The 2016 PORTLAND FILM FESTIVAL will screen 54 narrative and documentary feature films and 89 short films selected from over 3,800+ submissions.
The fourth annual Portland Film Festival will take place August 29 – September 5, 2016, at Portland’s iconic Laurelhurst Theater, and will includeover 20 educational panels & forums, 12 archival presentations, and many parties, events, and industry networking opportunities throughout the week.
The festival will present two opening and closing night films (a documentary and a narrative film on each night) and feature films in the following sections: Narrative Competition Feature, Documentary Competition Feature, Narrative Spotlight, Stranger Than Fiction, Tribute: Visionaries, and Milestones.
“This year’s screenings, panels, and programs are an exciting cross-section of icons of classic cinema, engaging new filmmakers, and the best of modern indie film. We’re truly proud to bring this year’s eclectic program to local audiences. We’re also thrilled that, for the first time, all of our films will screen at Portland’s historic Laurelhurst Theatre. This year’s festival will be a not-to-be-missed event,” said Josh Leake, Portland Film Festival Founder and Executive Director.
Established in 2013, the Portland Film Festival is one of Oregon’s largest film festivals, and was named “one of the coolest film festivals in the world,” by MovieMaker Magazine. This year, the festival has programmed a near equal balance of films from men and women, furthering the festival’s commitment to supporting diverse voices and visions. New this year, the festival has created a section to screen classic films from the 70’s and 80’s, and will also be honoring two iconic writers, Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke) and William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run).
Complete festival lineup and passes available:
*Individual website ticket sales will start Monday, 8/15.
FILM STILLS AND MATERIALS:
Festival Poster & Opening Night / Closing Night Stills – for press use only:
Additional Film Stills & Press Materials – for press use only:
Six Themed Festival Trailers:
This year’s festival highlights include:
Tribute: Visionaries Section. Engaging screenings and Q&A’s with iconic filmmakers. This year’s focus is on master screenwriters Chuck Palahniuk, with a screening of Choke, and William F. Nolan, with a screening of his classic sci-fi film Logan’s Run.
Milestones Section. Celebrating classic films from the 70’s and 80’s. This inaugural year includes screenings of Aliens, Blue Velvet, Stand By Me, Short Circuit, The Man Who Fell To Earth, and more.
One of the largest educational platforms for a film festival anywhere. Lead by award-winning professionals in their fields, this year’s festival will offer over 50 educational workshops, classes, panels and networking events for actors, screenwriters, and filmmakers. Panelists will include screenwriter Leslie Dixon (Hairspray, Mrs. Doubtfire) and James Shapiro (Alamo DraftHouse Films).
- Screenplay Competition. One screenplay winner will be announced, and will win a production grant, cash, and services worth over $20K.
OPENING NIGHT FILM (Documentary)
Wizard Mode / U.S. (Directors: Nathan Drillot & Jeff Lee Petry)
In the game of pinball, there is no bigger accomplishment than flipping your machine into ‘wizard mode’. And of all the pinball players in the world, there’s nobody more dedicated to unlocking ‘wizard mode’ than Robert Emilio Gagno, who also happens to be an autistic savant whose parents just want him to get a job.
OPENING NIGHT FILM (Narrative)
Middle Man / U.S. (Director: Ned Crowley)
A straight-laced, old-school accountant has a dream: to become a famous stand-up comedian. The problem is, he’s just not very funny. Cast: Jim O’Heir (Parks & Rec), Andrew J. West (The Walking Dead). PORTLAND PREMIERE
CLOSING NIGHT FILM (Documentary)
Ovarian Psycos / U.S. (Directors: Joanna Sokolowski & Kate Trumbull-LaValle)
The Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade, an East Los Angeles collective of bike-powered activists, supports young women of color by integrating feminist ideals with indigena understanding and an urban/hood mentality.PORTLAND PREMIERE
CLOSING NIGHT FILM (Narrative)
Girl Flu/ U.S. (Director: Dorie Barton)
A sweet, funny story that follows a 12-year-old girl as she navigates her transition to womanhood via her first period. Cast: Jade Pettyjohn, Katee Sackhoff, Heather Matarazzo, Jeremy Sisto. PORTLAND PREMIERE
OFFICIAL COMPETITION TITLES
A jury comprised of industry professionals and acclaimed filmmakers will present awards to films in both the Documentary Feature and Narrative Feature competition categories. There will also be an Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Feature, and Best Short Film.
