Cemetery Tales 2021

Join a diverse cast portraying key figures in a narrative story spanning decades. This documentary is for all ages and weaves a story of inclusivity as it spoons out historical facts. For 10 years, The History Museum of Hood River County has presented Cemetery Tales as a live program in Idlewilde Cemetery in Hood River, Ore. Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, they decided to make the 2021 program a film. Its reception has been warm and enthusiastic.

  • Joe Garoutte
  • E. Michael Friend
  • Joe Garoutte
  • Joe Garoutte
  • Erica Roulier
  • Matt Rankin
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 16 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 22, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Joe Garoutte

Joe Garoutte (director/ producer)
While earning a BA in theatre at EOSC (nka EOU) in LaGrande, Ore. didn’t land him a position as a college professor as he had planned, it did give Joe the opportunity to perform in lead roles in Guys and Dolls, The Secret Garden, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar, among others. He continued a career on stage in community stage productions, and independent films, in the Columbia River Gorge and eventually turned to directing live theatre. Needing to pivot to continue to create during the pandemic, Joe turned to video production in earnest. This production represents his first nearly full length effort.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I entered into the process of directing Cemetery Tales with a casual interest in the history I might discover about the Gorge. I like directing because I can help coax actors into performing at their best. I shoot video because I enjoy it, and because we cannot have live stage performances at the time of this project. What combining the three has given me has been a true gift. I have become passionate about the rich and intricate history this year’s subjects have brought to me.

I have also been impressed with the amount of research some of the actors have done on their characters. I have discovered the rabbit trails that historical research can take one down, and have been delighted by the journey. In filming and putting the additional historical images together I have come to know our show’s subjects very well.

This year’s video rendition of Cemetery Tales strives to connect the stories and struggles of our historical residents, but moreover I hope to illuminate how similar we all are at our cores, at a human level. We see and experience so much division right now, and in so many ways it is not new. We need to recognize that. If at every opportunity we have conversations about our similarities instead of our differences, about our common goals instead of our selfish interests, and if we also recognize that helping out and standing up for our fellow humans is crucial to our healthy survival, we may someday unite more completely as a species.

I couldn’t have completed this project without the herculean efforts of Erica Roulier, E. Michael Friend, the cast, their supportive families and friends, Matt Rankin, the character’s families, and the loving support of my dear April. Throughout my many hours on this project, the early mornings running off to shoot, the sleepless nights, and the days long computer time spent editing, April has been nothing but positive and supportive. Thank you, sweetheart.

I really hope you all enjoy this truly collaborative work.