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Filmmakers ready for their closeup in Ashford

4:34 am May 8th, 2013

A scene from "Knuckle Jack," one of the features in the 2013 Rainier Independent Film Festival. (Courtesy photo)

A scene from “Knuckle Jack,” one of the features in the 2013 Rainier Independent Film Festival. (Courtesy photo)

Thirty-four films will be screened in Ashford this weekend during the seventh annual Rainier Independent Film Festival.
Along with their work, several filmmakers plan to be at the three-day festival that begins Friday. They include Todd Warger and Brian Young, who will present “The Mountain Runners,” which is based on the true story of the Mount Baker Marathon races that took place from 1911 to 1913 and are widely thought to be the first adventure races ever held in the United States.
Other filmmakers who will attend, according to festival director Win Whittaker, include Tonya Yorke (“Listen”) and Marty Riemer (“Sleeping With Siri”).
Whittaker said highlights will be the world premiere of Michael Kelly’s family drama “Isn’t it Delicious,” the Washington premiere of the adventure film “Last Paradise,” and the U.S. premiere of Carl Svensson’s touching documentary, “Pappa Parkinson.”
Also in the festival’s “dynamic lineup” for Saturday at the Mt. Rainier Lions Theater, Whittaker said, are several high-profile films programmed by guest curator and Seattle film industry mogul Warren Etheredge – festival favorite “Andrew Bird: Fever Year,” South by Southwest Film Festival award winner “Loves Her Gun,” and “Redwood Highway.” The latter stars Tom Skerritt and Shirley Knight.
Etheredge also will lead a film workshop about the editing principles that can make or break a film in post-production on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Media Center in Ashford.
Whittaker said the workshop is one of several added events in this year’s festival. Audiences can attend all parties, workshops and screenings with the Rainier Blowout Pass for $35. Passes and tickets for individual screenings are on sale at www.RainierFilmFest.com and at Whittaker’s Bunkhouse or Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford.
The festival will open Friday night with “Spring Eddy,” the feature film debut of director George Anson. It’s described as a screwball crime comedy. Anson will attend a post-film discussion following the 7 p.m. screening at the Mt. Rainier Lions Theater, which will be followed by an opening-night gala.
Rounding out the weekend will be the closing-night film, “Knuckle Jack,” made by festival alumni Toby Poser and John Adams, whose previous film, “Rumblestrips,” won the award for Best Feature Film at last year’s festival. “Knuckle Jack” follows a smalltown, foul-mouthed drunk with an artistic gift for thievery who is entrusted with caring for his niece for the summer. Poser and Adams will be in attendance, along with the rest of their filmmaking team – their two daughters, Zelda and Lulu.
Festival awards will be presented for Best Student Film, Best Short Documentary, Best Feature Documentary, Best Narrative Short, Best Narrative Feature, and Audience Favorite.
Whittaker said the festival provides independent filmmakers a venue that allows fans to mingle with film industry people outside of the hustle and bustle typically associated with the business. All projection is with video technology.
The Warren Report, IFP, Washington State Film Office, moderndigital, Visit Rainier and Mt. Rainier Visitor Association are sponsors of the festival.

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