Below is a description of the Holden Village Film Festival that is offered during a typical year. Holden Village hopes to offer this event again in the future!

2020 Holden Village Film Festival

February 17–21, 2020

APPLY via FilmFreeway

The Holden Village Film Festival returns February 17-21, 2020 with a conversation around “Awakenings.” This unique winter festival, set in the remote wilderness of the Cascade Mountains, began in 2012.

This year we are looking for films that address the issues that face us as an earth community to open us to new insights and beginnings. In what ways are we asleep to the needs of the world around us? What issues in the world need to be brought to light? We are looking for films and filmmakers that are wrestling with their own awakening and, through film, move us from conversation into action.

Films may be submitted in any of the following categories:

  • Filmmakers 18 and Under
  • Documentary
  • Animation
  • Narrative

Interested in visiting Holden during the film festival? Please visit the Registration page and select the dates February 17-21, 2020.


Required Submission Materials

  • Submission Deadline: December 15, 2019
  • Entrance Information and Required Submission Materials: Must be completed through FilmFreeway
  • Hard Copy Preview DVD sent to Holden Village:

    BOTH a preview DVD (USB drive is also acceptable) AND film submission on the FilmFreeway site are required to be eligible for consideration. DVDs must be submitted in plastic safe cases and be formatted in MPEG video. DVDs should not include labels or stickers of any kind. We recommend testing your DVD on several makes and models of DVD players. DVDs will not be returned unless you provide a self-addressed, prepaid return envelope. Submitting your film on a USB drive that plays on VLC is also acceptable.

    We require a physical DVD or USB drive here at Holden Village because we are not able to stream due to our remote location. Some of the judges on our panel do not reside at Holden; thus, we ALSO require filmmakers to submit on the FilmFreeway site so we can send a link to our panel judges outside of the Village.

The makers of award winning films will be asked to participate in one or two panel discussions throughout festival week, a Q&A session following the showing of their film, as well as attending the films of others. Because Holden is a spiritual community, attendance at daily worship is also expected.

Submission materials should be mailed to:
Arts Enrichment and Outreach Lead

Holden Village 

HC 0 Box 2 

Chelan, WA, 98816

2019 Holden Village Film Festival

February 18–22, 2019

2018 Award Winners


Award Winner:  The Girl at the Library

Bridget_Johnson.jpgBridget Johnson – Director

Bridget Johnson is a determined filmmaker and YouTuber in her first year as a film student at DePaul University. She fell in love with the craft when her dad bought her a little red camera which she used to film goofy music videos casting her friends. In Spring 2016, she won 1st place in the MMEA (Midwest Media Educators Association) Film Festival for movie trailers for her comedy film, The Classroom. This summer, her inspiring LGBT coming of age film, Wake Up, was screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art. She is now working on being a PA on Chapstick, an LGBT+ comedy web series. Watch more of Bridget’s Films

Description: An LGBT+ silence romance film that follows the story of Hannah, a hopeless romantic writer, who goes to a local library every day to write. After an unexpected introduction to Athena, a hipster musician, the two teenage girls flirt for days and unexpectedly fall for one another. One day, Hannah gets the guts to ask Athena out on a date. She runs after her and finds out Athena may not be the innocent girl she said she was.


Award Winner:  Brothers

Randy_Kerr.jpgRandy Kerr – Director

Seattle photographer and filmmaker Randy Kerr has captured landscape and travel imagery from over 30 countries. His work has been featured online in The New York Times, Discovery's Travel Channel, CNN, Communication Arts, Expedia's Mungo Park, and Altrec's Route360. He received the iPIX Outstanding Achievement Award for Travel and was a featured photographer in The Canon Lens Experience on B&H Photo. In recent years he has shifted his emphasis to short documentary films incorporating his love of adventure, story, and music. When not behind the camera viewfinder or editing workstation, Randy often spends his time at the piano keyboard, usually playing Chopin or Brahms. A 20 year veteran of the computer industry, Randy has worked at Nokia, Microsoft, and NCR, and has launched startups in the areas of social media and online real estate. He received his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. Randy and his wife, Kim, and son, Alex, share their Seattle home with 'Khumbu' their beloved Tibetan Mastiff who they brought home from the Everest region of Nepal. Connect with Randy on Facebook

