Award-winning films, filmmakers and more are on the schedule for the 10th annual Rainier Independent Film Festival when it opens Friday (May 13).
The festival in Ashford will screen more than 50 films, ranging from independent short films to documentaries to full-length feature films. Genres include comedies, thrillers, narratives, human interest and outdoors.
Several of the films have a Puget Sound connection, said Andrea Edmondson, the festival’s co-founder and assistant director.
Filmed in the region by Aimie Vallat, “Present Moment” is a short documentary of how her family deals with Parkinson’s disease. Her parents, Gary and Rubye Vallat, are featured in the film.
“Why We Fly” is about extreme sports and was made by Seattle filmmakers Tyler Lee and Dan Holmes, who will attend the festival.
“Muir Song” is a short film, based on a John Muir quote, that seeks to capture the energy and attitude of the Northwest. It is narrated by legendary climber and Ashford resident Lou Whittaker.
Opening night film: “The Great and the Small” will be shown Friday at 7 p.m. The film took home the Audience Award for Best American Indi and Audience Choice Award at the Sonoma International Film Festival. Written and directed by Dusty Bias, the film stars Ritchie Coster, Ann Dowd and Nick Fink. It’s about Scott, who is on probation for petty crimes and living on the streets while trying to make his way back into society. Bias will talk and answer questions after the screening.
Closing night film: The sci-fi thriller “Black Road” will conclude the festival, with a showing at 5:45 p.m. Sunday. It was filmed in southern Oregon and includes some actors from the Ashland, Oregon, Shakespeare festival. The story takes place in 2029, as an ex-military drifter, aided by an artificial intelligence implant, risks everything to protect a woman in the lawless State of Jefferson. The film stars Sam Daly, Simon Templeman, Leilani Sarelle and Michelle Lombardo. Writer and director Gary Lundgren will be on hand for a question-and-answer session.
Workshop: Writer and produce Warren Etheredge will conduct a workshop, “Scene Stealing,” Sunday at 12:15 p.m. He will show a number of scenes and talk about what makes them work so well. He is host of the TV series “The High Bar” and hosted the fifth season of “Reel NW” on KCTS.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
Rainier Independent Film Festival
When: Friday (May 13)-Sunday.
Venues: Mount Rainier Lions Theater, 27726 state Route 706; and The Cine-Yurt at Wellspring Spa and Retreat, 54922 Kernahan Road E., both in Ashford.
Tickets: $5 for any one film; Rainier Express is $15 and is good for the opening night film and gala; Rainer Rumble is $15 and includes all screenings and workshops for Saturday or Sunday; and Rainier Blow-out is $35 and includes all events.