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NW Indy Filmfest on OPB, Aug 20-24


OPB brings indie-theater directly into your home over five nights this month. The 14th season of Oregon Lens shines the spotlight on the work of some of the Pacific Northwest’s most talented independent producers with a run of films seldom seen outside art house theaters and film festivals. Steve Amen, the executive producer and driving force behind the series, hosts the broadcasts, August 20-24 at 10pm. 

This year’s Oregon Lens includes works by award-winning producers such as John Q. Waller and Dan Schaefer. The series offers everything from “quirky short films to serious documentaries, to adventure essays. Each film steers from the typical pacing and content of your average television broadcast.

“We always have an exceptional lineup of films and this season is no exception,” said Amen. One evening – Tuesday – is devoted to the region’s professional filmmakers. And Wednesday is devoted entirely to student-produced films,” said Amen. “We have amazing talent in this area and I look forward to sharing their surprising and innovative work.”

The series begins on Monday at 10pm with “Treeverse.” Producer John Waller (Uncage the Soul Productions) uses stunning cinematography to tell the unparalleled adventure of two men’s attempt to transect through a forest canopy in northwest Oregon over five days. Following is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film with Oregon Field Guide. “Finding Oregon” (Uncage the Soul Productions) features six-months of time-lapse photography from across the state. Finally, “Frogman vs. Batman” stars an original graphic character from Weird-Town.

The work of three professional filmmakers is the focus of Tuesday. “House by the Side of the Road,” produced by Dean Schaefer, is a film based on the writings of Mrs. L.A. Abbott and looks at the move of settlers to the West, the Underground Railroad and more. Written and directed by Leif Peterson, “Eden” is a reworking of the Adam and Eve story set in the future. In “No Separation,” Cathy Zheutlin and Wendy Russell explore the meaning of “spirit.”

Oregon has a new crop of talented young filmmakers and Wednesday’s show celebrates the work of these student artists. Six films feature a variety of documentaries from an exploration of deafness to the U of O’s crew team to preserving a Native-American language to young chess players competing around the state. 

Thursday’s lineup consists of a series of short films ranging from a look at extreme guerilla fire dancing to an underground circus to the trials and tribulations of a Salt Creek Tiger Beetle.

The series concludes on Friday with two films. “Fisher Poets,” produced and directed by Jennifer Brett Winston, is the story of a unique breed of commercial fishermen who create powerful poetry about their lives at sea. And “Device” is a hybrid documentary that follows a middle-aged Japanese man and his youthful female student on a trip through the Southwest.

More on the films and the filmmakers at opb.org/artsandlife. 

About OPB

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 115,000 contributors.

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