ADVENTURES IN CINEMATIC STORYTELLING a.k.a. Orcas Island Film Festival 2017

Strait_of Georgia from Orcas Island gudgell group

5 Reasons You Will Add OIFF To Your Fall Calendar

Those ‘In the Know’ know why the 4th Annual Orcas Island Film Festival (OIFF) October 6-9, 2017 is a Big Deal.  For those just discovering the magic we are excited to share five reasons you will add the OIFF to your fall calendar.

ORCAS ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL 2017 san juan islands gudgell group
1 – OIFF IS A WORLD CLASS FILM FESTIVAL WITH ORCAS ISLAND FLAIR

Orcas Island, referred to by locals as “the gem of the San Juans” offers attendees fifty-seven square miles of dreamy forests, stunning waterfronts, breathtaking mountain views, an occasional nod to a turn of the century life and charming hamlets.

The festival hosted in the enchanting village of Eastsound, named “The Dreamiest Town in The West” by Sunset Magazine promises to bring all the excitement and thrills of the film festivals of Park City or Sundance sprinkled with the charm of a Nantucket like village nestled into a Norwegian fjord.

2 – OIFF HAS EASTSOUND SCENE, INTIMATE AND LAID BACK

For those craving a laid-back weekend in the San Juan Islands Orcas is known for a Come as You Are ethos, but don’t be surprised to find the OIFF a star-studded event.  Attendees rub shoulders unpretentiously with an amazing talent pool of resident and visiting film makers, directors, actors, producers and writers.

Known for some of the finest Northwest and International culinary delights as well as eclectic to traditional shopping only found on beautiful Orcas Island, Eastsound welcomes all with film loving enthusiasm.  You are sure to enjoy the luxury of film venues conveniently tucked into the village of Eastsound all within walking distance to each other and surrounded by the famed eateries, watering holes and boutique shopping of Orcas Island. ­­­­

3 – OIFF FILMS, YOU’RE LIKELY TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT OUR WORLD

To quote the OIFF, “Orcas Island Film Festival features narrative and documentary films, showcasing the best new works from around the world. A revelatory collection of the cinematic art from master and first-time directors with original stories that make the OIFF a must for film buffs and professional filmmakers alike.”
darkest hour INDIEWIRE photo credit
According to Carl Spence, OIFF organizer “The Orcas Island Film Festival (Oct 6-9) has 30 of the most exciting awards buzz films direct from their debut at the world’s top Festivals including: DARKEST HOUR (Joe Wright); SPOOR (Agniezka Holland); BREATHE (Andy Serkis); LET THE SUNSHINE IN (Claire Denis); LAST FLAG FLYING (Richard Linklater); THE SQUARE (Ruben Östlund); Borg/McEnroe (Janus Metz) amongst many others.”

2017 ORCAS ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL LINE UP offers a fresh narrative, casting light on beauty, challenge, relationships, forgiveness, dreams and diversity in eye-opening documentaries, American comedies, and amazing foreign language films including Academy Award Oscar Submissions for Best Foreign Language Film from POLAND, FRANCE, BELGIUM, NORWAY, SWEDEN, GERMANY.

THE DARKEST HOUR, Joe Wright with Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill
LAST FLAG FLYING, Richard Linklater staring Bryan Cranston, Steve Carrell and Laurence Fishburne
• LAST FLAG FLYING, Richard Linklater staring Bryan Cranston, Steve Carrell and Laurence Fishburne imgur photo credit    LET THE SUNSHINE IN, Claire Denis with Juliette Binoche
BREATH, Andy Serkis (Golem) directorial debut staring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy (The Crown)
WONDERSTRUCK, Todd Haynes staring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams
INFINITY BABY, Starring Kieran Culkin, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally
WINNIE, Pascale Lamche spotlighting Winnie Mandela’s Controversial Life• WONDERSTRUCK, Todd Haynes staring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams photo credit
    CHASING CORAL, Jeff Orlowski’s latest chronicle of climate-based danger
HUMAN FLOW, Ai Weiwei’s epic portrait of the ongoing refugee crisis
FACES PLACES, Agnès Varda, 2017 Cannes Palme de Whiskers winner
JANE, Cho Hyun-hoon a South Korean drama

