THE MOUNTAIN RUNNERS by Todd Warger & Brian Young (Mt. Vernon, WA)
(87 min)

The Mountain Runners is the story of America’s first mountain adventure race, which took place in 1911. The grueling 28 to 32 mile marathon race to the summit of Mount Baker (a 10,781 foot volcanic, glacial peak in Washington State) was only ran for three years due to its intrepid dangers. The men who ran these races in 1911-1913 were not professional athletes, but practiced a variety of vocations—loggers, coal miners, bedspring makers, postmen, milkman wrestlers and insurance salesmen. All who ran the race defied death and injury for a $100 purse of gold coins.

Narrated by Kevin Tighe, The Mountain Runners incorporates hundreds of vintage images, historic film, graphics, 3D effects, and recreated dramatizations staring William B. Davis (X- Files, Smoking Man.) The film is supported by a cast of Cascadian historians, descendants of race participants and world-renowned experts. Interviews include contemporary champion athletes and authors, including record-holding alpine speed-climber Chad Kellogg, champion ultrarunner Krissy Moehl, US speed distance record-holder Scott Jurek, ultramarathon pioneer Doug McKeever and authors Steve House and Cami Ostman. They look back at the accomplishments of their endurance-athlete predecessors with astonishment and insights on how the competitors of a century ago may have managed to complete the race.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

CARDBOARD by Matt Longmire (Bainbridge Island, WA)
(89 min)

Seattle street corners are filled with panhandlers and homeless citizens, holding signs, asking for any help they can get. As you avoid eye contact on an I-5 off ramp with a man asking for spare change, have you ever thought about his background? Have you ever asked about his story? How about the woman in a slightly covered doorway along your walk to the coffee shop?

This documentary delves into the lives of people we see everyday. Find out about their culture and history. Seek answers to why they do it and how they survive in a city with inhospitable weather conditions 70% of the year. Cardboard is a striking, in-depth conversation with people stranded on the streets, their stories and the steps that placed them where they are.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

Screens with
Walking with Heroes by Christy X (Seattle, WA)
(8:47 min)

For six years, Heroes for the Homeless has quietly and proudly served the most vulnerable of homeless in Seattle. This short documentary film showcases the unique charity’s compassion, dedication and care.

LAUREN IS MISSING by Michael Harring (Seattle, WA)
(74 min)

This scrappy psychotronic thriller from Local Sightings alumn Michael Harring looks at two women, a missing roommate, taxidermy, a creepy blind dude and a boatload of booze. Returning to her Seattle apartment after a long absence, Mia (Brand Upon The Brain’s Maya Lawson) finds her belongings packed and her roommate missing. Even worse, rent is overdue. Haunted by a history of apathy, Mia can’t get her old job back and must resort to selling her roomie’s belongings to pay the bills.  Fortunately, her luck improves when new-best-friend Millie (The French Project’s Erin Jorgensen) scores her a job working for a taxidermist.  With newfound financial independence, Mia is able to focus on what really matters – alcohol and mischief.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

REDWOOD HIGHWAY by Gary Lundgren (Ashland, OR)
(90 min)

Seventy-six-year-old Marie (Shirley Knight) hasn’t seen the Oregon coast in more than forty-five years. When she learns that her granddaughter is planning a beach wedding, Marie recalls painful memories and gets into an unfortunate argument with her son (James LeGros). Something happened decades ago, and as the anniversary of the event approaches, Marie is faced with a dilemma: should she attend the wedding, or keep herself at a distance? Wanting to do things on her own terms, she leaves her Southern Oregon retirement community to walk the eighty-mile journey to the coast along the fabled Redwood Highway. Her sudden disappearance causes her family and authorities to fear the worst, but Marie is off on a grand adventure where she meets an extraordinary cast of characters, including Pete (Tom Skerritt) and a lion (!).
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

JUNK by Kevin Hamedani (Seattle, WA
(104 min)

Two B-movie co-writers, Kaveh and Raul, must reconcile after their long-time-languishing film, Islama-Rama 2, finally makes its festival debut. Negotiating their way through pushy agents, brutish bodyguards, cutthroat colleagues, prima donna actors and overly eager festival volunteers, the former friends piece together absurd horror film pitches for a mysterious speaker keynoting the film festival. This ridiculous comedy about friendship, love and crappy movies is made by the team that brought us 2009′s Zombies of Mass Destruction. Don’t miss a post-screening live set from local Seattle band Tomten!
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

MOTIVATIONAL GROWTH by Don Thacker (Seattle, WA)
(105 min)

“The Mold knows.”

