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The Northwest Film Center Announces PIFF 2.0
Reimagining the final days of the 43rd Portland International Film Festival
October 1-3, 2020

PORTLAND, Oregon—The Northwest Film Center announces PIFF 2.0, reimagining the final days of the 43rd Portland International Film Festival. From October 1 to 3, 2020, PIFF 2.0 will present 10 films, talks and happy hours from Northwest and International filmmakers, offered in virtual screening and events as well as in new additions to the Film Center’s popular Cinema Unbound Drive-In series.

This year’s Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) was sadly cut short due to the pandemic in early March. PIFF 43 was a creative, multi-media feast that spotlighted artists both around the corner and across the globe—embracing the future of storytelling in all its forms. With PIFF 43, the Northwest Film Center created a bold, new artistic vision—Cinema Unbound—to reimagine what the Center can be. In the spirit of continuing to redefine the notion of cinema and visual storytelling for our community, we present PIFF 43 – 2.0. 

The NWFC will wrap up this year’s festival six months later with a mission of continuing to expand audiences and to engage with both new releases and films and talks previously featured in the March edition of the festival. 

The need for both local and global impactful visual storytelling is now more important than ever. At this moment, non-profits, museums, and spaces all over the globe are turning to moving images, new media, and forms of audio storytelling—seeing their importance as communication tools for connectivity. These cinematic stories live on our phones, in our public spaces, and in cultural settings in a democratized way and have never been more vital as a source of creativity. 

Even prior to this global pandemic, the Northwest Film Center saw the future of cinematic storytelling as something bigger than just going to a movie at a theatre or attending a class—and continued that vision this summer by presenting the Cinema Unbound Drive-In, Venice VR Expanded, and opening Virtual Cinema to new audiences. 

“While we can’t go back to the way things were, in the spirit of PIFF, we’re offering ten films, talks and happy hours from Northwest and International filmmakers to bring some closure to the festival and open a door to next year’s festival,” remarked Amy Dotson, Director of the Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum Curator of Film and New Media.

PIFF 2.0


ZIDELL YARDS – 3030 SW Moody Avenue, Portland, OR 97201

Thursday, October 1
Young Hearts (fka Thunderbolt in Mine Eye)
This film was originally slated to screen during PIFF 43
Screening at the Cinema Unbound Drive-In
Directed by Sarah and Zachary Sherman
Oregon | 2020 | 80 mins.

In this honest coming-of-age tale, from sibling directors Sarah and Zachary Sherman, fourteen-year-old Harper enters high school and sparks a relationship with her older brother’s best friend, Tilly, but while Harper deals with social blowback, the older Tilly is congratulated, setting up a very modern teenage love story in the current age of Time’s Up and Me Too. 

Friday, October 2 — SNEAK PREVIEW!
Sylvie’s Love
Screening at the Cinema Unbound Drive-In
Directed by Eugene Ashe
United States | 2020 | 114 mins.
A woman working at her father’s record store in Harlem in the late 1950s meets an aspiring saxophone player.

Saturday, October 3
Marona’s Fantastic Tale
This film was originally slated to screen during PIFF 43
Screening at the Cinema Unbound Drive-In
Directed by Anca Damian
France/Romania/Belgium | 2019 | 92 mins.
A GKids release

This emotional, shape-shifting animated film follows Marona, an extremely cute dog who recounts her life, how she related to the world around her, and the humans she loved.


This film was originally slated to screen during PIFF 43
Directed by Justine Triet
France/Belgium | 2019 | 100 mins.
A Music Box Films release

Psychotherapist Sibyl (Virginie Efira) returns to creative writing—her first passion—but lacks creative spark, until a situation with one of her patients, a pregnant young actress, proves too difficult to resist fictionalizing.

This film was originally slated to screen during PIFF 43
Directed by Pietro Marcello
Italy/France/Germany | 2019 | 125 mins.
A Kino Lorber release

Luca Martinelli delivers one of the year’s finest performances as the titular Martin Eden, an aspiring young writer increasingly radicalized by turn-of-the-20th-century Italian social conditions.

Vitalina Varela
This film was originally slated to screen during PIFF 43
Directed by Pedro Costa
Portugal • 2019 • 124 mins.
in Portuguese with English subtitles

In this follow-up to Costa’s incredible Horse Money (a PIFF38 selection), Vitalina Varela, a widow from Cape Verde, travels to the Fontainhas neighborhood of Lisbon for her husband’s funeral after 25 long years apart—having learned of his death only three days before her arrival. Vitalina must piece together the last two decades of his life, as she encounters his friends, co-workers, neighbors, and the local priest (portrayed by Costa regular Ventura) in her search for answers, closure, and a new beginning in Fontainhas. Bridging past and present with his haunting, shadow-heavy visual compositions that conjure the chiaroscuro paintings of the Renaissance more than anything in contemporary cinema, Costa sculpts a quiet, intense ghost story around Vitalina’s unforgettable portrayal of a woman unmoored, but seeking peace. A Grasshopper Film release.

This film was originally slated to screen during PIFF 43
Directed by Ivete Lucas & Patrick Bresnan
United States • 2019 • 110 mins.

