August 28th, 2012
We begin the 2012 Oregon Independent FIlm Festival with a focus on Documentary Programming and end our day with a collection of the in best short feature Horror Filmmaking.
The 2012 OIFF Opening FIlm “As Goes Janesville” is followed by impressive Biographical films about street artist David Choe and our Festival Select Documentary, Bob Marley:The Making of A Legend, featuring rare footage of the early days of this musical genius.A series of documentary premieres and our Horror Shorts end the day’s programming.
As Goes Janesville
Dir: Brad Lichtenstein
In the normally placid Land O’ Lakes, a battle is currently raging. What’s at stake? The future of the middle class and of the unions. As Goes Janesville goes to the frontlines, showing the lives of laid-off GM employees, Governor Scott Walker inciting a recall election with his bill to end collective bargaining, business leaders trying to promote a pro-business political agenda, and a state senator caught in the middle.
Battle of the Pacific
Dir: Dima Levanchuk
An exaggerated look (it includes a giant octopus) at one man’s struggle to transcend the mundane. Lars comically struggles to impress his wife with his recollection of an epic battle in the open waters off the coast of Mexico but may be shown up by an experienced fisherman.
Bob Marley: Making of a Legend
Dir: Esther Anderson & Gian Godoy
A fascinating look at the iconic Bob Marley, this musical documentary features footage from the early 1970s that had been lost for 30 years. Going way back to a young Bob Marley before he was famous, we get to see the first Wailers’ rehearsal, their dreams of a Jamaican supergroup, and the beginnings of their international influence.
Boy with Arms
Dir: So-jin Park
When a boy gets home and witnesses his father’s despair over his mother abandoning them for her lover, he decides to go on a journey to kill her new lover with a knife. But will he do the deed?
Dir: Bee Rana
In this surreal short film, a man is tempted by a woman to enter a fictitious room. Realizing he is actually being tricked into facing some past and current demons, he tries to plot his escape from self-knowledge.
Dir: Anthony Tocchio
In this dark comedy based on a dream, a man is hunted through the forest by a band of villagers who want something for him. Eschewing spoken dialogue, director Anthony Tocchio displays a sure hand in portraying the nightmare of being hunted down.
Dir: Melissa Gregory Rue
This heartfelt short documentary follows the Gates, a fourth generation farming family from Oregon who fight to keep the city of Helvetia designated as rural reserve land. As farmland gives way to urban development, the family recount their history and face the possibility that the children may be the last to know of their connection to the land.
Chicken and Zoe
Dir: Yael Bridge
Profound in its detailed observation of the world of a child, this short documentary shows us 4-year old Zoe, who goes from being excited at witnessing a slaughter to feeling conflicted at witnessing death. Something she took for granted, eating chicken takes on a new meaning after this eventful moment in her life.
Dir: Devin Hand
A life-altering dream inspires exploration and change in the life of Philip, an irresponsible asthmatic in his late 20′s who wants nothing more than to find a place where he can escape the rat-race lifestyle. Facing a quarter-life crisis of sorts, Philip is led by a mystical figure to an archaic wheat field in his dream. Convinced that field is to be his Utopia, Philip becomes determined to locate it in the physical world. An imaginative drama interwoven with traces of fantasy.
Dir: Dino Coons
Adam was the first man to name things in the world. In this post-modern comedy, we see two men, trapped in a room together, waiting to name whatever comes out of a box. The film contrasts the mind of the artist, who is given to whimsy, to that of the scientist, rational and logical.
Dir: Tristan Stoch
Set in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, a teenage boy searches for an old friend lost to methamphetamine addiction. His journey takes him to every corner of his small hometown, into the surrounding mountains, and ultimately back into his own childhood. With an emphasis on local color, the film asks universal questions about why some children can survive unstable childhoods and others do not.
Dir: Felike Santbergen
A young French woman has retreated to her mountain home, where dreams and memories dissolve into each other as she anticipates the arrival of her lover. Longing and intimacy are distorted by thoughts of her ex-boyfriend and the past.
Crossing Over: Jeremy Down
Dir: Mike Bernard
A near-death experience while out canoeing drastically changed the life of artist Jeremy Down, who also changed his approach to painting. His work, which is rooted in the mountains and lakes of British Columbia’s beautiful Slocan Valley, explores the liminal boundaries of place and our identity and past.
Dir: Patrick Neff
In this Australian comedy-horror hybrid short film, a young DJ unknowingly creates a song that kills anyone who listens to it. Somehow immune to its power, he continues. Meanwhile, police officers try to solve this series of seemingly random deaths that have been occurring.
Dir: Kyle Aldrich
Dennis, a monster from under the bed, has his world turned upside down after encountering a young boy with a depressing plight. The boy forces Dennis to acknowledge and reevaluate his severe addiction to eating children in this comedy.
DIRTY HANDS: Art Crimes of David Choe
Dir: Harry Kim
A portrait of the eccentric and prolific David Choe, a painter, muralist and graffiti artist whose work has been displayed at the White House, and his time in a Japanese prison. Choe, an art school dropout, is currenty homeless but still gets asked to speak at universities.
