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NFFTY

TURNS 10!

ASHLAND A Filmmaker’s Goldmine

OREGON’s Legislative Victory

SEATTLE’s Asian American Film Festival

NW Women In Film IndieFlix’s Scilla Andreen

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Of The Region’s Most Influential Media-Makers


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CONTENTS

VOLUME 31 • MAY 2016

PUBLISHER

James R. Baker EDITOR

Katie Sauro ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Mary Erickson FEATURES STAFF WRITER

Scott A. Capestany STAFF WRITERS

Crystal Foley, Stephanie Hoover STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Regan MacStravic SALES MANAGER

Katie Higgins SALES

Steve Joseph GENERAL MANAGER

John Rusnak PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Kelly Baker PRODUCTION MANAGER

Sonija Kells DESIGNERS

24 Looking Back At 10 Years of NFFTY A representative from AJA Video Systems instructs filmmakers during the NFFTY 2015 Digital Expo at McCaw Hall. Photo by Octavian Matei

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OREGON FILM TAX CREDIT RAISED OVER TWO YEARS

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FILM INCENTIVE BILL KILLED IN WASHINGTON

CATHERINE HARDWICKE SHOWCASED AT POWFEST’S NINTH YEAR

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WASHINGTON STATE’S MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN FILM, TV AND MEDIA

ASIAN AMERICAN FESTIVAL BRIDGES CULTURE IN SEATTLE

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SHOKRIAN LEADS THE OMPA

ASHLAND INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS

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ASHLAND NAMED A BEST PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK AS A FILMMAKER BY MOVIEMAKER MAGAZINE FOR THIRD YEAR IN A ROW

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PRODUCTION NEWS BRIEFS

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THE 2016 TRANSLATIONS: SEATTLE TRANSGENDER FILM FESTIVAL IS A CONSTELLATION OF SHINING STARS & ORIGINAL STORIES

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Ciara Pickering, Sam Rockwell, Liz Weickum WEBMASTER

Jon Hines OFFICE MANAGER

Audra Higgins INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER

Lois Sanborn COVER

Scilla Andreen, co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based IndieFlix, is one of our featured NW Women in Film. Photo by Coco Knudson

Media InC Publishing Group 14240 Interurban Ave. S., Suite 190 Tukwila, WA 98168 (206) 382-9220, (800) 332-1736 Fax (206) 382-9437 Email: media@media-inc.com www.media-inc.com Display Advertising. Call Media Index Publishing Group for a current rate card. Discounts for frequency advertising. Advertising confirmation deadline is the 30th of the month prior to issue publication. Advertising mechanicals are due the 5th of the month of issue. All submitted materials become the property of Media Index Publishing Inc. and will not be returned. Subscriptions. Annual subscriptions to Media Inc. (6 issues) are $15 (+$2.20 if sent to WA address); two-year subscription is $30.00 (+$3.30 if sent to WA address). Send check or money order to Media Index Publishing Inc., or call (206) 382-9220 with VISA or M/C. Back issues of Media Inc. are available at Media Index Publishing Inc. offices at the cost of $5 plus shipping. Copyright © 2016 Media Index Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording by any information storage or retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher. Printed in USA


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OREGON FILM TAX CREDIT RAISED OVER TWO YEARS

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regon Senate Bill 1507 enjoyed a unanimous victory on February 24, raising the annual cap on the state’s film and video tax credit. Currently at $10 million, the cap will rise to $12 million this year and $14 million in 2017.

Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) commended the impact of the raised cap, noting, “This bill encourages investment in this state by members of this vibrant industry.” Senator Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), who carried the bill on the Senate floor, concurred with Burdick. “It was important to the committee that we protect film and television jobs,” Hass said. The Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA) rallied its members, along with other representatives from the Oregon media industry, two weeks earlier to attend Industry Day in Salem. This effort drew over 70 volunteers to lobby for increasing the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF). The Capital was abuzz with OMPA members and

The Librarians star Christian Kane sits down for a one-on-one interview as part of Film Day. Photo courtesy of Nebcat Photography

other industry workers who met with Senators, Representatives and the Speaker of the House. Legislators also had the opportunity to visit the Gallery where the Oregon Film Office and OMPA arranged for interactive displays to demonstrate the quality and depth of opportunities available in the industry. Legislators sat down with The Librarians star Christian Kane for a one-on-one interview, and Grimm’s Danny Bruno visited legislators’ offices and conducted impromptu on-camera interviews. Janice Shokrian, Executive Director of the OMPA, cheered the Senate’s support of the industry. “We are cautiously optimistic as our legislators see the film incentive as a sound return on Oregon’s investment,” she said. “The economic impact has a broad reach that positively impacts many vendors and local businesses.” MI Parts of this article are reprinted with permission from OMPA.

Participants in Salem Industry Day. Photos courtesy of Nebcat Photography

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Providing operators and equipment 8 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

425-891-8575 Duffel@akteleprompt.com www.akteleprompt.com


FILM INCENTIVE BILL

KILLED IN WASHINGTON

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n early March, Washington Filmworks announced that House Bill 2542, which would have increased and extended Washington’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, did not move forward for a vote in this year’s legislative session, eectively killing the bill.

As written, the bill would have doubled the size of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program fund to $7 million over two years and increased the fund incrementally until it reached $10 million by the year 2020. The bill would have also extended the sunset date of the program to December 31, 2023. According to Filmworks, the bill could not overcome political hurdles in Olympia, nor could it overcome the revenue forecast, which indicated another $68 million budget shortfall this year and an even more signiďŹ cant budget shortfall for the next biennium. Although the outcome for HB 2542 was disheartening for Washington’s production industry, it comes on the heels of a tremendous effort from the community, which organized a Keep Film in WA campaign to inform legislators of the incentive program’s beneďŹ ts and raise the proďŹ le of the industry. In January, the campaign also organized Film Day in Olympia, where over 200 ďŹ lm professionals and supporters from around the state showed up to lobby their legislators in support of the bill. “The fact of the matter is that everyone that took part in any aspect of the Keep Film in WA campaign did a tremendous job at raising the proďŹ le and visibility of the state-wide ďŹ lm industry,â€? said Filmworks in a statement. “It was a banner year in terms of the amount of support we received from legislators—with 33 sponsors of our bill from both political parties and representing every corner of the state. These ďŹ gures, along with the feedback we received from legislators and lobbyists alike, demonstrates that we actually were wildly successful, despite not achieving our ďŹ nal goals.â€? Washington Filmworks held debrieďŹ ng sessions in Seattle on March 29 and Spokane on March 31 to discuss the campaign and its many accomplishments. As for the future of the state’s production industry, Filmworks is currently strategizing to determine their next steps in order to ensure that ďŹ lm stays in Washington. Meanwhile, the ďŹ lm incentive program is not scheduled to sunset until June 30, 2017, so projects will still be able to take advantage of the incentive (see sidebar), and business is continuing as usual for Washington Filmworks. Visit www. washingtonďŹ lmworks.org for more. MI

INNOVATION LAB FUNDING ASSISďšş TANCE RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED

