Arts & CultureFilm & TV

Spotlight is on local filmmakers at OpenLens Festival

How would you like to watch a documentary about the fighting video game competition sub-culture in Portland? Maybe you’d like to watch the tale of a “parking meter fairy” who’s always saving tardy parkers in the nick of time, much to the chagrin of the villainous parking attendants? This Saturday you can, and the cherry on top is that all of these films were made by Oregon filmmakers, most of them right here in the Eugene area.

The Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts’ eighth-annual OpenLens Festival@@ AND[email protected]@ showcases the work of local indie filmmakers this Saturday at the Baker Downtown Center@@[email protected]@. “We want to encourage local filmmakers and show their work on the large screen to the community,” Steve Poizat-Newcomb, OpenLens Festival Chair, said.@@OH MY GOD, LOOK AT HIM[email protected]@

“This is the second time in the history of the festival that this is all Oregon. A few entries use expensive cameras, and a few of them use simple cameras,” Poizat-Newcomb said. “There is a wide range of experience and prowess this year. With the radical shift in filmmaking technology, you can know very little about technology and end up with great results.”

Twelve entrants were chosen by jury to compete for cash prizes. Top prize is $500 for Jury Best of Show, with categories also for honorable mention ($250 prize) and audience choice ($100 prize)@@first [email protected]@. Members of the jury include retired University professor and film critic Doug Hennessy@@[email protected]@. He has been critiquing film for over 30 years for such outlets as Philadelphia Weekly and was syndicated for the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain@@[email protected]@. In addition to being one of the jury members, Hennessy is also teaching a seminar at the festival called “How to Watch a Movie like a Film Critic,” detailing the critical eye of the film reviewer using many examples of the trade.@@[email protected]@

During the mid to late afternoon, there will be a meet-and-greet with the local filmmakers at the Davis Restaurant and Bar. “Let’s say you’ve got some work you’re happy with, and you want to get it out. They can talk with the people that have more experience,” Poizat-Newcomb said.

From 7:30 to 10 p.m. is the film ceremony and awards back at the Baker Downtown Center Auditorium. Admission to the screenings is $8, the rest is free.

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