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32nd Annual Portland International Film Festival
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Program Highlights

Visiting Artists

The Portland International Film Festival is proud to welcome many of the filmmakers from this year's Festival who will be in attendance to answer questions about their films.

  • Director Chai Vasarhelvi with YOUSSOU N’DOUR (US) on FEB 6 and 8
  • Director Ahmed El Maanouni with BURNED HEARTS (Morrocco) on FEB 11 and 12
  • Director Ben Kempas with UPSTREAM BATTLE (Germany) on FEB 15 and 16
  • Director Jennifer Grausman with PRESSURE COOKER (US) on FEB 16 and 17
  • Producer Jeannie Magill with MILKING THE RHINO (US) on FEB 16 and 19
  • Director Bill Plympton with IDIOTS AND ANGELS (US) on FEB 18
  • Directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden with SUGAR (US) on FEB 19

New Directors

This year’s Festival has its share of new works by established masters—ZhangKe Jia, Peter Greenaway, Andrzej Wajda, Jan Troell, Terence Davies, Doris Dörrie, Majid Majidi, Raymond Depardon, Agnès Varda, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, to name but a few—all of whose films have been featured in past Festivals. But if you are looking toward the next generation, these intriguing new works by 19 first-time feature filmmakers reveal a wealth of new interna-tional talent. Our thanks to Wieden+Kennedy for supporting this program.

Amor Hakkar, Algeria—The Yellow House; Elissa Down, Australia—The Black Balloon; Aida Begic, Bosnia—Snow; Jun Gu, China—Dream Weavers: Beijing 2008; Geoffrey Smith, Great Britain—The English Surgeon; Steve McQueen, Great Britain—Hunger; Mehrshad Karkhani, Iran—Loose Rope; Mas-soud Bakhshi, Iran—Tehran Has No More Pomegranates; Amin Matalqa, Jordan—Captain Abu Raed; Sergei Dvortsevoy, Kazakhstan—Tulpan; Maris Martinsons, Lithuania—Loss; Annemarie Jacir, Palestine—Salt of This Sea; Aleksandr Melnick, Russia—Terra Nova; Hong-jin Na, South Korea—The Chaser; Luis Piedrahita, Spain—Fermat’s Room; Jens Jonsson, Sweden—King of Ping Pong; Micha Lewinsky, Switzerland—The Friend; and Te-Sheng Wei, Taiwan—Cape No. 7.

Oscar Submissions

This year’s Festival features 28 films submitted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Special thanks to the Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust and Autzen Foundation.

The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany), Blind Sunflowers, (Spain), Cape No 7. (Taiwan), Captain Abu Raed (Jordan), Crossing (South Korea), Dream Weavers: Beijing 2008 (China), Dunya and Desie (Netherlands), Eldorado (Belgium), Everlasting Moments (Sweden), The Friend (Switzerland), Gomor-rah (Italy), Home of Dark Butterflies (Finland), Jerusalema (South Africa), Karamazovs (Czech Republic), Lion’s Den (Argentina), Loss (Lithuania), Mer-maid (Russia), Necessities of Life (Canada), O’Horten (Norway), Opium War (Afghanistan), The Rest Is Silence (Romania), Revanche (Austria), Salt of This Sea (Palestine), Snow (Bosnia), The Song of Sorrows (Iran), Tricks (Poland), Tulpan (Kazakhstan), Under the Bombs (Lebanon), and Worlds Apart (Denmark).

Short Cuts

Thirty-seven memorable snapshots—animated, live action, documentary, experimental and narrative—from near and far. Special thanks to Laika for supporting these programs.

Visiting Artists

Thanks to Alaska Airlines for helping to bring our guests.

Documentary Views 

A dozen fresh perspectives on the world we live in and the fascinating people and stories that surround us. Our thanks to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for their support.

Dream Weavers: Beijing 2008—Jun Gu; The Beaches of Agnès—Agnès Varda; Modern Life—Raymond Depardon; Upstream Battle—Ben Kempas; The English Surgeon—Geoffrey Smith; Of Time and the City—Terence Davies; Tehran Has No More Pomegranates—Massoud Bakhshi; The Chicken, the Fish and the King Crab—José Luis López-Linares; The Garden—Scott Hamilton Kennedy; In a Dream—Jeremiah Zagar; Milking the Rhino—David E. Simpson; Pressure Cooker—Jennifer Grausman, Mark Becker; and Youssou Ndour—Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.

Pacific Rim Showcase

This year’s Festival offers a spectrum of films from China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam—reflecting lively national cinemas, perspectives on rapidly changing ways of life in Asia, and universal perspectives on the immigrant experience. The program includes: 24 City (China), Dream Weavers: Beijing 2008 (China), The Chaser (South Korea), Crossing (South Korea), Treeless Mountain (South Korea), Cape No. 7 (Taiwan), Tokyo Sonata (Japan), All Around Us (Japan), The Black Balloon (Australia), Dean Spanley (New Zealand), and Love of Siam (Thailand).

Global Classroom

The Northwest Film Center hopes the Festival’s diverse programs serve as a point of introduction for the next generation of cinema lovers. With support from the Academy Foundation, we invite teachers and students throughout the community to attend public screenings or arrange to attend special screen-ings of select films chosen to enrich classroom experience and broaden understanding of our world. Among the films that student audiences might find en-riching are: Black Balloon (Australia), Captain Abu Raed (Jordan), Dream Weavers: Beijing 2008 (China), Dunya and Desie (Netherlands), Fermat’s Room (Spain), The Garden (U.S.), Modern Life (France), Necessities of Life (Canada), Upstream Battle (Germany), and the Short Cuts programs. Teachers interested in bringing groups can call the Film Center office, (503) 221-1156.

Oregon Audience Awards

As always, you get to be the judge. Let us know your opinions about the films in this year’s Festival. Ballots will be available at the screenings for you to rate and comment on the films, or you can vote online at At the conclusion of the Festival the results of the balloting will be announced, with awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Short, Best New Director and other special recognitions.

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