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Launched in 2017, the Walla Walla Movie Crush is back for its third annual celebration of American short cinema July 12-14 at Gesa Power House Theatre, 111 N. Sixth Ave. 

The festival will screen 128 films, including 12 World Premieres, and include a festive awards ceremony the last night.

Movies will screen in hourlong blocks from 6-10 p.m. July 12; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. July 13 and noon-5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. July 14.

Movie Crush shows a diverse collection of the best new American shorts, presented in thematically programmed packages. Over the course of the weekend one might see a mix of documentaries, narratives, animation, music videos and so on. 

The full lineup is available at ubne.ws/2XFbdg4. Day passes are $20; a pass for all three days is available for $50. Tickets may be purchased online through July 11. 

Day-of-show tickets will be available at the door starting at 5 p.m. July 12.

The Walla Walla Movie Crush receives support from The City of Walla Walla, the Port of Walla Walla and Gesa Power House Theatre. Proceeds go to support The Red Badge Project.

Also, for the first time, the Movie Crush will offer a package of family-friendly shorts at 10 a.m. July 13, in partnership with and hosted by the Walla Walla Public Library.

The Sunday evening session will feature 10 brand-new short films created specifically for the Walla Walla Movie Crush in response to this prompt: The Rule of Three. 

These “Challenge” films will be created by a pantheon of talents; this year’s’ participants are: Wenjo Carlton and Anne Hanson, Sue Corcoran, Kate Graves, Courtenay Johnson, Nardeep Khurmi, Mark Millhone, Patrick Smith, Lindsay Stidham, Amanda Lovejoy Street and Jacques Thelemaque.

The “Challenge” films are unseen by anyone, including the Crush staff, until they hit the screen at 7 p.m. Each is less than seven minutes long. What we do know is this year’s batch will include some live-action, some animation, some narrative and some documentary.

Participating filmmakers range in variety from a young woman whose work was presented in the 2018 Youth Shorts package, to a former winner of a Student Academy Award for his first short film, to the co-founder of the prestigious Filmmaker’s Alliance, to an all-female team rising to the Crush Challenge for the third year in a row.

The “Challenge” screening will be followed immediately by an awards ceremony during which top honors will be bestowed in accordance with the votes of juries comprised of Oscar-winning and critically acclaimed filmmakers and industry pros, such as Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (the makers of Captain Marvel), actress Piper Perabo and animator Max Porter, whose Oscar-nominated short Negative Space played at the 2018 Movie Crush. 

For a full list of jurors, visit ubne.ws/2XZyFE9

Winners will be determined for the following categories: Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short, Best Youth Short, Best Short Screenplay and Best Performance. Additionally, the artistic director will bestow the third annual Curator’s Choice Award.

All awardees will be presented with a medallion, designed by renowned visualist (and Walla Walla resident) Augusta Sparks Farnum. The medallion is an artful representation of the spirit of both Walla Walla and the natural beauty of filmmaking. It alludes to military medals, a nod to the Walla Walla Movie Crush’s commitment to veterans.

Artistic Director Warren Etheredge is a founding

faculty member of the The

Red Badge Project (see

theredbadgeproject.com). Started by veteran actor Tom Skerritt and Army Captain Evan Bailey, The Red Badge Project teaches storytelling skills to assist combat veterans in coping with post-traumatic stress. Proceeds from the Walla Walla Movie Crush benefit The Red Badge Project, specifically its quarterly programs in Walla Walla.