The future of independent film starts October 12th in Portland, Oregon. Eighty films by some of the most talented storytellers working in independent cinema today will be screened at the 2023 Portland Film Festival presented by Comcast, October 12-16.
Here are Four Ways to Participate in the Portland Film Festival and Watch These Outstanding Independent Films
There are Four ways to watch movies at the Portland Film Festival thanks to a technology partnership with Comcast, the best and fastest in technology and internet services, as well as one of the largest entertainment companies in the world.
Attend in Person and Meet Many of the Directors, Cast, and Crew
You can watch movies at this year’s Portland Film Festival in NW Portland at the Go By Streetcar Building, thanks to the generous support of Sitecenter. In addition, you can watch movies in NE Portland at McMenamin’s Kennedy School.
Passes are available now, giving you full access to the Festival, including the ability to reserve tickets with some pass levels; click here to purchase passes now.
Reserve a Screening Pod
Reserve one of our three limited Screening Pods. Bring up to six (6) of your household or quarantine bubble. Watch any film from the Festival. Screening Pods are a VIP screening experience—peak at the Portland Film Society before its Summer 2024 Opening. Covid-19 protocols and cleaning regimes will be enforced.
Passes are available now, giving you full access to the Festival, including reserving tickets with some pass levels and a time slot for a screening pod; click here to purchase passes now.
Use Your Voice Remote—XFINITY X1 and FLEX
Watch a selection of films free at home by simply stating “Portland Film Festival” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. The X1 and Flex destinations will include a limited selection of films. Now that’s simple, easy, awesome! This service starts on 10/12!
Watch Movies Online via Portlandfilm.org
We are screening over 80 films from around the world, but not everyone can watch all of the movies. Each film has a specific distribution and may not screen in all areas. In addition, not all film screenings at the Festival will be available online.
Rising Voices in Independent Film—Meet the Future of Indie Film October 12th
These names excite us when we talk about supporting independent filmmakers. These films and directors are talking with distribution companies or have already secured distribution deals. These are the directors that cast, crew, and funding sources are all trying to work with. See why they are making such a significant impact in indie films.
Passes are available now, giving you full access to the Festival, including reserving tickets with some pass levels; click here to purchase passes now.
BELTANE – “Beltane” is a folk horror film. When two old college friends reunite for a hike through a remote English countryside on May Day weekend, they discover the village hiding a terrifying tradition.
Terror/Forming – This one-shot mumblegore, nail-biter follows boyfriends Parker (Sasha Mark) and Darren (Josh Dohy), who get detoured to a remote cabin belonging to Parker’s late kokum. As events take a sinister turn, cracks show in their relationship.
Take the Ice – Take the Ice goes behind the scenes of the first professional women’s hockey league. As the commissioner struggles to keep the league afloat, the players must come together after an on-ice accident that leaves their teammates paralyzed.
Miss Campbell: Inuk Teacher – Part oral history and part visual poem. Miss Campbell: Inuk Teacher is the story of Evelyn Campbell, a trailblazer for an Inuit-led educational system in the small community of Rigolet, Labrador.
Anyone Who Knows – Haunted by memory, a woman struggles to contain an onslaught of emotions in the face of her disintegrating relationship in this dance-driven music video.
Sound to Sea – A student and teacher confront their queer niche in the ecosystem known as eighth grade on an overnight field trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The Herricanes – The Houston Herricanes were a part of the first women’s full tackle football league in the 1970s. Their unknown story is one of commitment, courage, and strength. Despite adversity and hardship, they fielded a team purely for the love of the game. What they started is a movement that is still in motion today.
Autumn – A hip hop music video exploring the artist’s thoughts of depression and dark thoughts.
Alexis C. Garcia
Daughter of the Sea – An ominous vision preempts the passing of Yanise’s grandfather. Unable to return to Puerto Rico immediately, she arrives three months later and is welcomed by her mom, grandmother, and cousins. At breakfast, Yanise describes a recurring dream of being held in the ocean. Her grandmother recognizes it as a calling from Yemaya and shares a ritual that leads to a spiritual awakening and, ultimately, a salve for Yanise’s grief.
13 – Group therapy opens some old wounds for a woman struggling to release her anger over a “relationship” she had when she was only 13 years old. Finding “closure” isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. Based on the writer/director’s real-life experience, the film is a fantasy rooted in a painful reality. All exteriors were shot in her hometown and at the actual locations from her childhood using an iPhone to maintain the surreality of childhood memories.
Baby Yoga – An ordinary man inadvertently stumbles into a prenatal yoga class and is severely punished by the underworld…
How To Meal Prep During A Famine – When a global famine strikes, a young woman must rely on others to survive.
Greta Guthrie, Jacob Lazarow
The Tooth – After waking up from a nightmare about losing one of her baby teeth, Sloane must reckon with a break-up, her strained relationship with her mother, and her father’s death during her childhood — before it consumes her.
Emma and the Talent Show – Emma Murphy is a child with autism who experiences synesthesia, imagining streams of light and colors as she listens to music. Despite her anxiety issues, she loves to play guitar and desperately wants to share her love of music with the world. With the help of her father, will she be able to perform at her school talent show?
