Orcas Island Film Festival is back | Critically acclaimed films to be shown

Orcas Island Film festival producers are in full gear, getting the island ready for another weekend of films.

“I’m astounded at the quality of films we receive,” said Donna Laslo, who is spearheading this year’s festival with Jared Lovejoy. “And this year has been great for film-making.

The third annual festival is Oct. 7 to 10 in Eastsound. Once again, Carl Spence, chief curator for the Seattle International Film Festival, has arranged for a wide array of critically acclaimed films.

The festival focuses on critically acclaimed feature films from around the world and locally created short films. This year there are more than 30 films showing in two venues (Orcas Center and Sea View Theatre) over four days. There are 40 screenings total with Monday being a day of mostly repeat screenings so participants can see films they might have missed due to scheduling.

For more information and to buy Festival Weekend Passes, which go on sale Sept. 15, visit www.orcasfilmfest.com.

“The majority of these films haven’t come out yet – they are early views,” said Spence. ” I am very impressed and excited about the caliber of this year’s line up.”

As a warm up for the festival, OIFF, in partnership with the LGBT Fund on Orcas, will present a special screening of the Sundance-award-winning film, “The Mask You Live In,” at the Sea View Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. This screening is open to all and is by donation.

The film follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity and ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men. A panel discussion will follow. OIFF will also screen some of the trailers for this year’s festival films.

The OIFF Short films contest launches on Sept. 15 with the three grant-winning films: “Aproximada” by Kyle Carver amd Dan Larson; “Yoga for Salvador” by Stefan Hajek; and “Storm of the Century” by Micah Kearney and Kenji Tekada- Dill. These short films will be available at www.orcasfilmfest.com for viewing and voting. The winning film will be shown at the Seattle International Film Festival in May 2017.

OIFF doubled its attendance last year, and continues to grow and evolve.

“We are thrilled and so excited that people really enjoy it,” said Lovejoy. “The support of local businesses and the community makes this possible.”