Timothy_Thomas_Burke.jpgTimothy Thomas Burke – Producer

Led by the whisper of the river, Seattle fishing guide and storyteller Timothy Thomas Burke has inspired anglers throughout the Pacific Northwest. With creativity, drive, and endless ideas, Timothy has written about his adventures, helped produce films and is an entrepreneur at heart. Patagonia, Meiser Spey Rods, and Simms Fishing Gear support his love for the outdoors. From the rugged Cascades to the snow-capped Olympics, Timothy loves to hunt for mule deer and elk. In his home town of Kirkland he spends his time investing in his local church, serving the underprivileged, tying flies, and building fly rods. Timothy works as a business developer for Longevity Development and Relief Factor supplement company in sales, strategy, and marketing.  He received his BS in Pastoral ministry from Corban University and Masters of Divinity from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Timothy’s motivation comes from his faith and from his grandfather who believed he could do anything. Timothy and his family — David, Seth, Justin, and Christina — live in Washington and Oregon.

Description: For the Burke brothers of Yakima, Washington, the river is a life source. As young boys from a home torn apart by alcoholism and broken promises, they found refuge and redemption in their backyard creek - losing themselves in the rush of cold water beneath their feet, playing, laughing, and chasing minnows into a 5-gallon bucket. Through the years their love of fishing together would grow and take them to the Yakima River, Columbia River tributaries and other storied steelhead waters of the Pacific Northwest where as men they reunite faithfully to this day. For them the river has been a constant friend and a place of mending: mending their spey lines through the currents of a steelhead run and mending what had once been torn in life into the unbreakable bonds of brotherhood. Brothers is a glimpse into their shared passion for wild steelhead as they swing flies on a harsh winter day on the Olympic Peninsula. Despite miserable conditions their unwavering hope on the water, as in life, proves essential in once again connecting with such a rare and powerful fish, and to each other.

Finalist:  Speaking of Dying

Trudy_James.jpgTrudy James – Producer

Trudy is a graduate of the University of Kansas, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and a longtime interfaith hospital chaplain. She learned hands-on lessons about death, dying, and grief working with volunteers in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in Arkansas. Later she worked with an AIDS agency in Seattle and served as a chaplain at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. After retiring, she spent four years pioneering community-based end-of-life planning workshops and two years producing this film and working with Jennifer Jones to capture stories and images to overcome the taboos surrounding death. Speaking of Dying helps individuals, groups, and families become more comfortable discussing the choices and resources needed to plan for good endings. She has also trained ten Heartwork facilitators who conduct end-of-life workshops throughout the Puget Sound area and in other states. In past years Trudy has offered classes on pastoral care and listening and she has facilitated retreats for Holden staff members.

Jennifer_Jones.jpgJennifer Jones – Director

Jennifer Jones is an independent documentary filmmaker. With her newly released short film, Speaking of Dying. (2015), she has developed a keen interest in stories surrounding conscious dying.

As a newspaper photojournalist she won numerous awards during her 20-year career, and served as Board Chair and Executive Committee Chair of the National Press Photographer’s Assn. (NPPA) for 8 years. She worked as a photographer/editor for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for 10 years and directed a documentary photo book and exhibition project, One Day In Washington (1985). She is also the author of a White Paper for the NPPA, Women in Photojournalism (1987)

Description: “Speaking of Dying” , a 30 minute documentary film, is meant to change that tide by shining a bright light on death and by showing us some of the choices and resources for a better ending, and most especially the value of speaking about our own ending with loved ones before there is a crisis.

