Sundance may be over and the Oscars yet to come, but Northern Lights Theater Pub is hosting a festival of their own Feb. 24, 25, and 26: the third annual Mid-Valley Video Festival.

The festival began as a one day event at the Elsinore theater two years ago.  Now it has expanded to an entire weekend and outgrown its original facilities. Over 14 hours of submissions are being sorted through. In addition, there will be a consumer advocacy screening of the Salem-filmed movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”  High definition camera and software demonstrations will also be given by several major brands.

One of the film screenings will be of this year’s Sundance finalist “Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon.” This documentary follows real-life events that are taking place in this small lumber town just west of Corvallis. A trust set up by a local logging baron helps with the college tuition of every high school graduate from the town. A new superintendent arrives from Chicago with his modern “liberal” ways that begin to arouse mistrust among long-time locals. Eventually the trust board lays down an ultimatum, either the superintendent leaves or the scholarships stop.
More than a film about liberal vs. conservative, this film shows the issues that more and more rural towns are going through as their way of life ceases to be feasible and they begin to oppose those things they see as undermining their values.

The Mid-Valley Video Festival will run from 1p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.  Previous year’s best picture winners have included “Peg’s Legs,” a film about a cancer patient’s participation in the Hood-to-Coast Run, and “The Question.” There will be several other categories in which films will be recognized as well.  And you don’t have to fly to Los Angeles or Utah to see them.  

To find out more about the Mid-Valley Video Festival, visit www.mvvfest.org.

Aaron Kelly is a bit of a filmmaker himself, although he doesn’t have any work screening at this festival.  Maybe next year, though.