Shut-in Ian B. Folivor, living in a fungus and garbage-infested apartment, is a man who has abandoned all personal hygiene. His only comfort in life is shattered when his antique TV breaks. His world is spiraling into the toilet bowl until a silver-tongued blob of mold enters the scene. The bathroom mold begins giving Ian motivational advice to clean himself up, speak to his attractive neighbor, and regain his confidence. But The Mold’s intentions are revealed to be far more nefarious then they first appear.

The comedic potential of a talking fungus is fully realized in Motivational Growth. The Mold is expertly voiced by Jeffrey Combs and brought to life as a beautifully repulsive puppet (created by Steve Tolin). The film’s production is a mosaic of excellent art direction, puppetry, animation and cinematography, in challenging single location shoot. Ian’s inner psychosis is illustrated with brief scenes from schlock television programs that humorously mirror Ian’s state of mind, while animated sequences in an 8-bit video game style replace the live action at choice moments.

Motivational Growth is icky. Wonderfully . . .enigmatically. . .appealingly icky. We are treated to repeated scenes of Ian covered in blood, Ian with disgusting things entering or exiting his mouth, Ian in his tighty whities. We are even witness to Ian waxing poetic while expunging a bowel movement. For fans of psychotronic or just generally weird films, watching Motivational Growth is as joyous as a pig wallowing in mud.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

Director Don Thacker






ALIEN BOY: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JAMES CHASSE by Jason Renaud & Brian Lindstrom (Portland, OR)
(90 min)

Portland has always been a hub for music. From Courtney Love to Pink Martini to Blind Pilot, the city has harbored and created a thriving haven for aspiring artists. Early in its musical history, the Portland punk scene saw the emergence of a magazine, the Oregon Organizm, written and edited by an influential band member of the time, James Chasse. With a close friend performing as lead singer of The Wipers—an influential punk band  that made an impact on groups like Nirvana—James became a well-known member of his society: iconic and prophetic, with a grasp on reality unlike anyone that knew him.

In 2006, tragedy struck, when James died during a highly controversial arrest by Portland police in downtown. Following the case, many people looked into the history of James Chasse, from his early punk years to his mental illness and the effects it had on the musician and his community. This documentary follows his musical rise, decline and tribulations, along with a modern perspective on a police case increasingly relevant today. Alien Boy will entertain and educate while giving you a look at a system you might rather forget.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

BLUEBERRY SOUP by Eileen Jerrett (Seattle, WA)
(80 min)

Blueberry Soup, an Icelandic comfort food, is an apt metaphor for this insightful documentary that explores the unique and devastating situation of a country gone bankrupt. In the aftermath of the 2008 economic collapse in Iceland, the Nordic island country undertook the revolutionary task of rewriting their constitution. With a lens on the impacts the process has on the cultural landscape, Jerrett’s film interweaves interviews with a local fisherman, members of the constitutional council, Icelandic music stars and journalists, displaying a proud nation whose people have endured turbulent times and are curious about their future.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

SURVIVAL PRAYER by Benjamin Greené (Bellingham, WA)
(70 min)

Naanii Mary Swanson (a last speaker, otherwise known as one of the final living speakers of a nearly extinct language) frames this portrait of age-old traditions at risk. Against the spectacular scenery of the North Pacific coastline, her ancient words set the tone for detailed views on modern life, in which the labor of survival—cutting seaweed fronds, pulling salmon from nets, plucking young spruce tips—speaks to timeless rhythms from our region that still retain elements of sacred ritual. An intimate ethnographic reflection, this meditative film encounter with the Haida people’s traditional food systems reveals poignant possibility amid deep loss. With scenes that favor the authority of silent acts and a rich visual vocabulary—compared by Werner Herzog to the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich—Survival Prayer vividly illuminates the points at which nature and culture join to sustain human life.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

Director Benjamin Greené






Screens with
Dos Almas

Danielle Villegas – Shoreline, WA – 15:30 min

In 1850, deep in the wilderness, two women from different worlds meet and discover each other through flesh and spirit.