NARRATIVE COMPETITION FEATURES
9 films showcasing fresh voices telling new stories with imagination and style.
Dark Harvest / U.S. (Director: James Hutson)
Two friends run a successful marijuana grow operation, until a murder investigation and a shady narcotics officer threaten to derail their plans. Cast: James Hutson, Cheech Marin, A.C. Peterson. WORLD PREMIERE
Gozo / United Kingdom (Director: Miranda Bowen)
Hoping to put their troubled past behind them, a young couple emigrates to an idyllic Mediterranean island where the living is easy, until one of them begins to hear strange noises. Cast: Joseph Kennedy, Ophelia Lovibond, Daniel Lapaine. WORLD PREMIERE
June Falling Down / U.S. (Director: Rebecca Weaver)
After wandering aimlessly for a year following her father’s death, a young woman returns to her small Wisconsin hometown for the wedding of her best friend. Cast: Rebecca Weaver, Nick Hoover, Claire Morkin, Joanna Becker. WEST COAST PREMIERE
Panopticon / U.S. (Director: Aaron Keene)
With a sun allergy that keeps him inside all day, a lonely man begins hacking into webcams as a way to take part in the lives of others. Cast: Guilherme Scarabelot, Sylvia Sakellaridis. WORLD PREMIERE
The Remnant / U.S. (Director: Karmia Chan Olutade)
A 16-year-old girl and her little brother seek shelter in an orphanage run by a cold-hearted man in this politically-conscious indie musical. Cast: Kayla Cao, Tenzin Low, Ankhnyam Ragchaa, Sylvia Niu. WORLD PREMIERE
River House Inheritance / U.S. (Director: Sandra Lee)
A young woman spends her days caring for her bedridden mother, which gets complicated by the arrival of her just-paroled sister. Cast: Emily Seely, Beth Puorro, Willy McGee, Eva Jackson. WORLD PREMIERE
She Sings to the Stars / U.S. (Director: Jennifer Corcoran)
A Native American grandmother spends her days tending her drought-ravaged corn in the desert Southwest until her estranged grandson arrives and anything becomes possible. Cast: Fanny Loretto, Jesus Mayorga, Larry Cedar. PORTLAND PREMIERE
Some Freaks / U.S. (Director: Ian MacAllister McDonald)
A high school student with one eye thinks his life could not be more different than the other kids at his school, until he meets Jill. Cast: Thomas Mann, Lily Mae Harrington, Ely Henry, Marin Ireland. WEST COAST PREMIERE
Those Left Behind / U.S. (Director: Maria Finitzo)
25 years after her brother’s suicide, a woman returns to her childhood home with her 16-year-old son to help her mother recover from surgery, opening up old wounds. Cast: Daphne Zuniga, Jack Griffo, Debra Mooney, Jack Hogan) WORLD PREMIERE
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION FEATURES
9 new films from around the world that tackle real life stories with bold vision and energy.
