Preview: Leonard Oakland Film Festival

by Brianna Anderson

Whitworth’s third annual Leonard Oakland Film Festival premiers next week February 17-19. Enjoy a three day opportunity that will expose audiences to riveting films that deal with the depths of human experiences, from poverty and despair to hope and forgiveness. The festivities will be held in the Weyerhaeuser Hall Robinson Teaching Theatre starting at 7 p.m.

The Leonard Oakland Film Festival was first created in 2009 as a way of honoring the Whitworth professor it is named after. Oakland has taught film studies at Whitworth since 1970.

The purpose of the festivities is to promote an active interest in the study of film by featuring showings of various films to students, faculty and alumni alike, as well as encourage the continuing funding of the endowment in Oakland’s name.

The last day of the film festival will feature winners of the Student Film and Animation Competition held earlier this month. Students are submitting short films and animation projects to the English department in Westminster Hall. According to the contest application form, the categories were: narrative, alternative, experimental, documentary, news, animation, and video photo essay.

First, second and third place winners will receive $75, $50 and $25 prizes. In addition, a prize of $25 will go to the best film in the “60 Seconds or Less” category.

“Last year we had a pretty big roster of films we were looking at,” said English professor Casey Andrews. “There was a kind of ‘audience choice’ part of that too, which will happen again this year the night of. People can vote on their favorite movies.”

Each of the movie showings is free and available to all audiences. Westminster Round, the English majors’ student club, is going to be in charge of a concession stand providing popcorn, sodas, liquorice and other theater snacks.

Leonard Oakland Film Festival schedule printed out in the 2011 Heritage Month brochure:

Thursday, Feb.17, at 7 p.m.
Favela Rising, filmed in 2005 (by American directors Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Monchary) is a documentary about a man who comes from the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and starts a movement called Afro-reggae.  The movement was originally designed to encourage adolescents to be involved with music and provide an alternative to the drug trafficking and violent gang lifestyle.

Friday, Feb.18, at 7 p.m.
I’ve Loved You So Long, directed by Philippe Claudel, is a drama about two sisters who are reunited after 15 years. After serving a long sentence in jail, Juliette is finally released and attempts to re-connect with her sister Lea, who offers her a placed to live. The film depicts Juliette’s struggle in finding her purpose now that she is free.

Saturday, Feb.19, at 7 p.m.
Norman, was filmed locally in Spokane. Featuring original music from Andrew Bird, director Jonathan Segal’s film recounts the story of a high-schooler who pretends to have cancer as a way of coping with his troubles with his new girlfriend and terminally ill father.

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