Welcome to the 32nd Portland International Film Festival, the Northwest Film Center’s annual showcase of new world cinema. It is time once again to shed a little cinematic illumination on the world and the human condition we all share.
This year we are thrilled to start with a Portland-made film: LAIKA’s Coraline, director Henry Selick’s animated realization of Neil Gaiman’s celebrated children’s book. Coraline opens nationally after our premiere, and we wish all the talented people who created it the success and recognition they deserve. It marks a milestone for LAIKA and for the entire Oregon film community.
This year we continue to expand our outreach to the next generation of film-goers with “Global Classroom,” a selection of screenings supported by the Academy Foundation for student audiences. For experienced cineastes we have new films by some of the world’s greatest filmmakers and intriguing new works by promising first-time directors. Whether this is your first Festival or your 32nd, whether you see just one film or dozens, we hope that PIFF rewards you with adventure and discovery.
Each year we marvel at the community support that makes the next year of the Festival possible. This annual cele-bration would not thrive without the continuing, amazing support of our sponsors. They all share a passion for making Portland a great place, and for the joys of cinema: its ability to entertain, inform and motivate, and to tell us stories and take us places we would otherwise never experience.
As always, I am beyond appreciative of the Herculean efforts of the Film Center’s staff and the hundreds of volunteers whose grace, good humor and love of film overcome all obstacles to make the Festival happen. Of course I also wish to thank our loyal audience members, whose support and curiosity allow the diversity of visions we can put on the screen. Part of the fun for all of us — filmmakers, staff and volunteers alike — is hearing about what you saw and what you thought, what you’d like to see the Film Center offer the community in the future, and how we can make No. 33 even better. Enjoy!
Bill Foster, Director
Northwest Film Center