The 50 Foot Challenge: Northwest Film Center announces call for Super 8 films


This Spring, the Northwest Film Center’s Equipment Room asks filmmakers to join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Super 8. We are seeking submissions for The 50 Foot Challenge, a June 12th screening of Super 8 films at the School of Film. Entrants are asked to make a film using a single roll of Super 8 film and only in-camera edits. In the spirit of Super 8’s simplicity, shoot in sequence and make no edits after the roll of film passes through the camera. Although no editing is allowed, entrants my provide a soundtrack to accompany their film.

We will screen the films on Friday, June 12, 7pm at Northwest Film Center School of Film, 934 SW Salmon St. The screening will be followed by a birthday party featuring music and images from 1965, the year of Super 8’s birth.

The deadline for submissions is June 2nd. Submit a processed roll of film (optionally with an accompanying soundtrack as a .wav or .mp3 file) OR a digital transfer as a Quicktime Movie. Turn in your film to the Equipment Room at Northwest Film Center, 934 SW Salmon, Portland, OR. For more information contact Dave Hanagan (NWFC Equipment and Facility Manager) 503-221-1156 x31.

(BTW, Northwest Film Center sells Super 8 film and rents Super 8 cameras!)

Many thanks to our generous sponsors Kodak and Lightpress!

Workshop – CASTING: SELECTING THE RIGHT TALENT – Sat., May 16 at the School of Film


Join us for this single-session workshop taught by Portland-based director Scott Ballard (DEATH ON A ROCK, STILL STANDING).


Serve as a director in a casting session with professional actors, and experience the art and the process of selecting talent.


  • Knowing your story and what you are looking for
  • Clarifying your characters’ histories, motives, strengths/weaknesses
  • Charting out where a character is at any moment in time
  • Where to hold a casting session and what is needed
  • Selecting the scenes to be read
  • The professional casting environment and its protocols
  • What exactly happens in a casting session
  • How to communicate with talent during the session
  • Recording the readings
  • Get actor, instructor, and peer feedback on your directing
  • The call-back process
  • Frameworks for making the final decision

Prerequisites: none

Related Courses: FILM DIRECTING STUDIO (also taught by Scott Ballard)

Tuition includes admission to DEATH ON A ROCK, which screens in the Whitsell Auditorium on Sunday, May 17 at 4pm.


Get Ready for the New Year by Downloading our January/March 2015 schedule


The print edition of our January/March 2015 schedule is hitting the streets right now and is on its way to mailboxes all around town.  We’re really excited about our upcoming lineup, which includes:

classes & workshops at our School of Film
Italian Style, featuring films by Fellini, Antonioni, Lean, and others!
–a Ruben Östlund (FORCE MAJEURE) retrospective entitled “In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund
–the local and regional selections that populate our Northwest Tracking series
–four Alec Guiness powered films from his classic Ealing Studios days
–a mini-selection of Altman-oriented goodies
–films by Andrei Tarkovsky, Lav Diaz, and much more

If you’d like a handy & portable digital version of the schedule to comb over, you’ve come to the right place.  Just click on the image below to view, download or embed our January/March 2015 schedule:


Join Us Friday, July 11 for the Northwest Film Center Community Open House!


Have you ever wondered what the Northwest Film Center is all about?  Are you interested in becoming more involved with us?  Here’s your chance to get the behind-the-scenes scoop about the Film Center and Portland’s film scene!  Join us for an evening of food, drink and on-site specials (including raffle prizes!).  Mix and mingle with friendly Film Center staff and tour our facility.  Space is limited and RSVP is encouraged.  First 25 RSVPs will receive complimentary tickets for a movie on us!

For more details or to RSVP, contact Sophia Mackenzie at  Event is on Friday, July 11, 5:30-7p.m.  Location: 934 SW Salmon Street.

School of Film workshop: MAKE YOUR OWN DSLR LENS

Make Your Own Lens2

Taught by the Northwest Film Center’s Equipment and Facilities Manager, Dave Hanagan.

Create a handmade lens that delivers an antique portrait look and dreamy, otherworldly effects.

Topics: Learn to create a lens that offers a distinctly different look than the sharp focus properties of commercial lenses; using easily available and affordable materials (provided with class tuition), build your own handmade lens step by step; learn about the principles of lenses, the differences in lens designs (including concepts of “flange focal length” and “spherical aberration”), and how this lens design is different; experiment with the looks you can achieve in class, then take home your lens creation and liven up your filming.

Allocated gear: Bring your DSLR if you have one (not required). Tuition includes all supplies.
Prerequisites: None
When: Saturday, June 14; 10am-2pm
Where: NW Film Center School of Film – 934 SW Salmon St., Portland, OR (corner of 10 & Salmon)

Sign up by calling (503) 221-1156 or on our website.

