COOS BAY — Community members shared their love and appreciation for the Oregon produced film “Coraline" on Saturday at its benefit screening in downtown Coos Bay’s historic Egyptian Theatre.
Laika, the renowned Hillsboro-based animation studio, partnered with Travel Oregon and Oregon Film to not only celebrate its film’s 10th anniversary, but also to raise funds for areas impacted by recent wildfires.
Linea Gagliano, the director of global communications for Travel Oregon, said the film will be shown at a number of historic theaters around the state and that all of the box office proceeds collected from the special screenings will go toward the North Umpqua Trail Project and the Lower Deschutes River Post-Fire Restoration Project.
According to Gagliano, the idea for the fundraiser came from its organization’s continued efforts to help communities and their local economies affected by wildfires. A recent impact study by Travel Oregon found the state’s 2017 wildfire season responsible for a $51.5 million loss in visitor spending.
“We really wanted to help our partners in their recovery efforts following those fires,” said Gagliano. “It was a natural fit for us to work together with Laika and Oregon Film.”
A short documentary, “Living with Wildfire: An Oregon Story,” was shown prior to the screening, which explored the role wildfires play in Oregon’s landscape with information on how to prevent human-caused wildfires.
This year marks 10 years since “Coraline” premiered at the Portland International Film Festival in February 2009. Oregon Film executive director Tim Williams said “Coraline” is the perfect example of a film that showcases both Oregon’s artistic community and its diverse location.
“Our organization’s main goal is to keep production work here in Oregon while also getting the message out that this is the place to be,” said Williams.
He commended Laika for their groundbreaking work in their creation of “Coraline,” which was the first feature-length, stop-animation film to incorporate 3D printing technology. The film was not only made by the Oregon-based animation studio, but its setting was also modeled after the city of Ashland.
“It’s great that we can do something together that connects artists and the artistry of something like ‘Coraline’ to historic theaters,” said Williams.
In a reception leading to the screening, Laika representatives as well as Travel Oregon and Oregon Film officials including Gagliano and Williams each gave a brief introduction on their respective agencies.
Community members also got the chance to learn behind-the-scene details as to what went into the film’s production and how it achieved its Oscar-nominated animation.
“This film actually changed the way animation and stop-motion animation films are done today,” said Williams. “We wanted to recognize (Laika’s) uniqueness, their artistry and also help the areas impacted by the wildfires.”
The next screening will take place in Klamath Falls at the Ross Ragland Theater on March 1. Tickets are $10 and the show is set to begin at 7 p.m.