The interviews and stories in the film reveal the challenges for physicians and for patients who deal with the complexities of today’s medical environment. Their words and attitudes offer empowerment to the viewer. Using expert testimony from palliative care and hospice doctors and intimate patient and family stories along with captivating nature imagery and beautiful music, the film speaks to the mind and to the heart. READ MORE



Award Winner:  Maybe It’s Me

Dimitris_Simou.jpgDimitris Simou – Director

 Born and raised in Athens, Greece Dimitris now works as an animator London where he studied filmaking. His film "Camera Obscure" (2013) was shortlisted for a British Animation Award and his graduation film "SCHEMATA:" (2014) was screened in several film festivals around the world. "Maybe it's me" (2017), which premiered at the 61st BFI London Film Festival, is his most personal film to date. READ MORE

Description: In “Maybe it’s Me”, an animator tries to recreate his childhood memories. This is a film that has embedded questions around the expression of creativity in its structure and deals with the fear of forgetting through its characters. It is a film about loss and acceptance. WATCH TRAILER

:  Barry the Blobfish

Marleia_Alfaro.jpgMarleia Alfaro – Director

Marleia Alfaro grew up in San Diego, California with a dream of becoming an Animator. She achieved a Bachelors in Art Multimedia from San Diego State, and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in 3D Character Animation from Academy of Art University, San Francisco. "Barry the Blobfish" is her first original film and Master's Thesis. Marleia recently completed an internship with the Disney College Program in Anaheim, and currently works at the Disneyland Resort.

Description: "Barry the Blobfish" is the story about a fat ugly deep sea fish who longs to live in the sun! Barry learns that sometimes, it's impossible to reach your goals alone.


Award Winner:  Bosco’s Guitar

Matt_Handy.jpgMatt Handy – Director

 Passionate and professional, Matt’s varied interests and experience allow him to fi­nd a personal connection to any story. When a life changing event as a reserve Police Officer reminded him to follow his bliss, Matt wound down his ­first “career”, developing software for international banks and hedge funds, and re-focused on his life-long passion–storytelling. After several successful short ­films, Matt attended the AFI Conservatory, graduating with an MFA in Directing. He took the long road to ­film making, but says it prepared him to tell stories in ways that he couldn’t have imagined, or planned without the leadership and life experience he gathered along the way.

American Film Institute, Los Angeles, California. MFA in Directing, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada Bs.C. in Computing and Information Science (1995)

Description: The true story of Bosco, a young musician, orphaned in the Burundian genocide. Taken in by a member of the group responsible for the death of his mother, Bosco must choose between hatred and hope.

Finalist:  Iridescence

Maxime_Beauchamp.jpgMaxime Beauchamp – Writer/Director

Coming from a background in performing arts and dance, Maxime is a proud French Canadian from eastern Ottawa, where he quickly found out that imagination was one of our most precious tools. Visual story telling is the passion that compels him to direct short films and music videos in partnership with diverse artists that now screens in festivals around the world.

Kent Donguines – Producer

Kent Donguines is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies of the University of the Philippines and Vancouver Film School, Film Production. He values creating a strong network as he collaborates with other emerging filmmakers as a Producer and has established his own company “Aimer Films” last June 2017. “Iridescence”, the film he produced is currently on its festival run with numerous awards and nominations. He's also known for his other projects such as “Grey” and his Storyhive-funded music video “Serpentine Fire”. READ MORE

Description: IRIDESCENCE is an experimental visual short film, which exposes how society needs to label a person by their sexuality. In this story, dance and interpretive movement replaces the dialogue, allowing us to use the body to communicate the relationship between the characters and they're true human emotions. READ MORE  WATCH TRAILER

Finalist:  Arriving

Prada_Brothers.jpgThe Prada Brothers – Directors

The Prada Brothers are two producers, directors, and writers that have more than 10 years of experience making short and full length films. Between them, they have obtained more than 100 awards and more than 800 selections at international film festivals. “Arriving” is their latest short film and they are currently in the post-production process for the “Dorien,” a fictional series produced by RTVE.

Description:“Arriving” is a short film that speaks of personal overcoming of adversity and how this is reflected in today's society. Many young people today struggle to achieve their goals or are unable to achieve them. The system and the way in which they make us believe as we should live is part of this struggle. The character of our short has probably been carried away by "the tide" of life. She has led a day to day messy, addictive existence, and that has led her to lose track. Now she wants to take back the "helm" and fight against "the tide" of life.

Cover Photo by Hannah Lauber