This past weekend was the 3rd annual Leavenworth Film Festival. If you have never heard of this event, don’t fret, neither had I. Shane Wilder of Icicle TV reached out to see if I wanted to help participate with my recent film “Work Hard Climb Harder by Luke Allen Humphrey.” I said I’d be delighted and discovered through this engagement that the film would be entered into a category and evaluated against other films in the same category. It would be like the Oscars of Outdoor films presented collectively in Leavenworth and hosted by Icicle TV. It sounded even more fun and I couldn’t wait to experience the event.
Leavenworth is this little Bavarian town in the middle of nowhere built in the North Cascades in Washington with access to some incredible outdoor activities such as rock climbing, Skiing, alpine, hiking, trekking, mountain biking, rafting and more. The little town is not only a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast but it has come to be a top tourist attraction named the Ultimate Holiday Town USA by A&E (Wikipedia) with it’s Bavarian architecture and collection of world goods, including home to the Nutcracker Museum.
The Festhalle is a modern day center boasting a 10,000 sq ft open event hall with stage and integrated sound system. Not far from this venue is the Snowy Owl Theatre located at the Center for the Arts where a number of high end performances travel through. Check out their site to see some of their offerings. The Festhalle held the main Film Festival event, seating an estimated 5-600 people. The more intimate Snowy Owl Theatre was where the presentations on the 2nd day were held, maybe 50 people were in attendance.
Attendees to the festival were greeted on the red carpet and had their photos taken Hollywood style. Beer, wine, raffle items were present with the exception of any type of drinks for non-drinkers or under-age youth. There was a water fountain just outside the venue so it wasn’t a complete upset. They did remember to have some food. Aside from this logistical snafu, the event went over really well.
Films in the line up included a mix of emerging and classics. One of my favorites was a film called Dorias by Duct Tape Then Beer and the popular Afterglow and Tying the Knot. We had an intermission break with Professional mountain biker, Ryan Leech, doing tricks on stage for us followed by a vocalist, whose name I didn’t catch.
It was a treat to watch my film on the big screen with an audience of this size, though I worried that no one would clap after seeing some of the other productions. Afterall, how could I compete with glow skiiers, marriage, dogs or cancer? Fortunately, two friends of mine randomly were in town and randomly decided to alter their plans and join me and my niece at the event. With them by my side, I relaxed and knew at the very least, the four of us would hoot and holler. Check out the event winners, here.
The following day was a beautiful day to be outdoors and the presentations were scheduled in the middle of the day. I was very thankful for those that stepped away from the outdoors to join us inside and listen to different professions share something about their life and work. Amy Stolzenbach talked about her music production and compositions in film. Some of the films boasting her scores are Mikey Schaefer and the Force, and The Road From Karakol. Really amazing things you can do with a keyboard and guitar.
Ryan Leech from the night before, left his bike behind and stepped on stage to talk a bit of philosophy behind sports. We explored what it means to be a performance based athlete vs. participating for the experience. Check him out in Kranked 6 Progression part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGXwiAO57Jg.
Probably the best featured presenter was Graham Tracey. Anyone who can talk about Bono, Jon Bon Jovi and others with 0 degree separation is a hit, IMO. This guy scripts and does voice overs. We’ve probably all heard him from time to time in advertising, TV and film, we just didn’t know it. As a back up vocalist back in the day, which is how he came to associate himself with these larger, well known bands, he now focuses on writing and voice over productions as work presents itself. Here’s a quick sample to illustrate his talent: Lifecycles. See more at his website.
In closing, there is much to do around Leavenworth that you don’t need a film festival to take you there, but if you are looking for an excuse, then hit this up next year. Bring your swankiest clothes and prepare for a fun night out. Definitely hit up the 2nd day events as they are a special treat. With the long days at this time of year, you can head outdoors before or after to get in your outdoor fix. A final word of thanks to Icicle TV and everyone at the Film Festival for putting on a good show and taking extra good care of me along the way.