The Big Weekend Part 2: Portland

After an exciting 24 hours in Los Angeles, Sarah Ginsburg and I headed off to Portland, OR for part two of our film festival adventure. It was unexpectedly sunny when we arrived, and we headed straight over to the historic Hollywood theater for the filmmaker mixer. It was such a quaint and beautiful venue, the perfect location for all of my family to be able to watch it in a theater for the first time. We headed across the street to a cafe and wine bar called Magnolia’s Corner, hit up the delicious spread of appetizers, and started to chat with other filmmakers. The Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival was the first women’s film festival I’d ever gone to. It was really interesting to be surrounded by so many inspiring women and to be able to compare notes with them.

The following day, as the screening time neared, my parents, grandparents, uncle, aunt, cousins, extended family, and friends assembled in the lobby of the Hollywood theater. It was amazing to see so many friendly faces coming to support Sarah Ginsburg and I. 10,000 Trees opened the program, followed by two other short films called An Ordinary Life, and Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000. It was really interesting to see 10,000 Trees in this grouping of films, because though they all varied stylistically, they were remarkably similar in theme. It was a very inspirational screening, and the audience responded well. We had a short question and answer session after all the films ended, and I summoned my grandfather up on stage. He was very humble, but said some great things that echoed what he had said in the film. It was a moving experience for me to be back in Portland, almost exactly one year since we visited to film, and to be on stage in the Hollywood theater with my grandfather, sharing his story.

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