Aug. 22--A new film festival is in town, and along with an all-star lineup of speakers for workshops and panels, the first Portland Film Festival will feature three nights of films in The Fields Park -- with free admission, a beer garden, and food carts.
The festival will run from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, with a party to launch the event Aug. 27. Tickets to screenings at Bagdad Theater in Southeast Portland and Living Room Theaters, Cinema 21 and Mission Theater in Northwest Portland cost between $10 and $12. Tickets for individual screenings and festival-long passes are available at PortlandFilmFestival.com.
"We're doing things that haven't been seen before in Portland," says Joshua Leake, director of the Portland Film Festival. "The city has always shown movies in the park, but never new, independent films. ... The Fields gives us the capacity to have the largest screening in the city's history."
The festival grew from a local film group, Leake says. Around 40 film lovers for the past three years have gathered weekly to watch and discuss an independent movie.
Similarly, the Portland Film Festival will offer screenings of more than 80 domestic and international independent films, as well as the opportunity to discuss them with the filmmakers and other experts from the industry. About 60 filmmakers are flying into Portland from around the world; others are local, Leake says.
Each day is booked from noon until late in the night (PDF) with screenings, panels, workshops and networking events.
There will be big names like "Fight Club" author Chuck Palahniuk, who will read from his upcoming short story, "Zombies," which debuts with an excerpt in Playboy's October edition, and will screen his upcoming film, "Romance."
Oscar -nominated or -winning special effects make-up artists from movies such as "The Hunger Games" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" will give a movie make-up class. There will be several screenwriting classes, and a workshop about advocacy film with the filmmaker behind the hit Honey badger YouTube video.
Cinema 21 will host the opening night party on Aug. 27, screening two short films -- "Bless You" and "Pas De Restes" -- and a feature, "Without A Net," a documentary about young people who escape Rio de Janeiro's slums by learning acrobatics. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with acrobatic aerialists and musicians performing on Northwest 21st Avenue.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival, films will be screened in The Fields Park, at Northwest Overton and 10th Avenue, beginning at sundown. "Mon Ami" and "Forev" will make their Portland premiers on Friday and Saturday, respectively, and on Sunday, "Growing Cities," about urban farming, will make its world premier. Live music will start at 5 p.m., and films will be followed by Q&As with the casts.
"This is going to be something people notice," Leake says. "We're hoping it continues. We're already starting on next year's plan."
-- Sara Hottman
(c)2013 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
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