K2: SIREN OF THE HIMALAYAS by Dave Ohlson (Yakima, WA)
(75 min)

At 8,611 meters, K2 (the second-highest peak after Everest) is usually considered the world’s most challenging climb. Its summit eludes even the most devoted professional alpinists, and the mountain is so treacherous that one in four summiteers die attempting to scale it. Harsh weather conditions and demanding technical climbs have made producing documentary films on K2 extremely difficult, and footage from these expeditions is rare. Director Dave Ohlson joins an elite climbing group on their epic K2 journey, which takes place on the 100-year anniversary of the Duke of Abruzzi’s landmark expedition in 1909.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

HAWAIIAN PUNCH by Nandan Rao (Corvallis, OR)
(68 min)

Hawaiian Punch follows two young Mormons, Nick and Tor, during their time in Hawaii. The audience is privy to their lives sharing a house and their recreational activities around the island. Afternoons are spent cliff diving, cruising on their moped along palm tree-lined streets and talking about relationships and religion.

As the film unfolds after a beginning title card about the urgency to find a spouse and marry, we understand that this is the context for their presence in Hawaii: Nick and Tor are there to meet girls. We are shown scenes of them flirting and arguing with women, awkwardly probing their standing as friend or potential suitor; with his editorial scalpel, Rao expertly chooses moments that reveal the advancing and retreating nature of early moments in a romantic relationship.

Knowingly, Hawaiian Punch lacks action. In fact, it is the inaction of the film and its protagonists that reveal the fundamental truth in their lives. Instead of spiritual enlightenment, these are two men on the verge of realizing their own stasis. Nick is pursuing romance as a devout Mormon, while Tor openly expresses his lack of faith and weighs the value of raising children with or without a spiritual community. Neither seem to reach any fulfillment, but their compelling thread of conversations builds throughout the film.

The backdrop of Hawaii, in all its splendor, is a pivotal part of this film and confectionary for the eyes. Rao, as the cinematographer, indulges himself and the audience with long shots of the rocky bluffs overlooking the ocean, men playing on the beach, a church surrounded by lush green foliage and a forever cerulean sky.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

ICH HUNGER by Isaac Olsen (Tacoma, WA)
(70 min)

Take an international cast, a rolling landscape in Flint, Michigan, the thundering music of Red Hex and the twisted, talented mind of Isaac Olsen, and you have the German expressionist art film, Ich Hunger. Shot in black and white with splashes of color, Ich Hunger is Local Sightings’ only subtitled film (in German with English subtitles). Following the murderous escapades of a creature-like boy who terrorizes the farming township of Frondenberg, Germany, an inspector travels from Frankfurt to hunt him down. Nearly silent, and reminiscent of German expressionist films like Nosferatu, Ich Hunger is terror-as-pleasure.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

DO IT DIFFERENTLY by Scott Phillips (Eugene, OR)
(53 min)

Do It Differently is not for the faint hearted (the sign of a great film). As it follows the lives of four fathers raising children with autism, the film displays a home environment foreign to most families. As each father describes raising their child, you see their pain and doubt, but also their dedication, spirit and pure love for their family. Through interviews and home footage, Do It Differently touches the heart, showing just how much a parent’s love can accomplish.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

Screens with
A Dose for Dominic

Ruth Gregory – Edmonds, WA – 7:13 min

After struggling with treatment options, Anthony and Anjela decide to give their five-year-old son Dominic medical cannabis to lessen the violent effects brought on by his severe autism.

