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OPB Celebrates Independent Films and Local Filmmakers in August

Three-week film festival on OPB TV culminates with local series ‘Oregon Lens’ showcasing Northwest filmmakers

OPB  will showcase and celebrate the power of independent films throughout the month of August with the “OPB Independent Film Festival” running from August 10-28 airing on OPB TV.

Each weeknight at 10 p.m. from August 10-24, viewers will enjoy a curated selection of films from the POV and Independent Lens libraries. The film festival will then culminate with the popular annual OPB series Oregon Lens that will broadcast over five nights from August 24-28 at 10 p.m.

Now in its 17th year, Oregon Lens showcases a dazzling range of work from Oregon’s independent filmmakers, with documentary and fictional films ranging from gritty explorations of the lives of people in need to fantastic photography of some of the state’s most beautiful places. Audiences will enjoy a variety of themes from different types of producers. One night will feature popular films from Oregon-based filmmakers Uncage the Soul Productions, while two other nights put the spotlight on student-produced films.

OPB’s Steve Amen created Oregon Lens and also serves as host and executive producer. John Strieder is the associate producer.

The OPB Independent Film Festival lineup is as follows:

  • Monday, August 10: POV: Guilty Pleasures. Every four seconds a romance novel is sold. Guilty Pleasures portrays five romance devotees who must, ultimately, find their dreams in the real world.
  • Tuesday, August 11: Independent Lens: Twin Sisters. Twin sisters, separated as infants and adopted by families in California and Norway, reunite.
  • Wednesday, August 12: Independent Lens: Little White Lie. An upper-middle-class woman with two loving Jewish parents unlocks a powerful family secret.
  • Thursday, August 13: POV: Racing Dreams. Two-time Oscar nominee Marshall Curry chronicles a year in the life of three tweens who dream of becoming NASCAR drivers.
  • Friday, August 14: Independent Lens: Jiro Dreams of Sushi. 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered the world’s greatest sushi chef, is profiled in Tokyo.
  • Monday, August 17: Independent Lens: Beauty is Embarrassing. Tennessean commercial artist Wayne White struggles to find a balance between his work and his art.
  • Tuesday, August 18: POV: Brooklyn Castle. A look at how chess became a Brooklyn public school’s unlikely inspiration for academic success.
  • Wednesday, August 19: POV: The Genius of Marian. An emotionally-complex story about one family’s struggle to come to terms with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Thursday, August 20: Independent Lens: Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream. Billionaires in a Park Avenue building live four miles away from the highest poverty rate in the US.
  • Friday, August 21: Independent Lens: The Trials of Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali’s battle to overturn his prison sentence for refusing US military service is examined.

Monday, August 24 – Oregon Lens Series

  • Rodeo Dog offers a glimpse into the way of life for three generations of the Durfey family, the heart and muscle of small-town rodeo in the Pacific Northwest. Produced and directed by Rebecca Hynes.
  • Le Femme, Le Meow is a tale of a mischievous cat that causes one mishap after the next. Her owner challenges the pesky feline to a friendly competition. Directed by Jeff Goldstein.
  • Yesterday’s Tomorrow: A Portland Journey is a dynamic, digitally animated “then and now” of Portland, exploring the idea of change. Produced by Uncage the Soul Productions.
  • Requiem of Ice reveals the dramatic melting and collapsing of the Sandy Glacier Cave system on the west face of Mt. Hood. Produced by Uncage the Soul Productions.
  • The Oregon Coast: A Winter Odyssey takes a journey of the entire 363 miles of the Oregon coastline in wintertime. Produced by Uncage the Soul Productions.
  • South of 45: Hyding Jekyll profiles Hyding Jekyll, a Springfield-based trio that plays a unique fusion of funk and metal. Directed, produced and edited by Richard Spanswick.

