Chantal Akerman is a Paris-based filmmaker, writer, actor, producer, composer, and one of the most important European directors of her generation. Akerman started making her own films in the late ’60s and gave a new meaning to the term “independent film” as an embodiment of pure independence and creativity. Her body of work includes Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles; Saute ma ville (Blow up my town); News from Home; Les Rendezvous d ‘Anna; Je, tu, il, elle; Window Shopping; Toute une nuit (All night long); Les Annèes 80 (The Eighties); Nuit et jour (Night and Day); D’Est (From the East); Portrait d’une jeune fille de la fin des annèes 60 à Bruxelles (Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960s in Brussels); Un Divan à New York (A Couch in New York); Sud; and La Captive. Almayer’s Folly is her 46th film.
Dale Brumfield is the author of Standers; Remnants: A Novel about God, Insurance and Quality Floorcoverings; Three Buck Naked Commodes: and 18 More Tales from a Small Town; and the eBook releases Trapped Under the Pack-Ice and Bad Day at the Amusement Park. He is also an arts features writer, cartoonist, and opinion commentator in Richmond, VA’s Style Weekly magazine, and in 2010 won numerous state and national awards for his investigative cover story The Best Worst Movie you Never Saw, about the ‘lost’ 1982 Richmond movie Rock n’ Roll Hotel. He lives in Doswell, VA, and blogs at www.newsfromdoswell.com.
Justine Eister grew up on Vashon Island. She moved to Olympia in 2006 to attend The Evergreen State College, graduating in 2010. You Make Me Feel So Young is her feature film debut, though her face is already familiar to many Olympians due to her prominent social position in several local circles.
Richard Elfman grew up in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles (Boyz n the Hood, 1991), and has been a semiprofessional boxer, food and wine critic, and successful stage director. He is also a noted Afro-Latin percussionist and the founder of the original Mystic Knights of the Oingo-Boingo. Richard’s first novel, “The Schlemazl of Sebriem” will be published later this year. He will personally present the Forbidden Zone.
Suzanne Fletcher is an actress based in Los Angeles, best known for her collaborations with Sara Driver and photographer Nan Goldin.
Dan Halsted is the head programmer at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, OR, as well as the organizer of the Grindhouse Film Festival and founder of the 35mm Shaolin Film Archive. In 2009, Dan unearthed the largest collection of 35mm martial arts films in the Western Hemisphere from an abandoned Chinese theater in Vancouver, B.C. He’s dedicated himself to preserving these films and presenting them to modern audiences.
Portland, Oregon resident Todd Haynes grew up in Encino, CA before earning a B.A. in Arts and Semiotics at Brown University and working towards a M.F.A. at Bard College. His 1991 debut feature, Poison, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Subsequent films include Safe (1995), Velvet Goldmine (1998), Far From Heaven (2002), and I’m Not There (2007), as well as the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce (2011). He has earned an Academy Award nomination for Original Screenplay and has won two Independent Spirit Awards.
Rachel Leah Jones
Rachel Leah Jones is a director/producer born in Berkeley, California and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. She has a BA in Race, Class, & Gender Studies and an MFA in Media Arts Production. Her directorial credits include 500 Dunam on the Moon (France/USA, 2002) and Ashkenaz (Israel/Netherlands, 2007). Jones has worked on numerous socially and politically engaged documentaries in Israel/Palestine such as Wall, Citizen Bishara, and The Bombing (dir. Simone Bitton) and Raging Dove, Café Noah and Warp And Weft (dir. Duki Dror). Over the years, she has been affiliated with various progressive media outlets such as the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem, where she worked as a researcher, writer, and photo editor, and the critically-acclaimed public TV/radio program Democracy Now!, where she worked as a camera operator and video editor.