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ashington Filmworks has announced the recipients RI IXQGLQJ DVVLVWDQFH IRU WKH Ă&#x20AC;IWK F\FOH RI WKH )LOPworks Innovation Lab. The program, which is part of DORQJWHUPHFRQRPLFGHYHORSPHQWVWUDWHJ\LQYHVWVLQWKH IXWXUHRIĂ&#x20AC;OPE\FDSLWDOL]LQJRQ:DVKLQJWRQ¡VFUHDWLYHFRPPXQLW\ZKLOHHQFRXUDJLQJRULJLQDOVWRU\WHOOLQJWKDWXVHVQHZ IRUPVRISURGXFWLRQDQGWHFKQRORJ\ )ROORZLQJ D SLWFK VHVVLRQ LQ ZKLFK Ă&#x20AC;QDOLVWV SUHVHQWHG QHZ EXVLQHVVDQGUHYHQXHPRGHOVWKDWOHYHUDJH:DVKLQJWRQ¡VĂ&#x20AC;OP LQIUDVWUXFWXUHLQWKHGLJLWDOHUDWKHMXU\PDGHWKHLURIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOUHFommendations and the Board has approved their decisions. Washington Filmworks is pleased to announce that funds have been allocated to two exceptional projects. ´,QLWVĂ&#x20AC;IWKF\FOHWKH,QQRYDWLRQ/DEKDVEHFRPHDZHOOGHĂ&#x20AC;QHG IXQGLQJ SURJUDP WKDW LQFXEDWHV VRPH RI WKH PRVW creative and ground-breaking projects in our area,â&#x20AC;? said :DVKLQJWRQ)LOPZRUNV¡([HFXWLYH'LUHFWRU$P\/LOODUG´:H¡UH WKULOOHGWRVHHZKDWRXUORFDOWDOHQWFDQSURGXFHDQGZH¡UH SURXGWRKHOSEXLOGDQGHQFRXUDJHWKHIXWXUHRIĂ&#x20AC;OPLQ:DVKington State.â&#x20AC;? 7KH Ă&#x20AC;UVW UHFLSLHQW LV PolĂŚ (www.polae.com/jobs) from creator/producer Steven Schardt. 6\QRSVLV3RO  SURQRXQFHG32//<OLNHSRO\PHUSRO\PRUSKLVP  LV D FRPSDQ\ WKDW KDV UHYROXWLRQL]HG PDWHULDOV VFLHQFHVLQFH,QWKLVIXWXUHKLVWRU\RIWKHFRPSDQ\DQGLWV founder, technologies derived from a breakthrough in particle SK\VLFVLQKDYHIDUUHDFKLQJFRQVHTXHQFHVIRUFRPSXWLQJPDQXIDFWXULQJYLUWXDOLW\DQGFRPPXQLFDWLRQV6SDQQLQJ DSHULRGRI\HDUVDVHULHVRIFRQQHFWHGPLFURQDUUDWLYHV LGHQWLĂ&#x20AC;HV WKH KXPDQ LPSDFW RI WHFKQRORJLHV SRVVLEOH K\SRthetical or inevitable. The second funding assistance recipient is Tabitha, Witch of the Order (www.witchoftheorder.com) from producer James 'DLOH\DQGZULWHU$UWKXU5DLQV0F1DOO\ 6\QRSVLVTabitha, Witch of the OrderLVDQXUEDQIDQWDV\VHULHVIURP)UDFWXUHG)HDWXUH)LOPV6HWLQPRGHUQGD\6HDWWOHD URRNLHZLWFKWHDPVXSZLWKDJUL]]OHGSULHVWWRVROYHPDJLFDO crimes. The pilot episode of this â&#x20AC;&#x153;cop show with witchesâ&#x20AC;? folORZV7DELWKDRQKHUĂ&#x20AC;UVWELJDVVLJQPHQWOHDGLQYHVWLJDWRURQD ZKRGRQHLWPXOWLSOHPDJLFDOKRPLFLGH$V7DELWKDVWXPEOHV KHU ZD\ WKURXJK WKH FDVH VKH GLVFRYHUV D FOXH WR WKH WUXWK EHKLQGPDJLF¡VUHHPHUJHQFH

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Tracy Rector

Ryan Davis

Susie Lee Stefanie Malone

WASHINGTON STATE’S MOST INFLUENTIAL By Scott A. Capestany Features Staff Writer

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ver the past few years, a growing band of Pacific Northwest talented and fierce female creatives have taken the regional community of independent film, TV, media and music by storm. This two-part cover story takes us into the hearts and minds of some of Washington’s and Oregon’s most admired and influential women who have helped pave the way on how we consume media, create films/music, produce visual art (films) and empower others through their creative and artistic talents. Their work today continues to push the limits of innovativeness by contributing to the ever-growing and quickly-evolving landscape of our region’s multi-media sector. We are proud to call these women ‘our own.’ But most importantly, so very grateful for what they do for others through their leadership, inspiration and love within our communities. For part one of this cover story, we are honored and excited to commemorate the careers and achievements of 18 10 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

unique and fascinating women from Washington State within the world of film, TV, media and creativity. Highlighting


Rosalie Miller

Terri Morgan

Angela DiMarco Scilla Andreen

WOMEN IN FILM, TV AND MEDIA their profound and worthy contributions is just one factor we took into consideration. The other, which is equally important throughout the process of creative collaboration, is the leadership and teamwork skills that each of them have so admirably displayed over the years. Our selection is not in any order of significance, but rather a collective equal presentation celebrating women pioneers that have fought hard in their professions, stepped outside the box, made their voices heard and, most importantly, become game-changers that continue to push for equality and women empowerment around our region. Congratulations to these outstanding women from Washington State, and be sure to look for part two of this story, which will feature women from Oregon, in the next issue of Media Inc.

SCILLA ANDREEN, co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based IndieFlix, has truly become one of the most iconic empresses of women empowerment and influence within the world of indie filmmaking. What Variety magazine calls ‘the Netflix of indie films,’ IndieFlix is now the world’s premier online indie film streaming service that specifically provides a platform for content representing independent thinkers, offering a unique and never-before-seen distribution and revenue model for filmmakers. Content that is featured on the IndieFlix platform allows filmmakers to get paid through metrics involving ‘minutes viewed’ and most recently can now access all their films’ data of their actual viewing audience. “We created IndieFlix with the filmmaker in mind first that offered more than just a platform for showcasing their MAY 2016

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finished films,” Andreen said. Currently now in beta testing, IndieFlix filmmakers can for the first time have access to all the necessary data as to who, where, and how consumers are viewing their content, which she believes is a game-changer in the industry. As a veteran entrepreneur, Andreen’s work over the past two decades as an Emmy-nominated costume designer, award-winning filmmaker, producer, popular speaker, international film festival juror and dedicated advocate of independent film has helped open up doors and inspired millions of creative artists, both in front of and behind the Lynn Shelton camera. Her recent empowerment documentary project run through her IndieFlix foundation, which highlights ordinary women doing extraordinary things, recently returned home to Washington State after making a national tour around the country featuring a band of young female filmmakers interviewing and highlighting other women’s empowering stories. The documentary now is being screened at hundreds of schools across the nation. Her current project Screenagers is a fascinating look into today’s youth and their usage of digital technology, directed by Seattle physician and award-winning filmmaker Delaney Rustin. Visit www.indieflix.com and www.screenagersmovie.com for more. Having made five of her six feature films in Washington State, our next featured woman of influence likely doesn’t need a formal introduction. If you have your eye on Pacific Northwest filmmaking or have attended any major local film festival or event, writer/director LYNN SHELTON has essentially embodied what women in film and Washington State filmmaking have become. Along with her good friend and Seattle producer Mel Eslyn, Shelton feels there needs to be a greater effort by Washington State legislation to see the value and benefit of making films and TV shows in Washington. “The thing about the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program is that it’s so beautifully engineered and designed to benefit the Washington State economy and professional filmmakers,” said Shelton. “In fact, Washington State was the first state ever to create a film incentive that included union standards, like pension health benefits.” Spending half her time in L.A., Shelton works both as a writer and director for a number of well-known network and studio projects. Her work has been seen on Netflix, Showtime, Fox and 20th Century TV in episodes of series such as Mad Men, Shameless, Master of None, Fresh Off the Boat, New Girl and Maron. Shelton also feels that it is a very unique time for women in 12 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

Scilla Andreen

film. “I believe that we as women are upon a very special moment that I hope is not wasted,” she said. “A moment of opportunity… that I hope is not wasted.” Now that the conversation of women in film and the lack Beth Barrett of gender diversity among directors in Hollywood has been brought to the forefront of the media, Shelton senses a much more profound willingness and actual desire of women wanting to change the pattern by hopefully enhancing the numbers of women directors at large in the workplace. Shelton is actively pushing to bring her next feature to the Evergreen State, produced with our next featured woman of influence and her good friend, Mel Eslyn. One of the most decorated and hard-working independent film producers from Washington State is MEL ESLYN. Having begun working on movie sets at the age of 14, Eslyn’s resilient and admirable work ethic has spanned two decades, leading her to producing over 15 films, including 3 of Lynn Shelton’s 6 major feature films. Over the last handful of years, she has produced a series of feature films that have screened at some of the world’s top film festivals, including Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and SXSW. She recently won the prestigious Piaget Producers Award at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards that honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent


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films. The annual award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget. “One of the biggest hurdles for me as a producer has been my ability to bring more of my films to Seattle. Once projects reach a certain budget, a state film incentive comes into play quite significantly as to where the film is made,” Eslyn said. “It’s my goal in the next year to bring at least one, if not two, feature films to our market that in turn will help bring more awareness to legislation to see the huge benefits a feature film has on impacting local community’s business and economy.” One of Eslyn’s biggest contributions to the Washington State film scene over the years has been her loyalty to her crew and co-workers. Although a number of her films

