Mission Nonprofit Spotlight: Olympia Film Collective

Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Andrea Capere sat down with Jeff Barehand, board president, and Misael Martinez, board member, of the Olympia Film Collective.

The Olympia Film Collective (OlyFilm) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that works to create professional productions that “capture and reflect the beauty and vibrancy of the Northwest.” The nonprofit is an “open community” of South Sound filmmakers, including screenwriters and actors from all backgrounds.

“The OFC is a local nonprofit whose mission is to encourage and support independent filmmaking in the South Sound,” says Barehand, who is also the fundraising committee chair, “and to also support diversity and inclusion efforts for women and people of color in the film industry.” Barehand started the nonprofit almost by accident, when he realized that finding other likeminded people through other channels (such as Craigslist or meetups) did not work out well and were sometimes even unsafe.

The OlyFilm fulfills their mission by creating monthly gathering events that allow filmmakers to get together and work on their craft. When this video was produced, they had meetings every second Sunday, however, they just replaced those with events-focused gatherings. These include scriptwriting groups every first and third Thursday and documentary groups every second Tuesday. All groups meet at Sky Bear Media located at 113 Thurston Avenue NE, Olympia, on the second floor.

“We have a chance to network and share what each of us is doing in terms of filmmaking, where we’re at,” Barehand explains. “It’s not just filmmakers, but it’s also open for actors and producers, anybody who wants to work in the film industry.”

“I’d called it a safe space for creative people,” adds Martinez, who is the community marketing chair as well as a board member, “but it’s also a place that fosters innovation, connection and experimentation, like with different gear, scriptwriting – there are a lot of skills that are part of filmmaking and we have a space where you can feel safe to push the boundaries of what you want to do or explore.”

People that work on films with OlyFilm are from all walks of life – some are students, some are retired people who do film as a hobby, and others are “weekend warriors,” people with day jobs who enjoy filmmaking on the weekends.

People who work with OlyFilm work on short films. “We make short films and that’s what we do,” says Barehand. “Our end goal is to transition into feature films eventually and to start being a major contributor to the film industry.”

As part of their mission to include everyone, they do a lot of with groups to encourage women and people of color. On May 4, 2018, for example, they hosted an open house for the local Girl Scouts Cadettes to each their Digital Moviemaking Badge. This is something they do often for local Girl Scouts troupes. They also invite local Native American teens to apprentice with seasons OlyFilm professionals and have the Intertribal Youth Film Project, a crash course on filmmaking for local Native American youth.

During the OlyFilm Studio, which happens once a month, they film a short film at the TCMedia studio in a matter of hours. This push filmmakers to simplify their projects and work on their “directorial ability to work with actors and crews and be creative in a short and intensive time span.”

To learn more about how to get involved, watch the entire video above and visit the Olympia Film Collective website.

You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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