savings, and can be purchased via https://msff2021.eventive.org/passes/buy/all_access_pass. Plus, each All-Access Pass purchase includes 3 automatic entries per screening into the gift card raffle (for a total of 39 entries). 

Additional donations to the McMinnville Short Film Festival via http://bit.ly/MSFFdonations are welcomed and appreciated. Through the generosity of supporters, our dedicated MSFF team, board of directors, and volunteers ensure that all donations are put to good use bringing this valuable arts & cultural event to all.

We realize our all-virtual format is a complete shift from MSFFs past, so our team is standing by to answer questions and help you navigate. We’re creating videos, tools, and how-to instructions, so you’ll be able to fest virtually with confidence. We hope you can join us!

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18th Season Of “Top Chef” Set In Portland & Also Featuring Other Oregon Locations – Premieres April 1st!

The popular Bravo series, “Top Chef”, is based in Portland for its 18th season. The show that was filmed last fall is set to celebrate Oregon’s varied and acclaimed culinary scene by also visiting the Tillamook coast, the Columbia River Gorge, and the Tualatin and Willamette Valley wine country. The new season will feature Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons who will serve as the judging panel, as well as some former winners and finalists, in fact, Bravo is touting this season as its most packed yet with (maybe) the “best collection of chefs the show has seen in 18 seasons”.  Season 18 will even be featuring two of  Oregon’s own, Gabriel Pascuzzi, Chef/Owner at Mama Bird, Stacked Sandwich Shop, and Feel Good, and  Sara Hauman, from Soter Vineyards.

Filming during the 2020 pandemic was not easy but it had its upsides too – during their days filming the show was even able to do some good deeds and fed hundreds of front-line workers in Portland.

Read more from Daily Variety about how Bravo was able to keep their crew and contestants safe while bringing us this exciting new season that promises to showcase the bounty, and beauty of Oregon. Premiering Thursday, April 1 from 8-9:15 p.m. ET/PT.

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Stories From The Oregon Film Trail – How Are The Oregon State Museum Of Mental Health, The Oregon Dept. of Corrections & Depoe Bay Harbor Linked?

Film Tourism is growing, becoming a more robust niche sector of cultural tourism every year, and remarkably Oregon has hundreds of incredible locations that have starred in films, TV series, and high-profile commercials since the silent movie days of 1904.  In order to build upon this growing tourism niche, the Oregon Film Trail has been slowly rolling out Trail stops over the past two years (currently at 33) all highlighting the State’s important contribution to the film and TV industry and (seemingly unlikely) community partnerships all across Oregon. As the Trail has been quietly growing, one community at a time, so too are the partnerships and collaborations that have been finding new ways to connect through the shared history of filmmaking in Oregon.  Examples of two such partnerships that both celebrate locations for the iconic film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” are the Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health and the “World’s Smallest Harbor” Depoe Bay – now both stops on the Oregon Film Trail.

Oregon Film caught up with Dennie Brooks, Oregon Museum of Mental Health Board, Education Co-Chair, and Location Coordinator of the Film’s production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and Laura Furguson, Depoe Bay Chamber Executive, to ask how being on the Oregon Film Trail might be helping with the Museum’s mission and tourism respectively, and their new connection.
Dennie Brooks: “Part of the Hospital’s history was the filming of the iconic “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975. The Governor’s Office partnered with the State Hospital and Fantasy Films from 1973-1975 to successfully meet the goals laid out by Superintendent Dr. Dean Brooks and the Producers at Fantasy Films.
Their shared goal was to tell the story of the use and abuse of power and to create conversations to address issues in the care of the mentally ill. Their goals included how the process of making the film was to respectfully engage the Hospital and the outlying community. A prime example was the 90 patients who were hired to work in every department in the film company.
The Museum, located in the Hospital’s Historic Kirkbride Building, has hosted over 30,000 visitors from all over the world since opening in Oct 2012. The Museum is dedicated to Bearing Witness and Giving Voice to those who lived and worked at the Oregon State Hospital in its rich 138-year history. A high percentage of visitors are drawn because of both the film and Ken Kesey’s 1962 book. The Museum hosts and supports hundreds of educators and their students, middle school through professional training, with the “Cuckoo” story as part of their curriculum.
The “Bromden” character is the focus of many high school classes that study the 1962 Ken Kesey novel.  As a Native American, Bromden’s story is one of the dominant culture’s treatment of Native Americans. Certainly, a part of our history that needs telling. In most of Oregon’s professional nursing training programs, the “Nurse Ratched” character as seen in the film is examined. Nursing students challenge themselves to find the Ratched in themselves.