Check out Dave Hanagan’s film LANDING SHIP X-1 below for an idea of just some of the looks you can achieve by taking this workshop:

The World of Wes Anderson, Animation, Outdoor Movies and More: Download Our June/July/August 2014 Schedule

The print edition of our June/July/August 2014 is hitting the streets right now and is on its way to mailboxes all around town.  We’re really excited about our upcoming lineup, which includes our annual summer camp program for kids and teens, classes, & workshops at our School of Film, the 22nd annual Portland Jewish Film Festival, a 10th anniversary edition of our popular Top Down: Rooftop Cinema series, the local and regional selections that populate our Northwest Tracking series, an animated classics series dubbed KALEIDOSCOPIC VISIONS, a retrospective dealing with the films of Wes Anderson and his many influences, a second year of Drive-in at Zidell Yards, an overview of New Czech Cinema, and much more.    If you’d like a handy & portable digital version of the schedule to comb over, here you go.

Just click on the image below to download a .pdf version of our June/July/August schedule:


NWFC June July Aug 2014 schedule cover


A project of the Northwest Film Center School of Film

MAY 16 at 10:30AM

A FREE film co-presented by Q Doc in honor of Pride Month
Producers in Attendance!

TheRugbyPlayer_PressKit_032514 1
Join us MAY 16th at 10:30 AM for THE RUGBY PLAYER, a powerful documentary about a mother, a son, and what it takes to be a hero.

Uplifting and stereotype-shattering, the film explores the lives of Mark Bingham, a gay man and one of the passengers on United Flight 93 on 9/11, and his mother, Alice Hoagland, a former United Airlines flight attendant. The Rugby Player is a touching, funny and stirring portrait of how a son’s heroism can inspire a nation, and how a mother’s love can turn unfathomable loss into unshakable resolve. Utilizing footage shot by Bingham himself, this timely film provides keen insights for the national debates on LGBT rights, marriage equality and gay athletes in sports.

Producer Holly Million, and co-producer/director of photography Chris Million will attend for a post-screening Q & A.
Q Doc founder and programmer David Weissman will introduce the film.

To take advantage of this exciting opportunity for your students, please CLICK HERE to download our reservation form. You can also contact us via email or phone (503-221-1156 x25) with any questions.

We look forward to seeing you!

USA 2013 / 82 minutes
Directed by Scott Gracheff

Download the Press Kit
Watch the Trailer
Find out more about QDoc

The Northwest Film Center School of Film’s Global Classroom Program brings the best in new world cinema to high school students through free screenings during the Portland International Film Festival and throughout the school year. Screenings take place in the Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, inside the Portland Art Museum.


A project of the Northwest Film Center School of Film



10 AM
Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum – 1219 SW Park Ave
NO COST for high school students and teachers

In honor of National Poetry Month, we are exited to bring you our next FREE Global Classroom screening from Seattle filmmaker Linas Phillips. GREAT SPEECHES FROM A DYING WORLD follows Linas on a personal expedition as he befriends 12 homeless people in Seattle struggling with their unfortunate circumstances. Through the artifice of their reciting great speeches from history—from Shakespeare to JFK—we glimpse the nobility in their lives and a new context for the words and ideas themselves.

The film will be introduced by filmmaker Linas Phillips, and following the screening Linas will facilitate a Q & A with students and teachers.

To take advantage of this exciting opportunity for your students, please CLICK HERE to download our reservation form. You can also contact Education Programs Manager, Anna Crandall at or phone (503-221-1156 x25) with any questions.

USA 2007 / 91 minutes
Watch the trailer
Read the New York Times review
Read an interview with director Linas Phillips


The Northwest Film Center School of Film’s Global Classroom Program brings the best in new world cinema to high school students through free screenings during the Portland International Film Festival and throughout the school year. Screenings take place in the Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, inside the Portland Art Museum.


Portland International Film Festival
February 18-21, 2014

Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, inside the Portland Art Museum

The opportunity to teach the world through film is available FREE to you and your students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participation is by advanced reservation only. Please preview the film you intend to see, and take advantage of the background materials provided to optimize curriculum integration.

Films and Showtimes:

Tuesday, February 18
10:00am ERNEST & CELESTINE (France)
12:30pm MAIDENTRIP (Netherlands)

Wednesday, February 19
10:00am MAIDENTRIP (Netherlands)
12:30pm THE GOLDEN DREAM (Mexico)

Thursday, February 20
10:00am VILLAGE AT THE END OF THE WORLD (Great Britain)
12:30pm MAIDENTRIP (Netherlands)

Friday, February 21
10:00am THE GOLDEN DREAM (Mexico)
12:30pm ERNEST & CELESTINE (France)


Information about visiting the Whitsell Auditorium (map)

Questions? Contact Anna Crandall, (503) 221-1156 x25

Festival screenings are subject to change.

Tuesday, February 18 at 10:00am
Friday, February 21 at 12:45pm
In French with English subtitles
DIRECTOR: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner

Animation- 80 mins.
Ernest and Celestine is the winner of France’s Cesar Award for Best Animated Feature and numerous other festival prizes. Tucked away in networks of winding subterranean tunnels lives a civilization of hard-working mice, terrified of the bears that live aboveground. Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer, and when she nearly ends up as breakfast for burly troubadour Ernest, the pair forms an unlikely bond. But it isn’t long before their friendship is put on trial by their respective bear-fearing and mice-eating communities. Like a gorgeous watercolor painting brought to life, influences as varied as Buster Keaton, Bugs Bunny, and the outlaw romanticism of Bonnie and Clyde create “a delightful melding of visual style and narrative pirouettes, a just-about-perfect hand-drawn animated feature.”—Screen Daily.

