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Lauren Elkanich

Arts & Culture

OPB's Oregon Lens Brings Audiences Powerful, Personal and Eccentric Work From Talented Northwest Filmmakers

OPB | Aug. 15, 2013 1:43 a.m. | Updated: Dec. 11, 2013 1:16 p.m.

Five-Part Series Airs August 26-30 at 10 p.m. on OPB-TV

The popular OPB series Oregon Lens returns this month, showcasing a diverse set of films from some of the Northwest’s most talented independent producers. The series, now in its 15th year, airs August 26-30 at 10 p.m. on OPB-TV. OPB’s Steve Amen created Oregon Lens, and also serves as host and executive producer.

“For 15 years, we have been connecting Northwest filmmakers with our audiences and we’ve found each year to be so different, surprising and incredibly special,” said Steve Amen, executive producer and host of Oregon Lens. “This year, we see the world through many different eyes—and lenses—as these exceptional producers bring us quirky, intelligent, emotional and moving films.”  

Oregon Lens features short films ranging from documentaries and fiction to animation, music videos and graphic novels. Audiences will also enjoy a variety of themes from different types of producers. One night will feature animated films—a majority of them produced by children—while another night is dedicated to only student-produced films.

This year, the series will also feature films that embody the sprit of “Keep Portland Weird,” such as following naked bike riders, along with diverse documentaries such as profiles of a cross-dresser, an Elvis impersonator, a ballet dancer, a Christian metal band, an elderly couple struggling with declining health and finances, a young person with cerebral palsy, and many more.

This season of Oregon Lens includes award-winning filmmakers such as Ian McCluskey, Daniel Fickle, Ben Fee, Pete Lee and more. In addition to Amen as executive producer of the series, OPB intern Summer Hatfield serves as associate producer.

Here is a lineup of the featured films on Oregon Lens:

 Monday, August 26

  • “Monday Funday” provides a glimpse into the people and events that take over Colonel Summers Park in S.E. Portland each week. Produced by Ben Eastman and Tyler Bertram.                                                         
  • “The Woodstock Mystery Hole” is a quirky documentary about a mysterious neighborhood roadside attraction and its spirited proprietor. Produced by Summer Hatfield and Emily Yurek. 
  • “Bare As You Dare: Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride” is a light-hearted documentary that takes viewers along on the world’s largest naked bike ride in Portland. Produced by Ian McCluskey.
  • “Weird-Landia” is an introduction to some of the characters that lend to Portland’s reputation of being weird. Produced by Christoff Molesworth.                                                             
  • “Frogman meets Scooby-Doo Teaser” is a continuation of “Weirdlandia.”

Tuesday, August 27

  • “While You Were Out” is a stop-action animated piece that shows how flip books made of memo pads and other found folios come to life. Produced by Noah Lambie.       
  • “A House A Home” by Alialujah Choir & Portland Cello Project is their official music video produced by Daniel Fickle.
  • “Dear Pluto, You Will Always Be A Planet In My Solar System” blends three animation techniques to inspect Pluto’s shifting role in the Solar System. Produced by Joanna Priestley.    
  • Student films from Buckman Academy (assorted) – Buckman Film Academy is a film school for children ages five and up featuring stop motion animation. The films are shot and edited by the children themselves.
  • “Delicate Cycle” performed by The Uncluded is a music video produced by Ben Fee and Pete Lee.
  • “Corin Tucker Band – Neskowin” is a music video and homage to 80’s films and punk culture featuring two teenage girls having the night of their lives. Produced by Alicia J. Rose.
  • “The Bus” is a fictional story of a chance meeting on a bus. Produced by Howard Mitchell.

