The 8th Annual Portland Film Festival, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal, runs October 14 – 20, 2019 and will screen more than 100 independent films at the Hi-Lo Hotel in downtown Portland. Portland Film Festival programming includes films, workshops, educational panels, and parties throughout a six-and-a-half-day agenda designed to immerse attendees in filmmaking. The Portland Film Festival is one of Oregon’s largest film festivals, and was named “one of the coolest film festivals in the world,” by MovieMaker Magazine.
The opening night feature, “Standing Up, Falling Down,” is on Tuesday, October 15 at 6:30 PM and is considered fresh, with an 83 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It stars Grace Gummer (“Mr. Robot,” “The Newsroom,” and “Frances Ha”); Ben Schwartz (“Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Parks and Recreation”); Eloise Mumford (“Chicago Fire” and “Fifty Shades of Grey”); and Billy Crystal (“Analyze This,” “Monsters, Inc.,” and “When Harry Met Sally…”).
“Here Awhile,” a movie shot in Portland and also appearing at the Napa Valley Film Festival in November, is the closing night feature. It stars Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect,” “True Blood,” and “The Mindy Project”), Joe Lo Truglio (“Wet Hot American Summer,” “Superbad,” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and others. It will screen on Saturday, October 19 at 5:30 PM.
“We are excited to be the presenting sponsor of the Portland Film Festival for the third consecutive year,” said David Tashjian, Regional Vice-President of Comcast Oregon/SW Washington. “This Festival is a way for us to ensure the voices of independent filmmakers are heard – for their creativity and innovation to be shared with Portlanders who embrace the tradition of storytelling through film.”
The Portland Film Festival headquarters moves to downtown Portland’s Hi-Lo Hotel, a modern boutique hotel that opened in 2017 in the Historic Oregon Pioneer Building and embodies Portland luxury. The venue will include two floors of festival activity spaces: the Xfinity Theater, the Koerner Camera Theater, and the Workshop Hall in the lower level; and the Festival headquarters, box office on the lobby level alongside Hi-Lo’s restaurant and bar, CRAFTpdx. Portland Film Festival gear will be available at The Merchant, Hi-Lo’s locally-sourced retail store, during and after the festival through the Fall.
Festival program, passes and individual tickets are available at portlandfilm.org. Tickets, general info and merchandise will also be available throughout the festival at the Hi-Lo Hotel.
This year, a special track of films made by veterans with the Patton Veterans Project will be part of the Festival. Made possible by Comcast, the project is led by Benjamin Patton, grandson of General George Patton, who led a three-day filmmaking workshop at the VA in Portland for veterans who are coping with posttraumatic stress as a way to reduce social isolation and strengthen family, community, and professional bonds. The short films will be screened at the Festival on Sunday, October 20.
In 2018, Governor Kate Brown declared Oregon the State of “Independent Film” and Mayor Ted Wheeler proclaimed Portland the “City of Film” during the Portland Film Festival. More than 100 films from around the world will be screened, and more than half are directed by women. At least one Portland-made film and one Indigenous Voices film is screened each day, and a percentage of ticket sales benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Portland.
“This festival has always been dedicated to celebrating the power of a storytelling from a diverse set of perspectives, and we are proud to showcase independent voices from U.S. military veterans, young people, and Native Americans at the festival this year,” said Josh Leake, Portland Film Festival co-founder and executive director. “This is a Festival for all, by all, and we appreciate the support of Governor Brown, Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Eudaly in acknowledging the importance of film to Oregon, Portland and the community.”
2019 PORTLAND FILM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS & KEY DATES
Monday, October 14
Filmmaker Welcome Reception and Champagne Toast at Hi-Lo Hotel, located at 320 SW Harvey Milk Street, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Kick off the festival with local industry filmmakers and influencers with champagne and hors d’oeuvres.This event is free and open to the public for adults 21 and older.
Tuesday, October 15 – Sunday, October 20
– Screenings of more than 100 independent films, with more than half directed by women.
– Subject matter tracks for 2019 include: Portland filmmakers, settings and people; Indigenous Voices, which encompasses films by first nation citizens; and veterans both through festival submissions, and in partnership with the Patton Veterans Project.
– Daily Director Chats from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. in The Exchange at the Hi-Lo Hotel, where attendees can listen to film directors from around the world discuss their movies the day they premiere at the festival while enjoying a complimentary lunch. Hear behind-the-scenes stories and get the inside scoop on everything that went right (and wrong) in making their movie. Special guests (to be announced) will moderate the daily director chats. Past guests include Jason Momoa, Haley Joel Osment, Eli Roth, Aisha Tyler, Vanna White and others.
Tuesday, October 15:
Opening night film screenings and party in The Exchange, located in the lobby of the Hi-Lo Hotel.
Thursday, October 17
City Hall Celebrates Independent Film with Oregon Film, SAG/AFTRA, and commissioner Chloe Eudaly welcoming filmmakers, sponsors and festival attendees to celebrate the film industry in Portland. Music by the band Django Files, a DJ, food, drinks and Moscow Mules by GT’s Kombucha will help celebrate. 7:30 – 10:00 at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave.
Friday, October 18
At The Portland Business Journal’s October Power Breakfast, Portland Film Festival co-founder Josh Leake and writer Bruce Feirstein (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the James Bond franchise) will dive into the business of film with publisher Craig Wessel, including its local impacts, developing local interests, and where the industry is headed. 7:30 – 9:00 AM at Sentinel Hotel, 614 SW 11th Avenue. This event is not part of Portland Film Festival programming. Tickets can be purchased separately through the Portland Business Journal.
Saturday, October 19
Future Filmmakers Movie Premiere Event: kids from the Boys and Girls Club, alongside film industry professionals, will premiere their monster-themed short films on the big screen.
Sunday, October 20
Made possible by Comcast, the Patton Veterans Project will screen films resulting from its three-day filmmaking workshop at the VA in Portland. The films are made by veterans who are coping with posttraumatic stress as a way to reduce social isolation and strengthen family, community, and professional bonds. The short films will be screened at the Festival on Sunday, October 20 and military veterans are admitted free of charge.