Two Funerals and a Freezer – Estranged twins Isaac & Maggie return home following the untimely death of their parents. After stumbling upon frozen family secrets, they embark on an impromptu road trip that challenges their relationship and reshapes their understanding of family.
Tuluwat Reclaimed – A short documentary focusing on the Wiyot Tribe’s quest to reclaim and take back their sacred island known as Tuluwat.
GOBLIN – Set amidst 1990s Portland, OR in a low-income neighborhood nicknamed by the locals Felony Flats, two sisters grapple with the death of their Mom in different ways.
Dawn Mikkelson, Keri Pickett
Finding Her Beat – A master of Japanese drumming and a Korean adoptee from Minnesota boldly convene an all-female troupe to perform Taiko. This Japanese drumming art has been off-limits to women for centuries. As the early menace of Covid rumbles in the background, the group faces hurdles to prepare for a historic performance in snowy St. Paul. Buoyed by dynamic drum performances and do-or-die spirit, FINDING HER BEAT is an energizing and uplifting story of music, cultural expression, and sisterhood.
JAILHOUSE TO MILHOUSE – This is the courageous journey of Pamela Hayden, the voice of the plucky, resilient Milhouse on “The Simpsons”: After surviving an abusive boarding school and juvenile jail, as well as other setbacks, Pamela now speaks to teen girls about overcoming obstacles and turning their dreams into reality. Her story is told with surprising humor and great candor.
Faye: An Interlude – Faye, a deaf dancer, explores a moment outside of her everyday routine after she bumps into an old flame.
MARDA’S GIFT – In Bend, Oregon, Marda Stoliar runs a tiny baking school for students who open their bakeries worldwide. By teaching them how to bake, Marda helps them change lanes in life. We follow one student, Ezdan Fluckiger, an ER doctor who has a daughter with Down Syndrome and knows she will need an occupation someday. The solution became apparent to Ezdan the day he met Marda.
Lexi Pappas, Lauren Sevigny
Super Deep Down – Three friends getaway to a lake house to commemorate a divorce and unplug. The day turns dark when they all mysteriously black out for hours. They come to, bloody and disturbed, with only their unhinged social media stories as clues.
Heaven – After surviving a near-fatal overdose, a young man becomes obsessed with the notion that the paramedic who saved his life is an angel sent from God to protect him.
Tramaine Raphael Gray
BECOMING – An imaginative queer teen weaves in and out of his own fantasy world while struggling to connect with his older brother.
F**k Your Face – The video tells the story of Simi, who travels through the desert, down the road of life, repeatedly meeting a masked man along the way, who insists they accept labels scribbled on pieces of wood from him until near the end of life, when the character chooses to be free.
Nowhere Men – A delusional director and his beleaguered cast attempt to stage his terrible Beatles musical. The twist? Aside from the director, almost everyone is real people whose unscripted reactions to the production’s chaos are captured on camera.
Windows – A homeless man breaks into an empty house to try out normal life for a few hours, only to reconnect with something in himself that shakes him to his core.
Endre Lund Eriksen, Daniel Damm
HOME OFFICE – The schools are in lockdown due to coronavirus, and Lilly (10) must stay home and care for her drunk mother. When the bad girl from class sees what’s happening at home, Lilly thinks her secret is in danger. But sometimes, help can come from where you least expect it.
The Stack – “The Stack” recalls the gut wrenching feeling of losing who you once thought to be your forever, and the process of detangling yourself from that. Artist: Jack Rabbit
Oren’s Way – A clever princess must capture a magical Golden Fox in order to save her kingdom from eternal sadness but on her journey, she conquers obstacles – the last of which reveals a hidden truth about herself.
Could You Pick Me Up, Please? – Newly discharged from rehab, Will calls a string of friends and family to pick him up. While he may be ready to move on, those he hurt can’t easily forget the past.
From This Small Place – From This Small Place is a coming-of-age story within the backdrop of the Rohingya refugee crisis. The film follows six-year-old Hossain Johar as he fills his days with the grand adventure of childhood. But soon, deadly monsoons shatter his fragile peace as the family faces flooding, landslides, and even illness. Hossain strives to maintain his childhood world of fun but he must make sense of the complexities of the adult world around him for the first time in his young life.
EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED – Aaron, a talented musician, finds himself at a career standstill; Natalie, a budding playwright, is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. But amidst their pursuits, their paths cross, igniting a spark that will forever change their lives. Through the blend of timeless original music, “Everything I Ever Wanted” explores the indomitable spirit of humanity, the relentless pursuit of dreams, and the extraordinary power of love in the face of adversity.
Fireflies Save The Night – At wit’s end, an embattled teenager finds a solution to his family’s misery.
Ghost Hounds – Last Train To Nowhere (Official Music Video) – Journey through life’s fleeting moments on the ‘Last Train to Nowhere.’ In a captivating music video, a modern wanderer rides a Western train, reliving memories until destiny awaits at the end of the line.
Ride Baby Ride – After an unbearably creepy negotiation with some skeevy car guys, a mechanic has to fight off a demonic monster inhabiting her dream 1978 Camaro.
