Full circle for Valley filmmaker: Brooks Malberg brings ‘Lost Dutchman’ to where it all began | Photo Gallery

Brooks Malberg is coming home to share the fruits of his filmmaking studies.

The allure of making movies drew Malberg, a 2010 Mount Si High School grad, to Los Angeles.

Four years later, he’s returning for the local premiere of his senior thesis film, “The Lost Dutchman,” 11 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at North Bend Theatre.

The show is a fundraiser for Malberg’s post-production duties, and will help send it to festivals for some much-needed buzz. Admission is $7.

Film has been Malberg’s medium since childhood. In middle school, he and his buddies made videos and shorts.

“We loved making scary movies,” he said. “We had so much fun making them together.”

An idea to make a thriller, titled “Vengeance,” turned into a project that lasted through the spring, summer and autumn of Malberg’s eighth grade year.

The story was a “Scream”-style slasher—Dean Snavely, then the Snoqualmie Middle School music teacher, was cast as a knife-wielding maniac, tormenting a group of teens trapped in a Snoqualmie Ridge house. Neighbors who saw friend Steve McCulley’s State Patrol car arrive to investigate had no idea that the whole thing was staged.

“It was the first time I realized making a movie was really hard,” Malberg said. “You’re carrying this whole team up a hill toward this goal.”

North Bend Theatre owner Cindy Walker is a family friend. She showed the finished  “Vengeance” back in 2007.

In high school, making films became a job Malberg could do for others, then a career dream.

He moved to Southern California to be near the heart of the industry, enrolled in film school at Asuza Pacific University near Los Angeles.

“The Lost Dutchman” is a retelling of the legend of The Lost Dutchman Mine in Arizona’s Susperstition Mountains, where German immigrant Jacob Waltz supposedly found a rich lode that he kept secret.

“He dies, and never tells anybody where it is,” said Malberg.

In his short film, there’s mystery, and conflict.

“It’s about finding this gold, but also about friendship and greed and what that does to relationships,” says Malberg.

He premiered the show last Friday in Beverly Hills.

Malberg co-produced “Dutchman” with fellow student Shelby Etcheson. The student directors are twin brothers Peter and Phillip Hall from Mesa, Ariz.

Now, at age 22, he comes full circle to show his culminating college project at the theater.

“It’s a great way to wrap things up,” Malberg said. “I’m excited to sell it to my town and share it with them.”

He may do a question-and-answer session following the film, if there is audience interest.

“One of the best parts about filmmaking is watching people watch your movie,” Malberg said. He relishes entertaining them, making them feel something.

Malberg graduated from Asuza Pacific last Saturday. For him, the road ahead means fulfilling his goal to produce feature films. First, he’ll use the proceeds from Saturday’s homecoming to complete final production on “Dutchman” and then shop it around to global film festivals. It’s got a great backstory, he says, that would benefit from a big budget.

“The end goal is to have this film go to festivals all around the world, be seen by somebody important, and get it into the right hands to really jumpstart our careers.”

To learn more about the film, visit or visit To help fund it, visit

See a clip of the film at

Brooks Malberg, today, in this publicity still. The Mount Si high school graduate (now Asuza film school graduate) got his start in filmmaking, making movies with his buddies.

Below, Malberg, (in 36 shirt), and his school friends at their premier, eight years ago, of 8th grade project "Vengeance," a teen thriller. Family friend Cindy Walker showed it at the North Bend Theatre.

Naiia Lajoie plays Mary in the film.

Brian Hartley, a student cinematographer, films a scene in rural Arizona for "Lost Dutchman."

Ian Delaney plays Jacob Weiser in the show.

Visualizing a scene in "Lost Dutchman," film crew members Brian Hartley, a cinematographer, and brothers Peter and Phillip Hall, co-directors, explore a rugged Arizona mountain valley.


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