Abby Dylan

have been filmed outside of Washington State, she brings along many local crew people to work alongside her. When it comes to connecting the Pacific Northwest’s growing pool of talented actors, casting director NIKE IMORU, CSA, is the one woman who not only gets the job done, but is counted on by the leading producers throughout Washington and now in Los Angeles to find the most talented performers in film and TV. Nike, pronounced “Nee-Kay,” has been a professional casting director in Washington for over 10 years and currently is the lead casting director for the state’s largest recurring cable TV series, Z Nation. “It’s been my goal ever since I began casting to offer more to actors during the casting process than what typically they 14 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

would get during an audition,” Imoru said. Known around the region as a true “actors coach,” she is a classically trained professional theater actor herself who hails from the U.K., where she also taught acting at a few prestigious schools before becoming a full-time CSA. She recently opened up a state-of-the-art casting studio facility in West Seattle, where she will be spending most of 2016 casting and supporting Z Nation. Visit www.nikeimorucasting.com or find Nike Imoru Casting on Facebook: ‘Act with Inspiration.’ With approximately 45 film festivals and competitions each year for filmmakers and folks to attend around the state, STEFANIE MALONE, executive director of the world’s largest youth film festival NFFTY, helms a quite impressive and quickly growing international festival in downtown Seattle each spring. Now in its 10th year, NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth) receives over 950 submissions from over 20 countries around the world made by youth filmmakers between the ages of 5 and 25. An Emmy Award-winning producer herself, Malone’s work in the PBS arena for many years led her to Seattle, where she became the community engagement and education director for Seattle’s local PBS affiliate, KCTS. Although her full-time commitment to NFFTY year-round occupies most of her bandwidth, her ongoing relationship with KCTS and WETA (the Washington, D.C. PBS affiliate) allows her to pursue her true passion and love for developing and producing documentaries. “It’s hard to leave PBS entirely after being with them so long, so I’m grateful I can continue to work within that space where I still think it is Nike Imoru an excellent platform for filmmakers to showcase their films and TV shows,” Malone said. Her team of likeminded leaders and growing numbers of supporting staff at NFFTY has allowed the festival to expand its annual events and festival offerings to the public. Visit www.nffty.org and read more about the event on page 24. Working for the City of Seattle as executive director for the Film+Music Office, KATE BECKER leads a staff of seven who oversee a multitude of resources and permitting activities that help facilitate filmmakers, musicians and special events. Whether it be a feature film, TV series, commercial or new media production that involves city parks or hundreds of locations run by the city, Becker’s team truly is the ‘one-stop shop’ for the professional filmmaker. Each year, the city issues over 400 film permits for projects filmed in and around the city. Prior to working with the city, Becker served in leadership roles at Seattle Theatre Group, Art Share L.A. in Los Angeles, and the New Art Center in Newton, Massachusetts. She co-founded Seattle’s Vera Project and the Old Fire House, nonprofit art- and music-based all-ages venues that have helped build Seattle’s creative economy talent pipeline. Becker has also produced more than 1,000


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all-ages shows and numerous major fundraisers and galas. Talking about women in film, Becker said, “I’m so happy to work in a market (WA State) where so many talented women are leading our local industry by producing and creating exceptional content which is a true feather in our cap.” Becker also works quite diligently as one of Washington State’s top interactive advocates for helping bring new filmmakers to the state from around the world while attending national and international festivals and markets. “We are excited the members of the film industry are actively convening in pursuit of a production facility to be located in Seattle,” she said. “Something like this could do wonders for the film/TV and media landscape.” Visit www. seattle.gov/filmandmusic. As co-founder and owner of Mighty Tripod Productions (MTP), one of Seattle’s most respected actor development, management and indie production companies, ANGELA DiMARCO truly has become an empowering woman of influence, both in front of and behind the camera. With a genuine heart to help others (she is known as ‘Mama DiMarco’

mightytripod.com. Once a creative artist decides he or she wants to take the plunge into the world of acting or modeling in the Seattle area, TERRI MORGAN’S TCM Models and Talent Agency would be considered by many one of the most well-known and reputable agencies in the state. Starting up in 1979 as a modeling agency over in Eastern Washington, Morgan decided to take her love for helping others within the industry to Seattle and opened up a new location downtown in 1990, where they remain today. By 1998, her well-seasoned staff established a new talent division that has provided actors opportunities in commercials, feature films, TV series and new media requiring on-camera talent. “Coming from a modeling background myself, I know how hard it can be to break into the business not knowing how to navigate the oftentimes intimidating and rigorous demand of the business or how the auditioning and selection process works,” she said. “TCM specializes in counseling and advising talent by offering a well-developed road map for actors and models to utilize if they choose to enhance their careers.” Visit TCM at www.tcmmodels.com. One of Washington State’s best known features is its rich and vibrant Native American culture and history. Our next woman of influence has Mel Eslyn spent over a decade developing an awareness and sensitivity to the power of media and film as a modern storytelling tool for local communities, primarily the indigenous people of the region. As co-founder and executive director of Longhouse Media, now in their 11th year, TRACY RECTOR (Choctaw/Seminole Tribe) has produced over 350 film shorts, worked with over 40 tribes from around the United Kate Becker States, and has served over 3,000 youths by bringing filmmaking tools to tribal students from around the country to among her circle), she helps mentor and prepare actors for help them tell their own stories. Her work has been featured the rigorous road of working in the business. by Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative and National Geo“MTP is an evolution of who I was, growing up without graphic’s All Roads Film Project, while also leading the first having quality training and mentorship that I believe is a filmmaking team from Seattle to have a documentary on major cornerstone of becoming a professional artist,” said PBS’ Independent Lens and appearing in the Smithsonian’s DiMarco, who runs the company with her talented and Museum of the American Indian. Not to mention, she’s a award-winning husband David Hogan, who himself has over recent Sundance Film Institute Lab fellow participant and two decades of theater, film, TV and talent leadership under Tribeca Film Festival all-access grantee to boot. his belt. Aside from being an award-winning director/producer “David and I wanted to create a platform in Mighty Tripod and advocate, Rector developed and launched the quite sucProductions for Northwest actors taught by Northwest accessful educational program ‘SuperFly,’ a program that chaltors, available to all ages to hone their craft, build their conlenged students to create 5 films in 36 hours, which then fidence and, most of all, be mighty,” she added. You can find screened in conjunction with the Seattle International Film DiMarco on all social media channels under Mighty Tripod Festival (SIFF). Productions, her own hashtag #dontwaitcreate and at www. “SIFF’s decade-long collaborating with Tracy on ‘Super-

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Fly’ was an exceptional opportunity that not only provided exemplary training and experience to youth across cultures, but built bridges between the Native community and their neighbors from cities across the USA. Today, Tracy’s new ‘4th World’ program continues that depth of intent, as we are proud to be working with her to fill the need for additional training for up-and-coming Native filmmakers,” said Dustin Kaspar, education director at SIFF. Rounding off her admirable leadership throughout the communities of the Puget Sound, Rector currently sits as City of Seattle Arts Commissioner. “My vision is to bring traditional and contemporary education together on a foundation based in environmental stewardship,” said Rector. As a monthly series, her ‘Indigenous Showcase’ program at the Northwest Film Forum also blends culture with community. She added, “The Indigenous Showcase program screens films made by Native Americans or in part supported by the Native American community.” Read more about Rector at www.longhousemedia.org and www. clearwaterstories.org. With the growing number of actors and performers living and arriving to Seattle, ABBY DYLAN is a woman whose lengthy multi-decade experience in the industry has landed her passionate voice for actors at the top of the most prestigious organizations in show business. Dylan is an elected member of the SAG-AFTRA Board, where she serves as the National Chairman of the SAGIndie Committee and ViceChair of the Legislative Committee. In addition, she is also a director of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Board, and was appointed to serve on the Board of Washington Filmworks by both Governor Christine Gregoire and Governor Jay Inslee. In 2016, Dylan also was appointed to the Board of the SAG Foundation as their new secretary. For more, visit www. sagaftra.org, www.sagindie.org, and www.washingtonfilmworks.org. Every spring, Seattle ushers in one of the biggest and longest-running city-wide events, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Ranked as one of the top film festivals in the world, SIFF showcases over 450 films, shorts and documentaries from over 80 countries throughout a 25-day odyssey. BETH BARRETT, director of programming, spearheads the division along with her team of staffers and volunteers that help formulate the line-up and presentation of films each year. Barrett has been with SIFF since 2003, joining as an intern in communications and quickly moving along into the programming division. Over the course of her tenure, she has watched SIFF grow from 5 staff to now over 25 full-time staffers. Programming essentially works with the incoming filmmakers each year, streamlines communication between programmers and watches hundreds of films leading up to the festival with the objective of bringing the best films they can find from around the world and our own region to screen in Seattle. To help local filmmakers from Washington State showcase their films on an international platform, SIFF offers a unique ‘Northwest Connections’ showcasing. “The program is designed to help elevate local filmmakers to international attention that essentially represent a microcosm of the

