The 44th Portland International Film Festival has announced the first wave of titles and special events. Taking place March 5-14, PIFF 44 is a program of the Portland Art Museum’s Northwest Film Center, one of the oldest and most distinguished media arts centers in the country. The festival centers on both artists and cinematic storytellers who are bold enough to interrupt the status quo, and focuses on those changing for whom, by whom, and how cinematic stories are told.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, PIFF 44 will look very different from previous festivals. A combination of virtual and drive-in screenings and events will bring the world to Portland—and Portland to the world. Cinematic stories from the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East dominate this year’s lineup of 93 total feature and short films from over 34 countries.
The approaches to storytelling in PIFF 44 are equally wide-ranging and innovative, building on the Cinema Unbound theme introduced in last year’s PIFF festival. The Northwest Film Center’s second annual Cinema Unbound Awards will kick off the festival, celebrating artists and leaders who are transforming cinematic storytelling, and throughout the festival, the Cinema Unbound Drive-In at Zidell Yards will showcase independent features and 5 new Northwest shorts exploring what the future can be.
Cinema Unbound continues to be the driving force of our festival, drive-in, and awards. This is especially true this year as PIFF and Cinema Unbound Awards go global, allowing audiences the world over to experience film, animation, performance, audio stories, and undefinable mash-ups that take cinema to new heights,” says Amy Dotson, the director of the Northwest Film Center, and curator of film & new media at the Portland Art Museum. “PIFF exists in the midst of art and cinema, and we’re thrilled to bring together artists and innovators who have created—and curated—new ways of seeing that can’t be found elsewhere.”
The full PIFF 44 line-up will be announced February 14.
The Northwest Film Center www.nwfilm.org
The Portland Art Museum http://www.portlandartmuseum.org