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Finding Bosnia Screening, Clinton Street Theater

Independently Produced Film Is Four Years in the Making

Finding Bosnia Official Trailer from LLAMAMAMA on Vimeo.

My friend Ivana Horvat was four-years-old when she escaped the besieged capitol of Sarajevo with her mother during the Bosnian War, at one point crawling under a two-foot wall to escape a barrage of sniper gunfire from the Chetnik-aggressors. While Ivana and her mother escaped, her father and many of her other relatives stayed behind to endure a war that would ruthlessly take over 100,000 lives during the course of nearly four years.

To make her film, Finding Bosnia, Ivana teamed up with my other friend, Adrian Hopffgarten, the co-owner of her production company, LLAMAMAMA Productions, and returned to Bosnia 20 years later to re-discover the family, city and culture that Ivana unknowingly left behind as a toddler.

Ivana and Adrian will host a special fundraiser and their first Portland screening of Finding Bosnia at the Clinton Street Theater (2522 SE Clinton) this Sunday, October 11 at 3:00 p.m. The screening will raise money to fund festival submissions and distribution. Admission is a suggested $10 donation. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.


Ivana grew up in Portland, but has said she always felt a disconnect between her American identity and Bosnian identity. Her grandparents and many other relatives remained in Bosnia during the war. Her parents would speak Bosnian at home. She knew she was Bosnian, but didn’t really know what it meant to be Bosnian. This film is a fun, educational and entertaining trip along with Ivana and Adrian as they embark on a journey to discover Ivana’s Bosnian roots for the first time.

In August I happened to be in Sarajevo, Bosnia as they screened “Finding Bosnia” for the first time at the Sarajevo Film Festival. As readers of this blog have noted, I’ve had an interest in Bosnia for the past decade that began after reading a remarkable memoir titled “Fools Rush In” by Bill Carter, which I consider to be the most influential event of my personal life in the past decade.

Finding Bosnia is fantastic, and captures a special moment in Ivana’s life. It’s especially interesting given the discussion the world has been having about refugees in light of the Syrian conflict. Ivana is just one of the Bosnian War refugees that I’ve befriended during the past couple of years, and it’s my opinion that Portland is a much richer community for all of them.

After the screening in Bosnia, their film received a standing ovation from the predominantly Bosnian audience. Hopffgarten says the response was wonderful validation for the countless hours of effort she spent ensuring every political detail from the immensely complicated conflict was properly vetted. I was impressed with their stop-motion skills, and the production and storytelling too. The Bosnian friends I attended the screening with had nothing but positive comments about the screening.

ivana i adrian

Ivana and Adrian at the sold-out screening of Finding Bosnia, Sarajevo Film Festival

Ivana says she hopes Finding Bosnia demonstrates that Bosnia is much more than a sad war-torn country and she’s excited to reach other people who have grown up living between two cultures as refugees. She hopes her personal story will shed light on what it means to be a refugee with a lost identity.

After the screening there will be a short Q&A with the directors, with a reception to follow at The Lucky Horseshoe Lounge next door. For more information visit or post questions to this blog.

Finding Bosnia presents an intimate and personal journey of a Bosnian war refugee raised in Portland, Oregon who seeks to reclaim her Bosnian culture and identity. Ivana Horvat makes it her goal to create her own “Bosnia” by returning to her hometown, and interviewing other Bosnian refugees from around the world. Home video footage and stories of various generations of Bosnians, within and outside of the country, create a bridge into her Bosnia; a place where she finally feels like she belongs. FINDING BOSNIA’s world premiere was at the Sarajevo Film Festival in August 2015.


Ivana Horvat fled Sarajevo as a young child leaving her father, family, and city behind. After living in Germany and Malaysia, she was reunited with her father a few years later and has lived in Portland, Oregon since. Her mother and her father, Tanja and Nino Horvat, took turns capturing home videos of their new life together in Portland and twenty years later, their footage has become a lens with which Ivana can watch her transition from being a young Bosnian child to an American woman. In 2012, she returned to live in Bosnia for seven months to explore a life that could have been.

Ivana Horvat: ivana14horvat (at) gmail (dot) com
LlamaMama Productions Website:

badger and boar razors

Badger & Boar: A New Barber Shop in SE Portland

“Everybody has the perfect haircut and it’s my mission to find it.”

I first met Sean Gronich several years ago when he worked at a popular local barber chain and we bonded over a supernatural horror novel by local Portland author Todd Grimson. After losing touch for awhile, I ran into him again several months later at the Alberta Street Pub where he was hanging out with some mutual pals. We realized our friend circle overlapped with a Port Townsend connection, and he’s been my “stylist” ever since (I put that word in quotes because I’m not sure if you can categorize the lack of attention I put to my head as style-anything).

