Emily Adair
The La Grande Observer

Eastern Oregon Film Festival earns recognition from national magazine

The Eastern Oregon Film Festival is one of the “Coolest Film Festivals in the World,” according to the national magazine MovieMaker.

The publication put together a ranking of the top 25 festivals, and EOFF made the list.

“With a 13,000-odd population, the tiny city of La Grande has quietly fostered a hand-crafted festival that delivers quality and a wide-open sensibility without much hubbub,” the magazine reads.

Representatives of the fim festival will be selling passes at the La Grande Farmers’ Market every Saturday until the film festival.

Passes are also available online at www.eofilmfest.com. Check the website for festival details and updates.

— Emily Adair,
The Observer

After eight years, and some recent national recognition, organizers of the Eastern Oregon Film Festival are eager to put a greater emphasis on community partnerships. Director Christopher Jennings said the festival’s strengthening relationship with Eastern Oregon University is a major step in the right direction.

“We’ve created the bridge,” Jennings said. “It’s there. It’s sustainable. Now we just need to get people moving across it.”

To make that goal a reality, EOU’s department of English and writing will host a special presentation called “From Page to Screen” on Oct. 20.

Director Andy Mingo and writer Lidia Yuknavitch will discuss the process of adapting literature to film. Among the projects the artists will discuss is their 17-year collaboration. They are working to bring Yuknavitch’s memoir, “The Chronology of Water,” to the screen.

Jennings described the event as a TED Talk-style event during which both artists will share a variety of media. TED Talks are a series of recorded speeches from experts in a variety of fields that incorporate many types of media.

Tim Seydel, EOU’s vice president of university advancement, said the school is excited to support the film festival, which will be held Oct. 19-21.

“It’s a wonderful way to promote a unique event in Oregon, especially one happening right here in La Grande,” Seydel said.

Jennings, who works as the digital marketing manager at EOU, said “From Page to Screen” will help engage students, staff and faculty on EOU’s campus. Then, with luck, the audience will become interested in the rest of the film festival.

“Our biggest challenge is the introduction to the festival,” Jennings said. “Once people are introduced, they’re hooked.”

Similarly, the English department will sponsor a screenwriting workshop on Oct. 20 at HQ, the EOFF headquarters on Depot Street. Jon Raymond will lead the workshop, which touches upon the process of how a story becomes a movie.

Raymond won an Emmy for his teleplay writing on the HBO miniseries “Mildred Pierce.”

The hope is to get people who are attending the workshop interested in what EOU has to offer.

See complete story in Monday's Observer