work being done by Pacific Northwest artists with projects of all types of films, genres, styles and lengths,” Barrett said. Her commitment to bring some of the best films from around the world made by women is a top priority while paying close attention to her final design of the festival’s programming. “It’s really important to me to have women from all around the world represented here at SIFF on an equal footing every year,” said Barrett. Be sure to mark your calendars for May for this spectacular presentation of world cinema right here in Seattle by visiting www.siff.net for all the events, parties and screenings. Recently winning the ‘Best TV Personality’ award put on by KING 5 in 2015, ANNY HAVLAND has been making a huge splash in the world of online empowerment through her uplifting reality TV/Web series called Talk It Up TV. Originally from Bellingham, Havland came to Seattle to explore more opportunities using her magical gift of connecting and

Anny Havland

inspiring others. In 2010, she co-founded and now produces her own series that boasts over 5,000 YouTube subscribers from all around the world. “Talk It Up TV is a new style of media that is reality TV at its best with a positive twist. Instead of reporting and highlighting negative tragedies, we share these real-life stories with our viewers and create a positive ending to each story with a shocking act of kindness that are unforgettable,” Havland said. Each episode is lined with a powerful, very uplifting and heartfelt message that offers a life-changing experience for the individual. Visit Havland online at www.talkituptv. com or by using the hashtag #tiuarmy. One of Seattle’s most dynamic documentary filmmakers is MAY 2016

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ROSALIE MILLER. Her handful of films she has produced in just the last five years have screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide under her own banner, Wanderhouse Productions. Her independent production company focuses on producing micro-budget narrative and documentary projects with an emphasis on digital media production. The Wanderhouse website boasts: “We are dedicated to creative collaboration, compelling storytelling, and subject matter intended to inspire others.” Miller’s resilient and fierce approach to the filmmaking process radiates wherever she goes with quite vocal and well-developed skills in pitching, fundraising and audience engagement. Her feature-length documentary Personhood (now in post-production), which documents the burgeoning personhood movement and the far-reaching impact of laws designed to protect the fetus, won both the Women in Film Seattle Professional Grant and the 2015 American Documentary Film Fund.

Lorraine Montez

Aside from her work behind the camera, Miller is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is a well-known actress who has appeared in dozens of feature-length films, shorts, commercials and TV series in Washington State. Miller is currently in production on her next documentary, an intimate portrait piece about Seattle-based dance artist and drag queen, Jody Kuehner (aka Cherdonna Shinatra). Visit www.wanderhouseproductions.com and www.personhoodmovie.com for more. Producer LEAH WARSHAWSKI has over a decade of experience in film and TV production. Warshawski has worked on some of TV’s biggest series, including Lost, Survi18 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

vor and Alias. She recently wrapped her own feature-length documentary Big Sonia, which in 2015 won the prestigious $50,000 film grant award given annually by True Productions in partnership with the Seattle International Film Festival. “The process of documentary filmmaking is becoming more about the films’ campaigns than just about the actual movie being made,” Warshawski said. “Big Sonia has been a story I’ve always wanted to tell about my own grandmother. So we decided early on to develop a nationwide campaign for major cities that would also educate and involve local communities around the country surrounding her story.” Warshawski also is currently working with local filmmakers Jo Ardinger and Rosalie Miller on the doc Personhood as producer. “When Jo approached me to join the team, I just couldn’t say no because of the impact I knew this film would make on our communities and country,”she added. Her current projects can be found at www.bigsonia.com. RYAN DAVIS is a professional film publicist, communications specialist and co-founder of Seattle’s Smarthouse Creative. With over 30 years of combined experience in film marketing, publicity, distribution, programming and exhibition, Smarthouse Creative helps filmmaking teams find their audiences and bring attention to their work during all phases of their projects, from fundraising to festivals to distribution. They also work with select film festivals, non-profits and startups to deliver digital strategy, publicity and audience engagement services to position clients at the forefront of their respective industries. For over a decade, Davis has worked in nearly every aspect of the film business including documentary film producing, film festivals, distribution, exhibition and sales. She and Smarthouse have placed multiple projects on media platforms such as HBO, CNN, The New York Times, newspapers and local radio. Independent film projects that Smarthouse has run PR/marketing on have screened all over the world. Prior to Smarthouse, Davis served as a marketing leader for multiple non-profit arts groups and organizations including the Northwest Film Forum and Northwest Folklife. Smarthouse Creative gets Media Inc.’s vote for best local indie film PR & marketing firm! Visit www.smarthousecreative.com. If there is one woman creative in Seattle that personifies the fastest and hardest-working bird on earth—the hummingbird—it most certainly is producer/actor LORRAINE MONTEZ. For over a decade, Montez has appeared in over 20 films as an actress and over a dozen films as producer. She is known widely in the local film community for her unlimited amount of energy and drive she pours into her daily routine as a filmmaker, educator, mentor and actor. After noticing that fewer roles were being offered in film and TV to more mature women as a performer in the local market, she took the initiative to begin writing and soon formed her own production company, Abundant Productions. “I strongly believe in the laws of attraction,” Montez said. “I wanted to create a company that would attract goodness, abundance and creativity.” A recent feature film she produced under her Abundant flagship, The Hollow One, was


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acquired by Raven Banner Entertainment for international and domestic distribution. Montez has been a vocal and active member of Women in Film for many years and recently served as the marketing and communication chairwoman for WIF Seattle. As a producer who feels there needs to be a bigger pool of well-educated filmmakers in the art of marketing and producing skills, Montez also instructs a marketing and producing class at Shoreline Community College. She also heads up a monthly workshop called Abundant Creative Playground, a platform where writers and professional actors come together in an interactive creative setting to enhance literary material. It’s a process she calls “disrupting the writing process in a productive and unique way.” Find out more at www. abundantproductions.net. Award-winning journalist MAUREEN FRANCISCO is a woman whose journey into the world of TV and media has been quite unique. After arriving from the Philippines as a young girl to Federal Way, Wa s h i n g t o n , she learned to speak English by watching the nightly news. Fascinated by The Oprah Winfrey Show, Francisco was quickly inspired to pursue a career Leah Warshawski and Big Sonia in journalism, which led her to an early career working for major network affiliates (CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX) around the country as a news reporter after graduating from Pacific Lutheran University. Upon her return to the Puget Sound in 2004, Francisco continued her work in TV at Northwest Cable News. By 2013, she joined her husband as co-executive producer of NW Productions. Their company produces live shows, including the Pacific Northwest qualifying events for the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington States. “We coordinate and produce all of the events for both pageants in our region including doing the PR for our title holders and contestants under a separate division of NW Productions,” Francisco said. “We are in charge of procuring sponsors, selecting judges, screening contestants for eligibility requirements and finding our host venues.” NW Productions also produces red carpet events, women empowerment workshops, and reality/talk show programming throughout the Puget Sound. Visit www.maureenfrancisco.com. With 1 in every 10 Americans now using online dating services, the number of people looking for love online has never been greater. SUSIE LEE, CEO and founder of the dating app Siren, took things into her own hands a few years ago by creating an entirely new approach to the virtual world of 20 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

Maureen Francisco

online dating. “Our members set the tone of our community; we focus on connections that matter in a respectful space,” said Lee. “Siren is a platform where wit and personality shine.” Lee’s brainchild won the App of the Year by GeekWire in 2015, and recently landed an additional $500,000 in funding to help expand their 20,000 membership base and operations. The app works quite differently than most apps, in that members receive a “Question of the Day” asked by artists and other types of creatives in the local community. The questions ignite conversations, which in turn promote members to uncover their true personalities organically, rather than with a generic profile and photo. A graduate of Yale, Columbia and UW with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, science education, and art, Lee uses her skills as a social sculptor to amplify humanity in technology. Her work has been collected by numerous institutions including the Denver Art Museum, Mitchell Center for the Arts, Frye Art Museum, and Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. For more, go to www.susiejlee.com. We invite you to learn more about the women of influence within TV, film and media as we continue our coverage in our next issue, which will feature women from the state of Oregon. MI Features writer Scott A. Capestany is an award-winning producer, educator and advocate for women in film. Visit him at www.capestanyfilms.com and all social media platforms @capestanyfilms. Email producer@capestanyfilms.com.


