Official Selections of the 37th Portland International Film Festival Nominated for Academy Awards

The Missing Picture

The recently announced Academy Award nominations include several of the official selections from the Northwest Film Center’s 37th Portland International Film Festival (PIFF 37), including one of our Opening Night selections, Hayao Miyazaki’s THE WIND RISES, nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.  Portland audiences are also invited during the Festival to swoon at the French-produced animated feature, ERNEST AND CELESTINE, also nominated in the Best Animated Feature category.

In the running for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Cambodian director Rithy Panh’s THE MISSING PICTURE, exploring the widespread tragedy of an erased populace during the 1970s reign of the Khmer Rouge, is also one of the more enticing films on offer at PIFF 37.  Additionally, the political thriller OMAR, from director Hany Abu-Assad (PARADISE NOW), represents Palestine in the Oscar race.

Outside of the features categories, there are two shorts present in the annual PIFF Shorts Cuts showcases up for Oscars this year.  Both THAT WASN’T ME by Spanish director Estaban Crespo and DO I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING? from Finnish director Selma Vihunen are scheduled as part of the Festival’s SHORT CUTS III: INTERNATIONAL TIES presentation.

Those who engaged heavily with last year’s Festival might remember that PIFF 36 included the Portland premiere of Thomas Vinterberg’s THE HUNT, starring Danish dynamo Mads Mikkelsen.  As such, the Film Center is pleased to see Vinterberg’s film included in this year’s Best Foreign Language Film category.  Tangentially, anyone looking for an opportunity to see Mikkelsen ply his craft at PIFF 37 should direct their attention to Arnaud des Pallières’ AGE OF UPRISING: THE LEGEND OF MICHAEL KOHLHAAS, which screens in the Festival on Feb. 8 and 10.



Screening times:

February 6 – Thursday 6:30p.m. (Cinema 21)
February 6 – Thursday 6:45p.m. (OMSI)
Purchase tickets here.


February 7 – Friday 6:00p.m. (Whitsell Auditorium)
February 11 – Tuesday 6:00p.m. (Fox Tower)
Purchase tickets here.


February 9 – Sunday 8:00p.m. (Whitsell Auditorium)
February 13 – Monday 6:00p.m. (Cinemagic)
Purchase tickets here.


February 7 – Friday 6:00p.m. (World Trade Center Theater)
February 15 – Saturday 6:00p.m. (World Trade Center Theater)
Purchase tickets here.


February 8 – Saturday 1:00p.m. (Whitsell Auditorium)
February 16 – Sunday 12:30p.m. (Whitsell Auditorium)
Purchase tickets here.

February 8 – Saturday 3:30p.m. (Cinema 21)
February 10 – Monday 8:30p.m. (Fox Tower)
Purchase tickets here.



The 37th Portland International Film Festival hosts screenings at the Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium inside the Portland Art Museum (1219 SW Park Avenue), the Empirical Theater at OMSI (1945 SE Water Avenue), Cinema 21 (616 NW 21st Avenue), Cinemagic (2021 SE Hawthorne Boulevard), World Trade Center (121 SW Salmon Street, 1st Street, Building 2), and Regal Fox Tower (846 SW Park Avenue).

Over the last 37 years, the Festival has populated its schedule with diverse and innovative films for an audience of more than 38,000 annually from throughout the Northwest.  As Oregon’s largest, most culturally diverse film event, the Portland International Film Festival pulls together a multi-faceted experience with over 125 films and special events presenting a full spectrum of features, documentaries, shorts, and visiting artists – and featuring submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and works by both returning masters and emerging talents.

This year’s Festival includes the return of the popular PIFF After Dark program, showcasing midnight movies like Ti West’s (THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL) THE SACRAMENT and Ari Folman’s (WALTZ WITH BASHIR) THE CONGRESS for adventurous festival attendees.  Contained within the PIFF 37 lineup is a sizable animation block with seven animated features on offer, including THE APOSTLE, MY MOMMY IS IN AMERICA AND SHE MET BUFFALO BILL, and the latest film by Portland-born animator Bill Plympton, CHEATIN’.

