PIFF 38: DEAREST

Dearest

Based on a true story, Dearest is about the sensitivity, complexity, and indelible pain of child abduction. The lives of Shenzhen residents Wen-jun and his ex-wife Xiao-juan are thrown into turmoil when their young son goes missing. They join a support group active in exposing child abduction rings and, enduring several years of false-sightings and scams, finally find their son living with a foster mother. But their troubles are far from over. With delicacy and nuance, Chan explores the lasting guilt of having ‘lost’ a child; the difficulty of reintegration, and the discovery that an adopted child has been abducted. With subtle observations about class, contemporary Chinese values, and the difference between city and rural life, Chan weaves a universal tale.

Sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco.

DEAREST screens Friday, February 13 at 8:15pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum) and Sunday, February 15  at 6:30pm at Regal Fox Tower 10 as part of the 38th Portland International Film Festival.

Tickets are available online or at the door.


The Portland International Film Festival is sponsored by The Oregonian/OREGONLIVE, LAIKA, Regal Entertainment Group, Delta Airlines, Yelp!, Travel Portland, King Estate, Hotel Modera, The Autzen Foundation, The Lamb-Baldwin Foundation, KINK.fm, and many others.

40th NW Filmmakers’ Fest Highlights: ALL THE LABOR

All the Labor

For two decades, The Gourds have played their rock/folk/country tunes, gathered cult listeners, and always managed to float just under the radar of mainstream success—exactly where they like it. Through a mash-up of interviews, live performances, and scraps of footage, Hawes-Davis’s film will have your foot tapping and your heart laughing. These fathers, husbands, and regular guys have bonded with their instruments and friends, playing music for the love of playing. “Director Doug Hawes-Davis manages to turn this quintet into a dynamic symbol of hard work and friendship. He imbues the collage of live performances and interviews with the same ramshackle, loving spirit as the group’s amalgam of blues, country, and folk.”—Willamette Week. (96 mins.)

Our 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.

ALL THE LABOR screens Saturday, November 16 at 8:30pm at McMenamins’ Mission Theater as part of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

Tickets are available here or at the door.

40th NW Filmmakers’ Fest Highlights: THE FALLS: TESTAMENT OF LOVE

The Falls Testament of Love

Five years after we left RJ and Chris in THE FALLS (2012 Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival), the ex-lovers who met as Mormon missionaries are living separate and decidedly different lives. In Seattle, RJ is in a relationship as an openly gay man, while Chris is married to a woman in Salt Lake City, where the two are raising their daughter. An unexpected event finds the two young men thrust once again into each other’s lives. As old feelings begin to surface, they face even more difficult choices in their mutual quest for love, freedom, and happiness. (100 mins.)

Our 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.

THE FALLS: TESTAMENT OF LOVE screens Saturday, November 15 at 8pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum) as part of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

Tickets are available here or at the door.

40th NW Filmmakers’ Fest Highlights: BIBLE QUIZ

Bible Quiz

In Tacoma, Washington, and all over the country, many church groups participate in an annual competition of memorizing and reciting Bible verses and trivia, all in the hopes of making it to a national competition where the best of the best duel it out. With an approaching National Bible Quiz Championship on the horizon, 17-year-old Mikayla and the other members of her Bible quiz group study and practice with unbeatable dedication. But for Mikayla, it is more than just Bible trivia. Her quiz group is an escape from family troubles, a chance at belonging, and the place where she falls in love with her team captain, JP. A film about dedication and hard work, faith and aspirations, and the trials of growing up. (86 mins.)

Our 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.

BIBLE QUIZ screens Saturday, November 15 at 6pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum) as part of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

Tickets are available here or at the door.

40th NW Filmmakers’ Fest Highlights: MANDAROSE w/ HEART

Heart

MANDAROSE
DIR. GABE VAN LELYVELD
PORTLAND

Amanda, isolated and unfulfilled, is the sole provider for and caretaker of her joyful and loving sister, Rose, who has a developmental disability. Rose adores Amanda, but she knows on some level that her sister views her as a burden. Although Amanda takes excellent care of Rose, long-repressed desires for freedom and adventure keep her at an emotional distance. As their already delicate situation worsens, Amanda begins to buckle under the strain, and as a result of her actions, the two sisters find themselves, as well as their understanding of one another, dramatically altered. (54 mins.)

