By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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It's possible to tell an absorbing story, surprise the viewer and make the viewer laugh, all in a few minutes of footage.
You can change careers midlife to pursue your passion.
Then it's possible to have your diminutive motion picture shown outdoors on a huge screen during the Port Townsend Film Festival next weekend.
And oh, yes: Everyone can find love.
“Pink,” Torrie McIntyre and Tenille Tosland's movie about a couple of plastic flamingoes, tells that tale.
The film, at just 1 minute and 13 seconds, is one of three PDN-PDQ contest winners to light the big screen during the Port Townsend festival.
The contest, held in August and sponsored by the Peninsula Daily News and Port Townsend Film Institute, invited entries of three minutes or less shot on video cameras or cellphones.
Twenty-two entries came in, with the winners hailing from near and far: McIntyre of Port Angeles and Tenille of Sequim, Peter Ray of Vashon Island and David Gough of Burntwood,England.
Following a dream
Gough had a 26-year career in computing before lighting out for the American West: He went to the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Mont.
“I decided to follow my dream,” said Gough, 61.
An instructor told him not to turn his video camera sideways, so that's exactly what he did in making “Because It's There,” his PDN-PDQ short video entry.
Gough calls the 1-minute, 49-second comedy “just a different slant on life.”
He's visiting the North Olympic Peninsula this month and will get to go to the Port Townsend Film Festival.
Each PDN-PDQ winner's prize includes an $85-value 4Pass — a ticket to four festival movies — plus a yearlong Port Townsend Film Institute membership, which provides access to the film festival DVD library; $1 off First Tuesday Film Salon tickets at the Rose Theatre; and 20 percent off breads at Pane d'Amore in Port Townsend.
The competition judges were Virginia Bogert, curator of Seattle's Post Alley Film Festival; Port Townsend Film Festival co-founder and filmmaker Jim Ewing; and Sana Gomes, a graduate of Brazil's Universidade Federal Fluminense who is now the film institute's press secretary.
Screened during festival
“Because It's There” and “Pink” will be screened during the film festival along with “Hareloom Seeds,” Ray's movie involving candy and horticulture.
Ray, 60, had a 25-year career as a nurseryman.
Like Gough, he wanted to try something different.
He took classes at the Seattle Film Institute and became a movie critic and contributor to Vashon's The Loop.
When asked for the message of his movie, Ray was coy.
“Hareloom Seeds” is only 1 minute, 17 seconds, after all, so he'd like people to watch and decide for themselves.
Fortunately, like “Pink” and “Because,” “Hareloom” does have a happy ending.
Each of the short flicks will light the big screen erected on Taylor Street in downtown Port Townsend.
They will be part of the Outdoor Cinema presentations of feature films at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and next Sunday.
Admission is free on all three nights.
The filmmakers will be introduced to the crowd at show time.
“Hareloom Seeds” screens before “Starman” on Friday.
“Pink” will be shown before “Finding Nemo” on Saturday.
“Because It's There” screens before the surfing movie “Step into Liquid” next Sunday.
Variety of age, experience
Hundreds pack the street and sidewalks to see the outdoor movies each year, said Port Townsend Film Institute Executive Director Janette Force.
For details about the Outdoor Cinema and other festival activities, visit www.PTFilmFest.com.
Next week, immediately after the festival, the PDN-PDQ winners will be showcased at www.peninsuladailynews.com, the PDN's heavily accessed website.
“We are delighted,” Force said, “with the variety of age and experience of our filmmakers for the first year” of the competition.
These winners may well play roles in cinema's future.
McIntyre, 18 and a graduate last June of Sequim High School, took a course in video production with Tenille, 16. They were part of the Growl News Network, Sequim High's news channel, and later took second place in this year's Sequim Education Foundation Student Film Festival for “T3 News,” a video about Sequim's age demographics.
Tenille is a junior in high school, while McIntyre is earning her Associate of Arts at Peninsula College.
She plans to transfer to the Seattle Film Institute, where she'll pursue a Bachelor of Arts in film.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.