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#EOFF2021 Is Open For Film Submissions

Eastern Oregon Film Festival will take place October 21-23, 2021 in and/or via La Grande, Oregon. Filmmakers are invited to submit their work for consideration for screening at our twelfth edition, #EOFF2021.

Submit your film at https://www.filmfreeway.com/eofilmfest

View the EOFF FAQ, Residency Information and festival archives at https://www.eofilmfest.com

LA GRANDE – Established in 2009 and named one of the “25 Coolest Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine in 2017, the Eastern Oregon Film Festival typically combines three days of intimate screenings, live conversations with filmmakers, video Q&A, and special presentations from visiting artists. Each night concludes with an after-party featuring incredible live music from a variety of visiting musicians.

In 2020, EOFF, like many other small festivals, was forced to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by pivoting the festival programming and presentation to an online-only format.  Our goal was to present the year’s selections while retaining the unique and intimate artist and guest experience that the festival is known for. Having succeeded in this effort, EOFF is now equipped to expand its yearly programming to an online platform alongside the in-person festival.  This allows us to provide a more robust annual program and to cover for or augment the festival delivery as needed, as we still face the uncertainty of in-person gatherings this October.

‘Thanks for all the work I’m sure went into figuring this year’s fest; for fighting to create something special to escape into; for fostering a sense of community among strangers; for showcasing truly independent work that often gets overlooked. I cannot tell you how much we all appreciate it!’ – Ryan Brown, Director – Tired Eyes

 

‘You folks ran a great festival! The best virtual one I’ve been a part of. Bravo!’– David Licata, Director – A Life’s Work

 

‘ Your thoughtful and completely insanely excellent filmmaker package made me feel like I was at EOFF!! You all rock!’  – Michele Noble, Director – Reclamation: The Rise at Standing Rock

 

‘This year’s festival is destined to be perfect, exactly as it will need to be.’ states Festival Director, Christopher Jennings. ‘This festival seems to weather all sorts of odds in the face of our rural, social, political, and now epidemic influences. There is no doubt that the good that this festival brings to its community and to the filmmakers, artists, and audiences it co-actuates with, will rise above the technicals, whatever form the program is delivered in this year. We are approaching this year with intent and imagination, inviting you to do the same with the goal that we will see, and maybe even high-five each other at The Liberty Theatre this October.‘

 

Cash prizes are available as part of the award packages for the first time ever!  $2500.00 will be distributed between 5 selections of this upcoming festival, along with the standard prestige that comes with being an EOFF Award Winner. The cash prize is provided by lagrande.life – A La Grande based community resource and amplifier for all things La Grande.

Eastern Oregon Film Festival is also hosting its inaugural Filmmaker Residency Program this Spring. Applications are open until February 21 for this refreshing screenwriting opportunity. https://www.filmfreeway.com/eofilmfest-residency/

Eastern Oregon Film Festival receives support and collaboration from partners like Oregon FilmEastern Oregon UniversityUnion County Arts and Cultural CoalitionTravel OregonUnion CountyThe City of La Grande, The Liberty Theatre Foundation, and many generous Volunteers, Members, Sponsors, and individual contributors.

#EOFF2021  #OregonMade

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The Northwest Film Center’s 44th Annual Portland International Film Festival

The 44th Portland International Film Festival (PIFF 44) is proud to announce the first wave of titles and special events. Taking place March 5 – 14, 2021, PIFF 44 is a program of the Portland Art Museum’s Northwest Film Center, one of the oldest and most distinguished media arts centers in the country. The festival centers on both artists and cinematic storytellers who are bold enough to interrupt the status quo, and focuses on those changing for whom, by whom, and how cinematic stories are told.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, PIFF 44 will look very different from previous festivals. A combination of virtual and drive-in screenings and events will bring the world to Portland—and Portland to the world. Cinematic stories from the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East dominate this year’s lineup of 93 total feature and short films from over 34 countries. The approaches to storytelling in PIFF 44 are equally wide-ranging and innovative, building on the Cinema Unbound theme introduced in last year’s PIFF festival. The Northwest Film Center’s second annual Cinema Unbound Awards will kick off the festival, celebrating artists and leaders who are transforming cinematic storytelling, and throughout the festival, the Cinema Unbound Drive-In at Zidell Yards will showcase independent features and 5 new Northwest shorts exploring what the future can be.

 

Find out more here.

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