Tumbleweed Film Festival makes happy fans in Osoyoos

Movie-goers and filmmakers mingle among the displays at the Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Center in Osoyoos, BC during a break at the Tumbleweed Film Festival's Best of Fest. Photos by Gary DeVon

Movie-goers and filmmakers mingle among the displays at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Center in Osoyoos, BC during a break at the Tumbleweed Film Festival’s Best of Fest. Photos by Gary DeVon

OSOYOOS – Following three nights of films and one Saturday Family matinee at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Tumbleweed Film Festival is already set for next Sept. 2012.

“We really enjoyed the opportunity to come to Osoyoos and showcase our best films. We found that Osoyoos has an avid film goer base and they’re hungry for the type of film experience that Tumbleweed provides,” said Tumbleweed co-founder Geoff Klein. “Because of the great response, we’ve already firmed up plans to bring our festival back to Osoyoos in September 2012.”

The festival took place Sept. 22-24 and showcased over 40 short films from around the world, including Ireland, France, Hong Kong, Qatar, Peru, Spain, Canada and the US. Tumbleweed brought a selection of their best-rated short films from their annual film festival in Oroville, Washington, where festival goers get to vote on their favorite films. Tumbleweed brought a selection of dramas, comedies, documentaries and animation to Osoyoos, which was Tumbleweed’s first “Best of Fest” in Canada. Over 250 film goers attended the event over the three-day period.

“The first Tumbleweed Film Festival at the Nk’Mip resort was fantastic,” says Jennifer Bussman of the Nk’Mip Cellars, which served wine at each evening at the festival screenings. “There were films for all ages to enjoy. I’m already looking forward to the second annual film festival next September,” says Bussmann.

Attendees at the film festival were able to vote for their favorite films as well. This year’s crowd favorite was “Time Freak,” followed by “The Crush,” an Academy nominated short from Ireland, “Cataplexy” , “True Beauty” and animated short “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. The festival also included a couple of short animations from students at the Kelowna Digital Art School, as well as some First Nations films. Attendees were also able to ask filmmakers in attendance, from Seattle and Omak, questions on their films.

“The venue at the Desert Cultural Centre and the Aboriginal entertainment was magical,” adds Bussmann. The Desert Cultural Centre provided an extraordinary array of live entertainment, which included an opening night “welcoming” smudging ceremony by the Bob Etienne, Desert Cultural Centre Interpreter, as well as dancing and drumming by Russell Podgurney, Desert Cultural Centre Interpreter. Mr. Podgurney also provided storytelling, dancing and drumming on the other two evenings, including a heart-felt closing ceremony on Saturday evening, where some of the festival attendees were invited to drum with him.

“We’re excited to come back to Osoyoos next year and look forward to continuing to grow this festival in Osoyoos and make it an on-going event. I think that it offers a lot to the people of this community, while also providing tourists another great excuse to keep coming back to this amazing area of the world,” said Klein.