 

HEART
DIRECTOR: STEPHANIE HOUGH
PORTLAND

Brothers Jonas and Kevin Kierkowzki struggle to navigate their grief over the too-early death of their younger brother. Jonas has become emotionally isolated and cold, while Kevin takes the opposite route, chaotic and sometimes self-destructive. The brothers’ mutual boyfriend, Benjamin, provides stability for them both. (22 mins.)

 

 

Our 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.

MANDAROSE and HEART screen Saturday, November 15 at 4pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum) as part of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

Tickets are available here or at the door.

40th NW Filmmakers’ Fest Highlights: FRESH FILM NORTHWEST

Fresh Film NW

Come join us today for a special screening of the winning works from this year’s Fresh Film Northwest—part of the 40th Annual Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival. The program, one of the oldest and largest youth film festivals in the nation, celebrates the next generation of regional filmmakers by showcasing their work and circulating it around the region and beyond.

The Festival endeavors to build and support the entire regional youth media community by partnering with Portland YouthBuilders, Hollywood Theatre’s Project Youth Doc, and several additional youth-focused community organizations. The Film Center’s Education Director Ellen Thomas explains that organizations like these “provide the essential mentorship and support that helps kids gain confidence in their filmmaking.”

The winning selections include a documentary about carnivorous plants, meditations on the art-making experience, and a creative and humorous take on the classic cowboy shootout, yet all of these films express confidence, innovation, and a willingness to experiment, evoking a feeling of “freshness” to our Festival judges.

Here’s what to expect:

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE LAGOON
DIRECTOR: MIA AMID, SARA BRANUM, CHRIS CURTIS – (NW DOCUMENTARY AND OMSI, PORTLAND, OR)
(DOC) Finding out what lives in nature’s waters.
7 Minutes

FROG & TOAD
DIRECTOR: THURSDAY THING VIDEO CLUB – (PORTLAND YOUTH MEDIA, PORTLAND, OR)
(ANI) The children’s classic is animated into life.
2 Minutes

WHERE IS THE ART?
DIRECTOR: ALEX BOEH, ANTHONY ZAVIN, MIKA MANITIA – (GRANT HIGH SCHOOL AND HOLLYWOOD THEATRE, PORTLAND, OR)
(DOC) Speaking out about the power of making art.
5 Minutes

MATT’S WORLD
DIRECTOR: DEVIN CURTIS – (CENTER FOR ADVANCED LEARNING, GRESHAM, OR)
(DOC) When one’s dream almost trumps everything else.
5 Minutes

LOVE GROWS HERE
DIRECTOR: KEALA COTTRELL, MIKE MEO – (HOLLYWOOD THEATRE’S PROJECT YOUTH DOC, PORTLAND, OR)
(DOC) Carnivorous plants and their keeper revealed.
4 Minutes

SINISTER SIDE OF THE SEA
DIRECTOR: SONJA BORGMANN, ARIANA DAVIS, SARAH STOVER – (NW DOCUMENTARY AND OMSI, PORTLAND, OR)
(DOC) Lessons from a seaside tsunami disaster.
8 Minutes

REARRANGED
DIRECTOR: ABBEY SACKS – (SEATTLE FILM INSTITUTE, SEATTLE, WA)
(EXP) Red, yellow, blue, and twisted all over.
4 Minutes

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
DIRECTOR: ISAIAH HOBAN HALVORSEN – (BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL, SEATTLE, WA)
(EXP) Concern with physical appearance taken to the extreme.
4 Minutes

VERSUS
DIRECTOR: SHANNON MACINTYRE, HANNAH CHRISTMAN, DANAE FISHMAN – (REEL GRRLS, SEATTLE, WA)
(EXP) Life isn’t so bad after all.
3 Minutes

WELCOME RAP
DIRECTOR: DUSTIN RANDALL, KEENEN KINDRED-SIRO, MATTHEW MANSKER, DONAVEN DAVIDSON, NORMAN FINK, GASPAR FRANSISCO – (PORTLAND YOUTHBUILDERS, PORTLAND, OR)
(MUSIC VIDEO) A greeting committee of fellow travelers.
4 Minutes

WERNATIVE
DIRECTOR: THRIVE CONFERENCE YOUTH PARTICIPANTS – (NORTHWEST PORTLAND AREA INDIAN HEALTH BOARD AND NORTHWEST FILM CENTER, PORTLAND, OR)
(EXP) Changing the Native community, one teen at a time.
4 Minutes

THE RAINBOW FAMILY
DIRECTOR: HALEY HUCKINS, KAILEY MILLER – (HOLLYWOOD THEATRE’S PROJECT YOUTH DOC, PORTLAND, OR)
(DOC) A daughter’s story of her two-mother family.
8 Minutes

STOP PRETENDING
DIRECTOR: LORENZO ROSSI – (BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL, SEATTLE, WA)
(MUSIC VIDEO) What keeps us from seeing things as they really are?
3 Minutes

SHOWDOWN AT HIGH NOON
DIRECTOR: ADAM MCARTHUR – (CASCADE HIGH SCHOOL, EVERETT, WA)
(NAR) Cowboys try to set the record straight.
7 Minutes

 

Our 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.

