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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

Juror Statement

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
André Middleton
Mark Shapiro

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.

Films in this Program

Budding Romance

Directed by Elaina Albers, Katherine Bentz, Lucca Jenkins Law, Danielle LeBlanc, Evangeline Liu

Love between a girl and her potted plant.


Directed by Brendan Hickey, Sam Cleary

A friendship forms outside the principal’s office. Winner of a 2016 Fresh Film Northwest Creative Expression Award. I love John Hughes movie


Directed by Skala Leake, Cameron Miller, Avery Davis, Aaron Miller

A young soccer star can't run from a new reality.   I experienced a form of loss, which inspired me


Directed by Joshua Costea, Raluca Ciobanu, Lettie Costea

Abby’s strange powers help her find a world to call home.Winner of a 2016 Fresh Film Northwest Creative Expression Award. I wanted

Lincolnshire Groove

Directed by Jasper Thun

The secrets of the Cold War still linger…in miniature. I like history, the fall of the Soviet Union, maps, and

Living Honestly

Directed by PJ Hase, Skala Leake

What it’s like to come out to families and friends.   There's an over-abundance of sad coming out stories everywhere.

Losing Alberta: Gentrification in Northeast Portland

Directed by Sawyer Montgomery, Joshua Webb, Mackie Mallison

How gentrification has changed a Northeast Portland community. Winner of a 2016 Fresh Film Northwest Integrative Learning Award. I lived

Sticks and Stones

Directed by Amanda Macready, Aya Dosla, Raine Shank, Christina Yu, Hannah Cumming

Stopping the cycle of hurtful words. Winner of a 2016 Fresh Film Northwest Heart Award.   The idea came to the


Directed by Arden Butterfield

Alone in a world turned sideways, and holding on. Winner of a 2016 Fresh Film Northwest Creative Expression Award.   I have

Rectangles & Straight Lines

Directed by Courtenay McLeod

A cityscape full of patterns, shapes, shadows, and movement. The reality and the obsession of simplicity and structure and people


Directed by Claire Mackie, Daniel Ortiz, James Vancuren, Mutte Chen

Striving for perfection, piano practice turns to obsession.

What I Would Say

Directed by Zulema Young-Toledo

True feelings are revealed in hypothetical terms.   I made this film to try to encapsulate and share the conflict


Directed by Pablo Reese, Anna Smith, Annie Winner, Ethan Harmon, Mimi Smith

A stolen tri-cycle, fruit-cakes, and clever insults collide.   Shakesburn is a comedy-drama that portrays two people with a strange

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.