Portland International Film Festival: Award Winners and Film Previews

The Portland International Film Festival is put on yearly by the NW Film Festival.

 

 

Old Stone

Old Stone
Old Stone/Trailer Still

A Chinese taxi driver, Lao Shi, is put to the ultimate morale test as one sloppy swerve of his wheel turns into a tragic automobile/ pedestrian accident. An average family man without many prospects finds himself suddenly handing out his family’s money in order to appease the situation. Heartfelt altruism quickly turns into a sour and jaded revenge, creating an intense psychological thriller. Watch to find out if Lao Shi chooses between overcoming bureaucratic opposition or succumbing to the iron-clad grip of legal manipulation.
“Old Stone played during the 40th Portland International Film Festival on Feb. 22, 2017 at Valley Cinema, and Feb. 23, 2017 at Fox Tower Theatres. It was directed and written by Johnny Ma and stars: Gang Chen, Nai An, Hongwei Wang, and Zebin Zang. “Old Stone” has not received a content rating from the MPAA.

 

One Week and A Day

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One Week and A Day/Trailer Still

 

After the sitting shiva (a ritualistic mourning period in Orthodox Judaism) for his recently deceased son ends, Eyal Spivak invites his neighbor’s (whom he detests) son over to get high with him. Meanwhile Eyal’s wife tries to get back to a normal routine which includes preparing pop quizzes for her elementary school students, making her dentist appointment on time, and taking care of a pair of kittens recently birthed in their backyard. This heartwarming, often hilarious tale gives a unique perspective on what it means to grieve, and the contradictory moments of glee that can be felt during a hard time. The most memorable line: “My son is running around on the roof with a VCR player. It’s time this stopped.”

“One Week and A Day played during the 40th Portland International Film Festival on Feb. 19, 2017 at Fox Tower Theatres. It was directed and written by Asaph Polonsky and stars: Sharon Alexander, Shai Avivi, and Evgenia Dodina. “One Week and A Day” has not received a content rating from the MPAA.  

 

Maliglutit

Milgultit.
Maliglutit/Trailer Still

 

When a north Canadian Inuit tribe banishes several members for withholding food (among other things) the banished men return while two hunters are out stalking caribou. They kill the elderly and children, and kidnap the women, instigating pursuit when their crimes are discovered by the hunters. A taut and cinematically gorgeous film, shot on location in northern Canada. Based on the John Ford film “Searchers.”
“Maliglutit” played during the 40th Portland International Film Festival on Feb. 21, 2017 at Valley Cinema and Feb. 23, 2017 at Laurelhurst Theatre. It was directed by Zacharias Kunuk and Natar Ungalaaq and was written by Norman Cohn and Zacharias Kunuk and stars: Benjamin Kunuk, Karen Ivalu, and Jonah Qunaq. “Maliglutit” has not received a content rating from the MPAA.

 

El Acompañante

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El Acompanete/Trailer Still

In a military-guarded sanatorium for HIV patients in 1988 Cuba, Daniel, an especially defiant but beloved patient, is assigned a “companion:” Horacio, an ex-boxing champion involved in a doping scandal. After contentious beginnings, the two eventually develop a friendship outlined by Horacio’s climb back into the boxing ring and the progression of Daniel’s HIV. The film is driven by the public misconceptions of HIV patients during the AIDS crisis, reminding viewers of mistakes not soon forgotten.

“El Acompañante” played at the 40th Portland International Film Festival at Fox Tower Theater on Feb. 19, 2017 and Feb. 21, 2017. It was directed by Pavel Giroud, written by Pavel Giroud, Alejandro Brugués, and Pierre Edelman, and stars Armando Miguel Gómez and Yotuel Romero. “El Acompañante” has not received a content rating from the MPAA.


 

Death in Sarajevo

Death in Sarajevo
Death in Sarajevo/Trailer Still


As a struggling hotel prepares to host an event commemorating the centennial of Franz Ferdinand’s assassination, the staff plans to strike while the manager struggles to keep things together, relying heavily on his main receptionist. Meanwhile, a French diplomat practices a commemorative speech in his suite, a TV news journalist interviews people of vastly different ideologies on the roof, and the basement is rented out to gangsters. Scenes are composed of interesting shots with obvious artistic direction. “Death in Sarajevo” is an ambitious attempt at hosting multiple factions with radically different stories held together only by their time and place; a satirical look at Balkan conflict, though prior research may be needed to understand it.

Death in Sarajevo” played at the 40th Portland International Film Festival at the Whitsell Auditorium on Feb. 24, 2017, and at Fox Tower Theater on Feb. 25, 2017. It was directed by Danis Tanović, written by Bernard-Henri Lévy and Danis Tanovic and stars Vedrana Seksan, Snežana Marković, Izudin Bajrović and Faketa Salihbegovic. “Death in Sarajevo” has not received a content rating from the MPAA.

 

 

Portland International Film Audience Awards

 

Best Narrative Feature
Winner: “Truman” / dir. Cesc Gay

Runners up:
“Land of Mine” / dir. Martin Zandvliet
“Heidi” / dir. Alain Gsponer

“The Invisible Guest” / dir. Oriol Paulo

 

Best Documentary Feature

Winner: “I Am Not Your Negro” / dir. Raoul Peck
Runners Up:
“Obit” / dir. Vanessa Gould

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” / dir. Steve James

“Buzz One Four” / dir. Matt McCormick

Best First Feature
Winner: “My Life as a Zucchini” / dir. Claude Barras

Runners Up:
“Alive & Kicking” / dir. Susan Glatzer

“The World of Us” / dir. Ga-Eun Yoon

“The Land of the Enlightened” / dir. Pieter-Jan De Pue

 

Best Animated Feature

Winner: “My Life as a Zucchini” / dir. Claude Barras

Runners Up:
“Louise by the Shore” / dir. Jean-François Laguionie

“Window Horses” / dir. Ann Marie Fleming

“Revengeance” / dir. Bill Plympton, Jim Lujan

Best Short Film

Winner: “Incendio” dir. Slater Dixon

Runners Ip:
“Thanks for Dancing” dir. Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken

“Paniek!” dir. Joost Lieuwma, Daan Velsink

“One, Two Tree” dir. Yulia Aronova

Best Oregon Short Film

Winner: “Incendio” / dir. Slater Dixon

Runners Up:
“The Child and the Dead” / dir. Karina & Marc Ripper

“Kuwepo” / dir. Jan Haaken

“Your Move” / dir. Rollyn Stafford

Best of Masters sidebar

“The Olive Tree” / dir. Icíar Bollaín

Best of PIFF After Dark sidebar

“The Invisible Guest” / dir. Oriol Paulo

 

Best of Ways of Seeing sidebar

“The Dreamed Ones” / dir. Ruth Beckermann

Best of Films for Families sidebar

“Heidi” / dir. Alain Gsponer

Best of Global Panorama sidebar

“Train Driver’s Diary” / dir. Milos Radovic

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