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Shokrian Leads the OMPA By Mary Erickson Associate Editor Photo by Owen Carey

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anice Shokrian has worked around the film industry for years. Now she’s firmly embedded within the industry as the new head of Oregon’s industry association, the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA).

After Tom McFadden resigned his post as Executive Director in February 2015, the OMPA has been in the interim hands of Nathaniel Applefield. The OMPA’s Board of Directors conducted a search to find McFadden’s replacement, and selected Shokrian to lead the OMPA in December 2015. Ever since, Shokrian has been hitting the ground running. She’s traveled around the state, familiarizing herself with the myriad of individuals involved in Oregon’s media industry. Also on the agenda: getting familiar with the SourceOregon Directory and determining how to maximize its impact, particularly with regards to state incentive programs. “The directory isn’t just a place to have your name. It has a greater purpose. It’s also a show of force for legislators,” Shokrian comments. “This message needs to resonate more fully.” Shokrian brings a trove of arts management experience, having worked in volunteer management and marketing over the course of her career. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Portland Actors Conservatory, and she also ran a boutique marketing company for 12 years, working with a Grammy Award-winning musician, an opera singer, and other clients from the nonprofit arts world. “I’ve always wanted to work in the nonprofit world,” says Shokrian. “It’s important that I have a cause and a drive to my work.”

Although she hasn’t been directly involved much in the film industry prior to her appointment with the OMPA, Shokrian is committed to understanding the dynamics within the organization and around the state. “I’m looking at the OMPA from a 30,000 feet viewpoint…this perspective allows me to look at our work from a different vantage point.” She’s excited to be a champion for the industry and to provide support, especially working within Oregon’s film community. “I feel proud of our state. It’s not pretentious. Everybody stands shoulder-to-shoulder. There’s a real giveback sense in the community.” Shokrian hopes to continue that sense of involvement in the community while building the OMPA’s membership, which currently stands at roughly 800 members. Shokrian will also work with organizations around the state, such as Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM), to ensure that the sense of community is supported and sustained throughout Oregon. “We represent the whole state, not just Portland,” she says. “We’re Oregon-centric.” MI

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ASHLAND NAMED A Best Place to Live and Work as a Filmmaker by MovieMaker Magazine for Third Year in a Row

By Ginny Auer Executive Director, Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM) (Photo by Sean Bagshaw)

W

hen thinking of Ashland, most people’s minds go to the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the powder atop the slopes of Mt. Ashland or the many local wineries and breweries. But after a third year in a row on the list of best places to live and work as a filmmaker in MovieMaker Magazine, Ashland’s reputation as a filmmaking hub is solid as well.

Ashland was recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as the #2 Town to Live and Work as a MovieMaker in the nation for 2014, and then was honored with a bump to #1 in January of 2015! In 2016, MovieMaker changed the criteria for the award to combine small cities and towns. Ashland beat out film hubs with populations of more than 150,000 and more robust incentive packages, ranking at #5 on the list this year. How is it that this small town of 20,000 is getting such accolades? MovieMaker cited “a bustling culinary scene, a no-big box store policy (and no state sales tax!), film festivals, independent theaters and a super-supportive film organization called Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM).” SOFaM supports the local film industry by promoting the region to both local and out-of-area producers, and works to connect productions with local film professionals, actors, equipment and resources via its online directory. With its large database and deep reach across the entire region, SOFaM is a great place to start for any film or media project. In recent years, Ashland has shown up on big and small screens quite a bit. Wild, with Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon, featured the downtown area, as well as nearby sections of the scenic Pacific Crest Trail. Ashland was also seen in Night Moves with Jesse Eisenberg and then again in the locally-produced independent film Black Road. Companies like Hewlett-Packard and even John Deere are finding Southern Oregon

a great place to film. Ashland has a film-friendly community, with low- to no-cost permits, strong state incentives, no sales tax and unexpectedly large numbers of filmmakers, technicians, equipment, support services and on-screen talent. And then there are the kinds of resources you don’t expect to find in a town this size. Beyond the talented performers that join the Oregon Shakespeare Festival each year, OSF’s costume rental shop is just as impressive. The shop is the size of a football field with costumes from nearly every era, and it regularly rents to theaters, film and TV productions across the country, including Saturday Night Live. Ashland is in the center of a filmmaker’s goldmine. Southern Oregon boasts a unique and beautiful coastline, high desert to the east, and many small towns with a host of unique venues for shooting. Medford, situated at the heart of the region, is the location of an airport with direct flights to and from Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. When taken as a whole, the MovieMaker designation of Ashland as a best place to live and be a filmmaker really applies to all of Southern Oregon. Cameras are rolling in Southern Oregon like never before and SOFaM extends an invitation for new and returning filmmakers to join in and see what all the buzz is about! MI MAY 2016

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Looking Back at 10 Years of NFFTY By Todd Kaumans Program Manager, NFFTY

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his April, NFFTY (pronounced â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;niftyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, standing for the National Film Festival for Talented Youth) turns 10 years old! In addition to inspiring us to present the best festival yet, the anniversary also gives us a chance to look back at the many highlights of the past decade.

NFFTY was founded by Seattle native Jesse Harris, who, after producing and distributing his feature ďŹ lm Living Life as a college student, realized there was no festival specializing in presenting the work of young people. He teamed up with Jocelyn R.C. and Kyle Seago, and in 2007 the ďŹ rst ever NFFTY took place as a one-night event, showing work from around the country. By 2008 the festival was a three-day affair, with a full program of screenings, panels and two concerts. In 2009 we began accepting international submissions, making the festival a truly worldwide event. By 2010 the now four-day festival included 190 ďŹ lms representing 33 states and 16 countries, and in 2011 NFFTY was ofďŹ cially the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest ďŹ lm festival for emerging ďŹ lmmakers. Over the years weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve featured the work of some tru24 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

Filmmaker Celia Jensen poses with her friends on the Opening Night red carpet at the Seattle Cinerama during NFFTY 2014. Photo by Mark Malijan

Filmmaker Emily Salva accepts an award during the Closing Night Awards Ceremony of NFFTY 2009. Age 7 at the time, she is one of the youngest ďŹ lmmakers to have been featured in the festival. Photo by Alan Alabastro

ly tremendous talents, and we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be more proud of our alumni. Former NFFTY ďŹ lmmakers are now working for prestigious companies such as NFFTY 2008 ďŹ lmmakers pose together for a group photo in The Weinstein Company, Pixfront of the press wall. Photo by Mong Kon Mo ar, and Trigger Street Productions, including Kevin Klauber who edited the Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet

NFFTY 2016 HIGHLIGHTS

Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a look at whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coming up at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event: â&#x20AC;˘ Opening Night Gala, presented by Volvo Car USA: The Opening Night kickoff lineup inFOXGHVDVWXQQLQJVHOHFWLRQRIVKRUWĂ&#x20AC;OPVUDQJLQJIURPPXVLFYLGHRWRDQLPDWLRQ â&#x20AC;˘ )HPPH )ULGD\ $ FROOHFWLRQ RI VRPH RI WKH VWURQJHVW Ă&#x20AC;OPV IURP 1))7< IHPDOH Ă&#x20AC;OPPDNHUV DURXQGWKHZRUOG â&#x20AC;˘ The Human Race: Powerful documentaries that explore race and culture, including There Will Be BoatsD1RUZHJLDQĂ&#x20AC;OPDERXWYROXQWHHUVZKRWUDYHOWR*UHHFHWRDVVLVWZLWKWKHUHIugee crisis; and Hands Up, a documentary that captures the spirit of the #BlackLivesMatter PRYHPHQWDVLWWUDQVFHQGVVWDWHERXQGDULHVDQGLQWRWKHKHDUWVRIPLOOLRQVRI$PHULFDQV â&#x20AC;˘ Closing Nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Around the World in 10 Films: A global tour that includes titles from Romania, WKH8QLWHG.LQJGRPDQGWKHLQGLJHQRXVFRPPXQLWLHVRIWKH86 â&#x20AC;˘ 0DVWHUFODVVE\2VFDU1RPLQDWHG'DQLVKĂ&#x20AC;OPPDNHU&KULVWLDQ(&KULVWLDQVHQ&KULVWLDQVHQ LV D SURGXFHU DQG GLUHFWRU ZKRVH VKRUW Ă&#x20AC;OP At Night was nominated for an Academy $ZDUG+HGHYHORSHGWKHVKRUWLQWRWKHIHDWXUHCrying For Love+LVĂ&#x20AC;OPThe RoommateZDVWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWHYHUĂ&#x20AC;OPGLUHFWHGE\D'DQHWRJRVWUDLJKWWRQXPEHURQHDWWKH $PHULFDQER[RIĂ&#x20AC;FH 9LVLWZZZQIIW\RUJIRUWKHIXOOVFKHGXOHRIVFUHHQLQJVSDQHOVDQGHYHQWV


