THE FILMMAKING SCENE in Portland is approaching a new zenith, with film school masses encroaching upon Portland and forming a dynamic presence. Groups like Peripheral Produce, The Charm Bracelet, and Four Walls Cinema have been created to foster and support independent filmmakers, including providing the opportunity for a variety of individuals to screen their work.

Tucked within this network is young up-and-comer Steve Gevurtz. With the aid of Brad Adkins of The Charm Bracelet, Gevurtz landed the opportunity to screen his work at Inchmeal Gallery for three nights in December.

A Portland native, Gevurtz recently returned home with a film degree in hand from Hampshire College. His time on the East Coast included a mixture of valuable elements. At Hampshire he was immersed in an intense program and exposed to an onslaught of notable filmmakers. He acknowledges Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story), Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) and Jem Cohen (Instrument) as his prime influences. Gevurtz had the chance to get his feet wet in the real world as an intern for Cohen during the post-production of Instrument, a film that highlights the band Fugazi.

His time at school provoked Gevurtz to explore his own vision of filmmaking, which he describes as outside usual structures. "A lot of people at school were trying to construct narratives," he says. "I decided to simply document what was going on around me." Gevurtz' impulses led him to produce a body of work that is undeniably authentic. His films are consistently powered by straightforward and personal subject matter, usually centering around his relationships.

His thesis work, entitled A Little Close, focuses on Gevurtz' relationship with his parents, specifically portraying his process of leaving the nest. Gevurtz peers his camera into his parents' suburban home, captures their habitual movements, and layers this candid scrapbook with recorded phone conversations with his parents. He does not shy away from asking them real questions, and the result is powerfully candid. By simply choosing to illuminate his most fundamental relationship, he creates room for viewers to recognize themselves and their own parents within the Gevurtz family.