Another great Tumbleweed

 Gary DeVon/staff photo Daniel Klayton, director of the 8th Annual Tumbleweed Film Festival, talks about why he loves short films, just before the festival rolls movies from around the world at Esther Bricques Winery last Saturday, Aug. 19. The winery also featured music before more than 100 movie goers packed into the barrel room to watch the films. “Fools Day,” about an April Fools joke on an elementary school teacher gone terribly awry was the evening’s favorite.


Gary DeVon/staff photo
Daniel Klayton, director of the 8th Annual Tumbleweed Film Festival, talks about why he loves short films, just before the festival rolls movies from around the world at Esther Bricques Winery last Saturday, Aug. 19. The winery also featured music before more than 100 movie goers packed into the barrel room to watch the films. “Fools Day,” about an April Fools joke on an elementary school teacher gone terribly awry was the evening’s favorite.

If you missed last weekend’s Tumbleweed Film Festival you missed a good one. That’s not to say they all haven’t been good, but it’s great to see the tradition started by my two good friends Geoff Klein and Mo Fine has landed on its feet under the direction of Daniel Klayton.

Web-Editorial-Gary-MugIf Daniel’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he’s our A&E columnist. He also works part time at the library, is on the 490 North Artist Board and can be seen all over Oroville, helping out here and there. He really revived the Tumbleweed this year and can be credited with doing most of the work, including previewing hours and hours of short films and paring it down to two six film blocks for each night on Friday and Saturday.

Having been on the festival’s board since the beginning, I wanted to help out more, but as some of you may know, I had a major operation on my right foot. That hampered my contribution this year.

Anyway, with just a little help from me, some more help from my S.O. Dana McCoy and support from the hosts of the two venues, Vicki and Walt Hart at Vicki’s Unique Boutique and Linda and Steve Colvin at Esther Bricques Winery, the two evenings were almost flawless. Daniel ran the projector and Dennis Peterson volunteered his time with the audio, no false starts and no skips.

The movies were excellent and the audience picked Ground Zero the first night. It starts off with the disclaimer, “The following is inspired by a real company. NOT Amway. A totally different company.” Well, all I’ll say is that when I was in college, a cute freshman girl got both Geoff (yes, one of the film festival’s founders) and I to attend a meeting at the request of her dad. She too insisted it was NOT AmWay. It was pretty hilarious.

I’m not sure what was Best of the Fest the second night, but you couldn’t go wrong with Fool’s Day, another comedy that had us nearly exploding with laughter.

Did I say everything went smoothly, there were a few bumps. Next year we will have programs and remember to give everyone a ballot so they can vote on their favorite.

On Friday night the festival kicked off at Vicki’s Backdoor Club in Oroville. There was free popcorn for movie watchers and snacks available during intermission. While not as well attended it had films every bit as good as Saturday night. The clear Best of Fest on Friday was a movie called “Grand Zero,” which mocked multi level marketing as a cult- or zombie-like experience.

On Friday night the festival kicked off at Vicki’s Backdoor Club in Oroville. There was free popcorn for movie watchers and snacks available during intermission. While not as well attended it had films every bit as good as Saturday night. The clear Best of Fest on Friday was a movie called “Grand Zero,” which mocked multi level marketing as a cult- or zombie-like experience.

The festival could not have happened without the Oroville Chamber of Commerce, which was the major sponsor this year. Their support helped to bring back the festival and I think if we can convince Daniel to stay as director, we can indeed keep this “North Central Washington’s Premier Short Film Festival,” as he says.

I am also proud to say that the Gazette-Tribune and its parent company Sound Publishing which continue to be loyal sponsors of the TWFF.

Over 150 people attended the festival over the two nights. We have lots of repeat customers over the years. With such a loyal fan base and some new faces the festival can’t do anything but get better. I hope that among the many activities we have each year, like the Tumbleweed and the Rally at the Border Blues Fest (this weekend), along with the new art gallery, Oroville becomes one of the first place people think of in the region when they think Arts and Entertainment each summer.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.