Thank you to the Oregon Independent Film Festival for a fantastic 2013 OIFF Awards Ceremony at the Clinton Street Theater on Saturday night!
It was everything an awards ceremony should be. Stars dressed up, film-goers milling about on the sidewalk and in the intersection of 26th and Clinton, paparazzi (mostly people with their camera phones), a red carpet (well, a red rug), and popcorn (natch). Willamette Writers and Ampersand Productions were there to represent and celebrate Alis Volat Propriis‘ win as Best Comedic Short. Producers Ruth Wittereid, Bill Johnson, Brynne Baron, and Stefan Feuerherdt (Stefan brought his mom – awesome!) arrived looking fabulous, as did director Christopher Alley, assistant director Anthony Forsyth, editor Eric Macey, production designer Emily Wahl, and actors Katie Michels and Randall Jahnson. And, of course, writer Haley Isleib!
The Press Club was the site for our pre-party celebration (and for our own after-party as well). Yummy drinks, sandwiches, a little music, and outside seating. We even had people at the bar buzzing about the film.
As one winner said, it was a little like a David Lynch-inspired awards ceremony, and it kind of was. Red curtained backdrop, host wearing a trench coat, spotlight on him so all that could be seen from the stage was inky blackness…
All we needed were some antlers.
Why is the FiLMLaB win at the OIFF awards ceremony so important?
The FiLMLaBoratory is completely experimental. When the conference committee came up with the idea in 2012, it was mere months before the planned premiere at the Willamette Writers Conference, and there was a lot of skepticism. A lot. Haley’s script was completely last minute (really – ask her! – it’s a great story), as was the filming location. Friends of friends were asked to help out and there was a lot of anxiety the night of the premiere at the conference. A/V (the bane of Conference Chair Stefan Feuerherdt’s existence) was malfunctioning, no one had seen the fully edited movie yet, and we had run out of food at the reception.
But there was popcorn (natch). And the movie was a hit. It has a lovely warm glow, and Katie Michel’s beauty only adds to the magic of it. Randall Jahnson’s performance as Max is quirky and funny, and the music is perfect.
To have such a wonderful group of people come together and make something so beautiful and entertaining and then have it win an award in its own right is just… Well, it’s flat-out amazing. I think it speaks highly of the quality of writers associated with Willamette Writers and the dedication that both Willamette Writers and Ampersand Productions have for such a creative idea.
And, of course, a big thank you again to everyone at OIFF and Clinton Street Theater! It was a fantastic night.