BI filmmaker wins award with ghost story

It’s a ghostly tale of how a fishing boat with holes in it broke free so it could attend its previous owner’s funeral.

Birke Duncan has won the Best Shorts Competition Award of Recognition of Script for his short film, “The Story of the Standard.”

The award came from IMPACT Docs, the newest member of the Global Films Awards family at 14 years. It is a hybrid rather than a traditional film festival, serving documentary filmmakers who enter their projects.

In the film, Duncan, who calls himself a folklorest, tells how the fishing vessel Standard sailed the waters of Puget Sound and Alaska from 1908-35. It was beached on the Sandspit at Port Madison for 10 years. Kids used it as a playground and diving platform into the waters.

The boat’s owner, Martin Olsen, died in Port Orchard. Norman W. Vance Jr., then 7, saw the boat break free from the Sandspit after all those years and float off, even though it was full of holes and taking on water. The neighbors watched as the vessel stopped in front of the home where Olsen once lived.

The Standard then caught a current and floated out of sight.

A few days later Vance saw that the fishing boat had returned and was on the waters next to the Kane Cemetery, where Olsen was being buried that day.

Duncan says he has visited the cemetery, and Vance is just 11 plots away from Olsen, so “they’re still neighbors.”

The tale not only is on Youtube in the three-minute video form, but it’s also in Duncan’s book called, “Troll Tales and other Scary Stories.”

Duncan said he first heard the story from Garrett W. Vance, then later from his dad, Norman, the eyewitness. They share the Docs award with Duncan.