Portland's 39th celebration of world cinema opens Feb. 11

COURTESY PHOTO: PIFF - The 39th Portland International Film Festival features Academy Award-level films such as 'A War 'by Tobias Lindholm.Foreign flavor comes to our city in the feast known as the 39th Portland International Film Festival, Feb. 11-27, presented by the Northwest Film Center.

More than 150 films from around the world, including 97 features, will be screened, including Tobias Lindholm’s “A War” from Denmark and Ciro Guerra’s “Embrace of the Serpent” from Colombia, both nominees for the Academy Award in Foreign Language Film.

Screenings take place at Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., and several other venues.

Opening night, Thursday, Feb. 11 will feature Klaus Haro’s “The Fencer,” an Oscar submission from Finland, which focuses on the story of a Russian asylum seeker whose successful fostering of an Estonian youth fencing team poses a threat to his freedom. It’ll screen at Regal Fox Tower, 846 S.W. Park Ave. (7:15 p.m.) and Whitsell (7:30 p.m.). There’ll also be the opening night party after the screenings. Tickets are $25 general, $20 Silver Screen Club and Portland Art Museum members.

In addition to features, there’ll be shorts, including an animated program by Laika’s Mark Shapiro, dedicated to films made in Oregon, as well as “Bear Story” (Chile), “Sanjay’s Super Team” (U.S.), “Prologue” (United Kingdom), “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” (Russia) and “World of Tomorrow” (U.S.), all nominees in the Short Film-Animated category at the Oscars. “Ava Marie” (Palestine), “Day One” (U.S.) and “Shok” (U.S.) are nominated in the Short Film-Live Action category.

The Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 28 in Hollywood.

The local flavor at PIFF 39 shouldn’t go without being tasted, especially with the Short Cuts V: Made in Oregon program, which includes works by filmmakers Janet McIntyre, Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri, Howard Mitchell, Dawn Jones Redstone, Sean and Michael Farris, and Tim Wade. It takes place at 1 p.m. Feb. 20 at Whitsell and 6 p.m. Feb. 22 at Roseway Theater, 7229 N.E. Sandy Blvd.

There’ll also be documentaries by Portland’s Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky (“Open Your Eyes”) and Skye Fitzgerald (“50 Feet from Syria”), both movies showing at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at Whitsell. And, in the PIFF After Dark program, former Portlander Joe Von Appen’s “Knife of the Party” will be shown, 10 p.m. Feb. 14.

COURTESY PHOTO: PIFF - The 39th Portland International Film Festival features Academy Award-level films such as local filmmakers works, including Irene Taylor Brodskys 'Open Your Eyes .'The PIFF After Dark shows are scheduled to happen at Cinema 21, 616 N.W. 21st Ave., and will include short, After Dark-themed films shown before features.

Visiting artists in attendance for their films will be Fitzgerald, Laura Israel (“Don’t Blink: Robert Frank”), Dianne Roark (“A Good American”), Lynn True (“In Transit”), Von Appen, Andrew Seklir/Tim Kinzy (“Man vs. Snake”), Brodsky, Haydn Reiss (“Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy”), James Vandewater (“Sleeping Giant”) and Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami (“Sonita”), as well as Short Cuts V: Made in Oregon filmmakers.

Tickets are available and the full PIFF 39 schedule can be viewed at Admission prices are $12 general, $11 Portland Art Museum members, students and seniors, and $9 Silver Screen Club members and children.

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