The Columbia Gorge International Film Festival (Formerly known as The Washougal International Film Festival)

 Shouting Secrets

Shouting Secrets won the award for Best of Fest at the 2012 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival. The film is set at the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. The Native American family, chosen to be the cultural focal point, adds something special to this film. But while the struggles of family unity in the face of differences are portrayed by this culture, it’s a story for every culture, to see, to appreciate, and to grow.

When a mother who tirelessly serves her children and loves her husband suffers from a stroke, the whole world of this Native American family is turned upside down. With heavy tension between almost every relationship in the family, they find themselves brought together over June’s hospital bed. A call informing the prodigal’s son, Wesley, that his mother is in the hospital has him, who was originally intent on staying far away, rushing home. His famous autobiography has shouted secrets no one else wanted heard. As the bestseller has ostracized him from every member of his family but June, the welcome is far from warm. But Wesley and the rest of his family slowly come to realize that family is all that truly matters.

This story of a family learning to come together is heartwarming and hilarious, bringing to its audience both tears and laughter. It is a story which may differ in details but reflects struggles and tensions found in every family. And subsequently, the audience becomes invested.

Korinna Sehringer and Josef Ueli Bollag, a team from Switzerland and the founders of Joker Film Productions, worked persistently on this phenomenal film. By pursuing every job Korinna Sehringer was offered, she got her foot in the door of filmmaking. Before this first feature length debut, Sehringer wrote and directed 5 award winning short films. Her amazing work has granted her a US “Greencard for Extraordinary Ability.” Josef Ueli Bollag has 25 years’ experience in finance. As a committed sponsor of cultural films and other artistic endeavors, he joined Sehringer to contribute his finance experience to her professional film experience.

They compiled an amazing cast. Wesley and his father are played by Chaske Spencer and Gil Birmingham, most noted for their performance in The Twilight Saga. Birmingham also was the voice of the wounded bird in the animated movie Rango. June is played Tantoo Cardinal. Cardinal has performed in Dancing with Wolves, Legends of the Fall, Smoke Signals, and Mothers and Daughters. June’s other children, Pinti and Tushka are played by Q’orianka Kilcher and Tyler Christopher, who are also known for their roles in Sons of Anarchy and General Hospital, respectively.

Shouting Secrets has received 22 awards and numerous other nominations at the 35 international film festivals where it was presented. The official release date of the DVD has not been announced. Its debut has audience members abashed at using clichés, like “it made me laugh and it made me cry.” But cliché or otherwise, this heartwarming film with a twist of humor did just that. The balance in this movie, including endearing moments and tangible tension, relates its audience members in a way that will make this movie a treasured possession when it is released on DVD. 

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