This photo is a still image taken from the film “Finding She” by Lauren Tanel, which set to be one of the local films featured in the Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society’s Winter Film Festival this weekend at the Gold TownTheater downtown. (Courtesy / Pat Race)

This photo is a still image taken from the film “Finding She” by Lauren Tanel, which set to be one of the local films featured in the Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society’s Winter Film Festival this weekend at the Gold TownTheater downtown. (Courtesy / Pat Race)

Picture this: Local film festival set to celebrate 20th anniversary at upcoming weekend event

JUMP into the fun.

Plans are in motion for an upcoming festival that will spotlight dozens of local filmmakers.

The Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society is set to host its Winter Film Festival this weekend at the Gold TownTheater downtown. The festival is a free, biannual event that showcases a compilation of locally made short films and are presented at multiple screenings during the festival’s two-day span.

This year marks the festival’s 20th anniversary and the first year it’s returned since taking a hiatus due to the pandemic, said Aaron Suring, treasurer of the JUMP society.

“Technically some of these films could be years in the making,” Suring said.

Though each festival typically only showcases the submissions received from the months before the event, this winter festival is set to be filled with submissions spanning the past few years, as Suring said it will include any submissions sent during the festival’s pandemic pause.

Suring said he’s excited to see all the films that were created throughout the pandemic and witness the differing perspectives of that period that he might not have seen before.

The festival does not require a theme or many other requirements besides its 10-minute cutoff time and a connection to Juneau or Alaska. Suring said that local connection is one of the most fun aspects of the festivals because you never know what you might see.

“Sometimes it’s really fun and uplifting, sometimes it’s a little sad, but it’s always interesting to see what your neighbors are working on,” Suring said. “I think the festival is about showing you what your neighbors are working on, and it’s kind of fun to see what the community is doing, saying and thinking.”

Pat Race, the festival organizer, said in past festivals, JUMP usually receives between 15 and 25 submissions, which can range from documentaries to animation to music videos. Race said he’s excited to welcome back the festival after a few years and said each year brings a new viewpoint of Juneau he’s never seen before.

“It’s been a long time and it’s nice to be able to get people together and share what we’re working on — it helps to break some of the isolation,” he said. “For me, the film festival has always been a little snapshot of the community and you get to see all these different facets of what Juneau is to people.”

Race and Suring said they encourage residents to take a leap of faith and submit films of their own if they missed this show’s deadline as there will be more festivals to come in the future.

“If someone isn’t able to get us something for this festival we’d love to have it for the next one,” Race said. “We’re hoping that someone comes to the festival and sees the films being made and is inspired to make a film of their own.”

Know & Go

What: JUMP 2022 Winter Film Festival

Where: Gold Town Theater,

Admission: Free

When: Screenings at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

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