Other highlights of PIFF 37 include screenings of Tsai Ming-Liang’s (WHAT TIME IS IT OVER THERE?) STRAY DOGS, Rithy Panh’s THE MISSING PICTURE, Doug Pray’s (HYPE!) LEVITATED MASS, François Ozon’s (SWIMMING POOL) YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL, Jillian Schlesinger’s MAIDENTRIP, Alain Guiraudie’s STRANGER BY THE LAKE, Anthony Chen’s ILO ILO and Claude Lanzmann’s (SHOAH) THE LAST OF THE UNJUST.

The full PIFF 37 Program is available to the public online January 24 at Press screenings begin on January 27.

Mark Building, Portland Art Museum, 1119 SW Park Avenue
Opens January 27 — daily from 12-6 p.m.
Advance tickets by phone at (503) 276-4310
Advance tickets online at on January 27.

Admission Prices:
$11 General; $10 Portland Art Museum Members, Students, Seniors; $8 Silver Screen Club Friends, Children
Opening Night: $25 general; $20 Silver Screen Friend and Portland Art Museum and OMSI Members

The Portland International Film Festival is sponsored by The Oregonian, Regal Cinemas, LAIKA, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Alaska Airlines, Wieden+Kennedy, Delta Airlines, James F. Marion Miller Foundation, and many others.

The Northwest Film Center is a regional media arts organization offering a variety of exhibition, education programs, and artist services throughout the region.  The Center presents a program of foreign, classic, experimental, and independent works year-round at the Whitsell Auditorium, located in the Portland Art Museum.  For more information, visit

AYT #52: Yippee-ki-yay Sightseers


This week, Joe and Erik talk about why they didn’t see the latest entry in the Die Hard series, A Good Day to Die Hard, and because they didn’t see it, get in to a discussion of the series as a whole. Then it’s on to another PIFF 36 recommendation with the brilliant dark comedy Sightseers. The festival is still going and finishes February 23.

New episodes of Adjust Your Tracking are released every Thursday, so make sure to come back and check out what Joe and Erik are discussing every week. We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section, or feel free to email or follow us on Twitter at We’re on iTunes now, so make sure to subscribe to the show by clicking the link below. Also, leaving reviews and rating the show on iTunes is really helpful in getting more attention and attracting more listeners, so please do so if you like what we do. You can also stream the episode on the embedded player below.

WARNING: Explicit language is used in this podcast.

Subscribe via iTunes

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AYT #51: PIFF Effects


It’s a packed show this week on AYT. Joe and Erik start out with a review of another Steven Soderbergh film (his last release, apparently), the thriller Side Effects which opens this friday in theaters everywhere. Then it’s on to some PIFF 36 recommendations, as the festival kicked off yesterday and runs until February 23. Next, a chat about the latest series at Cinema 21, Notes From the Underground. And that’s not all, as we have another Laptop Cinema recommendation for you.

New episodes of Adjust Your Tracking are released every Thursday, so make sure to come back and check out what Joe and Erik are discussing every week. We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section, or feel free to email or follow us on Twitter at We’re on iTunes now, so make sure to subscribe to the show by clicking the link below. Also, leaving reviews and rating the show on iTunes is really helpful in getting more attention and attracting more listeners, so please do so if you like what we do. You can also stream the episode on the embedded player below.

WARNING: Explicit language is used in this podcast.

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via RSS

The PIFF 36 Program Has Arrived

With only 2 weeks until the opening of Oregon’s biggest annual film event, requests for peeks inside this year’s 36thPortland International Film Festival (PIFF 36) have reached a fever pitch.  Well, ask and ye shall receive!  Our handsome PIFF 36 programs will be hitting the streets beginning next week.  But, until then, we’re delighted to be able to offer up a downloadable PDF of the full schedule below.  It’s also worth noting that Opening Night tickets are now available here on the PIFF 36 microsite.  The full PIFF 36 microsite and tickets for all Festival showings will be available beginning January 29th.

