LAO Film Festival to follow 70s theme

The fourth annual Leonard Oakland Film Festival will flash back to the 1970s with films that were either shot or set in the decade. The festival will be in the Robinson Teaching Theater Feb. 16-18. In past years the festival was structured around three films: one documentary, one international film and one American independent film. This year the structure will be different. Each night will have a 7 p.m. showing and a late-night showing, giving the festival a total of six films rather than three.

“We wanted late-night films to be crowd-pleasing,” said Oakland, English professor and festival committee member, in regard to the addition of the late- night movies.

An eight-person committee decides what films will be shown at the festival. They make their decision through a series of discussions that look at how unknown the films are, if they will be enjoyed by the Whitworth community, and if they fit the mission statement of Whitworth.

This year the festival will open with “What Poor Child Is This,” a documentary produced by Whitworth President Beck Taylor. It will serve as the film in the documentary category for the festival.

The film will be introduced by Taylor and he will lead a panel discussion following the film. The panel will include director T.N. Mohan and two specialists from Seattle who work on the issue of poverty in America.

While the films at the festival are not well known to the general population, the hope is that the audience will be ex- cited to see a “small” or a not well known movie, and that the audience will come into the screenings with open minds and will leave their Hollywood expectations behind, Oakland said.

Along with the six motion pictures, the festival will also showcase a student- made film contest.

While the festival has only been active for four years, the expectation is that through the student-made film contest the festival will become better known and will lay a foundation for future Whitworth students to submit films, said Fred Johnson, assistant professor of English and festival committee member.

Oakland said every year he is always interested in seeing the different films the students submit.

“I like the idea that students of this generation are creating films,” Oakland said.

Although the six featured films will follow the theme of Whitworth Heritage Month, the student- made movies will follow their own set of guidelines. Each movie can be from the following categories: narrative, alternative or experimental, documentary or news, animation, or photo essay. Furthermore, all of the submissions must be eight minutes or less in length.

Story by Elise Van Dam Staff Writer

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Photographer: David Rurik