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Milwaukie Film Series features 13 takeson love at Masonic Lodge

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Each year the Milwaukie Film Series chooses a theme that serves as a thread that ties the short films together, and this year “it’s all about love,” said Greg Baartz-Bowman, the director of the series.

The family-friendly, cinematic love-fest takes place at 7 p.m. April 18 at the Milwaukie Masonic Lodge.

PHOTO BY: TJ KIRK - Chris Ortalano of Bike Milwaukie (left) and Greg Baartz-Bowman of the Milwaukie Film Series deliver food to Kristin Kinnie, the site coordinator at the Wichita Family Support Center. “We found 13 award-winning films filled with great acting, amazing animation, and deft storytelling that bring the power of love to the forefront. And it’s not just romance; it’s about love of life, family and self. Of loss and rebirth; it’s love for our planet, our home,” Baartz-Bowman said.

“We also wanted to find a way to demonstrate our love for Milwaukie, and decided to ask folks coming to the film night to bring a nonperishable food item to help fill the food pantry at the Wichita Family Support Center,” he said.

Because Baartz-Bowman also is active with Bike Milwaukie, the local group that leads monthly bike rides around the city, he enlisted their help with the event.

“Bike Milwaukie will transport the donated food from the Masonic Lodge across town to the Wichita Center the next day. If you’ve not been on a Bike Milwaukie ride, this is one you don’t want to miss. Come help feed people by riding your bike,” he said.

Exploring theme

“This year’s theme chose itself. As I began to curate and assemble the lineup for 2015, it became obvious to me that film can depict love in many ways and be set in unique situations. The strongest films this year do just that,” Baartz-Bowman said.

Two of his favorites are “Mei,” from South Korea, that turns a street-food cart into a moving look at family and friendship, and “Moving On,” by Ainslie Henderson, “that will have the hardiest of people wiping a tear from their eye as they reflect on this short, beautiful film. This is a film event for everyone.”

Some of the films are live action and some feature animation, he said, adding, “Films like ‘World Builder,’ by Bruce Branit, take CGI effects to the fullest, but it’s the power of love that makes the film memorable.”

Other films include: “My Favorite Picture of You,” by Martin and Lindsay; “Wild Love,” by Andy Maser; “Wildlife Crossing,” from Pixar; “Head Over Heels,” by Timothy Reckart; “Validation,” by Kurt Kuenne; “Boy,” by Prasanna Puwanarajah; “Elgin Park,” by Animal; “Peanut Butter Lips,” by Jamie Hooper; and “Of Forest and Men,” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

Coming up

Baartz-Bowman said he hopes to screen a film during the Vietnam Wall’s visit to Milwaukie in late July, and he will begin planning the 2016 Film Series in the fall.

In addition, “Crystal Clear,” the film he and Mark Gamba made that had its premiere at the 2015 Watershed Event, will be screened on April 30 at the River Restoration Northwest Film Night at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland.

Baartz-Bowman added, “It’s a pretty big deal in the enviro-world and I’m proud that we were selected. Mark and I are also making a new film for the 2016 Watershed Event titled ‘Free Kellogg Creek.’”

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What: Milwaukie Film Series

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18

Where: Milwaukie Masonic Lodge, 10636 S.E. Main St.

More: The event is free with a suggested donation of a nonperishable food item for the Wichita Family Support Center. This is a family-friendly event.

Website: milwaukiefilmseries.org