'Bigger and Better' Tumbleweed Film Festival rolls back to town

Local resort, restaurant, brewery and winery serve as venues

OROVILLE – Washington’s most unique film festival takes place right in Oroville. The fourth annual Tumbleweed Film Festival (TwFF) is back in town this Thursday, Aug. 1 through Saturday, Aug. 3. This year’s film fest offers three nights of completely different films at four venues. A total of 40 American and international short films will be presented during the festival’s three nights.

What makes Tumbleweed so unique, and sets this film fest apart from other film festivals is how they turn wineries, bars, restaurants or resorts into theaters for a night. Attendees will also enjoy a film experience very different from that of a typical movie theater. At most of Tumbleweed’s venues filmgoers may sample local wines, beers and cuisine while they watch entertaining short films from around the world. Filmgoers will even have an opportunity to meet up with some of the festival’s filmmakers.

Venues for this year’s festival are Esther Bricques Winery, Veranda Beach Resort, Alpine Brewing Company and the Pastime Bar & Grill. Each evening will feature different films, and the festival line-up is always comprised of a mix of comedies, dramas, documentaries and animation. This year’s offerings include an Academy Award-nominated short as well as films from the US, Spain, England, South Korea, Russia, Australia, Egypt, Latvia, Ireland and Canada. The British short, “Walking the Dogs,” stars British actress Emma Thompson.

“Each night’s films are as different as are the venues,” says Geoff Klein, Tumbleweed co-founder. “The films are great, but watching the films at each of the venues really makes for a completely fun experience.

“And each venue offers a great assortment of both humorous and thought-provoking films,” adds co-founder Mo Fine. “People may check out the films we’ll show each night on our website.”

Two free events kick off this year’s festival on Thursday, Aug. 1. For families, Veranda Beach Resort offers the closest film experience to a drive-in theater, when it hosts an outdoor evening of family films, shown under the stars. Spread your blankets and lawn chairs on the grass in front of Veranda Beach’s 16-foot outdoor screen, and enjoy the evening in the great outdoors. Food is available for purchase at the resort’s diner. Films begin at dusk. The other free event takes place at the Pastime Bar & Grill, which offers “A Blast of the Past” special screening of favorite entries from Tumbleweed’s previous past three years. This event begins at 9:15 p.m. and is intended for audiences age 21 and over. A special three-course festival menu will be served at 7:30 p.m. by reservation. There will also be flavored popcorns available during intermission.

Friday evening’s venue is the Alpine Brewing Comapny’s “Beers, Brats and Short Films,” where attendees may sample hand-crafted German style beers or taste wines from four local wineries. Filmmakers from two of the films will be in attendance that night.

“We’re looking forward to another fun event with Tumbleweed this year,” says Bart Traubeck, Alpine Brewing Co. owner. “We really seem to have a nice combination of film festival and party here.”

Bananas mock-u-mentary and Canadian filmmaker Sharon Roberts and actor Fraser Corbett will be on hand to answer questions about their film, “Shakey’s Coffee.”

A barbecue featuring Uli’s “Wurst of the Fest” may be purchased beforehand. Doors open at 5 p.m. and films start at 7:00 p.m. Attendees must be 21 or older. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door or on Tumbleweed’s website www.tumbleweedfilmfest.com.

Saturday night is “Movies in the Vineyard” at the Esther Bricques Winery, which includes many award-winning shorts from other film festivals. Once again, Esther Bricques has transformed their winery production area into a cool, dark movie theater. The evening begins at 5 p.m. with live music by Steve Kinzie and his group of Seattle musicians called “Sack of Hammers.”

Besides tastings in the winery’s tasting room, light appetizers and wines by the glass or bottle are available for purchase.

“We’re excited once again to host Tumbleweed and expect our attendees to be as pleased with this year’s selection of films that Mo and Geoff programmed for our winery as they have the past three years,” says Linda Colvin of Esther Bricques Winery.

“The arts are indeed alive in the Okanogan! We hope that each year more people in the area will take the opportunity to a part of this magical evening and that this year’s fest is the best ever, “ adds Colvin.

Films start at 7 p.m. Attendees under age 21 are welcome. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door or online at Tumbleweed’s website, www.tumbleweedfilmfest.com.

Tumbleweed Film Festival is a Washington-based non-profit organization committed to bringing the art of storytelling through filmmaking to communities in Washington and British Columbia. For more details about the annual festival including trailers and venues as well as TwFF’s on-going “Best of Fest” events, visit www.tumbleweedfilmfest.com or the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TumbleweedFilmFestival.

Local resort, restaurant, brewery and winery serve as venuesLocal resort, restaurant, brewery and winery serve as venues