OFS is proud to make Philip Kaufman an inaugural recipient of the Olympia Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award! Raised in Chicago and schooled in the ivy covered lecture halls of the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School, Kaufman went on to a career in filmmaking that has lasted nearly half a century. It has been said that his early backpacking years through Europe watching Cassevettes films in tiny cinemas served as fuel to the fire in his becoming a filmmaker. You can see the independent influence of the self exiled American in Europe in one of his most iconic films Henry and June, which is a classic story of an American in Paris and writer Anais Nin, who Kaufman met in his travels. His debut film Goldstein won the Prix de la Nouvelle Critique at Cannes. French director Jean Renoir called Goldstein the best American film in 20 years. However, Kaufman was not to be limited to the art house cinemas and international film festivals of the world. He would go on to write and direct major works that received both critical acclaim and reached blockbuster level of renown at the box office and in Hollywood. Notable entries in his filmography include Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), The Right Stuff (1983), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), Henry & June (1990), Rising Sun (1993), and Quills (2000). His masterpiece, The Right Stuff, won four Academy Awards. OFF will screen The Right Stuff in honor of Philip Kaufman receiving the Olympia Film Festival Life Time Achievement Award.
For over a decade Seattle based chef and author Kim O’Donnel has written for publications such as the Washington Post, Huffington Post, USA Today, Real Simple, and Culinate. Kim’s bestselling 2010 book Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour, is more or less the kitchen companion to the “Meatless Monday” campaign. The much anticipated follow up, Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations: Year-Round Vegetarian Feasts (You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into), is set for an October 2012 release.
Nandan Rao was born, raised, and still resides in Corvallis, OR. Bummer Summer was his first film as cinematographer, but he has since gone on to shoot several noteworthy projects including Sophia Takal’s award-winning Green. He has also written and directed two feature films of his own: The Men of Dodge City and Hawaiian Punch.
Outspoken journalist and pioneering columnist Dan Savage grew up in Chicago, moving to Seattle in the early 1990s to help found The Stranger, where his “Savage Love” reinvented the relationship advice column. In addition to serving as The Stranger’s former editor-in-chief and current editorial director, Dan Savage has written four books, given countless hours of call-in advice (both on radio and via podcast), and made numerous appearances in national print, radio, and television media. He also spearheaded the creation of the HUMP! Fest in 2005 and currently serves as its Master of Ceremonies. In addition, in 2010 he and husband Terry Miller started the It Gets Better Project, which aims to prevent suicide among LGBT youth.
Amy Seimetz is a writer/director/actor/producer widely regarded as one of the most ubiquitous presences in contemporary independent cinema. Her many acting credits include The Off Hours, Tiny Furniture, Myth of the American Sleepover, A Horrible Way to Die, and Alexander the Last. As a producer, Amy has worked on Medicine for Melancholy, The Dish & the Spoon, Silver Bullets, and No Matter What. Sun Don’t Shine is her first feature as a director.
Christopher Sullivan is an animator, filmmaker, and performance artist whose experimental film and theater work spans 30 years. His work has been shown in festivals, theaters, and museums worldwide, including the Zagreb Animation Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, New York Short Film Festival, Black Maria Film + Video Festival, and Pacific Film Archives. Since 2008, he has also created three evening-length performances, The Outer Giants and Their Moon, Aggression Therapy, and Mark The Encounter. He is currently working on a new experimental feature, The Orbit of Minor Satellites.
Zach Weintraub has lived in Olympia on-and-off since the age of three. He made his first film (Bummer Summer) here following four years studying film in New York City. His second film (The International Sign for Choking) was shot entirely in Buenos Aires in the spring of 2011, and has since screened at major festivals worldwide. You Make Me Feel So Young is his third film.
Fred Willard is originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio. He served in the U.S. military, an experience which prepared him for his unforgettable role as the lieutenant at the base where Spinal Tap is playing in their eponymous classic, This is Spinal Tap. This may have been a breakthrough role, but Willard had been in the public eye for almost two decades by then. Who could forget him on the Bob Newhart show, the Love Boat and his many other hilarious TV and movie roles. Having honed his improvisational comedy skills in Chicago’s famed Second City sketch comedy troupe, he rocketed to cult status for his roles in the Christopher Guest mockumentaries This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. He has received three Emmy nominations for his recurring role on the TV series Everybody Loves Raymond and in 2010 received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on the ABC TV series Modern Family. His innumerable roles on television and as a guest on shows like Late Night with Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live and Mad TV make him one of the most recognized faces and voices in comedy in any media today and our pick for an Olympia Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. Thanks for all the laughs, Mr. Williard.