Portland Entertainment

Unique film festivals in Portland

If you have ever been to a film festival you know that films can do a lot more than make you laugh, cry and root for the hero; sometimes they can actually make you think. You also know that movies can do a lot more than offer you comfort and give you characters to commiserate with; they can take you all over the world and make you empathize with people you might ordinarily have deemed unscrupulous or peculiar.

You can find almost anything at a film festival from a picture about mine workers in Kentucky to a love story about polyamorous serial killers. But, supposing that you are looking for something very specific. Supposing you not only want a film about miners in Kentucky, but female miners in Kentucky. Supposing you want your gangsters to hail from a certain continent or your polyamorous characters to be polytheistic as well.

You don’t just want a film festival, you want one with a particular theme. Fortunately, there are several film festivals in town that offer the opportunity to really focus your film viewing on a particular subject.

Cascade Festival of African FilmsCascade Festival of African Films

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in an Egyptian band that covers American classic rock or a lesbian high schooler in Kenya, now is your chance to find out. This film festival is celebrating it’s 26 year at Portland Community College and it runs through March 5.

The festival is part of black history month. The films play at PCC Cascade and the Hollywood Theater and often include discussions with directors. Tickets to the show are free. It is recommended that you arrive early to get a good seat.


POW (Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival)POW (Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival)

In spite of all the progress woman have made over the years, Hollywood still often portrays them as emotionally uncomplicated, man hungry creatures who in one way or another need to be rescued. So far, there has only been one woman to win an Oscar for best director and this year’s best actress nominees include women who portrayed a captive, two housewives, a young girl in love and a woman famous for inventing a mop.

This festival gives female filmmakers a chance to bring a wide variety of woman’s stories to the screen. Films include, Sista in the Brotherhood, about a woman working as a tradesman on a construction site and Budding Romance, which is about a girl in love with a plant.

The festival will also include three short film showcases one for comedy, one for drama and one for documentaries. Some of the films directors will be in attendance.

The event’s Guest of Honor will be Catherine Hardwicke, who is the director of the films Thirteen, Twilight and Miss You Already. Each of Ms. Hardwick’s films will be shown at the festival.

Tickets to the shows start at $9.00 and the festival itself runs from Thursday, March 3 to Sunday, March 6. In addition to the many film screenings there will also be several seminars offered for aspiring filmmakers.

Bombay to BollywoodFrom Bombay to Bollywood: 50 Years on Indian Cinema

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade, you have seen a Bollywood movie. The lengthy tales often offer a love story and plenty of singing and dancing. However, there is much more to Indian cinema than just Bollywood and this event at the Portland Art Museum aims to show you what you have been missing.

The film series has been going on since January and features the very best of Indian cinema. The series continues with the film, Devdas which shows on Sunday, March 6 at 3:00 p.m. the film tells the musical story of a Romeo and Juliet like couple pulled apart by society.

The series concludes with Lagaan, shown on Saturday, March 12 at 2:00 p.m. Lagaan is about a wager between Indians and British officers during the British Raj. The Indians bet the officers that they can beat them at cricket. If they win they will not have to pay taxes for three years, but if they lose they will have to pay three times the taxes.

Tickets to the shows are $9.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors and $6.00 for kids.

Eliza Gale – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor

Eliza Gale - PortlandMetroLive.com ContributorEliza Gale began her blogging career interviewing aspiring actors and industry professionals on a Los Angeles based website called Curvewire. She started www.elizagalesintervviews in 2012 and has interviewed over three hundred people about their jobs and businesses since then. She has contributed many interviews to 360drinks.com, which is a Portland based happy-hour website. She also writes for Examiner.com and AXS.com.