Tumbleweed Film Festival celebrates fourth year in Oroville

Seattle filmmakers and Tumbleweed Film Festival co-founders Geoff Klein and Mo Fine prepare the Tumbleweed Film Festival screen for the 2012 Alpine Brewery venue. It is also used at Esther Bricques Winery and will be used at the Pastime Bar and Grill as well this year. Gary DeVon/file photo

Seattle filmmakers and Tumbleweed Film Festival co-founders Geoff Klein and Mo Fine prepare the Tumbleweed Film Festival screen for the 2012 Alpine Brewery venue. It is also used at Esther Bricques Winery and will be used at the Pastime Bar and Grill as well this year. Gary DeVon/file photo

OROVILLE – The Tumbleweed Film Festival (TwFF), Washington’s most unique film fest, brings 40 short films to its fourth annual film festival in Oroville on Aug. 1, 2 and 3.

Tumbleweed, www.tumbleweedfilmfest.com, highlights short films from around the world, as well as local wineries and breweries, which are turned into movie theaters for a night. Tumbleweed’s festival offers attendees the opportunity to watch seldom seen international films, while sampling locally made wines and beers.

“We’re very excited to expand our film festival in Oroville this fourth year and look forward to bringing a fun cultural event to the community, getting the word out on this beautiful part of Washington State and letting the world know about the Okanogan,” says TwFF co-founder Mo Fine.

This year’s festival includes four venues over three evening showings, which will take place at Veranda Beach, the Pastime Bar and Grill, Alpine Brewing and Esther Bricques Winery. Each night features different short films, ranging from comedy and drama, to documentaries and animation. Forty short films will screen over the three-day festival, which includes an academy award nominated short, as well as films from the US, Spain, England, South Korea, Russia, Australia, Egypt, Latvia, Ireland and Canada. Some films this year even include a star-studded cast like the British short “Walking the Dogs” with the actress Emma Thompson. There is even a little local talent involved with the short film “Shakey’s Coffee,” which was produced by Osoyoos native Sharon Roberts.

“We look for short films that provide great stories and this year we’ve found a great selection for every night. Audiences are going to find plenty of films to like each evening”, says Geoff Klein, the festival’s other founder. “We offer a highlight of each venue’s films on our website, so attendees can get a quick glimpse of the types of short films they’ll see at each event.”

This year’s festival kicks-off with two special events on Thursday, Aug. 1, which are both free to the public. At dusk, Veranda Beach Resort will host an outdoor family night of films, where attendees will enjoy a drive-in theater experience by watching the films outside, under the stars, beside Lake Osoyoos. And the Pastime Bar and Grill will offer a “Blast from the Past” special screening of audience favorites from previous Tumbleweed Film Festivals. This event is geared to a 21 and over crowd and takes place at 9:15 pm.

“We are very pleased to be a sponsor, as well as a venue, for this year’s festival,” said Victoria Hinze, owner of the Pastime Bar and Grill. “We want to help build Tumbleweed into an important tourist attraction for our region and hope our free event at the Pastime will introduce the event to a wider audience. Who says a town needs a movie theater to have a great film festival?” adds Hinze.

On Friday, Aug. 2, TwFF turns the Alpine Brewing Co. into a movie theater for a night. Films include a brand new slate of adult oriented comedies, a little drama and some twist and turns. Attendees may sample the brewery’s hand-crafted beers, or drink wines from four local wineries.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask some questions to filmmaker Sharon Roberts, an Osoyoos native, who produced “Shakey’s Coffee,” as well as to actor Fraser Corbett, who starred in this Canadian short. A barbecue featuring Uli’s “Wurst of the Fest” is available for purchase. Doors open at 5 p.m. and films start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and all attendees must be 21 or older. Tickets may be purchased directly at the door or online at Tumbleweed’s website.

Saturday, Aug. 3 features a night of movies in the vineyards at the Esther Bricques Winery. Films include many award-winning shorts from other film festivals. The event offers live music, light appetizers and features tastings of the winery’s vintages. Doors open at 5 p.m. and films start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door or online at Tumbleweed’s website.

Attendees may also visit the Tumbleweed Film Festival’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TumbleweedFilmFestival, for more information on films, including trailers, and venues.

Festival founders Fine and Klein, both filmmakers in their own right, started the festival to combine their love of filmmaking with their love of Washington’s Okanogan Valley and hope to continue growing their festival throughout the Okanogan, including Tonasket, for many years to come.

This year’s primary festival sponsors include The Pastime Bar and Grill, Baines Title and Escrow, Veranda Beach Resort as well as Okanogan Estate and Vineyards. Other community sponsors include the Camaray Motel, Hometown Pizza, the Oroville Chamber of Commerce and the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune.

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