ing Role,” has earned multiple accolades including ADDY Awards and a Telly Award. And we haven’t stopped growing! Last year the festival A representative from RED Cameras instructs filmmakers during the two day Future of Film Expo during NFFTY 2012. had a record-breakPhoto by Mark Malijan ing 248 films representing 30 states and 25 countries. The festival continued to support female filmmakers with a closing night screening called Hollywood producer Dana Brunetti (House of Cards, The “Femme Finale.” ForSocial Network, Fifty Shades of Grey) speaks on the keynote panel during NFFTY 2011. Photo by Bobby Bonsey ty-eight percent of the films screened at the festival were directed by From Stardom. young women, a major acThough Jesse has since complishment compared to moved on to pursue his Hollywood where women own film projects, the festidirect less than nine percent val now boasts award-winof films. ning producer and nonNFFTY now looks toward profit executive Stefanie its 10th anniversary, hapMalone as the manager of pening April 28 - May 1. the organization. Under her Over 1,000 emerging filmleadership, in 2014 NFFTY makers from around the created our Young Women globe submitted their work in Film initiative, a yearfor consideration in this round effort to support major milestone of the fesyoung female filmmakers tival’s history. The festival around the world. NFFTY will also launch our first also formally launched an ever Screenwriting Comin-house production competition to be operated as pany known as NFFTY Creboth a component of the ative with the mission of annual event and also in the connecting sponsors and off-season. brands with the festival’s Visit our website, www. most promising alumni to nffty.org, for more informawork on original branded tion about this year’s event, content projects. The first and to get your tickets! MI major project, “A Support-

A representative from AJA Video Systems instructs filmmakers during the NFFTY 2015 Digital Expo at McCaw Hall. Photo by Octavian Matei

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FILM FESTIVALS

THE 2016 TRANSLATIONS: Seattle Transgender Film Festival is a constellation of shining stars & original stories By Sam Berliner Festival Director Photos courtesy of Three Dollar Bill Cinema

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he 2016 edition of Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival is all about connecting audiences with stars and stories. This year we are excited to celebrate some of the champions who have led the way for transgender communities and highlight connections through an array of voices and perspectives.

One of the most visible and highly acclaimed transgendercentered series is the groundbreaking Transparent. Join us during this year’s festival for an exciting discussion with some of the remarkable talent behind the making of this captivating show, including pioneering star Alexandra Billings— the first openly trans woman to have played a transgender character on television back in 2005. Our guests will share some inside scoop, thoughts on the broader implications of the show’s success, reflections on what it means being transgender both in front of and behind the camera, and where they see trans representation going in the future. We’re incredibly excited for the Northwest premiere of Major! about Miss Major GriffinGracy, the 73-year-old Black transgender woman who has fought for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 Festival director Sam Berliner. years. From the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion to the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), Miss Major’s life is a testament to the fierce survivalism, resilience and celebration of a community that has been historically traumatized and marginalized. The film, which recently sold out its San Francisco premiere at the historic Castro Theatre, shows one woman’s journey, a community’s history, and how caring for each other can be a Co-directors of last year's Best Documentary revolutionary act. Short Film, Passing, Lucah Rosenberg Lee (left) and J. Mitchel Reed (right). 26 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

The staff of Three Dollar Bill Cinema with Maureen Bradley, director of the 2015 Best Narrative Feature, Two 4 One.

And when it comes to unique stories, Suited fits to a tee. This documentary—fresh from its Sundance premiere and produced by Lena Dunham—tells the story of Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn tailoring company that makes custom suits for gender-nonconforming and transgender clients. Among the people on the gender spectrum sharing their stories are a trans boy preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, a New York City cab driver, a young Southern law student and a trans man preparing for his wedding. At its heart, the film is an intimate journey of coming into a new identity, accepting difference and living bravely in one's own skin. It’s another Northwest premiere! Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival is not only a groundbreaking film festival that provides the Pacific Northwest with a venue for films by, for, and about transgender people and the issues facing the transgender community, but one of only a few transgender film festivals in the world. The goal of the event is to place emphasis on visibility and positive representations. Join us for four days of shining stars and exciting stories from our community. MI Translations takes place May 12-15 at the Northwest Film Forum and 12th Ave Arts. To read more or purchase tickets, visit www.translationsfilmfest.org and www.threedollarbillcinema.org.


FILM FESTIVALS POWGirls participants present their films.

POWFest executive director Tara Johnson-Medinger and filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke.

*

Catherine Hardwicke

Showcased at POWFest’s Ninth Year

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor

P

OWFest wrapped up another year of showcasing film work by women in Portland. The festival, in its ninth year, ran March 3 through 6 at the Hollywood Theatre.

Filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke attended the festival as the guest of honor. POWFest screened three of her films— Twilight, Thirteen, and Miss You Already—and hosted a discussion with the seasoned director. Hardwicke is a vocal advocate for women in film, as highlighted by POWFest’s executive director, Tara Johnson-Medinger. “Catherine Hardwicke’s strong voice and willingness to step publicly into Hollywood’s gender discussion is something to celebrate,” said Johnson-Medinger. “Because of her, women are less fearful of being vocal as there has been a groundswell of support to amplify these voices. There is a revolution going on and she is one of the women in the lead.” The festival opened with Abigail Disney’s The Armor of Light, which follows an Evangelical minister tackling the issue of gun violence in the U.S. Over 35 other film directors attended the Catherine Hardwicke presents a master class for festival attendees.

festival to screen their films, including Northwest filmmakers Dawn Jones Redstone, Kia Anne Geraths, Christian Henry and Misty Eddy. POWFest’s educational initiative, POWGirls, also presented films. POWGirls is a program open to girls age 15 to 19 who learn skills in media-making. POWGirls participants spent three days writing, producing and editing films, which were then screened at the festival. Hardwicke presented a Master Class for festival attendees, and also participated in a Q&A session with Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, a website devoted to exploring gender issues in the film and other media industries. The festival also presented workshops on crowdfunding and the art of the pitch. MI More information about POWFest is available at www.powfest.com. The Ocean Waif screens as part of POWFest.

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FILM FESTIVALS Photo by Sherry Zheng

ASIAN AMERICAN

FESTIVAL T

his past February, audiences enjoyed the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, which screened at the Northwest Film Forum over four days. Media Inc. spoke with the co-directors of the festival, Vanessa Au and Martin Tran, to hear about the festival’s contribution to the Seattle film and cultural landscape.