Just a little over 9 months ago Sean started his own business, run from his home, and now he’s finally got a location on one of Portland’s hottest avenues. He said the opening came about randomly, but he leapt at the opportunity.

Named after the animal hairs that make up the finest shaving brushes, and harkening back to his British roots, the Badger & Boar barbershop is now open for business at SE 33rd and Division. Just follow the stairs between St. Honoré and Salt & Straw and take a right when you get to the top. Gronich says Badger & Boar will have a casual, friendly feel and that he’s trying to avoid the trendiness of other local barber shops, if only to suit his own personal style.

I recently interviewed Sean for my Podcast and asked him about his passion for cutting hair. Strangely, his passion began when he was actually working on the set of a popular TV show on the Discovery Channel called Worst Case Scenario. He said sometimes he’d work 85 hours per week, not including LA traffic, and to relax he’d cut hair. 

“[Cutting hair] put me into Zen, I liked the conversation, I got to relax. And when I’d see my work on the street, I just loved it.”

We welcome him to the neighborhood and wish him nothing but success in the future. Congrats, Sean!

To hear more about his philosophy, career and experience cutting hair, please click on the image to enjoy a recent interview:

sean gronich badger and boar

james joyce portrait

Irish Event Explores 20th Century’s Most Controversial Novel

James Joyce has been dead for nearly 75 years but he still reigns as one of Ireland’s leading literary ambassadors, thanks in part to the annual commemoration of Bloomsday, an event celebrating his masterwork “Ulysses.” Arguably more controversial than “Tropic of Cancer” – and making “50 Shades of Grey” appear tame in comparison – “Ulysses” was the subject of bans and censorship – at one point the postal service even refused to transport a magazine that had printed sections of it. The novel was banned in the United States until 1933.

The local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) will celebrate the 111th anniversary of Bloomsday at Kells Irish Pub (112 SW 2nd Ave) on Tuesday, June 16th at 7 p.m. The free event is AOH’s 18th annual Bloomsday event and will feature discussions and readings exploring Joyce’s work, Irish culture and Hibernian Unity.

When: Tuesday, June 16th at 7 p.m.
Where: Kells, 112 SW 2nd Ave.

Interestingly, the AOH is a Catholic-based organization, and Portland’s chapter has been active celebrating Irish culture, including hosting politicians from Sinn Fein and (living) Irish authors too. Here’s a link to learn more about the Ancient Order of the Hibernians.

james joyce

Biography has an excellent piece on Joyce, click for more

“The thing with Bloomsday is that there really aren’t many commemorations or celebrations in America, but in Ireland it’s a big deal,” said Bill Gallagher, a charter member of AOH’s Portland chapter and its current president. “We feel Bloomsday provides a fun opportunity to emphasize the cultural as well as the social and political aspects of our shared Irish heritage.”

Portland’s Bloomsday event has been hosted by the AOH since the 1980s and has ranged from involved productions, to simple gatherings of members and friends sharing their favorite works of James Joyce. This year’s event will fall somewhere between the two.

About the AOH.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians Portland had a chapter in the early part of the last century which was disbanded during the Depression. David O’Longaigh and Chuck Duffy saw to its revitalization in the mid-seventies and now the organization meets about nine times a year on a variety of topics ranging from contemporary Irish politics to classic literature and an annual St. Patrick’s Day banquet.

“I resent violence or intolerance in any shape or form. It never reaches anything or stops anything. A revolution must come on the due installments plans. It’s a patent absurdity on the face of it to hate people because they live round the corner and speak a different vernacular, so to speak.” James Joyce, “Ulysses”

For More About James Joyce.
Biography Feature on Joyce
Feature on Joyce and his Publisher
An analysis on “Ulysses” and Bloomsday

marcus harvey at AM:PM PR speakeasy

Beyond Pavlovian Behaviors: Social media Owns You

What if you spent hours, days, weeks, months curating a perfectly branded social media profile, and one day it just disappeared with no explanation?

That was an intriguing story shared earlier this month at our Speakeasy event with Portland entrepreneur Marcus Harvey.

You may recognize Harvey as the successful entrepreneur behind Portland Gear and Creative|35 and curator of the @Portland Instagram handle. His fascinating story was first reported in detail at The Oregonian and the article inspired us to invite him in for the Speakeasy event.

marcus harvey at AM:PM PR's Speakeasy

Weeks after the event our team found we were still discussing the one story he shared that wasn’t an example of his remarkable success – his acquisition of the @LasVegas Instagram handle.

Harvey said that he followed the same strategy curating the Las Vegas account that he did in growing the @Portland handle (now with 102k followers). Once he identified and acquired @LasVegas, he began a regimented effort populating the account with carefully curated, branded content – exactly as he’d done with the Portland account.

Then one day he woke up and the @LasVegas account was gone.

