Tumbleweed Film Festival rolled north to Osoyoos

Film festival cofounders Mo Fine and Geoff Klein address film goers at the Tumbleweed International Film Festival held Aug. 16 to 18 at the NK'MIP Desert Cultural Center. Photos by Gary DeVon

Film festival cofounders Mo Fine and Geoff Klein address film goers at the Tumbleweed International Film Festival held Aug. 16 to 18 at the NK’MIP Desert Cultural Center. Photos by Gary DeVon

OSOYOOS, B.C. – Fresh from its success at the third annual Tumbleweed International Film Festival in Oroville, in early August, the event moved north to Osoyoos for three short film-packed days Aug. 16-18.
This was the second year for the festival at Oroville’s nearest neighbors to the north. The venue on all three nights was the Desert Cultural Centre at NK’MIP Resort.
“It went really well, we sold out two of three nights,” said Geoff Klein, co-founder of the festival, with partner Mo Fine.
In addition to the movies, three of the directors made appearances at this year’s event in Osoyoos, Jared Varava, from Los Angeles, who directed the aptly named “Tumbleweed” and Tim Watkins, from Seattle, who directed “Tilting at Windmills.”
“The directors that attended from really enjoyed getting to see the area,” he adds.
Thursday, Opening Night, featured ten family-oriented short films, including offerings from Canada, the U.S.A., France, Uganda, Germany, India, and Belgium. In the Canadian Film, “Onion Skin,” by Joseph Procopio, a high school student avoids texting in a romance about the power of letter writing.
On Friday, Red Carpet Night, there were 13 short films from the U.S.A., Spain, France, the U.K., Puerto Rico, Australia and Iceland. Most were full of humor, but the festival turned serious with the film “Honor the Treaties” by Eric Becker, a film about a portrait photographer’s powerful advocacy work for the Native American rights on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Saturday’s Awards Night had 11 short films, including offerings from Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Spain. Perhaps a favorite from Saturday was “Friend Request Pending,” with Dame Judy Dench. This film from the U.K. by Chris Foggin had a youthful, but older generation Dench discovering the wonders and aggravations of flirting via facebook. It was somewhat of a role reversal of Thursday night’s “Onion Skin” where two high school students forego high tech for old-fashioned letter writing.
The events are put on by Fine and Klein, Seattle area film makers in their own right. The film festivals are sponsored by local businesses in Oroville, Tonasket, Omak, Okanogan and Osoyoos, as well as Seattle. In fact, the nationally recognized Seattle International Film Festival has partnered with the TwIFF. The Oroville Chamber of Commerce and Destination Osoyoos are also sponsors.
“We really appreciate the Desert Cultural Center for providing the opening and closing ceremony. It really enriches the experience for the attendees,” said Klein.

And the winners are:

After viewing each film, movie-goers were asked to rate them one to five, with five being the highest score. Each film could be given as many fives, fours, threes, twos and ones as the viewer felt they deserved. Festival co-sponsor Klein recently released the winners from the Oroville event and said, like Osoyoos, “Friend Request Pending” was very popular. At Oroville, it won Best of the Fest. In second place was “036,” a Spanish Film where having all your forms filled out for the government bureaucracy was treated with a lot of humor. In third place was “Honor the Treaties,” and fourth was “A Finger, Two Dots Then Me” from the U.S.A., a spoken word poem cinematically taking a dramatic look at death, life and love. “Aquadettes,” also from the U.S.A., won fifth. The movie answers the question, what does synchronized swimming have to do with medical marijuana? Lastly, in sixth place was a short animated film called “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Lessmore,” from the U.S.A. in which Mr. Lessmore finds a magical library after a storm whisks his home away.
Fine and Klein are already making plans for next year’s events in Oroville and Osoyoos and will use the results of the voting as a guide about what people in the Okanogan/Okanagan want to see. They may also use the results for “Best of Fest” events around the region.
“We plan on marketing the festival and the area all year around,” said Klein, adding, “We’d really appreciate it if you’d friend us on facebook.”
The Tumbleweed can be found online at tumbleweedfilmfest.com or on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/TumbleweedFilmFestival.