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Teeny Tiny Film Festival attracts quite a crowd

by: contributed photo Kamryn Tenbush and Clara Schwimmer pose with the statuette that was the grand prize at the PAGE Teeny Tiny Film Festival.

Attracting professional and amateur filmmakers alike, the Teeny Tiny Film Festival featured 11 films under 10 minutes each.

The films included comedies, scary movies, a documentary and even a poetry reading, all for the entertainment of the 130 people on hand Saturday night at the Estacada Auditorium.

The festival was organized by PAGE, the Performing Arts Group of Estacada, and is brought to Estacada every 18 months or so.

The festival states that its goal is to encourage people to try movie making in submitting original films less than 10 minutes in length.

The films are then judged by a three-person panel made up of motion picture fans, who vote on a series of five awards. The audience was then relied upon to vote for the final award, the People's Choice.

The five categories voted upon by the judges were Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Experimental, Best Junior (given to a filmmaker younger than 15) and Judges' Choice.

The Judges' Choice award recipient receives the festival's Teeny Award, a handcrafted statue that was the festival's equivalent of an Oscar.

Of the 11 entries submitted this year, roughly half were from Estacada residents, while the other five came from as far away as Salem.

The first film of the night was 'The Ascent' by Thea Kuziemski, a Civil War-era love story. It told the tale of a husband who comes back to visit his wife, but it was revealed at the end of the film that the man was actually a ghost.

Next up was 'Dental Care' by Jaren Morgan and Savannah Blackford. This was the first comedy of the night, centering around a trip to the dentist with the tagline, 'The dentist will … um … see you now …'

The third film shown, 'Comet Crash 9' by Jackie T. Gabel and Agnieszka Laska, featured a montage of space imagery, which provided a scene for a recited poem.

'Mr. Willard' by Charlie Moyer was the fourth film on the docket for the evening, and told the story of an elderly gentleman with a paper moustache. The film was a spoof on famous action movies such as James Bond films.

Mike Turner's film 'These Days (Summer)" was fifth up, a story about a family farm that featured beautiful photography throughout.

Sixth was the festival's first thriller of the night, 'Daemn Libri' by Dane Vandewiele. The supernatural tale told the story of a book that foretold its reader who was going to die next.

'The Paper Boy' by Tynon Reck was not nearly as innocent as its title suggests. It told the story of a piece of paper that claims the life of any person who looks at it. Ultimately, however, the hero of the film defeats the man causing all of the destruction, only to look into the paper and vanish himself.

Following on the heels of a pair of scarier films, 'To Disappear' by Russell Borne showed an artsier side of the festival with its melancholy and experimental animation.

The festival's lone documentary, 'A Little More Time,' by Joseph Triska, was about the risks associated with methods of extracting natural gas.

'Makeover' by Oliver Morgan was about a kid who received just that, a makeover, complete with a handful of different outfits to wear.

Last up was 'Because of Mismatched Shoes' by Josephine Huss. This film was a quirky story about a girl who was going to a restaurant, only to realize she was wearing mismatched shoes. Because she turned around before going in, she was later than expected and all of the tables were full except for a seat with a man she had seen there many times before. As it turns out, her late arrival and being forced to sit with this man ultimately cheers up the man enough to prevent him from completing his plans for the night - suicide.

After viewing all 11 films, the fans were then asked to submit their ballots, highlighting their favorite film of the night.

The People's Choice award ultimately was awarded to 'Mr. Willard,' and the Judges' Choice award went to Joseph Triska and 'A Little More Time.'

The other award recipients were 'Daemn Libri' for Best Drama, 'Because of Mismatched Shoes' for Best Comedy, 'To Disappear' for Best Experimental/Animation and Kali Steppe in 'The Ascent' for Best Actor.

Aside from the statue, other prizes included movie treats and other items.

The festival was dedicated to the memory of Estacada's Joe Cotter, who died Saturday morning. Cotter was a founding member of PAGE and a big part of the arts and culture scene in Estacada.

Award winners

Judges' Choice: "A Little More Time" (Joseph Triska)

People's Choice: "Mr. Willard" (Charlie Moyer)

Best Drama: "Daemn Libri" (Dane Vandewiele)

Best Comedy: "Because of Mismatched Shoes" (Josephine Huss)

Best Experimental/Animation: "To Disappear" (Russell Borne)

Best Actor: Kali Steppe in "The Ascent" (Thea Kuziemski)




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