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7-10 KIFF

“Frank and Zed,” a zany all-puppet homage to 1930s Universal horror films made by filmmaker Jesse Blanchard in Portland, is among six feature-length films selected to be shown at the 2020 Klamath Independent Film Festival, Sept. 18-20.

Klamath Film, a Klamath Falls-based nonprofit that promotes filmmaking in the Klamath Basin, has announced its 2020 selections for the eighth annual Klamath Independent Film Festival, slated for Sept. 18-20 in Klamath Falls.

The festival is a three-day extravaganza of Oregon filmmaking, welcoming a variety of shorts and feature-length films exclusively made in Oregon or by Oregon filmmakers. Through KIFF’s Oregon-centric approach the festival has grown a loyal following, welcoming filmmakers from across the west coast to Klamath Falls to celebrate the best in Oregon independent films.

Over 80 films were submitted from across Oregon for this year’s festival, ranging from K-12 student films and college films, to amateur productions and feature-length professional productions. Genres ranged from dramatic narrative films and light comedies, to documentaries, and several animated films. Multiple panels of judges carefully reviewed each film and through a scoring system chose the final selections to be shown at this year’s festival.

The festival will once again feature a Friday night premiere film preceded by an opening gala, the form of which is still being determined by organizers in consideration of social distancing practices. Last year’s opening gala included a street festival outside of the Ross Ragland Theater, complete with food trucks, beer garden, and live music.

The opening night feature film will be “The Last Blockbuster,” a documentary by Bend-based Pop Motion Pictures, profiling the final surviving Blockbuster Video Store in existence. The film has garnered worldwide attention even before its world premiere this summer, dubbed a nostalgic romp through the quickly disappearing video store industry that once dominated home entertainment before the days of Netflix and OnDemand content.

The film is a return to KIFF for filmmaker Taylor Morden, whose 2019 documentary “Pick It Up: Ska in the 90s” was shown at last year’s festival.

Five other feature films were also selected for the festival, as well as over 30 short films. Feature films include the all-puppet horror-comedy film “Frank and Zed” by independent animation filmmaker Jesse Blanchard, based in Portland, whose film is a wacky over-the-top production that combines puppetry on par with “The Dark Crystal” matched with the comedy of Mel Brooks’ classic “Young Frankenstein.” Other features include the documentaries “Illegal,” “At the Video Store,” and “This is Tim: A Musical Life,” as well as the comedy film “1 Dead Dog.”

The selection of short films are split regionally between northern and southern Oregon, including several films by local students and Southern Oregon University college students, as well as Klamath County local filmmakers and professional productions. An additional category of “long shorts” includes films between 15-40 minutes in length. Among those selections is the documentary “Other Side of the Hill,” which highlights many of the environmental efforts undertaken in Lake County.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions likely to extend into the fall, festival organizers have yet to announce whether or not the 2020 film festival will be a socially-distanced in-person event, or a virtual event similar to Ashland Independent Film Festival’s approach for 2020 offering a multi-day streaming platform and online filmmaker Q&As.

Ticket information and schedules will be announced at a later date. For more information visit www.klamathfilm.org.