Door to Door
Dir: Brian Conti
In a desperate attempt to raise $100,000 for a surgery needed by his granddaughter, a con man crafts an identity as a pseudo door-to-door salesman, tailoring his sales pitches to what he thinks people at each door want to hear. With a day job, months of after-hours soliciting, and still nowhere near his goal, the grifter is on the verge of giving up, until he comes to the door of a woman with a huge issue of her own.
Dir: Joshua Leake
In 1971, the State of Oregon pioneered a bottle return deposit bill. The bill required individuals purchasing beverages to place a deposit in escrow until the container was either returned or recycled. Today, many people are living off this money. Emptys introduces Tim, Ernie, Joe and Jenna and follows them as they return bottles and cans as their principal source of income. The film moves to an interesting place beyond the mechanics of survival.
From Nomad to Nobody
Dir: Michael Buckley
A personal documentary, From Nomad to Nobody documents the vanishing nomads of Tibet who are being run out by Chinese interests, intent on using the land for mining and dam building. In Kham, the fiercely independent Khampa nomads are known for their bravery and horsemanship. Director Michael Buckley used a small hand-held camera to keep a low profile and focuses on the horse-racing festivals near Litang as well as central Tibet, Kathmandu (Nepal) and Dharamsala (northwest India).
I Spy with my Little Eye/Was du nicht siehst
Dir: Gunda Aurich
Director Gunda Aurich looks with an unwavering eye at relationships issues of doubt and trust, we meet Laura and Hans who are on a weekend getaway in the country. A fight makes Laura doubt the reasons for their trip. Balancing uncertainties, director Gunda Aurich skillfully handles the characters’ questioning of truth and appearance.
Dir: Max Rifkind-Barron
In this horror-drama, a young woman awakes to find she’s been the victim of a gruesome amateur surgery. It will take every last ounce of strength to escape from the bathroom that holds her prisoner.
Dir: Evan Houston
Do you pursue someone you love no matter what? Or does your happiness lie within the happiness of that loved one, even if you are not with them? After twelve years in prison, former high school basketball star Saul returns to his old neighborhood hopeful about meeting his daughter, Abigail, for the first time. When Saul learns that the young girl is unaware of his existence, he struggles to decide what role he will now play in her life. A heart-felt, provocative examination of a father’s love.
Dir: Trevor Allen
Is death the end? with Progenitor Cloning every ending can be a new beginning. It’s not legal, yet.
Dir: Alexander Tuschinski
This documentary shows crystals aren’t just fascinating for New Age hippies. In the early 1980s, Daniel Schechtman made a discovery of highly-ordered, faceted materials which were not periodic. Schechtman (who was awarded the Nobel Price in Chemistry 3 decades later) had made a discovery of a material which at the time was considered science fiction.
Dir: Cliff Sargent
A man tries to find out the answer to the mystery of his own death in this short based on the short story “The Return.” Benjamin dies in a nightclub, and steps into an unspectacular after-life. Unable to interact with anyone, but able to see everything around him, he follows his body to the hospital. Witnessing the theft of his body, he decides to trail the robbers to find out how he became a ghost.
Dir: Cameron Harrison
In this rom-com-horror mashup, Kenneth takes his love life into his own hands and purchases a mail-order bride. Unaware that “some assembly is required,” he heads to the library to find out how to put his girlfriend together. Now he faces a choice between finishing his science experiment or going for the cute librarian that the mysterious ad in the back of the magazine has brought him to.
Slick: Behind Deepwater Horizon
Dir: Michael Bennett Smith
Four residents of coastal Alabama recount their experiences during the 2010 BP Oil Spill. Interviewing two boat captains, a mayor and a marine biologist, Director Michael Bennett Smith attempts to reveal the truth behind the largest man-made environmental disaster in history.
Stranger on a Train
Dir: Brayden Yoder
A good-natured American travels through India by rail, excited to finally come to a land he has fantasized about for years, thinking of himself as a pilgrim in a spiritual land. He is looking intently for something different than the corporate, materialist Western world that he left behind…yet the Indian people he continues to meet in his 1st-class, air-conditioned train car do not meet his expectations for the country.
Dir: Toddy Burton
While Lyle’s clinical obsession leaves him glued to a radio broadcasting the news of some trapped miners, his teenage daughter Louise confronts her own fixation in the form of a neighborhood hoodlum. When Lyle’s life begins to imitate that of the miners, Louise must join forces with her first crush to rescue her father.
The New Debutants
Dir: Jarratt Taylor
A peek into the life of Ms. Pat, who went from an unstable childhood to an ascendant career after discovering a fixture of the past — finishing school, with its associations of a life of “walking in brilliant circles.” Hoping to offer the hope of success to children growing up with similar challenges, Ms. started now teaches classes in etiquette. The documentary probes the pros and cons of this institution, and whether finishing school perpetuates conventional gender and social roles.
This Is For Me
Dir: KJ Knies
Desperate to be accepted by the local basketball players, Eddy is challenged to kiss the most popular girl at camp — then keep her to tell the tale! Using his personal camera, Eddy records his chronicles of first love and heartbreak, as well as how he finds the power to stand up for what he believes in.
Was ist Das?
Dir: Kevin Balmer
March Fourth Marching Band in Germany is an up-close and personal ride along with Portland Oregon’s most colorful musical export. An eclectic mix of world music, described as Duke Ellington meets Sargent Pepper in an international big-top Fantasia.