Sponsored by the French American International School and TV5Monde.

MAIDENTRIP (Netherlands, 2013)
Tuesday, February 18 at 12:30pm
Wednesday, February 19 at 10:00am
Thursday, February 20 at 12:30pm
In Dutch and English with English subtitles
Themes: personal courage, first person storytelling, carrying out a journey, family relationships

Director: Jillian Schlesinger
Documentary – 82 mins.
“At just 14 years old, Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage ‘to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.’ While the Dutch teen’s announcement spurs a highly publicized custody battle with the Child Welfare Office, Schlesinger focuses on the real heart of the story, a fiercely independent girl and her audacious dream. Schlesinger films Laura at her many exotic ports of call, but it’s the young captain herself who shoots all the footage at sea in journal-like conversations with the camera. Far from scrutiny and land, she’s visibly free and speaks so confidently and honestly about her desires, fears, and vulnerability, you forget you’re watching a teenager. It’s clear this old soul is captaining not only her beloved boat Guppy, but also her future, of which she’s already in full command.”—Hot Docs.

Sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill and the World Affairs Council of Oregon.

Thursday February 20th at 10:00am
In North American Indian (Greenlandic) and English with English subtitles
Topics: indigenous cultural traditions, coming of age, perspectives on environmentalism, narrative structure in documentary

Directors: Sarah Gavron, David Katznelson
Documentary – 82 mins.
This rich, real-life human drama, full of humor and hope, follows the lives of the 59 villagers who inhabit the Inuit village of Niaqornat, one of the most remote human habitations on Earth in spectacular northern Greenland.  With stunning cinematography and disarming interaction with their subjects, the filmmakers follow the life of the community for an entire year, as it grapples with many of the same challenges as other small communities around the world: a dwindling population, a lack of industry and jobs, the traditional giving way to modernity.  The film focuses on a number of interesting townsfolk—Ilanngauq, the adaptable outsider who moved to Niaqornat after meeting his wife online; Annie, the elder who remembers the ways of the shamans and a time when the lights were fueled by seal blubber, and Karl, the huntsman and village leader who hatches a plan to revitalize the economy which unfolds over the course of the story.  The most compelling character is Lars—the village’s only teenager, who lives with his grandparents and connects with the world via Facebook and Google Earth while dreaming of another life as he nears 18.  Against the backdrop of steadily melting ice that portends larger ecological changes for the whole planet, he too faces his own future and gathers the strength to move forward.

Sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill.

THE GOLDEN DREAM (Mexico, 2013)
Wednesday, February 19 at 12:30pm
Friday, February 21 at 9:45am
In Spanish with English subtitles
Topics: immigration, struggle and perseverance, friendship and loyalty

Director: Diego Quemada-Díez
Narrative – 102 mins.
Quemada-Díez brings a gritty realism and social conscience to a story about the excitement and horror young Central American migrants regularly face in trying to make it to the United States. Sara, a Guatemalan teenager, chops her hair off and disguises herself as a boy. She’s joined by her friends Juan and Samuel on a thrilling and brutal journey north, hopping freight trains heading for Los Angeles. As the group faces life-and-death challenges from bandits and corrupt law enforcement, they learn crucial life lessons about friendship and loyalty. This poetic thriller was inspired by the true stories unfolding daily along unnamed railroad tracks, and the remarkable cast of untrained actors won a special prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival. “A very substantial movie, with great compassion and urgency.”—The Guardian, London.

Sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Attention Filmmakers: Sign Up for Un-Conference (formerly BarCamp) at the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival


Saturday, November 9, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Miller Gallery, Mark Building, Portland Art Museum, 1119 SW Park Ave.

The Northwest Filmmakers’ Un-Conference (previously BarCamp) is organized by filmmakers/participants for filmmakers/participants. The process begins preceding the Festival when participants come together online to introduce themselves, suggest topics, and explore discussion ideas. Past sessions have included conversations on self-distribution, archiving work, navigating festivals, building social communities, and more. This is an event where novice filmmakers might meet their next crew and accomplished filmmakers might meet their inspiration. The Northwest has a wealth of filmmaking resources—none as invaluable as the filmmakers themselves—so pull up a chair and take part. Breakfast will be provided by KIND Healthy Snacks and lunch vouchers offered by Chipotle Mexican Grill. Contact Festival Manager Thomas Phillipson at to connect with your comrades-in-film.



Festival sponsors and supporters include The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, LAIKA, Art Works, Oregon Cultural Trust, smart center Portland, Wieden + Kennedy, McMenamins, Pro Photo Supply, The Jackson Foundation, Willamette Week, Mission Control, Kind Healthy Snacks, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Honest Tea, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Funnelbox Production Studios, Koerner Camera Systems, Oregon Film, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, KZME, and Poster Child Events.

For more information, visit The 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival microsite, where you can access film descriptions, ticketing links, and more: