To Share Excellent Movies With The World
We love shorts because they are made by the most passionate of moviemakers - those who care so deeply about sharing their stories, they’ll do anything and everything to tell them.
The Movie Crush provides a platform for their work to be seen, heard, absorbed, and celebrated.
The Walla Walla Movie Crush showcases America's most intoxicating blend of short cinema, from vintage filmmakers as well as fresh upstarts. We promise a flight for every fancy.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLE
Diversity on-screen begins with diversity off-screen.
When launching The Walla Walla Movie Crush, co-founders Warren Etheredge and Nancy Dragun implemented their self-assigned 20% Rule. This principle guides all hiring decisions; that is, neither the staff, nor advisory boards, nor awards juries may be comprised more than 20% by individuals who identify as straight, white males. Greater representation by women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA community spark greater representation of filmmakers of all ethnicities, orientations and identifications within the selection process.
That said, the 20% Rule is not used as a de facto quota for programing. A good movie is a good movie no matter who made it. However, with the help of our Programming Advisory Board, and proactive efforts to review work from niche festivals and solicit titles from under-represented filmmakers (often waiving fees for those in need), the diversity of shorts included in The Crush’s annual line-up is both inspiring and standard-setting.
It is often said that everyone has story within them. The Walla Walla Movie Crush showcases as many of those stories as we can, for in hearing others’ tales and watching others’ stories we often find ourselves -- and forge a more inclusive, compassionate future.
History of the crush
In 2012, beloved actor Tom Skerritt (better known as Viper to some) invited Warren to be a founding faculty member of The Red Badge Project, through which they and other instructors teach storytelling skills to vets coping with post-traumatic stress. The results are often astonishing.
In 2015, The Red Badge Project was invited to present a workshop at the Walla Walla Public Library, with most of the core team attending. It was a smash success, and since then, Warren — along with fellow instructors Brian McDonald and Shawn Wong — returns to Walla Walla quarterly to teach.
Warren fell in love with the city, and when the opportunity presented itself to stage a film festival, he and Nancy leapt at the chance. They had been searching for a home for their shorts-travaganza for years. Now they’ve found it, establishing the perfect home and partner in the Gesa Power House Theatre. When they reconnected with longtime friend and colleague Ranielle Gray, who agreed to come on board as Managing Director, they knew they had the key ingredients they needed to move forward.
In recognition of how they’ve come to call Walla Walla their home-away-from-home, proceeds from the festival directly benefit The Red Badge Project — specifically, its quarterly programs in Walla Walla.
oh, and about the name...
Yes, the Walla Walla Movie Crush is an allusion to the region’s world-class wine production, and also a reference to our lives as movie lovers - with a particular fondness for compact, cinematic gems like the ones that fill our festival.
We trust you'll fall in love as well.