By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

In one McMinnville festival entry, film directing runs in the family

Jennifer Kramer
Jennifer Kramer

A famous name in films will be part of the McMinnville Short Film Festival, which offers in-person events through Sunday and continues online through Feb. 21.

One of the directors nominated for a MSFF award is Jennifer Kramer, the youngest daughter of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kramer and actress/producer Karen Sharpe.

Her debut short film, "Nakusa," will be screened in the "Experimental/A Bit Strange" category. Along with eight other experimental films, it will be screened at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the McMinnville Cinema.

Tickets are $5 for each multi-film screening in a variety of categories, including drama/comedy, locals and environmental. Several are scheduled each day at the cinema; all are available online, as well. Tickets can be purchased through the festival website, .

In addition to the screening, the festival offers classes, receptions at local businesses and an awards dinner Sunday evening. The complete schedule and list of films also is available on the website. 

Kramer is one of many filmmakers attending in person this year. In 2021, the festival was all online due to the pandemic.

Kramer has made a name for herself as an actress on television and in films. This is her first behind-the-camera role, though. 

"Nakusa" is the first in a planned series of six musical shorts Kramer plans to collect into a feature film. The longer film will be produced through her family's production company.

"Nakusa" is "a very different kind of film ... not at all traditional," Kramer said. Noting that it has been nominated for several honors, in addition to the one at the McMinnville Short Film Festival, she added, "the fact that there are people our there that have been moved by it is very satisfying."

The musical theme of her film work comes from another of Kramer's interests. She also has studied classical piano with teachers from Julliard, Cal State Northridge and the University of California-Los Angeles.

Stanley Kramer was famous as a director and producer of such films as "Inherit the Wind," "Judgment at Nuremberg" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

Although her famous father was retired before she was born, Kramer said he inspired her own film work.

"By example, my father taught me to trust my own unique voice and to never waver in my courage to get it on the screen," she said.



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