Can you dig it?

Hang high in Colorado, Robert Redford, because we have another film festival worth digging into here in Eugene May 9-11. The Archaeology Channel is hosting its 11th International Film and Video Festival at The Shedd and just like the subjects depicted on screen, the festival is aging into something to behold, showcasing 18 films from around the globe. 

“It’s the longest-running film festival in Lane County, as far as we know,” says Richard Pettigrew, executive director for the Archaeological Legacy Institute and the festival’s director. “My personal feeling is that we’ve probably got our best group of films that we’ve ever shown.” Perhaps that’s because Pettigrew received 113 films from 24 countries — the most entries in the festival’s history.

With a weekend’s worth of films and options, two films stand out from the mix. The Royal Press (showing 3:15 pm Sunday) tells the story of Ee Soon Wei, who sets out to preserve both his family’s legacy and one of Malaysia’s oldest printing presses. Local filmmaker Will Doolittle’s Dancing Salmon Home (showing 12:36 pm Saturday) documents members of the Winnemem Wintu tribe in search of a special breed of salmon thought to have died out but now surviving in New Zealand.

Renowned archeologist Dr. Jean Clottes returns as the keynote speaker and will give his address 9 pm Friday, May 9. Dr. Clottes was the festival’s first keynote speaker in 2003, and 11 years later he’s returning to the full-fledged event. “I think it is getting larger every year because it is well organized,” Dr. Clottes says via email to EW. “Also, because people are getting more and more interested in their origins and in their past, perhaps because we live in troubled, uncertain times.”

The Archaeology Channel’s 11th International Film and Video Festival kicks off 7 pm Friday, May 9, at The Shedd; $12-$20 per session, $90 three-day pass, discounts available for students and mothers. For more info, visit