Tuesday, August 25 – Oregon Lens Series

  • The Mobile Stripper is a short film that imagines what would happen if a Las Vegas stripper and her pink RV rolled into a small Oregon town. Directed and written by Shirlyn Jennifer Wong.
  • The Healing Power of Art takes you to the Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) in Portland, where every child is facing a disability or a terminal disease. It’s a place where they can be themselves no matter what situation they are facing in their lives. Produced by Marian Dunn.
  • Debbe Cornitius – Sculptor is an intimate profile that captures the process and range of beautiful finished pieces by this Eugene sculptor. Produced and edited by Yancy Simon Faulkner.
  • Saudade is a film conveying the Portuguese noun that means “a profound longing for something or someone; melancholy, or nostalgia” as poetic sound and video communicate the feeling. Produced by El Gato Negro.
  • Mt. Hood in Spring showcases the diverse moods of Oregon’s magnificent Mt. Hood, from a starry-night time lapse to gorgeous macro wildflower cinematography. Produced by Tyler Hulett.
  • Ecotrust - A School District Unites Around Food introduces you to the diverse team who brought this farm-to-school program to the Salem-Keizer School District. Produced by Shawn Linehan.
  • Calexico: Falling From the Sky captures a performance by Southwest-flavored indie rock outfit Calexico at Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon. Produced by opbmusic.

Wednesday, August 26 – Oregon Lens Series

  • A Smooth Transition is a thoughtful profile of Thomas Crombie, a transgender resident of Portland and a public educator. Produced by Kate Crombie.
  • Creatively Maladjusted shows how human rights activist David Oaks and his wife, Debra Nunez, creatively respond to tough realities on personal and political levels. Produced by David Zupan.
  • What Are You? follows six young adults who address the multiracial experience as they confront questions of intercultural communication, conflation of physical appearance and racial identity. Produced by Sarah Nicole Donaldson.
  • Margaret and Misako follows Margaret Lieder, who confronts a history of abuse by trying to forge a new relationship with her mother, Misako, who suffers from dementia and lives in a memory care home in Portland. Produced by Thomas Patterson.
  • Say My Name explores finding identity outside of society and culture’s influence. Produced by Jung Min.
  • Houseless, Not Hopeless explores the residents and mission of Opportunity Village Eugene, a transitional microhousing community that offers low-cost tiny houses to those in need. Produced by Jana Thrift and David Zupan.
  • Sisters on the Fly is a portrait of Oregon sister Robyn Wallace-Blanchard of Sisters on the Fly, the largest outdoor women’s group in the United States. Produced by Amanda Butt, Garrett Guinn and Chloe Huckins.

Thursday, August 27 – Oregon Lens Series

  • #PDXCarpet is a funny satire of the cultural overkill on board a flight between Portland and Austin, Texas. Written, directed and edited by Jeffrey Janoff.
  • The Pun Bus is the true-life story of Portland icon and shuttle bus driver Bob Preiser, who welcomes hundreds of travelers to the Portland airport with a unique brand of showmanship and compassion. Produced and directed by John Strieder.
  • Ranchon La Mulata follows Lizbeth Peralta, who fought hard to open a restaurant in Cuba in the 1990s. She gave it an unusual name to go with its unique history. By Sutton Raphael and Jordan Bentz.
  • Hideaway Merman Nation profiles Eugene jazz musician Torrey Newhart, and how he balances his passions with supporting a one-year-old. Produced by Oliver Bacharach, Corinne Boyer and Courtney Theim.
  • Ground London is a short film that explores the tourist landscape of one of the world’s most-visited cities from a perspective less than three inches off the ground via slow-motion imagery. Produced, shot and edited by Dustin Morrow.
  • Fitting the Description in North Portland follows two Roosevelt High School students and a police officer as they respond to an incident involving a student and police. Directed by Jarratt Taylor.

Friday, August 28 – Oregon Lens Series

  • I Have a Surprise For You is a cheeky thriller about a woman who meets her roommate on Craigslist amidst Portland’s housing shortage, and then his behavior gets stranger and stranger. Directed by Nick Bremer Korb.
  • Num Nums is a trippy, funny piece about the wild adventures of Ralpete and his love for his candies, using stop-motion, pixilation, live action and computer animation techniques. Produced by Chop Motion Films.
  • Mystery Spot follows two friends on their way to a college as they stop at an odd, remote roadside attraction to stretch their legs. Produced by Ben Eastman.
  • After Her follows psychology student Jason Valdez, who’s working on his thesis and trying to sort out the relationship he had shared with his ex-girlfriend. Produced, directed and written by James Kim.
  • Frogman Meets Scooby Doo follows cult hero Frogman in his most ambitious adventure to date as he teams up with a group of drug-addled hippies who look suspiciously familiar. Directed by Rev. Christoff Molesworth and Travis D. Brown.


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