Torie & Tristan Do VOX DOCS!

Not this weekend but next, Tristan and I are embarking on what I would call a collision of, like, five fabulous things I’ve always wanted to do.


First of all, we haven’t gone away for a weekend together where visiting family, working, or last minute sickness wasn’t involved. Even our first official “vacation” as a married couple was a mission trip to Tijuana. I’m ready to STEP IT UP.

Second of all, film festivals. How does one go to a film festival? Here in Seattle, we have SIFF, which I hear about each year. And peripherally, I have acquaintances and professional contacts who attend or sponsor the film festival…but no one who I’m close enough with to ask the question – HOW? Hence I’ve never gone. Does one just Google & buy tickets? How do I pick a film that won’t be too art-y and/or make me feel dumb?

Third, wine tasting in Leavenworth, the only part of Cascade Valley Wine Country in which I have yet to imbibe. I visited Leavenworth in December with some girlfriends and popped my head into the new Hard Row to Hoe tasting room, which apparently is just one of 26 walkable wineries in the cute Bavarian village. So I’m ready for more!

Thus I present – The 2015 Vox Docs film festival. When a former client presented us with the opportunity to go, I knew it was a match made in heaven.


Hosted at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth, Wash., the March 20-21 festival is all about showcasing the best documentaries of the year. Documentaries! My very favorite! I mean, after all, isn’t this blog basically a documentary? Hmmmmmm…

Here’s what’s great about documentaries… it’s hard for them to be too abstract or art-y for me when they primarily analyze and present facts. That’s not to say they aren’t still highly creative and artistic, of course.

In case you’d like to come and hang out with Tristan and I, might I entice you with the lineup? I’ve pulled the highlights from each movie’s description. Sounds pretty juicy!

Friday, March 20

Keep On Keepin’ On – 7pm opening night film with special guest, Justin Kauflin 

Shot over the course of five years by first time filmmaker Al Hicks, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON depicts a 23-­year­-old, blind piano prodigy, Justin Kauflin, and music legend and teacher Clark Terry, now 93, who was Quincy Jones’ first teacher and mentor to Miles Davis. Terry broke the color barrier as the first African-American staff musician at NBC – on The Tonight Show.

Saturday, March 21

Point and Shoot – Noon

Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, POINT AND SHOOT follows Matt VanDyke, a timid 26-year-old with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, who left home in Baltimore in 2006 and set off on a self-described “crash course in manhood.” He bought a motorcycle and a video camera and began a 35,000-mile motorcycle trip through Northern Africa and the Middle East. While traveling, revolution broke out in Libya, and Matt joined a new Libyan friend in the fight against dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and was captured by Gaddafi forces and held in solitary confinement for six months.

Life Itself – 2pm

Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, LIFE ITSELF, explores the impact and legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America. The filmmakers were granted unprecedented access to Roger and Chaz during the final four months of his life. In that time, they captured Roger’s fighting spirit, his sharp sense of humor, and the ways he directly inspired filmmakers, family and fans.

Citizen Four – 5pm

CITIZENFOUR is the chilling firsthand account of the Edward Snowden saga that plays out like a modern day spy thriller. CITIZENFOUR places you in the room with filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s during encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).  CITIZENFOUR not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillance—it makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.

The Overnighters – 7:30pm closing night film with special guest, Jay Reinke

The Overnighters documents the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota, where tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of honest work and a big paycheck under the lure of the oil boom. However, busloads of newcomers chasing a broken American Dream step into the stark reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep. Local pastor Jay Reinke risks everything to help them.

Oh Em Geeeee! I’m so excited. I’m probably most excited for the The Overnighters, as my dear friend Bre and her husband having been navigating the Williston oil boom since they got married in Oct. 2013. She talks about her experiences on her blog, Bon Bon: The Life and Times of an Oil Boom Wife. Did I mention she lived in a trailer with a newborn in -15 degree weather?! And, two hours to the nearest Target.

Tickets for are weekend pass are just $45, which includes access to all five films and the opening night after party. Individual passes are also available. Purchase tickets here: Lodging, childcare info and more is here:

We’ll likely spend Sunday doing some light wine tasting before heading back over the mountains. And of course, I have to visit the adorable boutiques I found on my last visit.

Join us?



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