Now in its third year, the Leavenworth Film Festival features short films focused on the human connection with the outdoors. On the evening of Saturday May 30th, the Leavenworth Festhalle was surrounded by shiny limousines, bright red carpet, and soft red velvet ropes.

leavenworth festhalle for the leavenworth film festival

Crowds enter the Leavenworth Festhalle on the red carpet. Photo by Ashley Fagerstedt

Attendees strutted their fanciest down the red carpet and through a dark tunnel lit with flashing colorful lights, leading to the runway photo station with the famous Golden Nutcracker Award.

red carpet runway photo by swoboda photography

Teague Keefe and Becky Gehri with the Golden Nutcracker. Photo by Swoboda Photography

Beer from Icicle Brewing Company and wine from Kestrel Vintners quenched people’s thirsts while enjoying treats from Good Mood Food including Chicken Curry Wraps and Roasted Veggie Quiche. As seats were taken and the lights dimmed, Graham Tracey, MC for the festival, kicked off the show talking about the lack of a PNW winter and our collective longing to spend time outdoors through whatever means necessary.

icicle brewing company serving up beers at the leavenworth film festival

Cold Icicle Brewing Company beers served up by Denali. Photo by Ashley Fagerstedt

After a little under an hour of films, a quick 5-minute intermission was followed by a half-time show including pro trials mountain biker Ryan Leech performing his height jump tricks and hopping and spinning around on a picnic table on the main stage. A tight space on the stage, Ryan showed full control of his bike and the audience went wild for several combinations of tricks. Next, the Festhalle was filled by the voice of SoulChilde BlueSun. Hailing from Seattle, SoulChilde sang beautifully as attendees refilled their drinks and retook their seats. A raffle awarded over a dozen prizes from film festival sponsors including active wear, hydroflasks, growlers, season and day passes to area mountain resorts, and more.

Ryan Leech at the Leavenworth Film Festival jumping over a 4 foot bar

Ryan Leech performs during the Half-Time Show. Photo by Ashley Fagerstedt.

The second set of films started with a bang and by the time they ended, people had shed tears of elation, sadness, and laughter. Each year, the collection of films shown continues to improve and this year was no exception. From thrills and chills, to tears and cheers, the films were thought-provoking, creative, moving, and inspiring.

The night ended with the announcement of the Leavenworth Film Festival award winners. Watch the winning films below!

Best of Festival500 Miles to Nowhere



Award for Creative ExcellenceOcean Gravity



Best Pacific Northwest FilmTumwater Daydream



Best Outdoor Sports & Adventure FilmThe Important Places



Best Point-of-View FilmCP & the PCT



Best Documentary / NarrativeDorais



On Sunday May 31st, Day 2 of the Festival welcomed attendees at the Snowy Owl Theater for educational presentations by film industry professionals and pro athletes.


The Snowy Owl Theater in Leavenworth, WA.

Audrey Sniezek, who had a films in the festival, discussed her experiences as a climbing US National Team Member competing in World Cups, how climbing has shaped her life, and how balances a demanding career at the same time.

Professional trials mountain biker, yoga instructor, and life coach, Ryan Leech presented some of his ideas and methods for achieving your dreams through the proper balance of “experience” and “performance”.

Writer Graham Tracey spent over a decade in Manhattan working as a singer, narrator, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. He has lent his voice and production talents to a wide array of film and television projects worldwide including such iconic companies as Nike, Arcteryx, IZOD, Toyota, The North Face, Mastercard, American Express, and many more. Graham shared his story about finding his path and shared examples of his work.

Composer Amy Stolzenbach produces and composes music for films including the recent release by Duct Tape Then Beer, “Mikey Shaefer and FORCE,” and more. Amy shared insights from the industry and examples of creating moods and feelings with sounds.

Each year, the Leavenworth Film Festival is organized by a small group of local volunteers, and is presented by Icicle TV in cooperation with the Ski Hill Heritage Foundation. Proceeds from the event, benefit the Ski Hill Memorial Project.

Icicle TV and the Leavenworth Film Festival Board thanks everyone who showed support, especially all our sponsors and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!