The second season of Reel NW, our showcase of the best in independent film from or about the Pacific Northwest, is off to a great start. The third film in the series, "Smoke, Sand, & Rubber," is coming up this Monday night, October 31, at 10:30 p.m. This documentary is about Mel Anthony, who used to race midget cars at Aurora Speedway in Seattle and who decides, at the age of 86, to get behind the wheel again.
We thought this would be a good time to go behind the scenes with the Reel NW team. We checked in with our Production intern, Amelia Greim, who had the lucky job of logging and then watching the almost 200 films submitted to Reel NW for consideration for this year’s season. Amelia is a senior studying communications at the University of Washington and wants to be a television producer when she graduates. She’s been interning at KCTS 9 since April.
How long did it take you to watch all the films?
I would guess maybe 300 hours, over about 6 months.
Was it work, or was it fun?
I can’t lie, watching some of the films felt like work. But for the most part, I loved it. I felt privileged to be able to view so many of the independent films coming out of the Northwest. I didn’t realize there were so many films out there that are made without a big Hollywood budget.
What were some of your favorites?
I’m sort of a documentary junkie, so one of my favorites was a film about air hockey champions called "Way of the Puck." I didn’t realize how passionate and competitive air hockey players could be! Another film I really liked was "One Big Hapa Family" (airing November 14). This documentary has a unique style, mixing live action with animation in a story about of the cultural identity of Japanese-Canadians in BC.
What were some of the surprises for you?
I have not seen a lot of short films, so I was surprised by how many filmmakers use this format to successfully tell a great story. One of the standouts for me was a quirky and fun short called "The Day My Parents Became Cool" (airing December 26). I also liked "Shi-Shi-Etko" (airing December 26), the story of a Native American family whose daughter leaves for boarding school. The film has a bittersweet quality and features a really stunning Northwest setting.
We hope you’ll enjoy watching the films as much as Amelia did. Join us on Monday nights for Reel NW.