A Day In Color – Four communities bring their colorful, dynamic dance together in the vibrance of the great American desert, and all alongside the moving musical composition of Noah Simpson. “A Day in Color” is a love letter to the true diversity of American culture and all that comes from it, including one of America’s greatest cultural contributions: Jazz. Made as part of Montavilla Jazz Festival’s inaugural Call + Response project.
Sparkle – A non-binary child struggles to find the perfect Father’s Day gift for their disapproving dad.
Llamas at the Laundromat – Got dirty clothes? Join two stylish llamas as they dance and sing their way though the steps of doing laundry at the laundromat.
Junction – Tackling the modern-day opioid epidemic, JUNCTION tells three interconnected stories of a CEO of a pharmaceutical corporation, a doctor, and an addict, exploring how they’re all deeply affected by – and play a part in – the crisis in America.
Becca Suh-Hee Han
Sorry, Dumpling – On the eve of their wedding anniversary, Don is attacked by a mysterious K-idol wannabe and desperately tries to escape before Kayleigh unknowingly returns. Don doesn’t even like K-pop. What the heck!
CARLY – A TV show unfolds its dark tale in a dystopian world. Carly, the charismatic host of “The Cupcake Factory,” presides over a society where “likeability” is the only currency. Winning guarantees a promising future at a haunting cost. What would you do to ensure the well-being of those you love?
Isabella and the Moon (Abridged) – An adventurous bunny thinks she can reach the moon by running to it but ends up running straight into present danger instead.
MAD CATS, Taka, a shiftless young man, sets off on a quest to find his missing brother Mune. Teaming up with a quirky new friend and an edgy, mysterious young girl, Taka finds himself taking on a pack of vicious monster cats determined to execute unscrupulous pet shop owners. Why are the monster cats after him? Why was his brother captured? What is the purpose of this mysterious young girl? Mysteries are about to be revealed as the journey leads to a final showdown.
Justin Ross, Meghan Ross
Here to Make Friends – An anxious, aging millennial, Arab-American Austin transplant goes on a mission to find the platonic love of her life after realizing she’s never had one lasting female friend. Still, it will have to figure out how to befriend herself first.
Jennifer Mary Mears
Mary Made Me Media Presents: RAW – RAW (an acronym for “Reflections of African Women”) is an expression of black female divinity and the recognition of black women as the image and likeness of God. It celebrates black women’s strength, resilience, and beauty while acknowledging their historical and cultural contributions.
Madison Olandt, Taylor Olandt
I’m Not Fine – “I’m Not Fine” is a gorgeous yet emotionally devastating music video that intimately follows a couple teetering on a razor-thin edge of heartbreak. This raw and affecting piece strikes a tragic chord on a universal aspect of the human experience.
Breakwater – A young ex-con risks his newfound freedom to track down the estranged daughter of a fellow inmate and unknowingly brings a devil from her past straight to her doorstep.
Where We Goin? Episode 1: DJ O.G. One x Creative Homies –
This episode explores the life of DJ OG One and his escape from gang-adjacent life in Watts, California, and his rise to celebrity DJ. We’ll also meet the Creative Homies, owners of Downtown Portland BIPOC creator space The Horizon Enterprise Building.
Start Over Again – In her latest self-directed and edited music video for her single “Start Over Again,” Portland singer-songwriter Hannah Glavor offers a cheerful song about new beginnings. Featuring her signature deadpan humor and DIY aesthetic, she takes on the form of a flower defiantly standing in the wake of winter, facing the slowly unfurling Pacific Northwest Spring.
Seretse Njemanze, Jehnovah Carlisle
So Misunderstood – As the only woman and Black employee in her small San Francisco, California tech startup office, Alice Scott feels the constant pressure to hold it all together in front of her male coworkers. But her life is transformed with the onset of the pandemic.
It’s Not Real – Jess wonders whether the creepy incidents in her creaky old apartment are actually happening.
Don’t Give Me Your Heart – This music video for singer/songwriter, Leah Judge is inspired by found footage of queer parties from the past where our LGBTQ+ community would gather in secret to express themselves freely.
C. Fraser Press, Darren Press
A Cow in the Sky – On his first solo flight as a pilot, a young immigrant finds himself wrestling with his identity when his engine fails. Based on the true story of the 1988 murder of Mulugeta Seraw in Portland, OR in a crime inspired by white supremacist Tom Metzger, A Cow in the Sky is a film about the pain and personal triumph of a son left behind.
DEAD MOM CARD – Three funeral home employees—a white woman, a Black man, and bi-racial gay man—must sort out who is in charge and why, when the sudden death of the owner throws their lives in disarray. Their power struggles encompass misogyny, racism, and implicit bias. Along the way, they encounter the profane, the ridiculous, and many forms of grieving.
Robots Don’t Tell Jokes – Robot thinks he has a wonderful joke, so he keeps trying to tell it, but none of the other robots ever laugh. Will Robot give up on his awesome joke or will he find his tribe? Low-tech stop-motion using mainly re-claimed wood scraps and metal pieces.
Selected from a pool of 4800 submissions, these Directors represent the best working professionals in independent film today.