FRESH FILM NORTHWEST screens Saturday, November 16 at 1pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum) as part of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

FREE ADMISSION

40th NW Filmmakers’ Fest Highlights: SURVIVAL PRAYER

Survival Prayer

In the past century in Haida Gwaii (British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands), commercial logging, over-fishing, and invasive species have compromised the availability of traditionally harvested foods and threatened the long-term viability of these practices. Compounding this ecological damage is the imminent extinction of the Haida language and loss of traditional knowledge. Naanii Mary Swanson, a last speaker, frames this portrait of age-old traditions at risk. Against the spectacular Pacific coastline, her ancient words set the tone for detailed views of modern life, in which the labor of survival—cutting seaweed fronds, pulling salmon from nets, plucking young spruce tips—speaks to timeless rhythms, sacred ritual, and the power of food and nature to sustain a culture. (70 mins.)

Our 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.

SURVIVAL PRAYER screens Friday, November 15 at 9pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum) as part of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

Tickets are available here or at the door.

40th NW Filmmakers’ Fest Highlights: JUNK

Junk

Kaveh and Raul are two B-movie co-writers who have suffered a bitter falling out. Kaveh has lost his girlfriend and spends his days getting high, while Raul is across the country studying at Columbia. When word arrives that their all-but-forgotten film, ISLAMA-RAMA 2, has made it into a film festival, the ex-friends are forced to reconnect in order to pitch a new script to the festival’s marquee guest, the mysterious and powerful producer Yukio Tai. Along the way, the pair forges their way through hilarious mishaps involving prima donna actors, cutthroat colleagues, inept agents, seedy motels, and romantic entanglements—all while trying to resolve their own issues and seize the opportunity of a lifetime. (104 mins.)

Our 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.

JUNK screens Friday, November 15 at 8:30pm at McMenamins’ Mission Theater as part of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

Tickets are available here or at the door.

40th NW Filmmakers’ Fest Highlights: WINTER IN THE BLOOD

Winter in the Blood

“True to the tough, lyrical, magical spirit of James Welch’s classic novel of Native American life, this hauntingly beautiful movie follows a young Blackfoot Indian’s alcohol-fueled search for his wife, his rifle, his identity—and salvation. WINTER IN THE BLOOD portrays a world that is too often overlooked, that of modern Native American life. Using the prose of James Welch, the film takes an unflinching and realistic look at some of the troubles that this community faces through the lens of this individual. It’s also a treat to see Native American actors, too often relegated to nameless parts in period dramas, portray such nuanced and complicated characters. The Smith brothers have created a truly beautiful and unique film that deserves to be seen; a creative accomplishment not only of filmmaking but of capturing this world.”—Indiewire. (105 mins.)

Our 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.

WINTER IN THE BLOOD screens Friday, November 15 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum) as part of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

Tickets are available here or at the door.

40th NW Filmmakers’ Fest Highlights: FINDING TRUELOVE

Back Camera

Clay, Michael, and Andrew are fascinated by a yearbook from Chico High’s Class of 1990, which they discover at a Value Village. Intrigued by the cryptic word “caduceus” emblazoned across the cover and by the countless sweet mullets and dream girls inside, the three friends lock onto one particular student: feather-banged mystery man Timothy Truelove. When the guys discover the upcoming Class of 1990’s 20th reunion, they can’t resist the temptation to crash. “This is hands down the most awesome road trip you’ll ever take from Portland to Chico, California! Will they get busted by the Reunion Committee? Will Truelove show? The documentary equivalent of a John Hughes movie, FINDING TRUELOVE is an exuberant comedy that pays homage to all things ’80s with pure energy and heart.”—Hot Docs Festival. (69 mins.)

Our 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.

FINDING TRUELOVE screens Thursday, November 14 at 8:30pm at McMenamins’ Mission Theater as part of the 40th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival.

Tickets are available here or at the door.