4 – OIFF BEHIND THE SCREENS, PEOPLE WITH SERIOUS STREET CRED

The film minded folks behind the scene, keeping the festival aesthetic ‘100’ include Jared Lovejoy, Donna Laslo, Carl Spence, Jeanne Beck, Mieka Neenan, Paul Huber, Sara Donnelly, Galen Forrest, Cheryl Kummer and the many volunteers, community members and sponsors.  Together they create a masterpiece welcoming film enthusiasts for one unforgettable weekend filled with fine film, creativity and adventure.

killer whale 1945421 skeeze photo credit 5 – OIFF IS FUN

As with any great film festival fun can always be found and the OIFF is no exception.  Beyond the award-winning films, nosh-worthy eateries and outstanding island offerings attendees will find numerous festival events such as gala parties and panels that are sure to amuse.

In Close – “A note of thanks to all who make the OIFF possible and cheers to meeting new friends at this year’s event!”    

 -Wally  /  360-507-5443 mobile

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Posted on September 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm
Wally Gudgell | Category: Living in the San Juan Islands, News

LOVE THY NEIGHBORHOOD

loving life in the san juan islands on orcas island wow what a lifestyleA Five Point Psychology of Happiness On Orcas Island Time

Happiness does just seem to happen on Orcas Island.  It’s a lifestyle found far and wide on our Island home, yet answering the question what exactly makes Orcas Islanders so happy is not an easy answer.  With help from a few locals and a dip into the Interweb, I am excited to share some local insight into why we are such a grateful family of our amazing Orcas Island life, neighbors and neighborhood.

I was delighted to find while researching why we’re such a happy bunch many keys and habits to happiness used to elevate positive emotions, focus folks in the moment and raise happiness baselines in our everyday ebb and flow.

“Pat and I came to Orcas to visit friends in 1977. Bought waterfront property for 18,000. and never looked back. We built 4 houses over the years, lived aboard a boat, established careers and have hiked most every trail on the island. Scenery and good friends are the best mental health medicine around.  Living the dream as they say.”  –  Lisa B. Retired Banker, Ambassador at Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce and Treasurer Orcas Island Garden Club

orcas island is a very special place and an amazing place to live and work

Photo Credit Lisa Boyd

1 – SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO

An island filled with natural beauty surrounded by waters showcasing mountains and beautiful sun rises and sets with a bounty of culinary experiences is optimal for releasing dopamine anticipating something wonderful around the corner.  We are rewarded just thinking about our incredible surrounds.

2 – CONSCIOUS ACTS OF KINDNESS AND SOCIAL INVESTMENTS

Orcas with an astonishing number of nonprofits, one for every 45 residents according to the Islands Sounder frames a unique culture of giving, kindness and vested interest for a better world that is simply contagious.

the amazing pace of life on orcas island in the san juan islands“As a relative newcomer to Orcas Island, I have been struck by the incredible sense of community here. There is always someone to offer guidance, a recommendation, or a helping hand.  What a change from the city where I barely knew my neighbors’ names!  I’m also fortunate to work at Rosario Resort & Spa where every day I am filled with awe and gratitude for the incredible beauty of this special place.”  – Holly S. Rosario Resort & Spa

3 – MAKE YOUR ENVIRONMENT INSPIRING

San Juan County and Orcas Island are renowned for our inspiring environment.  We are a national monument with more shoreline than any other county in the country featuring orcas, marine life and abundant wildlife tucked into the Salish Sea along with being considered an “Arts Hot Spot’ by the Washington State Arts Commission.  One would think the definition of Inspiring Environment is the San Juan Islands.Sara Donnelly Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce and Treasurer Orcas Island Film Festival lifestyle san juan islands

“I love Orcas because it fosters the artist within all of us. There is a large community of creative people here. I think the energy of the island draws those yearning to live their passion. We feel it in our hearts. The Orcas Island Film Festival is a great example of this. Our amazing core group on the production team, as well as our many wonderful volunteers all come together because of our love for the art of cinematic story telling. A good film is in the eye of the beholder, which is the same for any art form. Imagery, sound and dialogue all come together to create a journey for the senses. It can leave you with emotions and thoughts that last for days, even weeks. That is the Orcas Island Film Festival at its best. Our community takes that journey with us, and we love it!”   – Sara D. Orcas Island Film Fest

 

4 – EXERCISE WHENEVER YOU CAN

Ranked number one in the state for quality of life, physical and mental according to recent national studies as a community we take health seriously.  Pair our organic healthy minds with an inspiring environment and it’s challenging to avoid the opportunity for even a short walk to improve your mental and physical health.  I challenge you to not enjoy even a walk from the post office to The Loft at Madrona along our amazing Eastsound waterfront boardwalk – It can’t be done.