Want to grab that PIFF 36 PDF?  Click the image below to PIFF36 schedule it:

PIFF36 schedule cover

PIFF 36: Get Ready for Oregon’s Biggest Film Event

PIFF 36 Opening Night film: THE SAPPHIRES

PIFF 36 Opening Night film: THE SAPPHIRES

We’ve just leaked our first big festival news for next year’s 36th Portland International Film Festival.  The festival runs from February 7-23, 2013 and will bring more than 125 features, documentaries, and short films to the Portland area.  Audiences can expect to thrill over cinematic treats from around the world, as well as films made in our own backyard by members of Portland’s thriving filmmaking community.

Among the titles revealed is our opening night presentation, the hit Australian film THE SAPPHIRES, a period piece set in the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll girl groups starring Chris O’Dowd (BRIDESMAIDS, THE IT CROWD).  Check out the other titles we’ve announced by reading the Oregonian article here.  And, of course, keep your eyes on the Newsroom for any future announcements concerning PIFF 36, the School of Film, and our year-round programming.

You’re probably wondering when and where you’ll be able to purchase tickets for next year’s festival.  Festival tickets don’t go on sale until end of January but you can get your PIFF Pass early and beat the crowds! A PIFF pass is a Director Level membership at the NW Film Center. In addition to the benefits of not waiting in Festival lines and getting in free to the Opening Party, you can enjoy cinema year-round and get exclusive invites. Buy your pass today and mark your calendar:

Announcing The Alaska Airlines Ticket Winner!

We’re excited to announce Susanne Domhan as the winner of the Alaska Airlines Audience Award ballot drawing. Susanne won a pair of tickets to anywhere Alaska flies! When we got to congratulate Susanne on the good news and asked where the journey might take her, Susanne said, “This came as a total surprise to us and we’ve only begun to ponder the possibilities. The sky is the limit!.”

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Today at PIFF35

As we head into the final weekend of the 35th annual Portland International Film Festival there is still plenty to see. Today alone you can catch ten film screenings. Well, eleven if you count the nineteen minute French short I Could Be Your Grandmother  that screens before Lebanese documentary Grandma, A Thousand Times, both playing at the World Trade Center Theater tonight at 8:45.

Director Mahmoud Kaabour has made an incredibly sweet documentary about his 85 year-old grandmother who is nearing the end of her richly lived life. Having raised a large family, Teta Fatima Kaabour now lives alone in a small and immaculately clean apartment in Beirut. Yet she is still a hookah smoking matriarch, still a sprightly woman who haggles with street vendors and the butcher, commanding respect within her section of old Beirut. Her husband, once a successful violinist but now long deceased, is the indirect source for much of this film, since director Mahmoud Kaabour not only shares his grandfather’s name but also his looks. Exploiting this resemblance throughout, Mr. Kaabour takes on the role of both grandson and grandfather as he gets ready for his wedding day while coming to terms with the reality of his grandmother’s mortality. In Arabic, with English subtitles.

Showing earlier in the day at PIFF35 is The Island President, a film about the (until very recently) President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed (Nasheed was very recently overthrown by those with political ties to the old, tyrannical regime). Having been tortured, imprisoned, and exiled, Nasheed seems unable to stop his international fight against global warming, which threatens the very existence of the 200 islands that make up the Maldives. Watch the trailer below, and then go see the film tonight at 6:15 at the World Trade Center Theater.

