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Program Highlights


This year’s Festival offers a broad spectrum of new films from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela showcasing new work from both established and emerging filmmakers. Accompanying the films is Cine-Lit 2015, the eighth International Conference on Hispanic Film & Fiction, co-produced by Oregon State University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon, in partnership with the Northwest Film Center and Portland International Film Festival.

The Conference (February 19–21) will offer a wide range of panels, papers, and discussions by academics, writers, and directors from the United States and participating countries. Presenting their films at the Festival and as part of the Conference are Peruvian filmmaker Javier Corcuera (I’m Still), Mexican filmmaker Mariana Chenillo (Paradise), Argentine filmmaker Celina Murga (The Third Side of the River), Bolivian filmmaker Juan Carlos Valdivia (Yvy Maraey), Spanish screenwriter Alicia Luna (In a Foreign Land), and Spanish filmmaker Mariano Barroso (All the Women). More information about Conference programs and activities may be found at

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As always, the Festival has its share of new works by established directors already familiar to those who love  international cinema. This year, such renowned masters as Albert Maysles, Susanne Bier, Yoji Yamada, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Ann Hui, Olivier Assayas, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Rolf de Heer, and Sergei Loznitsa bring us new films. We are also proud to present several new makers whose first feature films hold promise for great films to come. Among the 14 eligible for this year’s New Director Audience Award are: Fernando Armando Coimbra, A Wolf at the Door; Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, The Tribe; Gabriel Mascaro, August Winds; Teodorah Mihai, Waiting for August; Tomislav Mršic, Cowboys; Kiah Roache-Turner, Wyrmwood; July Jung, A Girl at My Door; Kristina Grozeva, The Lesson; Geethu Mohandas, Liar’s Dice; Jonas Ohman, Vincas Sruoginis, Invisible Front; Alonso Ruiz Palacios, Güeros; Ronnie Sandhal, Underdog; and Marah Strauch, Sunshine Superman.

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This year’s Festival features the Portland premieres of 25 films submitted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, including: Charlie’s Country (Australia), Wild Tales (Argentina), The Dark Valley (Austria), Mateo (Columbia), Cowboys (Croatia), Behavior (Cuba), Sorrow and Joy (Denmark), Factory Girl (Egypt), Concrete Night (Finland), Corn Island (Georgia), Beloved Sisters (Germany), Golden Era (Hong Kong), White God (Hungary), Life in a Fishbowl (Iceland), Liar’s Dice (India), Today (Iran), Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel), Human Capital (Italy), The Light Shines Only There (Japan), Rocks in My Pocket (Latvia), The Gambler (Lithuania), Eyes of a Thief (Palestine), The Japanese Dog (Romania), Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed (Spain), Mr. Kaplan (Uruguay), and The Liberator (Venezuela).

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This year’s Festival features eight shorts programs featuring 60 memorable snapshots from across the world. Among the special programs are showcases of new French and Spanish shorts, animated gems plucked from top international  festivals by LAIKA’s Mark Shapiro, experimental work curated by Cinema Project, and a baker’s dozen of new shorts by Oregon filmmakers.

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This year’s Festival boasts 18 fresh perspectives on the world we live in and the fascinating people and stories that surround us. The non-fiction selections include: I Am Big Bird (US), Hotel Nueva Isla (Cuba/Spain), I’m Still (Peru), In a Foreign Land (Spain), Invisible Front (Lithuania), Iris (US), The Iron Ministry (US), Jalanan (Indonesia/The Netherlands/US), The Look of Silence (Denmark/Indonesia/Norway), Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (US), Maidan (Ukraine), On the Way to School (France), Red Army (US), Stop the Pounding Heart (France), Sunshine Superman (US), Waiting for August (Romania), and A Year in Champagne (US).

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In addition to the two-dozen award-winning animated shorts in the Short Cuts programs, this year’s Festival includes three animated features that have charmed audiences and critics world-wide. They include international prizewinners The Boy and the World (Brazil), Giovanni’s Island (Japan), and Rocks in My Pockets (Latvia/US).

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Film lovers from nine to 90 will be charmed by these award-winning films suitable for younger viewers, depending on subject interest and subtitle-reading ability. Check the film descriptions for age suitability suggestions. The films include: Belle and Sebastian (France), The Boy and the World (Brazil), Mateo (Colombia), On the Way to School (France), Secrets of War (Netherlands), and Timbuktu (Mauritania).

Special thanks to the Lamb-Baldwin Foundation for supporting these films.

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As always, you get to be the judge. Let us know your opinions about the films you see this year. Ballots will be available at the screenings to rate and comment on the films, or you can now vote online. 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, New Director, and other special recognitions. We welcome feedback on your PIFF experience and how we can improve next year’s Festival.

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