LAKE STEVENS FILM FESTIVAL invites Pacific Northwest films & filmmakers to a three-day screening and networking event. LSFF exists to cultivate an appreciation for the arts within Lake Stevens, connect creatives to wider industry circles and showcase diverse viewpoints from both established and emerging creators.
2023 JURY AWARD WINNERS
A jury of active industry professionals selected three first place winners for each category: Student Film, Documentary Short and Narrative Short, each receiving $500.
BEST STUDENT FILM
With a flip of the horror genre and an appreciation for a good pun, Ava Espiritu deftly spins a coming-of-age story into a hilarious coming-of-death story. Enemies turn into best friends who then twist into enemies again — but then back to friends again, maybe? By THE GHOST’s conclusion we were left with a bittersweet ending, but also a lot of laughs and great excitement for Espiritu's bright future in filmmaking.
- Jury Member Bao Tran
BEST NARRATIVE FILM
Megan Brotherton and Sarah Rodenbaugh
Hangman is a shattering portryal of grief at the loss of a life partner by suicide. Never an easy subject to handle, the film adopts a risky gallows humor to powerful effect, masterfully shifting in tone from somber to side-splitting, snarky to heart-wrenching, without ever dropping into histrionic cliche. We especially commend writer and lead actor Sarah Rodenbaugh for her deeply personal performance— it's hard to imagine anyone else quite pulling it off. Bravo.
- Jury Member Caitlin Craggs
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
In a media landscape riddled with lurid details of prison life, Blue Room refocused our attention on a quietly devastating aspect of American incarceration: deprived relations to nature. The jury was very impressed by Blue Room’s curious gaze and incisive editing. Faces longing for beauty, and two prisons' attempts to re-foster natural connection, stayed with us long after the film ended. The final shot of Blue Room drew us to re-appreciate the stunning sights of the Pacific Northwest––while brilliantly highlighting how we, too, so often experience the glory of nature through mediated distance.
- Jury Member Nathan D. Roberts
"It's a delightful small town with a beautiful scenery and kind people. I can't wait to go back and see how this fest grows. Wonderful experience all the way around."
SARAH RODENBAUGH, FILMMAKER
LSFF AT-A GLANCE
FRIDAY SEP 27th
The weekend kicks off with the first day of a hands-on Filmmaking Workshop geared towards ages 15+.
SATURDAY SEP 28th
In the morning, join us for a children's short film program. Coffee and donuts will be provided. In the afternoon, filmmaking workshops will continue as well as a Feature Film screening.
SUNDAY SEP 29th
LSHS Performing Arts Center
Student Films and Narrative and Documentary Short Film Blocks will play throughout the day.
LSFF Executive Director Laura Bettelheim is a filmmaker as well as a SAG-AFTRA actor and Lake Stevens native. She completed film school in San Francisco and then moved to New York City where she and her husband lived for six years before returning to her hometown of Lake Stevens in April 2020. While a student at Lake Stevens High School, she helped organize the school's first "Viking Film Festival." Now, in the city where she first fell in love with film, she is developing a local film community and expanding opportunities for greater engagement with the arts.
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