Media Inc: Tell us a bit about the Seattle Asian American Film Festival. It had been on hiatus starting in 2007, and then it was resurrected in 2013. What about the festival 28 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

has changed? Vanessa Au and Martin Tran: Since SAAFF’s resurrection, we’ve made several changes. We kick off every festival with an opening night party featuring live performances from local Asian American musicians, artists and dancers. We’ve also tried hard to bring the filmmakers to the festival so that they can network with one another and meet the audience, whether that’s during post-film Q&As, panel discussions or in the theater lobby. Finally, we’ve spent a lot of time doing outreach to the Asian American community through our co-presenters program. We get at least one API (Asian Pacific Islander) nonprofit group to promote each program and in turn provide them with a table to distribute info about their


INTERVIEW WITH CHANTHADETH CHANTHALANGSY, DIRECTOR OF CHANTHADETH

C

hanthadeth grew up hating his name. Although he was born of Lao and Cambodian parents, he grew up with his Cambodian mother and did not connect with his Lao relatives. In this documentary, Chanthadeth explores his bicultural identity and learns the importance of acknowledging both of his cultural heritages. The Seattle Asian American Film Festival got a chance to talk to Chanthadeth about his documentary. SAAFF: What do you think is missing from current representation of Asian Americans in media? Chanthadeth: What I think is missing from the current representation of Asian Americans in media is the struggle of Asian identity. We have actors like Ken Jeong, Donnie Yen and Steven Yeun representing their culture through teleYLVLRQRUĂ&#x20AC;OP$OWKRXJKWKH\DUHJUHDWDFWRUVDOORIWKHP are East Asian. Meaning that their performances on the big screen would leave viewers with a skewed perception RI$VLDQVLQJHQHUDO+DYLQJPRUHSXEOLFĂ&#x20AC;JXUHVRI6RXWKeast Asian descent would lessen the East Asian bias in toGD\¡VPHGLD$OWKRXJKLW¡VHDV\WRVD\LW¡VGLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWIRUWKLV change to happen because majority of Southeast Asian Americans lack the resources and skills to compete for acting roles and such. The closest person I would say that LVD6RXWKHDVW$VLDQĂ&#x20AC;JXUHZRXOGEH7LPRWK\'H/D*KHWWR and even he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t represent all of Southeast Asia.

organization and a few minutes at the start of the screening to tell the audience about their org.

SAAFF::KRDUH\RXULQĂ XHQFHVĂ&#x20AC;OPUHODWHGRUQRW" Chanthadeth: 3HUVRQDOO\ , GRQ¡W KDYH D VSHFLĂ&#x20AC;F SHUVRQ RU SXEOLF Ă&#x20AC;JXUH WKDW LQĂ XHQFHV PH ,W PD\ VRXQG FOLFKp EXW , ZRXOG KDYH WR VD\ WKDW P\ IDPLO\ LV P\ LQĂ XHQFH They helped shape my values, took care of me, but most importantly, provided me with better opportunities they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have. My family was forced to travel to America because of the wars in Southeast Asia. If it werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t for their strength and resilience, I would not be here today. This is one of the main reasons why I want to pursue higher education, to honor my family and make them proud.

MI: What are some of your goals with the festival? How does it contribute to the Seattle community? VA/MT: One of our top goals is to contribute to the Asian American community by bringing attention to various organizations and bringing community organizers to the festival. Some of the groups whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve participated as co-presenters include API Chaya, Asian and Counseling Resource Services (ACRS), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Seattle, Vietnamese Friendship Association, Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Greater Seattle, Trikone, International Com-

SAAFF: How did you come up with your concept? Chanthadeth: $W Ă&#x20AC;UVW WKH Ă&#x20AC;OP ZDV D SHUVRQDO QDUUDWLYH , wrote during my senior year of high school. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what to do with it but one of my group mentors for the 6RXWKHDVW $VLDQ <RXQJ 0HQ¡V *URXS WKRXJKW P\ QDUUDtive was powerful and thought it would be a good idea to turn it into a documentary. My group mentor created several documentaries in the past with the program and PDMRULW\RIWKRVHĂ&#x20AC;OPVKDGDKLJKHPSKDVLVRQVWRU\WHOOLQJ , DOVR KDG VRPH Ă&#x20AC;OP H[SHULHQFH DQG WKH VWRU\WHOOLQJ DV-

BRIDGES CULTURE IN SEATTLE

MAY 2016

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FILM FESTIVALS munity Health Services (ICHS), and others. We also use the opening night party to feature local live Asian American talent. MI: What were some highlights about this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s festival? VA/MT: The biggest highlight this year was the number of ďŹ lmmakers that were in attendance. It was amazing to see them meet one another and the greater Seattle community, be it at ofďŹ cial events like our Opening Night Party, Filmmaker Brunch, VIP party, and Q&As after their screenings, to more casual settings like the lobby of the Northwest Film Forum, or in our VIP Lounge or at an impromptu dinner the last night of the fest. It was just really wonderful to see people coming together, and to share our wonderful city with these visiting ďŹ lmmakers. MI: Can you speak about some of the Northwest ďŹ lmmakers

SHFWLQĂ XHQFHGPHWRLQWHUYLHZP\SDUHQWVDERXWWKHLU SDVW $OWKRXJK WKHLU LQWHUYLHZV ZDV EULHI WKHLU QDUUDWLYH KDGDSRVLWLYHHIIHFWRQP\Ă&#x20AC;OP¡VVWRU\WHOOLQJ2YHUDOOP\ GRFXPHQWDU\¡VFRQFHSWLVDVVLPSOHDVDSHUVRQDOHVVD\ SAAFF::KDWDGYLFHGR\RXKDYHIRURWKHU\RXQJ$VLDQ $PHULFDQV GHDOLQJ ZLWK LGHQWLW\ LVVXHV DVVRFLDWHG ZLWK WKHLU´WUDGLWLRQDOÂľQDPHVHVSHFLDOO\WKRVHZLWKRXWDFFHVV WRSURJUDPVOLNHWKH$&56" Chanthadeth:0\DGYLFHIRURWKHU6RXWKHDVW$VLDQ\RXWK IDFLQJFXOWXUDOLGHQWLW\LVVXHVLVWRNQRZZKHUH\RXUURRWV DUH DQG KDYH LQWHUHVW LQ NQRZLQJ ZKHUH \RXU URRWV DUH )RU\RXWKWKDWGRQ¡WKDYHDFFHVVWRUHVRXUFHVOLNH$VLDQ &RXQVHOLQJ 5HIHUUDO6HUYLFHV,ZRXOGVXJJHVWWKH\JHW LQ WRXFK ZLWK ORFDO RUJDQL]DWLRQV FUHDWH D FXOWXUDO FOXE DWVFKRRORULQWHUYLHZWKHLUIDPLOLHVDERXWWKHLUFXOWXUH$OO LQDOOWKHPRVWLPSRUWDQW6RXWKHDVW$VLDQ\RXWKFDQGRLV WREHSURXGRIWKHLUFXOWXUHDQGWKHFXOWXUDOVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQFH EHKLQGWKHLUQDPH Interview reprinted with permission from the Seattle Asian American Film Festival

INTERVIEW WITH IAN DEVIER, DIRECTOR OF THE DOCUMENTARY ENFU

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that were showcased in the festival? VA/MT: Every year we do our best to showcase local ďŹ lmmakers, and we were lucky to have so many great short ďŹ lms to share. Tadd Mitsui told a touching story about a man and his place in our ever-changing city in The Car Doctor Pat Abe. Jade Justad brought such a beautiful visual eye and drew out naturalistic performances from her young actors with her short ďŹ lm, Creased, about a young Asian American woman struggling with self-image and what it means to be beautiful, let alone â&#x20AC;&#x153;normal,â&#x20AC;? in this world. She brought a deft touch to the issue of Asians having the double eyelid surgery that makes them look more â&#x20AC;&#x153;White.â&#x20AC;? We also showcase ďŹ lms from ACRS Southeast Asian Young Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Group, shepherded by Joseph Mills. This year we screened Model Minority Stereotype by Minhkennedy Pham and Chanthadeth by Chanthadeth Chanthalangsy (see side30 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

SAAFF: :KDWGR\RXWKLQNLVPLVVLQJIURPFXUUHQWUHSUHVHQWDWLRQRI$VLDQ$PHULFDQVLQPHGLD" Devier:,W¡VDKDUGVXEMHFWIRUPHWRFRPPHQWRQEHLQJD ZKLWHSULYLOHJHGPDOH7KHRQHWKLQJ,QRWLFHWKDWLVPLVVLQJLVYHU\VLPLODUWRDOOSHRSOHRIFRORUZKLFKLVSHUVSHFWLYHDQGIRFXV,W¡VUDUHWRJHWDĂ&#x20AC;OPEHLWDGRFXPHQWDU\ RUĂ&#x20AC;FWLRQWKDWLVWUXO\IURPDQ$VLDQ$PHULFDQSHUVSHFWLYH DQGWKHPDLQFKDUDFWHULVQ¡WVRPHIRUPRIDZKLWHVDYLRU SAAFF: :KRDUH\RXULQĂ XHQFHV" Devier: 0\LQĂ XHQFHVYDU\IURPGHFDGHWRGHFDGHDQG, DPFRQVWDQWO\GLVFRYHULQJQHZRQHV7RQDPHMXVWDIHZ WKHUHZHUHDKDQGIXORIWHDFKHUVWKDW,KDGZKRVHOHVVRQV ,VWLOOUHĂ HFWRQDQGVWLOONHHSLQFRQWDFWZLWK,ZRXOGDOVR DGGWKHĂ&#x20AC;OPVRI)UHGHULFN:LVHPDQWKHVWRULHVRI&KDUOHV .XUDOWDQG5D\)DUNDVDVZHOODVYLVXDOVW\OHVRIVWRU\WHOOLQJ VXFKDVWKHĂ&#x20AC;OPVRI:RQJ.DUZDL,DOVRĂ&#x20AC;QGDORWRILQVSLUDWLRQLQVWLOOSKRWRJUDSK\UDGLRSRGFDVWVWRU\WHOOLQJDQG


bar). Both films spoke to our perceptions of identity, on both very personal and political levels. MI: Thanks so much for sharing about the festival. We look forward to it in 2017! MI More information about the Seattle Asian American Film Festival is available online at www.seattleaaff.org.

