February 16th, 2024

Discover the Magic of Cinema at the 13th Annual McMinnville Short Film Festival

An audience in a theater sit in red seats and view a screen.
Photo courtesy of the McMinnville Short Film Festival.

February in the Willamette Valley often marks a quiet and slow time of year after the bustling harvest season and before the onset of spring tourism.  With the weather still fickle, it’s an opportune time to cozy up with buttered popcorn and immerse yourself in the captivating and creative world of independent film.  From February 23rd to 25th, 2024, the 13th Annual McMinnville Short Film Festival (MSFF) returns, promising a captivating lineup of emerging film talent, including award winning and Academy nominated short films.

The festival’s hub will be the McMinnville Cinema, hosting screenings of over 100 short films from more than 17 countries.  The diverse lineup spans many genres -drama, comedy, documentary, animation, horror, environmental, Native American, and experimental – to cater to every movie enthusiast.  Noteworthy showcases also spotlight Oregon-based filmmakers and local auteurs from Yamhill County, enhancing the festival’s regional flavor.

In addition to the film screenings, a series of public filmmaker events promise unique and up-close experiences for the community and attendees.  Tickets are available for an “Industry Panel” on Saturday at 1:30pm featuring producer, Liz Cardenas (see below), Missy Laney, Director of Development for Adult Swim, and local screenwriter Jonathan Raymond, known for his work with Directors, Kelly Reichardt and Todd Haynes. 

Additionally, join MSFF at Troon Tasting Room on Saturday at 3pm for an afternoon of mixing and mingling with filmmakers from across the nation over glasses of biodynamic wine.  At 9am on Sunday morning at the Gallery Theater, delve into the thought-provoking, “Breakfast with a Filmmaker,” session featuring producer, Mariana Mendez.  Mariana’s recent film “HUMO” (which is screening in the animation block) was recently short listed for an Academy Award.

Cap off the weekend at The Bindery Event Space on Sunday evening at 6pm for the MSFF Awards Dinner, featuring keynote speaker Liz Cardenas.  A producer, twice nominated for the Independent Spirit Award, Cardenas will share industry highlights from her celebrated film career, including her recent Oregon shot feature, “Acidman,” starring Academy Award nominated actor Thomas Gay Harden and her work with Duplass Brothers Productions. Tickets for the MSFF Awards Dinner are sold separately.

For the full schedule of events and ticket purchase options, visit the MSFF website.  Whether you’re an avid film aficionado or simply seeking a film excursion in beautiful wine country, the McMinnville Short Film Festival promises an enriching experience.

“This is the essence of what film festivals are about for both audiences and attending filmmakers,” says 2024 Grand Jury Judge, Peter Billingsley (Iron Man, A Christmas Story, The Breakup.)  “I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the art of film, thoughtful conversation or just plain fun.”

For tickets and info please visit www.mcminnvillefilmfest.org and follow on Instagram at @macfilmfest.

Heather Older is a screenwriter and the Executive Director of MSFF.