Local Sightings 2019: Doc-Maker Happy Hour

This event took place on Sep 28, 2019

** Free event! **

Duration: 2h 30m
Instructor: Amy Benson


** Co-presented with Portland-based NW Documentary and Seattle Documentary Association (SeaDoc) **

Community is vital to nonfiction storytelling; the Pacific Northwest has a plethora of talented, experienced filmmakers, and yet they often work separately from one another. Portland filmmakers’ collaboration in NW Documentary’s Canopy project is an example of artists creating independent short films as part of a larger film module. Join filmmakers from the Canopy project at the happy hour to drink, be merry, and discuss project models that can bring filmmakers together for low stress, fun, inspirational collaboration.

About Canopy Stories

About Canopy Stories

** This event will feature two films from the Canopy Stories anthology. **

Every tree has a story. They tell the stories of families, of neighborhoods, of transformations long forgotten. Tree stories are community stories.

Rosa’s Tree by David Hedberg
Portland’s first Heritage Tree, an American elm, represents every tree in the city. Only a few mighty oaks and firs that survived Stumptown’s pioneer days are older. This elm, planted in the 1870s by Rosa F. Burrell, stands as one of the city’s oldest features. The film explores one historian’s quest to find and document this and other historic trees.

Palm Portland by Kia Anne Geraths
People tend to associate palm trees with vacation or the heavily lined streets of California or Las Vegas. Yet Palm Trees make quite a few appearances in the gray, rainy city of Portland, Oregon. While considered by many to be a horticultural paradise that can handle a wide variety of plant species, including Palms, many find their presence a disturbance in PDX.

Canopy Stories is NW Documentary’s first anthology film project, featuring 12 stories made by 11 Portland filmmakers. Each film focuses on a specific tree to tell a story. The stories range from activists camping in trees to strangers caring for the ghosts of pioneers, from globe trekking botanists in search of rare specimens to everyday citizens transforming their neighborhood into an urban oasis.

Read about each individual film in this anthology at canopystoriesfilm.com

Amy Benson

Local documentarian and Local Sightings juror

Amy owns Nonfiction Media, a production company based in Seattle where she produces, shoots and edits films telling the stories of organizations around the globe. Since 2008, Amy has been working on a documentary trilogy about one family in Nepal. Drawing the Tiger, the first film, was a granted project of the Sundance Institute, Fork Films and recipient of the Points North Fellowship. It premiered at Hot Docs in April 2015 and screened in over 40 festivals worldwide. It was awarded the Best Feature Jury prize by Northwest Film Forum, the Documentary Feature Award from CAAM Fest, the Jury Award for the Best Documentary at the Asiatica Film Festival and the UNICEF award at Film South Asia. The sequel, The Eldest Son, premiered at the Kathmandu Mountain Film Festival in 2017. Amy is in production for the third film in the series Literate, focusing on the first educated generation in the family and filmed by the subjects themselves.

She is currently in pre-production for Age of Porn, a feature documentary chronically the state of sex education in America through the lens of progressive sex educators. She is also co-producing From Here, a film following four young second generation immigrants in their search for belonging—to be released in fall of 2019. Amy is a founding member of the Seattle Documentary Association and is passionate about supporting filmmakers in their process.

Back to Festival Catalog:

Local Sightings Film Festival

Presented by Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum, the 22nd Annual Local Sightings Film Festival (September 20-29, 2019) showcases the growing complexity of creative communities in the Pacific Northwest. Its 2019 edition features a competitive selection of curated shorts and feature film programs, inviting regional artists to experiment, break, and remake popular conceptions around filmmaking and film exhibition.

Programmed closely with community partners as curators, the festival uplifts new talent, provides educational opportunities for youth and adults, supports the regional film industry, and promotes diverse media as a critical tool for public engagement.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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