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Walla Walla Movie Crush believes diversity on-screen begins with diversity off-screen. Here's what you need to know about the upcoming festival.

Here’s why you need to attend Walla Walla Movie Crush

Walla Walla Movie Crush showcases America’s most intoxicating blend of short cinema, from vintage filmmakers as well as fresh upstarts. They promise a flight for every fancy. Diversity on-screen begins with diversity off-screen.

When launching Walla Walla Movie Crush, co-founders Warren Etheredge and Nancy Dragun implemented their self-assigned 20% Rule. This principle guides all hiring decisions; that is, neither the staff, nor advisory boards, nor awards juries may be comprised more than 20% by individuals who identify as straight, white males. 

Greater representation by women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community spark greater representation of filmmakers of all ethnicities, orientations and identifications within the selection process. That said, the 20% Rule is not used as a de facto quota for programing. A good movie is a good movie no matter who made it. 

However, with the help of our Programming Advisory Board, and proactive efforts to review work from niche festivals and solicit titles from under-represented filmmakers (often waiving fees for those in need), the diversity of shorts included in The Crush’s annual line-up is both inspiring and standard-setting.

It is often said that everyone has a story within them. Walla Walla Movie Crush showcases as many of those stories as they can, for in hearing others’ tales and watching others’ stories they often find ourselves — and forge a more inclusive, compassionate future.

In 2012, beloved actor Tom Skerritt (better known as Viper to some) invited Warren to be a founding faculty member of The Red Badge Project, through which they and other instructors teach storytelling skills to vets coping with post-traumatic stress. The results are often astonishing.

In 2015, The Red Badge Project was invited to present a workshop at the Walla Walla Public Library, with most of the core team attending. It was a smash success, and since then, Warren — along with fellow instructors Brian McDonald and Shawn Wong — returns to Walla Walla quarterly to teach.

Warren fell in love with the city, and when the opportunity presented itself to stage a film festival, he and Nancy leapt at the chance. They had been searching for a home for their shorts-travaganza for years. Now they’ve found it, establishing the perfect home and partner in the Gesa Power House Theatre

When they reconnected with longtime friend and colleague Ranielle Gray, who agreed to come on board as Managing Director, they knew they had the key ingredients they needed to move forward.

In recognition of how they’ve come to call Walla Walla their home-away-from-home, proceeds from the festival directly benefit The Red Badge Project — specifically, its quarterly programs in Walla Walla.

Here are some testimonials from the director as well as participants at the festival. 

“The folks who are behind the Walla Walla Movie Crush are incredibly passionate about film and it shows through every aspect of the festival. All of the blocks were thoughtfully curated and screened in a way that created an experience greater than the sum of the individual parts. The level of care and attention given to filmmakers was very high. The Walla Walla Movie Crush is a hard recommend.”
—Mike Egan, director (Bronzed)

“Walla Walla crushes it! The curation of shorts is fantastic, the town is super cool with wine tastings on every corner. They do an amazing job at keeping things intimate, it really feels like a family. Great people Great shorts.”
—Chase Joliet, director & actor (Pinky and Blueboy, Everything Mattress)

“The Movie Crush challenges and inspires me to think about life and living in new ways. Dreams are always more colorful after a Crush weekend. I think it’s the best thing to happen to Walla Walla since wine!”
—Carrie, Crush audience member and Walla Walla resident

Walla Walla Movie Crush begins July 10th and continues to July 12th, 2020. The final submission deadline is May 1st, 2020 so get creating. Be sure to check out the Walla Walla Movie Crush festival on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all updates.

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