In mid January, Director of Volunteers for the Portland Film Festival, Ric Jones passed away due to heart conditions. Festival Executive Director, Josh Leake, spearheaded an initiative (PDF Link to Letter) to remember Jones by creating a volunteer award. Leake said, “Ric was always there. He exemplified a generosity that should be remembered. And with the permission of his family, we created the Ric Jones Award.”
Jan Jones, Ric’s sister, said, “The Ric Jones Award is so very lovely and touches me deeply.” The award will be given to the volunteer that best exemplifies Ric’s commitment to volunteerism and give its winner a plane ticket to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City the following year. Leake added, “Ric always wanted to go to Sundance. And now with this award, he can in spirit.”
With Jones’ passing, it left an important position open at the festival. Last year’s edition brought out over 248 volunteers to help produce what MovieMaker Magazine called, “one of the 25 coolest film festivals of the world.” An extensive search was completed, and local actress, screenwriter and Navy veteran Jamie McCall was selected to lead volunteers at the festival.
“I’ve been to the festival each year since I moved back to Portland from Los Angeles, and am excited to come on board and bring my passion and experience in indie film,” said McCall “and if you are interested in volunteering, check out our website at portlandfilmfestival.com/volunteer or send me an email.”
The festival is scheduled for September 1-7th and the first “Ric Jones Award” will be awarded at the Volunteer Wrap Party held after the festival. The Portland Film festival is Portland’s largest film festival offering filmmaker networking, education, workshops in acting and screenwriting with over 154 hours of films and filmmaking events.