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Oregon Media Arts Fellowships Awarded to Two Filmmakers

The Oregon Media Arts Fellowship, established to recognize and support the work of Oregon film and video makers, announces its 2008 awards: $10,000 and $5,000 Fellowships to Portland filmmakers Chel White and David Walker, respectively.

Funded by the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Gordon D. Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Foundation, with additional in-kind support from The Oregon Film & Video Office and Chambers Communications, the Fellowships are a collaborative undertaking by Oregon's public and private agencies dedicated to the development of Oregon's film, video and creative potential. "We came together as partners during the last legislative session to advocate for increased resources for the arts, public broadcasting, film and video production and other projects. These Fellowships are the result of that collaboration and draw attention to the resident talent pool we have across Oregon," said Christine D'Arcy, executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission and the Cultural Trust.

The goal of the Media Arts Fellowship program is to support outstanding moving image artists who live in Oregon and whose work shows exceptional promise and demonstrated commitment to the media arts. A distinguished panel reviewed submissions from 71 applicants from throughout the state, weighing artistic merit, the potential of the proposed activity to advance the artist's work, and the feasibility of the projects proposed.

"Chel White and David Walker were selected from an incredibly qualified applicant pool for their thoughtful and innovative proposals and the promise evident in their past accomplishment," said Eric Hayashi, one of five jurors and executive director of San Francisco's Film Arts Foundation. "All of us look forward to seeing the new projects supported by this Fellowship and know that the community will be inspired and impressed by their work and how it reflects the high caliber of independent filmmaking in Oregon."

Chel White's award includes $10,000 in cash and a suite of studio production services provided by Chambers Communications in Eugene. White's films have garnered numerous international awards; retrospectives; and funding from the Rockefeller/ ReNew Media Arts Fellowship, Regional Arts & Culture Council and Western States Media Arts Fellowship, among others. His extensive body of animated and short live action films includes Magda, Persona and Dirt; music videos; television commercials; and shorts for "Saturday Night Live," among others. White's most recent film, Wind, a poetic look at global climate change, screened opening night in the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival with guest speaker Al Gore, and at the 2008 Portland International Film Festival.

David Walker, recipient of a $5,000 award, is a journalist, filmmaker, comic book writer, and the creator of the pop culture magazine BadAzzMoFo. While screen editor and lead film critic for Willamette Week, Walker founded and directed the Longbaugh Film Festival. He is recognized as an expert on blaxploitation films of the 1970s and made Macked, Hammered, Slaughtered & Shafted, a feature length documentary film on the subject. His other films include Damaged Goods, Uncle Tom's Apartment, and Black Santa's Revenge.

In addition to Eric Hayashi, the Fellowship jurors were Eric Cain, a producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting; Sarah Jane Lapp, a Seattle-based independent animator; Janet Wasko, Knight Chair in Communication Research at the University of Oregon; and Bryce Zabel, a television writer and producer in Los Angeles and former chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The application deadline for the next round of the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship is October 1, 2008. Application information is available from the Northwest Film Center, www.nwfilm.org; or by contacting Thomas Phillipson, thomas@nwfilm.org, (503) 221-1156 or the Oregon Arts Commission, www.oregonartscommission.org, (503) 986-0082.

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