LUCILLE’S BALL by Lulu Keating (Dawson City, Yukon Territories)
(83 min)

This hallucinatory coming-of-age film is set in the rebellious, sexually liberated 1970s and presents an offbeat combination of  animation and live action. Writer/director Lulu Keating brings us the story of Lucille, a young musician raised in a Catholic family, as she begins exploring her sexuality. Determined to take advantage of the new freedom offered by the Pill, Lucille experiments with women and men, straight and gay, at home and abroad. As her career as a musician advances, Lucille’s wild lifestyle and haunting past derail her. With the support of her gay roommate and her first female lover, she puts her ghosts to rest and comes into her own. One of the most visually unique films of the year, Lucille’s Ball is, well… a ball!
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

Screens with
Harsh Tokes & Bong Jokes

Clyde Petersen – Seattle, WA – 3:46 min

Teenagers hit the gravity bong and cruise through Seattle in the 1990s, partying to rock and roll music as they go.

BIBLE QUIZ by Nicole Teeny (Gig Harbor, WA)
(86 min)

Everyone has a first crush. But not everyone has thousands of Bible verses memorized, ready to be recited at a moment’s notice.

In Tacoma, Washington, and all over the country, many church groups participate in an annual competition of memorizing and reciting Bible verses and trivia, all in hopes of making it to a national competition, where the best of the best duel it out. With an approaching National Bible Quiz Championship on the horizon, 17-year-old Mikayla and the other members of her Bible Quiz group study and practice with unbeatable dedication (though for Mikayla it is more than just Bible trivia). Her quiz group is an escape from her family troubles and a chance at belonging, but also a place where she has fallen in love with her team captain, JP. This documentary is about dedication and hard work, faith and aspirations, and the trials of growing up through the eyes of a young girl finding her way.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

MOTHER NATURE by Johan Liedgren (Seattle, WA)
(90 min)

Visions of camping usually bring to mind peaceful relaxation, campfire s’mores and ghost stories. In Mother Nature, a father and son find much more than a quiet trip into the wilderness.

Escaping from a deteriorating marriage, a down-on-his-luck father and his meek son find themselves thrust into the company of a bizarre and violent cast of characters inhabiting the nearby campsites of a beautiful Washington rainforest. During their interactions (destined to go wrong from the start), the father quickly learns this trip will be more than he bargained for. Harassed and threatened, he and his son find survival is more than just learning to live: it’s learning how to stay alive. This film is beautifully set, pleasing to the ear and gut-wrenching to watch.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

ALL THE LABOR by Douglas Hawes-Davis (Missoula, MT)
(96 min)

Most music documentaries chronicle the rise and fall of a legend; perhaps a pop diva or troubled guitarist. All the Labor, on the other hand, follows the life of a band: five individuals within a larger collective, doing what they love.

For two decades, The Gourds have played their rock/folk/country tunes, gathered cult listeners and always managed to float just under the radar of mainstream success. This is exactly where they like it. Through a mash up of interviews, live performances and scraps of footage, this documentary will have your foot tapping and you heart laughing. These fathers, husbands and regular guys have bonded with their instruments and friends, playing music for the love of playing.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

Screens with
Touch the Hand
Evan Erickson and Ryan Syvertson – Anchorage, AK – 3:25 min

A synthesized take on an old Conway Twitty song, showcasing some of the worst vices (found in abundance) through an Alaskan love story.

AGAINST THE TIDE by Mark Davis (Seattle, WA)
(45 min)

As it narrates the recent history of Bainbridge Island’s Eagle Harbor, Against the Tide is sure to have your emotions flaring. In an ongoing struggle between illegally moored mariners and the Bainbridge Island Citizen’s Group, Eagle Harbor has been constantly debated over for two decades. Throughout the debate between a collective of land-living people and their water-loving misfit neighbors (men living aboard their boats who call the harbor home), the film follows struggles on both sides to have their opinions heard, and the challenges of how a community defines itself.
Buy Tickets>> | Website >> | Trailer>>

Screens with
School Is Out: The Demise of Warren Elementary

Bernard Mann and Matt Shannon – Seattle, WA – 4:26 min

We take a look back at what was in Lower Queen Anne before the Seattle Center was built, including Warren Avenue Elementary School.

Comments are closed.