News

OFF in the Press

30June ​2015

All for Immediate Release

Contact:

Christy Ebert Vtris, Director (christy.vrtis@gmail.com; 804/201-1688)

Nancy Sojka, President (nsojka@gmail.com; 563/419-1828)

 

Oneota Film Festival announces Ebert Vrtis as new Director

 

(DECORAH, Iowa, June 30, 2015) – Christy Ebert Vrtis, a Decorah-based filmmaker and film scholar, has been named director of the Oneota Film Festival (OFF).

 

“We are thrilled to have Christy on board,” said Nancy Sojka, OFF board president. “Her experience, enthusiasm, and skills are a perfect fit for the festival as it heads into its seventh year.”

 

Ebert Vrtis holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and psychology from Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota) as well as a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Oregon in Eugene. She is currently a doctoral candidate in English, with an emphasis in film and television studies, at the university.

 

“I’ve fallen in love with Decorah and the Driftless Region in the two years I have lived here,” said Ebert Vrtis. “I’m impressed by the dedication to the arts that I’ve seen thus far, and I’m looking forward to working with the festival’s board, members, and volunteers to foster community and regional support for documentary films even further.”

 

Prior to moving to Decorah, Ebert Vrtis taught film and composition classes at the University of Oregon, where her research and teaching interests focused on gender and sexuality in narrative film and television. Her work history also includes stints as an event services manager and event supervisor at the University of Oregon’s Erb Memorial Union and a production assistant at the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts in Eugene.

 

In early 2014 Ebert Vrtis co-founded Summer Feet Films, for which she has written and produced short narrative scripts, planned and overseen film budgets, and maintained a social media presence. Connection, a short film she wrote and produced with her sister J. Onalee Ebert, was selected for the 2015 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival.

The 2016 Oneota Film Festival will be held March 4–6 on the Luther College campus and in downtown Decorah. The OFF’s 2015 Summer Series lineup includes Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian—a set of four films to be screened July 24–25 over Nordic Fest weekend—and Inspired to Ride, a new film by Hunter Weeks and Mike Dione to be shown August 9 at 7 p.m. at T-Bock’s Upstairs.

 

About the Oneota Film Festival
Since its 2010 inception, OFF has brought together film enthusiasts in scenic Northeast Iowa to enjoy award-winning films, converse with filmmakers, and celebrate film as a way to engage and explore some of the most critical issues facing our communities. OFF operates as a nonprofit organization under the fiscal sponsorship of the Driftless Art Collective (DARTCO), a 501(c)(3) organization. For the latest news from OFF, visit www.oneotafilmfestival.org.

 

--30--

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter.

7 May
2015

Oneota Film  Festival Donates 4 Films to Decorah Library

(DECORAH, Iowa, May 7, 2015) – The Oneota Film Festival has donated copies of four different films to the Decorah Public Library. By arrangement with the filmmakers, copies were donated, rather than returning them to the filmmakers. The films given to the library include: 

 

Beyond the Surface --(48 min.) Ishita Malaviya, India's first female surfer, is joined by a unique and talented group of women to introduce surfing to underprivileged, homeless and orphaned children.  With unshakable determination for a better world they traveled through Southern India documenting the ways in which surfing, yoga, and ecological creativity are bringing hope and fueling change for local people and the Planet.

 

Trash Dance (an audience favorite at the 2015 OFF)--(68 min.) Choreographer Allison Orr finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and in the unseen men and women who pick up our trash. Filmmaker Andrew Garrison follows Orr as she rides along with Austin sanitation workers on their daily routes to observe and later convince them to perform a most unlikely spectacle. On an abandoned airport runway, two dozen trash collectors and their trucks deliver — for one night only — a stunningly beautiful and moving performance, in front of an audience of thousands, who are awed to discover how in the world a garbage truck can “dance.” 

 

Plagues and Pleasures of the Salton Sea (2 copies)-- (71 min.) There was a time when the Salton Sea, tucked into the southeast corner of California was known as the Riviera of the West, a haven for jet-setters and vacationers. Originally created by accident, it's now one of the country's worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Still, a hardy few have hung on there, hoping for help to come along and restore the lake to its former glory. 