5 – THE RIPPLE EFFECT

Warning, before reading on please know the happiness on Orcas Island is infectious.  The contagious positive emotions and mindsets of Orcas Islanders spreads throughout our island community and beyond.  Please don’t solely take my word for it, let me quote a few locals who also find our amazing life on Orcas Island contagious!

“I love the pace of life on this slice of heaven. The community is unique, crazy, loving, and truly one-of-a-kind. It’s amazing to watch residence of Orcas (and all the San Juan Islands) come together to create such an incredible quality of life. I have a special glimpse into the community working with the Farmers Market, and this land is full of creative, supportive and just down-right cool folks. The picturesque valleys full of happy sheep, goats and cows (and people!) never cease to amaze me. The sea-salty air replenishes the soul. I love Orcas Island.”    – Mandy G. Market Manager Orcas Island Farmer’s Market

beautiful organic farmers market on orcas island in the san juan islands is a must see

 

In Close –

“Thank you Lisa, Mandy and Holly for helping showcase just a few of the reasons we LOVE calling Orcas Island Home and cannot see ourselves anywhere else!  If you would like to share your reason or reasons, please shoot us a message.  I never tire talking about LOVE for Orcas and the San Juan Islands.”  – Wally

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Posted on June 23, 2017 at 2:38 pm
Wally Gudgell | Category: Living in the San Juan Islands, News

PROPERTY VALUES, CAO AND AREA CODES – Oh My

Only a Month Into 2017 and More Change Is On Your To Do List?

On the heels of the presidential inauguration with economics across the county being directly impacted by this new political chapter I thought I would take the opportunity to apprise you of some local and reginal real estate news.

STATE OF OUR UNION – Basically, Orcas Island inventory is extremely low and demand is high, pushing finally some appreciation on improved properties and vacant land appreciation likely to follow suit soon.orcas island real estate market 2017

As for tourism, the major driving force behind our economy we have seen an increase even during what was once the ‘off season’.  The impact locally are local venders seeing better revenue, an increase of 40% in lodging tax revenues, a growing demand for properties with short-term and long-term rental potential.  Additionally, as a co-founder of Islander’s Bank some 35 years ago and current board member for the first time in memory overall county deposits increased over the 2015 and 2016 winters.  Results that we believe can be attributed to all the great work of the Chambers of Commerce, San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, SJC Economic Development Council and the rising trend of additional tourism housing and accolades in numerous travel periodicals.

orcas island san juan county map

THE CRITICAL AREAS ORDINANCE (CAO) – Working with formal changes to the Shoreline Master Plan we ae on schedule for an adoption of the CAO soon.  Please let me know if you have any questions about San Juan County or in general.  For a quick review of the impending new ordinance and other county business the official county site SANJUANCO.COM is a wealth of information.

western washington area code overlay changes san juan islands

HE 564 CHANGE ON THE HORIZON – Growth dictates need for additional area codes and following Chinese New Year 2017 a new area code will be worked into our Western Washington scenery.

So how will this impact you?  The cliff notes; 564 will be an ‘overlay’ area code and will be issued throughout the region when current numbers run out, predicted by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator to happen by early 2018.

To implement the 564 a mandatory 10 DIGIT DIALING SYSTEM for all Western Washington area codes will be in effect BY FALL 2017.  This will require callers dial all 10 Digits, including area code when making even local calls.

YOUR CURRENT PHONE NUMBER WILL NOT CHANGE, JUST HOW YOU DAIL

In Close –

“This winter we are seeing many more inquiries than in years past, and we are hopeful the market will continue to improve as spring is right around the corner.  We welcome your questions, comments or concerns – Our Door Is Always Open!”  

