2020 Curator

Ellen Thomas

Director of education, Northwest Film Center

Ellen Thomas published “Scooping the Local Field: Oregon’s Newsreel Industry, 1911-1933” in the Fall 1989 Oregon Historical Quarterly. Her masters thesis at the UO, Commercial Motion Picture Production in Portland, Oregon, 1910-1928, inspired other articles about early Oregon film for OUR TOWN, OREGON SCREEN MONTHLY and other publications, and was the basis for her 2018 Oregon Film History Conference presentation about Jesse Sill, All Cranked Up.

Pictured here mid-conversation with Paul Harrod, at the 2019 Oregon Film History Conference.


Community historians, documentarians, educators and living participants collectively reveal the origins and growth of Oregon’s animation community in this day of talks, conversations and celebrations. What becomes clear is that experimentation and innovation, both artistic and technical, are woven throughout, from the pre-industry early years of the 1910s -1920s and the fertile period of the 1950s-1980s, to the more national-facing decades of the 1990s onward. Southern Oregon, Eugene and Portland each have a part in the story. So prevalent are these ideas that its difficult to pinpoint exactly when and where the past ends and the future begins, an enticing prospect for the emerging generation.

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