of course books, both print and graphic novel/comic. SAAFF: How did you come up with your concept? Devier: The concept of ENFUÀUVWIROORZVWKHPLVVLRQRIWKH series it is a part of, which is Community Stories on the Seattle Channel (seattlechannel.org/communitystories). That mission is to share the perspective of underserved communities in Seattle. I also talked with Ken a lot before and during about where to go with the story and what was important. SAAFF: I know the documentary discusses this, but why do you think Ken Taya’s work speaks to generations of Asian Americans? Devier: The perspective that was shared with me is that his themes speak to younger Asian Americans as well as older. Especially the work where he was doing cultural mashups between American and Japanese pop culture, be it video games, commercial products, or animation. His other work such as the murals and the Uwajimaya shopping bags really touch on the things that connect many Asian American cultures and people. Also his work is really well done, it’s beautiful to look at, and it’s fun. Interview reprinted with permission from the Seattle Asian American Film Festival

Photo by Amy Zhong

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FILM FESTIVALS

Ashland Independent Film Festival Announces Award Winners

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he Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) recently wrapped its 15th annual event, capping off five days of film screenings, live performances, art installations, panels, parties and more. Photo by Al Case

Held April 7-11, this year’s AIFF was more expansive than ever, featuring more than 90 films and dozens of special events across Ashland. Event highlights included panel discussions like “Women Make Indie Movies” with moderator Debra Zimmermann and “Activist Film Collectives” with Kartemquin & New Day Film. An opening night bash, sponsored by Rogue Creamery and featuring artisan food and drink, kicked things off on Thursday, April 7, and an awards ceremony was held Sunday, April 10, to announce and celebrate the films and filmmakers that earned the Juried and Audience Awards.

HERE ARE THE AWARD WINNERS AT AIFF 2016: JURY AWARDS Best Feature Bastards y Diablos Best Acting Five Nights in Maine Honorable Mention: A Light Beneath Their Feet Best Short Film Killer Honorable Mention: El Tigre Les Blank Award: Best Documentary Hooligan Sparrow Honorable Mention: The Birth of Saké Best Editing: Documentary NUTS! Honorable Mention: In Pursuit of Silence Best Short Documentary The 100 Years Show Honorable Mention: Greenwood SPECIAL AWARDS Rogue Award Heidi Ewing 32 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

Rogue Award Rachel Grady Juice Award Celia Rowlson-Hall Pride Award Barbara Hammer AUDIENCE AWARDS Jim Teece Audience Award for Best Short Film The Stairs Audience Award Documentary Mothering Inside

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Rogue Creamery Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature Voyagers Without Trace Varsity Audience Narrative Feature Bastards y Diablos

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PRODUCTION NEWS BRIEFS MACGYVER PILOT WILL NOT FILM IN PORTLAND Disappointing news from the MacGyver reboot series: The CBS production has decided to shoot in Los Angeles, instead of Portland. The production scouted many Portland locations, sparking rumors that the pilot—and potentially the series—would be shot in the Rose City. But a CBS representative confirmed in late March that the pilot would shoot in L.A. According to The Hollywood Reporter, MacGyver is a reimagining of the 1980s television series of the same name. It follows a 20-something MacGyver (played by X-Men’s Lucas Till) as he gets recruited into a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening. The pilot was written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and Brett Mahoney. David Von Ancken will direct the pilot and executive produce alongside original MacGyver creator Lee Zlotoff. Other executive producers include Henry Winkler, Michael Clear and James Wan.

PARKS EARNS SILVER AWARD Long-time Eastside business photographer Brian Parks received a silver award in Graphis Photography Annual 2016 for his Forged By Faith Series depicting ancient characters. Graphis Magazine is a well-respected international publication out of New York, first published in 1944 in Zürich, Switzerland. Graphis is committed to presenting and promoting the work of exceptional talent in Graphic Design, Advertising, Photography and Art/Illustration. Parks recalls flipping through Graphis back when he was a local student studying photography. He went on to earn a commercial photography degree before opening what is now Parks Creative, Inc. providing photography of products, architectural interiors and businesses’ services for website and marketing uses. Visit www.parkscreative.com for more.

SAGAFTRA SEATTLE NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR In March, the Seattle Local announced the hiring of new executive director Shellea Allen. In her new role, Allen is serving as chief executive for the SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local and administrator for the Portland Local. Formerly with UNITE HERE Local 8, Allen brings a wealth of experience in organizing, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, legislative advocacy and administration. She has a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University and certificates in Mediation and Negotiations, and Arbitration. Allen’s demonstrated ability to collaborate with industry and labor resulted in many successes on behalf of UNITE HERE workers she has represented. Her negotiating skills led to many contract gains and she organized many new workers in the hospitality industry. 34 MEDIA INC. MAY 2016

Rik Deskin, Seattle Local President and chair of the local search committee, says, “Shellea totally impressed me and other members of the search committee during her interviews. She is a remarkable, likable addition to the SAG-AFTRA family and we look forward to working with her on this exciting new phase for SAG-AFTRA in the Pacific Northwest.”

ORCAS ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL CALLS FOR SHORT FILM SCRIPTS The Orcas Island Film Festival is giving away three $3,500 grants to independent filmmakers who will have the chance to film their vision in the San Juans, using the magic of the San Juan Archipelago as a canvas during the summer of 2016. These three films will be featured in the Orcas Island Film Festival, taking place October 7-10, 2016 in the village of Eastsound on Orcas Island, one of the beautiful San Juan Islands in northwestern Washington State. An impressive lineup of world-class films has established the Orcas Island Film Festival as a festival to watch for cutting edge cinema from around the world. More information about OIFF film script submissions: • All scripts or storyboards must be original work, submitted online at www.orcasfilmfest.com/submissions. • Deadline to receive scripts is May 13, 2016. • A panel of judges will select three winners. Winners will be announced on May 30, 2016. • The three winning filmmakers will each receive $3,500 to shoot and edit their film from June 1 – September 1, 2016. For complete details, visit www.orcasfilmfest.com.

2016 OREGON MEDIA ARTS FELLOWSHIP WINNERS The Northwest Film Center, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the Oregon Media Production Association have announced the winners of the 2016 Oregon Media Arts Fellowship (OMAF): Rose Bond and Pam Minty. The Media Arts Fellowship supports Oregon filmmakers who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the media arts. Jurors reviewed the 70 submissions from applicants throughout the state, weighing artistic merit, the potential of the proposed activity to advance the artist’s work, and the feasibility of the projects proposed. The two 2016 winners will share the $10,000 Fellowship, which is currently funded by the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Media Production Association. The Northwest Film Center administers the Fellowship and is currently looking for additional funders to grow it beyond its current state. Rose Bond is a Canadian-born media artist who lives and works in Portland. Her short films have been screened in international competitions including Sundance and the New York


Film Festival. Although her roots are in frame-by-frame, hand drawn and direct animation, her current work focuses on public site-based animated installations. The Fellowship will aid in producing Bond’s latest project, Animate Turangalia, a collaboration with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Portland-based artist Pam Minty’s work explores geography, home and community through still photography and motion pictures. Her films have been exhibited at Anthology Film Archives, Center for Documentary Studies, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Film Studies Center at University of Chicago, as well as other venues throughout North America. Minty’s OMAF funded project, High Lakes, will work in both the doc-

umentary and narrative realm, telling the story of young women living and working in campgrounds during the summer in the Cascades of Oregon. The application deadline for the 2017 Oregon Media Arts Fellowships is January 1, 2017. Applications are available online now at nwfilm.org/services/grants/mediaartsfellowship/. For further information, visit www.oregonartscommission.org.

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