Canby is starting to get a reputation. Or, more precisely, Canby's annual film festival is starting to find a comfortable voice in the state's filmmaking circles.
The fourth annual Canby Film Fest will be Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Canby Cinema 8 Theater and will feature 14 short films. The festival was the brainchild of the Canby Public Library Foundation as a unique fundraiser.
"We just had this idea where we wanted to do something different in the fundraising arena compared to other local nonprofits," explained Jon Dragt, a foundation board member. "Seeing as how the theater is right next to the library, it seemed like a good match."
Time has proven that assessment correct as the film festival has grown nicely since its inception. Dragt said the hope was to not only fundraise, but also reinforce the notion that the library can be a creative space.
"We were looking to promote people creating content, as well as reading it," said Dragt. "And that can also be illustrated by the new 'library of things' that has come up. We thought it would be a pretty fun to do to raise our profile and draw attention to the library."
Mission accomplished. Dragt noted that every year the film festival has grown and pointed to Oregon's "vibrant film community" as something the event has tapped into.
"From the filmmaker community, we are becoming fairly well known," Dragt said of the event. "Word is getting out and we are seeing a broader spectrum of films each year."
The Canby Film Fest spotlights only Oregon-based films, preferring to highlight the work of locals who are creating some pretty interesting work. Dragt said the festival gets thousands of submissions from around the world each year, but will continue to focus on Oregon creations and filmmakers.
"We are looking at 14 short films this year," said Dragt, who added that the films cannot exceed 15 minutes in length. "We had to not show some that we would have liked to."
The decision-process was tough, Dragt admitted, noting that he and his colleagues had to cull the list down from 50 that made it through the vetting process.
"We try to keep it pretty wide open (subject matter) to encourage the most people," Dragt said. "We do have one from Canby this year. It's truly a broad spectrum of films."
There are documentaries, animated, music videos, film essays, dram and some comedy rolled into this year's slate of films.
"We just try to choose a good mix and the best quality filmmaking," Dragt said. "The films aren't rated, so some might not be appropriate for children. We try not to censor based on message or that kind of content.
"So far, I feel that every year the show we put on has gotten better," he added. "There was a dramatic improvement from year one to two, and again from year two to three. I think this year will be on par or better than last year."
Tickets are on sale now at Cutsforth's Thriftway for $10. They'll be available at the door, but cost $15.
"Pre-sales are nice to help us gauge the size of theater we need," said Dragt. "Kudos to Canby Cinema 8 for providing the facilities for the event."
Here's what will be playing:
The Window – Elham Sepehrjou.
A maid girl and a window washer boy meet in front of a window, but life is so unexpected...
Love Tap – Joey Sparacino.
Teenage love inspires a creative way to meet to "the one".
Switch – Cowan Jenkins.
Switch is the story of TJ Sneva, who built the very first pair of functional twin tip skis, and then promptly had his idea stolen.
unHEARD – Kian Doughty.
An elderly man wrestles with the past in a silent 16mm film written and directed by 8th grader Kian Doughty.
Alarm – Justen Noll.
A dancer faces the trials and tribulations of coming to terms with an injury.
Tonight – Mark Roush.
A young boy builds a time machine in his parent's basement with the hope of rescuing his sister.
The Talk – Phillip A. Anderson.
Marcelle has been living a lie and she knows it's time to finally come out. Her words are bound to blindside her parents, but today, she has...the talk.
Alice in Nite Hawk – Devin Tau.
Friends are forced to navigate a new world when their tradition is disrupted, leaving them questioning their own existence.
TECHS: Show Blacks – Timothy Blackton.
A behind-the-scene tech and the art of blending into the backstage darkness.
The Michelle Experience – Jason Rosenblatt.
A glimpse into the passion and artistry of violinist, singer, songwriter, and ambassador of folk music Michelle Alany.
State of Being – Gates Callanan.
A music video featuring music by Fernando Irizzary.
Lost Cause & Effect – Richard Sangeleer.
A film-essay about the white supremacist murders on a public train in Portland Oregon in 2017.
Word on the Street – Sean Parker.
For the duration of this creation, a pair of mobsters engage in a wordplay-filled conversation.
Natasha's Voice – Zach Putnam.
After a traumatic brain injury, Natasha forms of Assistive Technology to lead an active social life and aspires to help others.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.