 

 -Wally  /  360-507-5443 mobile

Posted on February 1, 2017 at 12:10 pm
Wally Gudgell | Category: Living in the San Juan Islands

LOCALIZE IT – Top Reasons to Hire Local Talent

Why LOCAL Is The Right Choice For The San Juan Islands

orcas island in the san juan islands amazing views

‘Buy Local’, ‘Island Grown’ and ‘Eat Local’ are phrases heard from many an islander and seen throughout the islands and on our transportation.  We experience the benefits of these ideals to our island sphere in something as small as purchasing dog treats from Jeff at Pawki’s for Pets or in more important investments such as hiring local firms like Madrona Point Insurance to protect our island lifestyles.

You may ask in regards to one of the largest purchases made in our lives, real estate, will buying or selling with a local real estate expert translate into better representation?  To answer your question, undoubtedly yes.  You will enjoy a more distinctive and personal experience along with the benefits below:

1 ::  Local Knowledge Is Power

When buying or selling in The San Juan Islands an advocate with extensive understanding of our remarkable island market and lifestyle significantly increases your insider knowhow easing your real estate voyage.  An island grown and trained agent arms you with knowledge of the myriad of idiosyncrasies of island real estate, including and not limited to shoreline regulations, archeology, septic systems, wells, community water systems, building regulations and local financing options which in real time equate to saved money when either selling or buying in The San Juan Islands.

Local Island Knowledge, a negotiation tool that can be offered only by local brokers is developed while immersed in our unique market over time paired with interactions within our island communities.  This local insight atop a solid understanding of real estate can be a dynamic advantage offered by local brokers who have spent their career studying, working and living in the San Juan Islands.

2 ::  Readily Available Boots On The Ground –

As many know, our market is smaller than that of our mainland neighbors and as such can require the reflexes of a cat to seize an opportunity.  The opportunity to show property NOW, Not now, but right now, around ferry schedules or around the less predictable Orca Whales.  Having a set of boots on island has also helped uncover on the ‘street’ the ideal, one-of-a-kind perfect opportunity sometimes weeks before Mainland America brokers discover the property through online tools such as the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, NWMLS.

Your real estate expert on the ground, in the Orcas community allows buyers and sellers the advantage of time, an increasingly more significant element in the real estate equation.

3 ::  The Ultimate Social Networking Channel –

With over 85% of Mainland America real estate transactions starting online, island brokers have capitalized on web marketing channels while continuing to thrive in the traditional.  True to our island roots, our community is firmly rooted in traditional face-to-face while embracing the ever-growing online networking channels to build one amazing blend of community.

Wally Gudgell Showing Property with Clients

Local brokers are connected in the island community.  We network at community events, volunteer at our many non-profits and still talk real estate over lunch with friends.  Enlisting a local broker with strong community ties and values along with a significant regional, national and worldwide network can offer buyers and sellers a micro and macro networking advantage that has a huge impact.

4 ::  Trickle Down Community –

Shaping our island’s character and vitality may be the most important of all the reasons to “Shop Local”, “Eat Local”, purchase “Island Grown” products and to enlist a local team for your real estate needs.  Island businesses and ardent residents give rise in our community to its distinct personality.  Local community-serving businesses and residents build our community; we create jobs and opportunities that expand the landscape for local entrepreneurs ultimately promoting the prosperity of local organizations, residents and our real estate market.

Orcas Island Community ParadeIn Close –

“Hiring local talent does not mean limiting exposure or professionalism – It Means nurturing local businesses, our island community and prosperity, creating jobs, supporting local non-profits, And All While signing up for more attentive personal service and a deeper understanding of our unique island real estate market.  I’m here, call me let’s do lunch and talk real estate in The San Juan Islands – One of my favorite subjects.”

 

-Wally     (360) 507-5443 mobile

Posted on October 24, 2016 at 11:13 pm
Wally Gudgell | Category: Living in the San Juan Islands, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A serene waterfront oasis on Orcas…

BREATHTAKING WALK OUT BEACH and stunning Roy Lundgren-designed single level home with separate guest house on 2 tax parcels. Contemporary, open floor plan with high end finishes and fixtures throughout. Gourmet kitchen provides all the latest amenities and is open to a large living room with an amazing fireplace. Master suite boasts spacious bathroom and views toward the sound. Lovely gardens, 3-car garage, boat storage, lovely sand beach – all close to Orcas Village. MLS# 408373. $3,850,000.

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm
Wally Gudgell | Category: Living in the San Juan Islands, News