Fresh Film Northwest is a juried survey of work by up-and-coming teen filmmakers living in Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Now in its 40th year, the Festival recognizes individual talent, showcases model examples of how film arts can be taught in schools, and engages all of us in helping to build the Northwest regional youth media community of 13- to 19-year-olds. Congratulations to these young filmmakers, whose work has been selected from nearly 130 entries, and to the high schools, community organizations, and mentors who supported their efforts. May this glimpse into the heart and spirit of the next generation be a refreshing reminder that filmmaking is first and foremost about people encouraging each other, and showing the way.
Ellen Thomas, Education Director
Mia Ferm, Education Programs Manager
What a pleasure it was for us to view this year’s submissions to the 40th Annual Fresh Film NW Festival. From the moment the lights went down, entry after entry we were drawn into worlds of passion, inspiration, and deep thinking. On screen were compelling teen-eye-views of race, gender, and equality, and treatises on such tough issues as bullying, addiction, and sex trafficking. We witnessed robust and healthy representations of women from a range of backgrounds. Far from being awkward “first films,” the works demonstrated that, as a whole, today’s teen filmmakers are savvy and sophisticated (which is why we really, really, wanted to keep watching even when the last entry was over). This made our job both difficult and fun. The films that stood out for us created and followed through on elaborate stories and settings, taking risks with such creative elements as Foley and sound design. They peeled back layers of cultural cues to place characters and issues in the context of greater society. Does this mean that our favorites fully grasped the complex subtleties of storytelling? Maybe not quite yet, but as suggested by the selections and honorable mentions below, these young filmmakers are clearly on their way to finding their unique voices in our media universe.
Erin Boberg Doughton
Erin Boberg Doughton is the Performing Arts Program Director at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.
André Middleton is Director of Equity and Digital Inclusion at Portland Community Media.
Mark Shapiro is Head of Marketing and Brand Management at LAIKA.
About the Awards:
Integrative Learning: for innovation in integrating media into academic content.
Creative Self Expression: for outstanding achievement in cinematic storytelling.
Heart: for authenticity and humane treatment of a subject.