He tried contacting customer service at Instagram, of which there is none. After various creative attempts to reclaim the account, including the use of an attorney, he gave up and resigned himself to the reality that @LasVegas was gone. He still doesn’t know exactly what happened, but surmised that it may have resulted from his effort to operate the account from a Portland IP address.

Regardless, it was a startling reminder that when it comes to social media, as professional content curators, we own nothing.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – all of them. They brought our social profiles into this world, and they can take us out of it.

Have you, dear reader, had any similar experiences with social media?

Marcus Harvey wearing Portland hat on bridge

Brilliance, luck, or both? Meet Portland clothing designer, entrepreneur and … genius?


May 6th Speakeasy to Feature Marcus Harvey

AM:PM PR Speakeasy graphic featuring Marcus Harvey

Marcus Harvey surely hit a stroke of social media marketing genius when he snagged the @Portland handle on Instagram from its original owner, a man on the East Coast who used it to share the occasional photo of his daughter.

Recognizing Instagram’s increasing popularity among the millennial generation, Marcus then began systematically populating the account with popular imagery of Portland. He grew its following to 60,000 people before using it to launch his own Portland-themed clothing brand, Portland Gear. He generated $5,000 in sales from the account on its first day.

Please join us Wednesday, May 6th at 4 p.m. for our next Speakeasy featuring local Portland entrepreneur and clothing designer, Marcus Harvey.

Marcus will share tales from his experience developing a social media-based community centered around Portland, plus how he recognized the opportunity with Instagram and how he’s continued to use the account to successfully promote Portland Gear.

Portland gear models against a spray painted wall

Marcus’s other project is Creative|35, a Portland apparel business offering private labeling for clothing brands and related creative services including design, production and marketing. Marcus graduated from the University of Oregon in 2012 with a degree in Digital Arts and Business, and is a 2008 graduate of Century High School in Hillsboro. Marcus’s story was featured by The Oregonian earlier this month.

Is your news newsworthy?

How to Successfully Pitch Media


Media pitch tips from a veteran-TV reporter


KGW's Pat Dooris spoke to am:pm PR's Speakeasy

KGW’s Pat Dooris spoke at AM:PM PR’s Speakeasy about what to expect if you have a story to pitch. These were his tips.


Only Pitch What’s Current.

“I don’t care about something happening in August when it’s February,” Pat says. “I need to fill a news hole today and tomorrow. Much farther out and it better be really good.”

Be Available Now.

“If you pitch me and I bite, you’d better be ready to go in 30 minutes,” Pat warns.  “I’m not kidding. You have a short shelf life. If I can’t lock you in with that time amount I’m moving on to the next potential source or story. I have no time to waste and no option for no story tonight.”

Offer Compelling Humans.

“Every story needs real people that are affected by the issue we’re talking about. Whether it’s sewers or acupuncture or taxes or a mission to Mars, we need real people that will talk with us for our story – and yes, that means on camera!”

Make the Humans Available!

“I once had someone pitch me a ‘C’ level story. But on this particular day we were short of story ideas so a ‘C’ looked like an ‘A.’ I called back quickly, but they didn’t have anyone…not ANYONE who would go on camera,” Pat shared. “Not only did we dump that story and move to the next – I was pissed and never took another pitch from that person.”



Be available for interviews when you are pitching a story.


What Gets Through

  • The number of people affected – Is it significant?
  • New news – Is this the first we’ve heard about it?
  • Stories with people willing to talk openly.
  • Good visuals i.e. video, compelling photos, infographics.
  • Compelling sounds.
  • Media trained experts.
  • The “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) translation.
  • Something that runs counter to prevailing conceptions.
  • Something that reveals truth about ourselves.
  • Stories that involve emotion.
  • Stories that involve animals.


The 5 Biggest Influences.

    1. Emotion
    2. Number of people affected
    3. Visuals
    4. Sources available to go on camera
    5. Good talkers


About Pat Dooris

Pat Dooris has worked in TV News for 29 years. He’s interviewed more than 29,000 people and done at least 17,000 live shots. He’s won awards including two Northwest Emmys along with awards from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters and even a National UPI award. Yep, United Press International. He’s been reporting that long. Pat is a reporter at KGW TV and a media coach who trains people and companies on how to respond to the press. Rather than ducking the media, he believes people and companies should embrace the chance to tell their story in powerful ways. Find out more about his services at


am:pm pr tips

Editor’s Note: While Pat’s tips are focused on pitching TV media, much of his advice works well for pitching any kind of media. So be wise, think ahead, and put yourself in the reporter’s shoes.


Professional With An Edge: A Lunch Break Haircut at Rudy’s Barbershop

– by Dustin Nelson

The world of PR can be pretty busy, and so can a social life in Portland.

The combination of these two things made it difficult for me to find time for a haircut. This left me with the option of racing against the clock during my lunch break. Per the recommendation of our co-ringleader Allison McCormick, I ran up Division St. to Rudy’s Barbershop.