 

Congressman Sonny Bono himself was once dedicated to saving the lake. Eccentrics abound in this surreal landscape: the naked guy who waves to passing RVs; the man who built his own holy mountain; beer-loving Hungarian Hunky Daddy; the guys who plan to get rich someday when this virtual sewer becomes a Riviera again. Hair-raising and hilarious, part history lesson, part cautionary tale and part portrait of one of the strangest communities you've ever seen, this is the American Dream gone as stinky as a dead carp.

 

Made by (former Decorah resident) Chris Metzler & Jeff Springer, narrated by John Waters with music by Friends of Dean Martinez.

 

Wild Horses and Renegades (LIssa and John Blake sponsored at 2015 OFF)-- (84 min.) This film examines the plight of America’s wild horses and the rapidly deteriorating condition of our wild and beautiful Public Lands in the majestic haunting American West.

Through interviews with scientific experts, ranchers, historians, wild horse owners, animal rights activists, environmentalists, movie stars, uranium prospectors, and many other colorful characters, the filmmaker James Anaquad Kleinert examines the origins and effects of the recent “Burns Bill” which gutted the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 and cleared the way for the slaughter and removal of wild horses in America. Greed and corruption take center stage, exposing how the United States failed energy policy and the current rape and pillage of Western Public Lands by oil, gas, mining and corporate cattle grazing is leading to the extinction of America’s Wild Horses and Burro’s.

 

About the Oneota Film Festival
Since its 2010 inception, OFF has brought together film enthusiasts in scenic Northeast Iowa to enjoy award-winning films, converse with filmmakers, and celebrate film as a way to engage and explore some of the most critical issues facing our communities. OFF operates as a nonprofit organization under the fiscal sponsorship of the Driftless Art Collective (DARTCO), a 501(c)(3) organization.

 

--30--

 

Photo: OFF President Nancy Sojka presents films to Decorah Public Library's Lorraine Borowski.  Get a high resolution version of the photo on the media page.

1 May
2015
OFF’s ‘Films @ 5’ features ‘Our Eagles’ documentary on Decorah’s eagles
 

(DECORAH, Iowa, May 1, 2015) – How did the Decorah eagles become not only the town’s most famous “citizens” but also a true global phenomenon? Find out at the next Oneota Film Festival (OFF) “Films @ 5” event, to be held Sunday, May 17, at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah.

 

The free event will feature “Our Eagles,” a touching 10-minute documentary that premiered at the Sixth Annual Oneota Film Festival last March. Directed by Emily Tope, a recent Luther College graduate, the film features footage from the popular Decorah Eagle Cam (trained on a bald eagle nest near the Decorah Fish Hatchery since 2007) as well as interviews with Bob Anderson (Raptor Resource Project director), other local residents, and some of the many eagle fans who have made the pilgrimage to this Northeast Iowa town to see firsthand these world-famous birds of prey.

 

Tope and Anderson will take part in a “Q & A” session following the film’s screening.

The “Films @ 5” event will kick off with screenings of two short films—“The Three Pathways” by the stop-motion animation troupe Tiny Circus and “Religatio” by Jaime Giraldo. Funded by grants from the Iowa Arts Council, the Depot Outlet, and Winneshiek County Recycling, “The Three Pathways” seamlessly combines stop-motion animation with candid interviews to explore cooperative recycling and reuse efforts in Winneshiek County. The three-minute animated film “Religatio,” which captured the Best Student Submission Award at the 2015 Oneota Film Festival, depicts beings (on ropes) engaged in a struggle to avoid failing into a void below. According to Oscar winner David Fine, it “beautifully demonstrates that so often, less is more.”

 

About the Oneota Film Festival
Since its 2010 inception, OFF has brought together film enthusiasts in scenic Northeast Iowa to enjoy award-winning films, converse with filmmakers, and celebrate film as a way to engage and explore some of the most critical issues facing our communities. OFF operates as a nonprofit organization under the fiscal sponsorship of the Driftless Art Collective (DARTCO), a 501(c)(3) organization.

 

--30--

Oneota Film Festival | PO Box 15, Decorah, IA 52101 | 563-265-1646 | director@oneotafilmfestival.org | 

 

|Hosted by Luther College | 700 College Dr., Decorah, IA 52101

  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • w-googleplus

© 2017 Oneota Film Festival, Inc.