Boone / U.S. (Director: Christopher LaMarca)
An unsentimental look at the gritty reality of three young Oregon goat farmers. PORTLAND PREMIERE
Check It / U.S. (Directors: Dana Oppenheimer & Toby Flor) An intimate portrait of four African-American childhood friends as they work to pull themselves out of gang life and poverty via street fashion. PORTLAND PREMIERE
Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model / United Kingdom (Director: Rebecca Brand) Follow along as award-winning performance artist Bryony Kimmings and her 10-year-old niece create their very own alternative pop star role model for girls 7-12 years old. U.S. PREMIERE
Free CeCe! / U.S. (Director: Jacqueline Gares)
On her way to the store with a group of friends, Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald, a trans African American woman, was the victim of a transphobic, racially motivated attack. This is her story. Executive produced by Laverne Cox (
Orange Is the New Black). OREGON PREMIERE
The Good Mind / U.S. (Director: Gwendolen Cates)
An intimate portrait of the Onondaga Nation in central New York State, an indigenous sovereign nation that still maintains a traditional government led by clanmothers and chiefs. WEST COAST PREMIERE
Indivisible / U.S. (Director: Hilary Linder)
Renata, Evelyn, and Antonio were young children when their parents brought them to the U.S. in search of a better life; they were teenagers when their families were deported. Now, they must fight for their citizenship and the chance to be reunited with their loved ones. OREGON PREMIERE
Jackson / U.S. (Director: Maisie Crow)
Set against the backdrop of the fight over the last abortion clinic in Mississippi,
Jackson takes an intimate, first-of-its-kind look inside the issues surrounding abortion from the perspectives of three women. PORTLAND PREMIERE
Unseen / U.S. (Director: Laura Paglin)
In 2009, in Cleveland, Ohio, police discovered the bodies of eleven women near the home of known sex offender Anthony Sowell.With unprecedented access to the surviving victims,
Unseen tells a chilling story about the invisibility of women on the margins of society. OREGON PREMIERE
Yesterday Was Everything / U.S. (Director: Matthew Mixon)
A raw and unflinching look at the attempts of Misery Signals, a Wisconsin metalcore band, to reconcile for a ten-show reunion tour in the wake of a tenuous split and a fatal accident that happened a decade earlier. WORLD PREMIERE
Unique films, marquee names, and highlights of the best of modern film.
6 Love Stories / U.S. (Director: Michael Dunaway)
Six locations. Six couples. Six conversations. This ensemble drama explores the many facets of love from six unique perspectives, sometimes finding laughter, sometimes finding tears, but always finding truth. Cast: Ashley Williams, Ross Patridge, Carrie Preston, Matthew Lillard, Stephen Tobolowsky. WORLD PREMIERE
All the Birds Have Flown South / U.S. (Directors: Joshua & Miles Miller)
Unsettling psycho-thriller that follows a disturbed man grieving for his mother who begins obsessing over a down-on-her-luck waitress. Cast: Paul Sparks, Joey Lauren Adams, Dallas Roberts. OREGON PREMIERE
Hunter Gatherer / U.S. (Director: Joshua Locy)
A forty-something African-American ex-con, fresh out of prison, attempts to put the pieces of his old life back together, but finds that starting over is never simple. Cast: Andre Royo, George Sample III, Kellee Stewart, Ashley Wilkerson. OREGON PREMIERE
Neil Stryker & the Tyrant of Time / U.S. (Director: Rob Taylor)
In a madcap future era, the world’s greatest secret agent must race through time to rescue his son from the clutches of his infamous former mentor. Cast: David Ogden Stiers, Rob Taylor, Nic Costa.
On the Farm / U.S. (Director: Rachel Talalay)
A powerful, dramatic exploration of a wily psychopath who murdered nearly 50 marginalized women in and around Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and the flawed systems that allowed him to do it. Cast: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Sarah Strange. U.S. PREMIERE
Orphans of Eldorado / Brazil (Director: Guilherme Coelho)
A story of love, obsession, and a man who goes insane in the Amazon. Based on the novel by Brazilian author Milton Hatoum. Cast: Milton Aires, Adriano Barroso, Henrique da Paz. OREGON PREMIERE
Spaghettiman / U.S. (Director: Mark Potts)
After an incident with an old bowl of spaghetti and a malfunctioning microwave, an average man becomes a superhero who can fight crime with the power of spaghetti. Cast: Ben Crutcher, Winston Carter, Brand Rackley. OREGON PREMIERE
Tierra Caliente / U.S. (Director: Laura Plancarte)
The story of a family from the state of Guerrero, Mexico, caught in the crossfire between the
narco and the military. Based on a true story. Cast: Anais Alvarado, Dimitri Andreas, Claudia Coulter. OREGON PREMIERE
STRANGER THAN FICTION
Celebrating the best in contemporary documentary filmmaking.
