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Program Highlights


Among the surprises in PIFF every year is finding exciting new cinematic voices. While this year’s Festival has its share of new works by established masters—Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Béla Tarr, Jafar Panahi, Robert Guédiguian, Nanni Moretti, Kaneto Shindo, Lawrence Kasdan, Johnnie To, Mohammad Rasoulof, Michel Ocelot, Tran Anh Hung, and Leá Pool, to name but a few—and new films by maturing talents like Hong Sang-Soo, Jean-Marc Vallée, Nadine Labaki, Mia Hansen-Løve, Cristi Puiu, Joseph Cedar, Jiang Wen, and Fernando León de Aranoa, discovering new directors is part of the Festival’s mission too. If you are looking toward the next generation, these intriguing new works by two dozen first-time feature filmmakers reveal a wealth of new international talent. Our thanks to Wieden+Kennedy for their support.

Among the filmmakers and films eligible for this year’s New Director Audience Award are: Pablo Giorgelli, Las Acacias (Argentina); Paula Siero, The Water at the End of the World (Argentina); Justin Kurzel, Snowtown (Australia); Karl Markovics, Breathing (Austria); Michael R. Roskam, Bullhead (Belgium); Charly Braun, Beyond the Road (Brazil); Julia Murat, Found Memories (Brazil); Ian Padrón, Habanastation (Cuba); Mikkel Nørgaard, Clown: The Movie (Denmark); Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, A Cat in Paris (France); Yasemin Samdereli, Almanya—Welcome To Germany (Germany); Rúnar Rúnarsson, Volcano (Iceland); Salim Ahamed, Abu, Son of Adam (India); Alice Rohrwacher, Corpo Celeste (Italy); Tusi Tamasese, The Orator (New Zealand); Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, Turn Me On, Dammit! (Norway); Sameh Zoabi, Man Without a Cell Phone (Palestine/Israel); Marlon Rivera, Woman in the Septic Tank (Philippines); Alexandru Maftei, Hello! How Are You? (Romania); Marian Crisan, Morgen (Romania); Sivaroj Kongsakul, Eternity (Thailand); Tolga Karaçelik, Toll Booth (Turkey); Kimi Takesue, Where Are You Taking Me? (US); Bess Kargman, First Position (US); and David Gelb, Jiro Dreams of Sushi (US).



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This year’s Festival features the Portland premieres of 20 films submitted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, including: Breathing (Austria); Bullhead (Belgium); Monsieur Lazhar (Canada); Habanastation (Cuba); Declaration of War (France); Patagonia (Great Britain); Attenberg (Greece); The Turin Horse (Hungary); Volcano (Iceland); Abu, Son of Adam (India); Footnote (Israel); Postcard (Japan); Where Do We Go Now? (Lebanon); The Orator (New Zealand); Woman in the Septic Tank (Philippines); José y Pilar (Portugal); Morgen (Romania); The Front Line (South Korea); and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Turkey).


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This year’s Festival features six programs featuring 46 memorable snapshots—animated, live action, documentary, experimental, and narrative—from near and far. Special thanks to LAIKA for supporting these programs.


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This year’s Festival boasts 20 fresh perspectives on the world we live in and the fascinating people and stories that surround us. This year’s nonfiction selections include: A Bitter Taste of Freedom (US); Darwin (Switzerland); The Extraordinary Voyage (France); First Position (US); Gerhard Richter (Germany); Grandma, A Thousand Times (Lebanon); How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? (Great Britain); The Island President (US); Jiro Dreams of Sushi (US); José y Pilar (Portugal); Last Days Here (US); Pelotero (US); Pink Ribbons, Inc. (Canada); El Sicario, Room 164 (US); Somewhere Between (US); This is Not a Film (Iran); To Be Heard (US); Unfinished Spaces (US); Where Are You Taking Me? (Uganda/US); and Whore’s Glory (Austria). Our thanks go to The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for their support of these films.



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Our late-night series—for the nocturnally inclined whose cinematic tastes are adventurous—offers special treats for devotees of genre films that push the boundaries. Programmed by Dan Halsted, master of the Grindhouse Film Festival, the screenings will take place at Cinema 21 and will start at 11:30 p.m. The program includes: Headhunters (Norway), Let the Bullets Fly (China), Kill List (Great Britain), and Invasion of the Alien Bikini (South Korea).


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The Festival’s Global Classroom program serves as a point of introduction for the next generation of cinema lovers by enriching the high school classroom experience and broadening young people’s understanding of our world through film. With support from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, and others, the Festival will screen six of this year’s selections for high school students and teachers at special weekday times in the Whitsell Auditorium. To make reservations for these free screenings or for more information, please call the Film Center at 503-221-1156 or email Groups of 10 or more may purchase tickets to regular Festival screenings (Thursday–Sunday only) by contacting the Advance Ticket Outlet at 503-276-4310, beginning February 1.


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Film lovers from nine to 90 will be charmed by the award-winning films suitable for family filmgoing. Family-friendly Festival films include: Pelotero (US); Habanastation (Cuba); Monsieur Lazhar (Canada); Jiro Dreams of Sushi (US); Tales of the Night (France); Somewhere Between (US); First Position (US); A Cat in Paris (France); Grandma, A Thousand Times (Lebanon); To Be Heard (US); and Abu, Son of Adam (India).



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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. At the conclusion of the Festival, the results of the balloting will be announced, with Audience Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Short, Best New Director, and other special recognitions. We also welcome your feedback on your PIFF experience and how we can make next year’s Festival better. Please email us at



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Saturday, February 18, 7:15-8 p.m. (directly following a screening of THIS IS NOT A FILM)
Stevens Room, Portland Art Museum (1219 SW Park Avenue)

For this brief panel discussion, a group of international filmmakers will discuss the artistic, political, and practical challenges of producing films in Belarus—a country not unlike Iran, where internet, radio, press, TV, music, and filmmaking are monitored and/or censored by centralized government control and free expression is limited. As in the Iran of Panahi and Mirtahmasb (THIS IS NOT A FILM), in Belarus, documentaries largely remain the format that allow critically-minded individuals to explore and expose various aspects and layers of their heavily controlled social reality.

The filmmakers are in Portland learning about documentary filmmaking in the U.S., hosted by the World Affairs Council of Oregon's International Visitor Program and sponsored through the U.S. Department of State.



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