Life on the coast: 2022’s Fresh Coast Film Fest


Dallas Wiertella/NW

FILM FEST – Attendees getting ready for a screening of Shorelunch by Eric Sondheimer and Nate P. The Fresh Coast Film Festival ran from Oct. 13-16 and featured over 80 films.

Harry Stine

The Fresh Coast Film Festival, which ran from Oct. 13-16, featured over 80 films, ranging from 60-second shorts to full-length screenings.

“The festival has been absolutely amazing this year,” filmmaker Cameron Mattson said. “I cannot really add on more than that. It has just been rock and roll the whole weekend.”

Mattson was a co-director, along with Kevin Paczesny, on All Hop’d Up, a 20-minute documentary on the different breweries in the Upper Peninsula. This year marked Mattson’s fourth year as a filmmaker at Fresh Coast and All Hop’d Up marked his fifth film submitted overall. Mattson aimed to share the impact the featured breweries have on the area, and the film festival itself.

“We wanted to tell their story to say thank you for hosting the festival and for doing everything they have done for this community in ways that are kind of obvious and not obvious at all,” Mattson said.

The project, which Mattson added was funded entirely out of pocket, started pre-production in September 2021, while he was in his last semester as a Northern student. He added that the reception by attendees at Fresh Coast, and the subjects themselves, had been “overwhelmingly positive”. 

Mattson encouraged other filmmakers, student or non-student, to submit their work as well.

“It’s as simple as making your film to the best of your ability, submitting it on either FilmFreeWay or the Fresh Coast website. You wait for probably about a month or two, and if they think that it jives well with the stories they’re trying to tell, chances are, you’ll get your film in the festival and if not, don’t get discouraged.”

Two other filmmakers, director Eric Sondheimer and the talent known as Nate P, were also in attendance. The pair submitted material from their YouTube series Shorelunch, a show centered around fishing, cooking, and heavy metal.

The latter point was carried even further by Eric’s Black Lives Matter shirt, written in the font of 70s metal giants Black Sabbath. Unlike other filmmakers in attendance, the two were given ingredients to cook fish live for a select few members of the audience, with neither of them knowing the ingredients to be used beforehand. When asked about the energy the two bring to the festival, Sondheimer had a few words to say.

“I think we bring irreverence,” Sondheimer said. “I don’t think we take ourselves very seriously. And I think that that’s kind of evident.”

Two student attendees, Isabella Lowe and Maddie Osgood, said they decided to go after hearing from a few people that they needed volunteers. After volunteering twice, they both received weekend passes.

“I think the movies are really funny,” Osgood said. “I was not expecting them to be so politically charged, which I love.”

Osgood went on to say that director Gitz Crazyboy’s Peace Pipeline was a favorite of hers. This short is about two Native American men who unveil their idea to reroute an oil pipeline through a rich suburb. 

“It was really funny to see the oppressors get a little taste of being oppressed,” Osgood said.