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Director(s): Zach Bandler and Kelly Blatz
Sat 3:40 PM Ashland Street Cinema Sun 6:40 PM Ashland Street Cinema Mon 3:20 PM Varsity 2 RUSH
A moving performance by Anthony Heald, long-time Ashland resident and actor with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, highlights The Stairs, as an older man hires a male escort for company on Christmas Eve. Faced with the realities of his own loneliness, he finds a strange kinship with the young man in this late-night exploration of solitude, intimacy, and the basic human need for connection.
Directors’ Statements: Zach Bandler, Kelly Blatz
Zach Bandler: I feel like this story is a way for me to ask people I’ve known about their lives and the choices they’ve made. This film isn’t about what’s right or wrong. It’s about all of us just doing the best we can.
Kelly Blatz: I was compelled to make The Stairs because of my interest in exploring the themes of loneliness, escape, and the complicated relationships between sex, love, and intimacy.
Sat 3:40 PM Ashland Street Cinema Sun 6:40 PM Ashland Street Cinema
Based on a true story, Closure follows the journey of a man whose life is irrevocably changed when he finds out his father, who he hasn’t seen in 15 years, has died. With former Oregon Shakespeare Festival company actors: David DeSantos and Stephanie Beatriz.
Director’s Statement: Wallace Langham
As a father of three, Closure struck a deep chord in me. It was an honor to direct as my first short film. I hope that it strikes a chord in you, too.
When Dusty masturbates for the first time, something bad happens....
Director’s Statement: Matt Kazman
Growing up, it seemed like all my friends knew more about adulthood, sex, and their bodies than I did. Of course, they were wrong about a lot of things, so I thought it would be funny to make a film about that.
Fri 09:50 AM Varsity 2 Sun 3:20 PM Varsity 2 RUSH Mon 3:20 PM Varsity 2 RUSH
Shot at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, Mothering
Inside follows participants in the Family Preservation Project (FPP), an innovative program that helps inmate mothers rekindle and maintain bonds with their children. During the yearlong shoot, the Oregon Department of Corrections decided to close the FPP despite a zero recidivism rate. Luckily, the film has helped raise public awareness, and the Oregon legislature has passed a bill guaranteeing FPP’s survival for two more years. After that, who knows?
Director’s Statement: Brian Lindstrom
I think of the camera as a passport, and I’ve used it throughout my career to tell the stories of people who society puts an “X” through: newly recovering addicts, people with mental illness, and, in Mothering Inside, incarcerated mothers. I use cinema vérité because it allows a direct relationship between the viewer and the subject.
Cuban-born painter Carmen Herrera is approaching her 100th birthday,
but that doesn’t stop her from continuing to work in her modern style of geometric forms and bright colors. A pioneering abstract painter in the 40s and 50s, she only recently found the recognition that eluded her for most of her career.
Director’s Statement: Alison Klayman
For anyone with an artistic career or who is undertaking long-term pursuits that may or may not “pay off” in the conventional sense, the question persists: what makes you keep going? And how do you do it without external validation? Carmen’s life is an example of pursuing passion and art for its own sake, because you simply feel compelled. Coming off of my first documentary feature film, the question of how to make art a lifelong dedication was constantly on my mind. I feel lucky to have spent that critical period of reflection with Carmen.