It's quite a long journey to find success for a movie, as filmmakers Gary and Annie Lundgren know all about. They've made four films, the latest is "Phoenix, Oregon," about a couple of men reinventing their lives by restoring a small-town bowling alley and serving the "world's greatest pizza."
The movie is the latest to be picked up for the Portland Circuit, an OregonMade Creative Foundation project to screen films in Portland theaters. It'll show on four consecutive nights at the Hollywood Theatre (May 13), Clinton Street Theater (May 14), Cinema 21 (May 15), and Whitsell Auditorium (May 16).
It's part of a two-month journey for the Lundgrens to try to screen the movie in as many theaters as possible, to promote the film, and to possibly attract a national distributor. They'll be visiting 50 cities around the country via a bus, Annie Lundgren says.
"I've wanted to do it for about 10 years," she says. "Now we have what we need to do it.
"Theatrical (runs) are just so expensive. If we caught fire and it was clear (a distributor) would make a lot of money off us, they would come in and pay money. We do have the possibility of a digital distributor. We're trying to get our film more marketing up front, and hopefully do more digital in the fall" with Netflix, iTunes, Hulu or Amazon and the like.
Gary Lundgren is the writer and director and Annie Lundgren is the producer. All but a few scenes were filmed in Klamath Falls; some exteriors were filmed in Phoenix — yes, Oregon's Phoenix, just north of Ashland.
"We live in the (Rogue) Valley and we wanted to film there," Annie Lundgren says. "But it was easier to film in Klamath Falls. We found the perfect bowling alley there."
The movie was screened at the recent Ashland Independent Film Festival, and it also had a Klamath Falls opening. "It touches people who are later in life, who have been through it," she adds. "It's about reinventing themselves and finding relevancy, and having hope and dreaming."
Next up are four screenings in Portland. "Oregon Film is partnering with a few people to put this on," Lundgren says. "As an independent film we're focused on getting the word out for ticket sales. We'll start a full Oregon tour in June."
Screenings of "Sex Weather" kicked off the Portland Circuit last fall. The Portland Circuit is a partnership of Oregon Film, Northwest Film Center, Lower Boom, POW Fest and participating theaters.
For more: http://www.oregonmade.org, http://www.phoenixoregonmovie.com.
Fields Artist Fellowship
Four Oregon artists have been awarded $100,000 each as part of the inaugural Fields Artist Fellowship. It's a program, funded by Oregon Humanities and Oregon Community Foundation, that supports emerging to mid-career Oregon-based artists.
The artists: Crystal Akins, Lincoln City, musician; Mic Crenshaw, Portland, hip-hop artist; Ka'ila Farrell-Smith, Chiloquin, Klamath and Modoc artist and activist; and Joe Whittle, Enterprise, photographer.
They were selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants, representing writers, filmmakers, visual artists, multimedia artists, cultural heritage artists, musicians and performing artists.
For more: http://www.oregonhumanities.org.
Chess for Success
Curtis Young has been named new executive director of Chess for Success, succeeding Julie Young, who will continue her work as an ambassador. Julie Young was executive director for 21 years and its original employee.
Nonprofit Chess for Success helps children succeed in school and life through chess. Since 1998 it has been facilitating the Oregon State Chess Tournament, which was founded by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and The Oregonian in 1967.
Curtis Young has 20 years experience in nonprofit administration and leadership, most recently with the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette.
For more: http://www.chessforsuccess.org.
Retired teacher David Bailey, who spent 50 years teaching at Lincoln High School, has been named grand marshal of the June 1 Starlight Parade — which starts downtown and winds its way to Lincoln High School.
"We are so excited to honor someone who has taught generations of Portlanders who make up our unique city," says Amy Johnson, chair of the Starlight Parade Committee. "Particularly this year, with Lincoln High School celebrating 150 years of educating students, we want to highlight the value and significance of our educators."
Portland Farmers Markets
The markets are starting to open. The Shemanski Park Market, Southwest Park Avenue and Salmon Street, opened May 1 (10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays), and King Farmers Market at Northeast Seventh Avenue and Wygant Street opened May 5 (10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays). And PSU Farmers Market, South Park Blocks, remains open year-round (8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through October).
Others opening soon: Lents International Farmers Market, Southeast 92nd Avenue and Reedway Street, June 2, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays; Kenton Farmers Market, North McClellan Street and Denver Avenue, June 5, 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays.
For more: http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org.
Now 30 years old, the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport tall ships, will visit Ilwaco, Wash., May 7-14. There'll be tours and sails May 8-12.
For tickets and more, see http://www.historicalseaport.org.
Oregon Wine Month
If you like wine, it's a month to support your wineries and winemakers and visit tasting rooms, restaurants and retailers. In Portland and the Willamette Valley, there'll be events and specials through May. For more: http://www.oregonwine.org.
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