Local film news: The Hollywood Theater just got designated a "Sundance Art House Project Affiliate" by the Sundance Institute, an organization that attempts to "build audiences and develop a supportive national community of theaters committed to independent film."

Kudos to the Hollywood for the honor, but whatever: I'm selfish, and am thus more concerned about how this will benefit me. As for the effects we Portland cinephiles will see from this designation, things seem limited, but promising: The Hollywood will play the Sundance Institute Art House Project Shorts Program, a "specially selected series of short films from Sundance Film Festival," and the theater's managers will be able to attend the pretentiously named Art House Convergence, "a rare opportunity for these cinemas to network and discuss successful marketing, programming and business models as well as current issues facing independent theaters." So: Short-term we'll see some short films, and long-term, the Hollywood might benefit from being part of a larger, Sundance-approved network of good indie theaters.

The full press release is after the jump. In related news, Robert Redford is devilishly handsome. Look at those baby blues!

Film Action Oregon / Historic Hollywood Theatre Chosen as Sundance Art House Project Affiliate
Honor recognizes Film Action’s exceptional programming and support of local film community

PORTLAND, Ore. (Jan. 5, 2008)—The Sundance Institute has selected Film Action Oregon’s historic Hollywood Theatre as one of only eighteen theaters in the country to be part of the Sundance Institute Art House Project.

In 2005 the Sundance Institute established the Art House Project with select cinemas exhibiting independent film. The Project’s mission is to build audiences and develop a supportive national community of theaters committed to independent film. The Project unites the country’s best independent theaters and promotes the growth and appreciation of cinema culture in local communities nationwide.

"We created the Art House Project to go to the heart of where independent spirit lives all year," said John Cooper, Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival. “Each of the participating theaters is acclaimed for its innovative programming and engagement with the local arts scene. Art House Project theaters foster a cultural intersection for local and visiting filmmakers to showcase their work, for families to gather, and for daily programming to spark critical dialogue and debate.”

"Everyone knows that the Sundance Institute stands for exceptional educational programs and quality programming. It is an honor to be selected as one of the first eighteen organizations to be part of the Art House Project," said Richard Beer, Film Action Oregon’s Artistic Director. "For three years, the Sundance Institute has steadfastly supported the growth of audiences for art house cinema. We are proud that Portland and Film Action’s Hollywood Theatre are now going to be a part of that effort.”

The Hollywood was chosen for it’s unique mix of year-round art house programming and it’s involvement in Portland’s independent film community.

The Sundance Art House Project has several initiatives, including: a series of short films from the Sundance Film Festival, a film tour, and an annual convergence of art house theaters from across the nation held prior to the Sundance Film Festival.

Sundance Institute Art House Project Shorts Program
A specially selected series of short films from Sundance Film Festival is being presented exclusively at each of the Art House Project theaters. This year, the shorts program includes awarding-winning but rarely seen films such as: MAN (directed by Myna Joseph), FCU: Fact Checkers Unit (directed by Dan Beers), Sikumi (directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean), I Love Sarah Jane (directed by Spencer Susser), W. (directed by The Vikings), Spider (directed by Nash Edgerton), Yours Truly (directed by Osbert Parker), Dennis (directed by Mads Matthiesen) and my olympic summer (directed by Daniel Robin).

Art House Convergence
The Art House Convergence, presented in cooperation with the Sundance Institute, will take place January 13-15, 2009 in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the Convergence, Art House theaters from all over the U.S. will gather just before Sundance Film Festival (January 15-25) providing a rare opportunity for these cinemas to network and discuss successful marketing, programming and business models as well as current issues facing independent theaters.

John Cooper, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival will give the keynote address. Convergence sessions include a wide range of topics including how to use the not-for-profit business model to grow audiences for Art House films as well as an exploration of new film distribution paradigms. Panelists include Bob Berney, formerly of Picturehouse, Peter Broderick of Paradigm Consulting, and Ted Hope from This Is That Productions.

About Film Action Oregon
Established in 1992, Film Action Oregon provides nonprofit support to Oregon’s indigenous filmmaking community and educates Oregonians about this art form. FAO focuses on educating emerging artists, partnering with independent filmmakers to produce new works, and engaging diverse audiences by exhibiting independent, classic and foreign films at the 1926 Hollywood Theatre, which was purchased by FAO in 1997. Since 2003, FAO has provided a nonprofit umbrella for select filmmakers to assist their current projects with fundraising, artistic critique, distribution strategies, editing, screening venues and other forms of support. FAO also established the Women’s Film Initiative to support and encourage women filmmakers, and runs Project Youth Doc, a summer program that teaches teenagers about documentary production. For more information about FAO, visit

Sundance Institute Art House Project
The Art House Project was created in 2005 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Sundance Institute and pay tribute to Art House theaters nationwide. Now in its 4th year, this initiative is leading the effort to create a national organization of independent cinemas and has expanded its program, developing a broader, more dynamic model including a film tour and a Sundance Film Festival programmed series of short films. The Sundance Institute Art House Project now includes the following theaters: BAM (New York, NY), The Belcourt Theatre (Nashville, TN), Broadway Centre Cinemas (Salt Lake City, UT), The Coolidge Corner Theatre (Brookline, MA), The Enzian Theater (Orlando, FL), The Hollywood Theatre (Portland, OR), International Film Series (Boulder, CO), The Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, NY), The Loft (Tucson, AZ), The Michigan Theater (Ann Arbor, MI), The Music Box (Chicago, IL), Oklahoma City Museum of Art (Oklahoma City, OK), The Palm (San Luis Obispo, CA), Pickford Cinema (Bellingham, WA), Rafael Film Center (San Rafael, CA), Ragtag Cinema (Columbia, MO), Railroad Square Cinema (Waterville, ME), and The Screen (Santa Fe, NM).