More than just a music festival, this year’s Treefort includes multiple “forts” that bring together everything from skateboarding to independent film.
As part of the Film Fest, Portland’s NW Film Center compiled a selection of their favorite shorts from the Northwest Film Festival. Thomas Phillipson, Regional Services Manager, says about the showcase, “I consider this sort of a mixtape.” Spanning a loosely categorized area of the Northwest, and including films from British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon, the 60 minute screening heavily favored NWFC’s home base of Portland.
Directed by Joshua Cox (Portland)
This meticulous animation in the vein of Toy Story if Woody’s owner was a collector of porcelain dolls, tells of unrequited love and revenge. Every shot is precise, and the computer animated characters are near photorealistic. Given the silence of this piece, the quick clips and smart visual storytelling are really at the forefront.
Take Away: Move over Buzz Lightyear, Andy Likes Hummels Now.
Directed by Mike Smith (Portland)
Produced in a sketchy, more traditional manner, this animation follows the continuous attempts of a housebound mutt to get out of said abode and into the great blue yonder. Stymied by his perpetually sleepy human, the dog tries everything to get out the door (even going so far as to learning how thumbs work), but to no avail. The short is very coherent and makes use of entirely non-verbal cues from human and canine alike.
Take Away: Take Your Dog to Work Day is in June this year.
Directed by Kyle Eaton (Portland)
Proving once again that good acting and a tight storyline can make even the most mundane ideas enticing, Kyle Eaton’s Taco Night follows two recently-reunited friends on a trek to a severely under-peopled party. Running out of awkward moments between the party goers, the whole narrative comes through in an unexpectedly revealing game of King’s Cup in the garage.
Take Away: Relatable to anyone who has been to a party where no one says anything until they tell you their life story.
The Bear’s Progress
Directed by Malia Jensen (Portland)
If you’ve heard Malia Jensen’s name around town before, chances are it was through Elizabeth Leach Gallery, her Portland representation. Incorporating the wide-open nature of ranch land into her sweeping cinematics, Jensen’s The Bear’s Progress tells the hapless tale of a bear wandering through the woods scratching at trees, peering at cows, getting high with a woman at a campfire, fighting off a rancher…the surreal nature of a person in a bear suit is what really brings this short to the next level. It’s obvious that the bear is human, but one wonders if the bear knows that.
Take Away: Just watch this trailer, already!
Be sure to check out the other screenings happening throughout the festival, and be sure to check out the Northwest Film Center online or in Portland near the art museum.