Adjust Your Tracking #6: Midnight Marauders

Adjust Your Tracking is the podcast produced through the facilities of the Northwest Film Center Newsroom. The show is hosted by Joe von Appen and Erik McClanahan, and is produced by Jessica Lyness and Laurel Degutis. Opinions expressed are that of the hosts, and not necessarily of the Northwest Film Center. In episode 6, Joe and Erik conclude their coverage of the 35th Portland International Film Festival with three segments, starting things off by digging deep in to a topic that’s near and dear to our black little desensitized hearts, cult fandom and midnight movies. In the second act we review and highly recommend you seek out the British genre mashup shocker “Kill List,” which screens this Friday at 11:30 at Cinema 21, as part of PIFF After Dark. We also have a bonus spoiler section of our chat on this film, which can be found here below the regular episode. After you’ve seen it make sure to come back and give that a listen to hear our thoughts on what actually happens in this insane film. In the last segment, Erik interviews Michael Roskam, the writer/director of the Oscar nominated Beglian film, “Bullhead.”

Don’t forget PIFF ends this Sunday, February 26, the encore screening day. Head to the Film Center Web site for all information on the films and how to purchase tickets in advance. New episodes of AYT are released every Thursday, so make sure to come back and check out what Joe and Erik are discussing every week. We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section, or feel free to email or follow us on Twitter at You can download the podcast by right-clicking the link below and selecting ‘Save Link As…’ Once saved, the show can be played in iTunes or any other mp3 player. Or stream it on the embedded player.

AYT #6

(**Spoilers Below**) Do not listen until you’ve seen “Kill List.” Or if you don’t care and wan’t to know our interpretation of the film, mainly what the ending means, click on the player below. If you agree or disagree with us, please leave a comment.

Cirkus Columbia

The NW Film Center brings director Danis Tanovic’s (Triage, No Man’s Land) sexy, communicative adaptation of Ivica Djikic’s novel Cirkus Columbia to the screen today, February 21st, as part of PIFF 35.

The setting is Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1991. The communists have fallen from power. Divko Buntic returns to the small town where he grew up after a 20-year exile in Germany. With a flashy red Mercedes, a voluptuous young girlfriend named Azra, his lucky black cat Bonny, and a pocketful of Deutschmarks, Divko forcefully evicts his estranged wife Lucija in order to take his home back.

When Bonny the cat disappears, the whole town joins in a frantic search to get the cash reward, simultaneously putting strain on Divko’s fragile relationship with Azra and his attempted reunion with his 20-year-old son Martin. Not so unexpectedly, Azra and Martin are strongly attracted to each other. Disruption and clandestine activities ensue, but while these plot lines unravel daily, everyone seems unaware of the mounting political unrest around them: Croatia has seceded, all Yugoslavs are being forced to take sides, and the Serbs begin bombing Dubrovnik. Although their area is on high alert, many still can’t imagine anyone or anything could divide Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Cirkus Columbia is Danis Tanovic’s most recent film about war and its consequences. It is set in the period before the conflict reaches his native Bosnia & Herzegovina, while his 2009 film Triage dealt with post-war trauma, and his 2001 debut feature No Man’s Land took place in the midst of the Bosnian war in 1993 and won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as Best Script prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and European Film Awards; the widely acclaimed film received over 40 international awards, making it one of the most awarded first feature films in history. With Cirkus Columbia, one could say that Tanovic has come full circle, giving audiences a glimpse of the before, during, and after of war in that part of the world.

See it at 8:45 PM (Lloyd Mall 6).

(Cirkus Columbia review taken in part from Match Factory)

PIFF Recommendation: “Elena”

A review by Adjust Your Tracking co-host Erik McClanahan, previously published at The Playlist on Indiewire.

There are fewer things in cinema more satisfying than a filmmaker in total control of their story. Sure, we love the visceral thrill of a well-choreographed, impeccably staged action sequence as much as the next red-blooded human being. And there’s the perfect combination of song/score over moving images, blissful moments heightened through all the tools available in the medium. But those rare moments when a film has just begun, and the feeling sets in immediately that you’re in good hands; that no matter what happens in this film, you can trust the filmmaker has thought everything through and knows what he or she is doing.  It’s a good feeling. Comforting even. But it’s rare.

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