RudyPic5-300x183The first thing to know about Rudy’s is that it’s cool.

If you’re looking for a serene, spa-like, salon where they serve bottles of Evian and play music by Kelly Clarkson or Taylor Swift, this is the wrong place for you.

However, if you’re looking to get your hair cut in a garage with mismatched, vintage barber chairs, and an ancient Pac Man arcade game, by a group of hip, rockabilly, tattooed Southeast Portlanders then run, don’t walk to Rudy’s Barbershop 3015 SE Division St.

RudyPic2-300x300Actually, you may not have to bother with running, because these barbers are FAST. As I mentioned, I was in a bit of a hurry, so when I sat down with Sam and she got right to work with precision and speed worthy of a superhero, I was impressed. What’s even better, we had a great chat. We talked about some of the different neighborhoods in Portland, the Pride events that we did or did not attend the previous weekend, and the fact that thanks to Nicole Richie, blue hair is going to be the new lavender this year (sorry Kelly Osbourne.) Pretty impressive for the twenty minutes I was in her chair.

On top of that, she gave me one of the best haircuts I’ve had in recent memory. I always want to look professional, but I’m young and I’d like to think hip (hold your comments on that please) so I need a hairstyle that’s professional with an edge. Sam achieved these results even after I stammered a string of adjectives to semi-describe what I wanted. I guess it’s possible that mind reading may also be in her arsenal of super powers.

RudyPic4-300x300If you need to change up your look and want an all Portland experience that results in a bouffant Elvis would be jealous of, I can highly recommend Rudy’s Barbershop.


P.S. their Instagram is pretty rad

And if you haven’t followed our new Instagram account yet, make a life choice and check it out

papa gs

Papa G’s: All Organic, All Vegan, All Delicious

– by Dustin Nelson

Lunch is something we take very seriously here at AM:PM, and our neighborhood is full of some of the best food in town.

Today we took a walk up to Division Street to stop into an old favorite of Alexis’, Papa G’s Vegan Organic Deli. Regarded as “the most organic vegan” restaurant in Portland, it’s easy for an out of towner like myself to assume that may be the equivalent of chewing on grass. Happily I could not have been more wrong.

We caught up with Grant Dixon, the owner of Papa G’s who gave us some background on his small, but significant business. Papa G’s began in 1999 as an offshoot of the Daily Grind, an independent natural food store in Portland with an impressive 35 year history, and eventually transitioned to the small vegan cafe on Southeast Division.

papa gs chalkboardGrant told us about  the popularity of their tempeh reuben with scratch made sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing and their variety of seasonal, rotating specials. For vegan newbies like myself who may be scared off by the likes of tempeh, he recommended their burrito special, which I gladly indulged in. Full of corn, beans, flavorful cilantro, and a sauce made of something I can’t pronounce, this burrito rivaled any I’ve had. And I’ve had a lot of burritos. Grant also kindly advised that a nice transition dish for my next visit would be the popular potato salad and BBQ tofu.

It was refreshing to hear Grant talk about his commitment to keeping organic, vegan options affordable, “we never want to be elitist,” he said. It was also nice to learn that he takes organic cooking so seriously that his dishes are organic down to the oil they’re cooked with.

papa gs vegan meal 1

At Papa G’s it was easy to forget about my carnivorous ways and truly enjoy one of the best lunches in a long time.

Alexis went with her old stand-by of the Epic Nocho taco salad while Mike had the garden plate which he described as “tasting like Thanksgiving.”

papa gs vegan meal 2

While we may disagree on what Thanksgiving is supposed to taste like, I’m sure it was delicious. 

I’m not considering becoming vegan anytime soon, but Papa G’s is a great place for herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores alike to dine together and set aside their dietary differences and it’s most definitely a place our team will be grazing again.


The Beer Chaser: A Tour of Pubs in Portland – Bar None!


Portland is the city with the most breweries and beer choices in the world, so it’s no shock that someone took it upon themselves to try them all. Luckily for us, that someone is a friend of our owner Pat McCormick’s. Don “Dirt” Williams is the man using his retirement for the good of beer drinkers everywhere. We highly recommend reading Dirt’s entertaining stories of his commitment to leaving no keg untapped on

Here are some other interesting facts about the Oregon beer industry, and Portland’s more specifically:

  • Oregon’s brewing companies employ 6,400 full and part-time employees-up 900 jobs over 2011.
  • Total economic impact from the beer industry is $2.83 billion for Oregon’s economy.
  • It’s estimated that 47% Percent of all draft beer consumed in Oregon is brewed in Oregon.
  • There are currently 54 breweries in Portland, 74 in the Portland metro area, 21 in Bend and 30 in Central Oregon and 12 in Eugene.
  • Portland currently has the most breweries per capita of any city in the world.