The Farmer and I / Germany, Bhutan (Director: Irja von Bernstorff)
Cultural barriers and tensions arise between German filmmaker Irja and Bhutanese farmer Sangay when they team up to create a TV series. WORLD PREMIERE
Gold Balls / U.S. (Director: Kate Keckler Dandel)
Competitive athletes barnstorm the US in pursuit of a National Championship title in tennis. The twist? They’re all over age 80. OREGON PREMIERE
The Incomparable Rose Hartman / U.S. (Director: Otis Mass)
With a career spanning decades, photographer Rose Hartman is known for her iconic photos from Studio 54 and the fashion world, her boisterous personality and her uncanny ability of capturing the New York social scene, warts and all. OREGON PREMIERE
The Legend of Swee’ Pea / U.S. (Director: Benjamin May)
A film about the quixotic life of Lloyd ‘Swee’ Pea’ Daniels, a basketball prodigy who, felled by drugs and bullets, embarks on an improbable comeback to cements his reputation as the greatest playground legend of all time. OREGON PREMIERE
My Millennial Life / Canada (Director: Maureen Judge)
A provocative and humorous observational documentary about the big dreams, crushing disappointments, loves, and aspirations of “Millennials.” U.S. PREMIERE
Searchdog / U.S. (Director: Mary Healey Jamiel)
Humans and canines work together to accomplish heroic acts in this doggie documentary, which follows an internationally renowned K9 Search and Rescue Specialist as he turns the “unadoptable” into the next generation of search dogs. OREGON PREMIERE
Screenings and discussions with icons of cinema, celebrating visionary filmmakers and their work. This year we celebrate two iconic screenwriters and two of their most accomplished works.
Choke / U.S. (Director: Clark Gregg), 2008
Includes screening of Fight Club 2 graphic novel trailer.
A sex-addicted con man pays for his mother’s hospital bills by playing on the sympathies of those who rescue him from choking to death.
Q&A with screenwriter / novelist Chuck Palahniuk.
Logan’s Run / U.S. (Director: Michael Anderson), 1976
An idyllic sci-fi future has one major drawback: life must end at the age of 30.
Q&A with screenwriter William F. Nolan
A curated selection of classic films and crowd pleasers (many with Oregon connections.)
Aliens / U.S. (Director: James Cameron), 1979
The planet from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?
Blue Velvet / U.S. (Director: David Lynch), 1896
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
The Fly / U.S. (Director: David Cronenberg), 1986
A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.
The Man Who Fell To Earth / United Kingdom (Director: Nicolas Roeg), 1976
An alien arrives on Earth and quickly sets about creating enough wealth to allow him to return to his own world.
My Own Private Idaho / U.S. (Director: Gus Van Sant), 1991, Shot in Oregon!
Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self-discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.
Stand By Me / U.S. (Director: Rob Reiner), 1986, Shot in Oregon!
After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.
Short Circuit / U.S. (Director: John Badham), 1986, Shot in Oregon!
Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes.
About the Portland Film Festival
Established in 2013, the Portland Film Festival is Oregon’s largest film festival, and was named “one of the coolest film festivals in the world,” by MovieMaker Magazine in 2014. It is a non-profit, year round organization dedicated to nurturing filmmakers and audiences, and to celebrating the power of a good story. The festival focuses on the people, ideas, technology, skills and artistry behind filmmaking, and provides both entertaining and educational opportunities for the public.
Previous and current festival partners include the City of Portland, Portland Parks & Recreation, Art Institute of Portland, Oregon Film: Oregon Governor’s Office of Film and Television, Women in Film, Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA), Willamette Writers, SAG Aftra (Actor’s Guild/Union), I.A.T.S.E. (Film Union), Directed by Women, and others.
Although the festival began in 2013, its history goes back to 2009, when the Portland Film Club was founded as a film club to bring film lovers together to view and discuss films. The club now boasts over 2300 members and is one of the largest movie clubs on the west coast. It screens typically one movie a week including new and independent features.