Wednesday, August 28

  • “Football Is Family, We Are St. Paul” is a documentary about the St. Paul high school football team. Produced by Eric Bender.
  • “Across the Goal - UO Hockey” takes a look at the University of Oregon hockey team. Produced by Eric Bender.
  • “Up in Smoke” is a close look at the profession of smoke jumping. Produced by Eric Bender, Tommy Pittenger and Austin Taylor.                             
  • “Fake It Until You Make It” is a short profile about an Elvis impersonator. Produced by Ariane Kunze.
  • “Walking Tributaries: The McKenzie River And Its People” is the story of people who have stood together to learn about the great resource of the McKenzie River and who work toward preserving the river. Produced by Leilani Rapaport, Dillon Pilorget, and Jasmine Vasquez.
  • “We Refuse To Be Enemies” details the life of a Palestinian-born activist who has dedicated his life to educating Eugene residents on the Arab-Israeli conflict and fostering peace among people of different backgrounds. Produced by David Zupan and Summer Luu.
  • “The Discipline of Dance” is a documentary about a ballet dancer whose hard work and dedication show in his performance. Produced by Alvarez, Iris Bull and Erik Bender.          
  • “Hardcore Ministry” is a brief look at the Christian metal band Fallstar. Produced by Alando Ballantyne, Eric Bender, Chris Drachkovich and Tommy Pittenger.                  
  • “LaVida” originally began as a story about gender discrimination, but quickly transformed into a playful short about the drag community told through performer Peter Asio. Produced by Ariane Kunze.

Thursday, August 29

  • “Stinky Cheese” is a visually-exciting short documentary takes a look at slacklining in Central Oregon. Produced by Corey McCarthy.
  •  “Rose & George” is a poetic documentation of the unexpected love story between an odd couple who run a farm on Vashon Island. Produced by Maria Allred.
  • “Ghost” is a unique combination of film and animation. It’s a story in drawings of an artist and model. Produced by Mark Andres.           
  • “Dear Peter, Woodchips I & II” are two video letters that are a continuation of 10 years of correspondence between the filmmaker Orland Nutt and his childhood friend Peter.
  • “Ghost Fish of the Wimahl” is a look at the primordial salmon and steelhead runs of the Columbia River. Produced by David Saiget.
  • “Mossgrove/ Bed of Moss” is a two-part nature documentary that offers a close-up look at moss and slugs. Produced by Kurtis Hough.
  • “Cryoshpere” is a nature documentary about the melting of the glacier Cryosphere. Produced by Kurtis Hough.    
  • “How to Lose $2400 in 24 seconds” is a short, funny documentary that shows what happens when filmmaker Kurtis Hough ran into a bit of a problem with his expensive camera while making another video.

Friday, August 30

  • “Heart Over Body: Zack Childers Story” is an amazing life story of a 22 year old with cerebral palsy who was told he could never speak or walk. His resilience led him to become an Olympic medal winner. Produced by Jared Corey.
  • “Bowling for Life” is a touching story about a man whose spirit is kept up by bowling. Produced by Ariane Kunze.                                                     
  • “Sasquatch vs. Superman” is a touching documentary piece about a boy living with Down syndrome and how he seeks to understand himself through his fascination with these two characters. Produced by Perrin Kerns.                                        
  • “Looking For Mom in Dad’s Closet” is a documentary about a middle-aged woman who at 22 found out that her dad was gay and had lived his whole life in the closet. Produced by Perrin Kerns.                    
  • “My Little Corner of the World” is an inspiring story about Sam Roloff, who as a child painted to escape the boredom of life in a hospital. Produced by Josh Leake.            
  • “The Gap” is based on a true story and follows an elderly couple who deals with Alzheimer’s and cancer and the financial and emotional tolls these take on them. Produced by Adam Brewer.

For more information about Oregon Lens, visit www.opb.org/oregonlens 

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OPB is the largest cultural and education institution in the region, delivering excellence in public broadcasting to 1.5 million people each week through television, radio and the Internet. Widely recognized as a national leader in the public broadcasting arena, OPB is a major contributor to the program schedule that serves the entire country. OPB is one of the most-used and most-supported public broadcasting services in the country and is generously supported by members across Oregon and Southern Washington. For more information, visit www.opb.org

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