Following last year’s exceptional short documentary Skip Day (a PIFF42 selection), with Pahokee up-and-coming filmmakers Lucas and Bresnan fashion a detailed, engaging portrait of four high school seniors in the rural Florida Everglades. A nuanced portrait of the many pressures faced by youth in contemporary America, the film also takes ample time to show us joy, from sporting events to school dances and beauty contests, revealing a complex community saturated with solidarity and deep insecurity about the future. The filmmakers thoughtfully observe the community, refusing to editorialize, but rather, allowing the lives lived— replete with happiness, sorrow, confidence, and anxiety—to shape their work. Pahokee amplifies the realities of youthful experience and gives us an unforgettable portrait on the cusp of a new decade.

Marona’s Fantastic Tale
This film was originally slated to screen during PIFF 43
Directed by Anca Damian
France/Romania/Belgium | 2019 | 92 mins.
A GKids release

This emotional, shape-shifting animated film follows Marona, an extremely cute dog who recounts her life, how she related to the world around her, and the humans she loved.

The Dark Divide
Directed by Tom Putnam
United States | 2020 | 92 mins.

Based on the story of renowned butterfly expert Robert Pyle (David Cross) who embarked on a life-changing trek through one of America’s most important unprotected wildlands in the summer of 1995.

Where the House Was
Directed by Ryan Adams
United States | 2019 | 58 mins.

The Hugo House in Seattle was a Victorian house, turned theater, turned café, and finally, an artist residency that was a haven for writers, poets, and artists. Like in other cities, urban renewal and gentrification came for the house, to make way for mixed-use apartments, but not before co-founder Frances McCue captured what made this such a special place in the Seattle fabric. What follows is the history of not only the house, but the house’s namesake: a working-class Seattle poet whose unique style of “triggering town” is still influencing a generation of writers. Told through archival footage, recordings, animations, and a bold last hurrah, Where the House Was is a loving nod to the historical importance of places that act as conduits for creativity—and the very breath that makes urban spaces so unique.

These films were originally slated to screen during PIFF 43 and are now available on VOD.

Children of the Sea Available on Netflix
Directed by Ayumu Watanabe
Japan • 2019 • 120 mins.
in Japanese with English subtitles

After being kicked out of her summer camp, Ruka staves off boredom by following a mysterious pull to explore her parents’ workplace: the local aquarium. There she encounters two strange boys—Umi and Sora—who were raised by dugongs, and thus have a bewildering connection to the sea. Together the three go on a stunningly epic, world-changing adventure as the sea creatures around them begin behaving very oddly in response to a bizarre, never-before-heard song. Contemplative, atmospheric, and breathtaking, this animated adaptation invites a curious examination of the mysteries surrounding humanity’s relation to the sea and nature. A GKids release.

Bacurau Available on  Amazon Prime
Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles
Brazil/France • 2019 • 131 mins.
in Portuguese with English subtitles

The fictional Brazilian village of Bacurau—although, in reality, there are many like it—is the entrancing setting for this near-future dystopian film. The village matriarch’s funeral jumpstarts the action, but when the townsfolk discover that Bacurau has literally been wiped off the map and that there are strange mercenaries (led by Udo Kier) descending on their homes, the diverse cast of neighbors, family, and friends must band together to protect what’s theirs—at any cost. Realized in a truly unpredictable cinematic style that infuses all manners of genre convention (while constantly breaking the rules), Bacurau is one of the year’s most thrilling works; an engrossing portrait of a modest place and way of life besieged by bloodthirsty external forces. Content warning: graphic violence. A Kino Lorber release.


Friday, October 2
The Future of Cinema – A conversation between Amy Dotson, the Northwest Film Center’s Director and Curator, Film & New Media, and Rajendra Roy, The Museum of Modern Art’s Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film. This conversation will be pre-recorded.

Saturday, October 3
Place As Practice – A virtual ZOOM chat with author and screenwriter Jonathan Raymond (Wendy & Lucy, First Cow) as he discusses the role of place in defining and inspiring the story. 4 pm. 



Members of the Northwest Film Center’s Silver Screen Club get discounts and/or free entry (at the Director level and above) to PIFF 2.0 Festival screenings. Silver Screen Club Friends, Supporters, and New Wave Members receive a $5 discount to all screenings at the Cinema Unbound Drive-In and select Virtual Screenings at PIFF 2.0. To learn more about membership:

$35-$55 Per car for the Cinema Unbound Drive-In screenings.
Ticket prices for individual virtual screenings may vary. 


About the Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center

The seventh oldest museum in the United States, the Portland Art Museum is internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions drawn from the Museum’s holdings and the world’s finest public and private collections. The Museum’s collection of more than 50,000 objects, displayed in 112,000 square feet of galleries, reflects the history of art from ancient times to today. The collection is distinguished for its holdings of arts of the native peoples of North America, English silver, and the graphic arts. An active collecting institution dedicated to preserving great art for the enrichment of future generations, the Museum devotes 90 percent of its galleries to its permanent collection.

The Museum’s campus of landmark buildings, a cornerstone of Portland’s cultural district, includes the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, the Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts, the Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art, the Northwest Film Center, and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Center for Native American Art. With a membership of more than 22,000 households and serving more than 350,000 visitors annually, the Museum is a premier venue for education in the visual arts. For information on exhibitions and programs, call 503-226-2811 or visit

Established in 1971, the Northwest Film Center is an extension of the Museum and a year-round organization where artists and audiences explore our region and the world through cinema and cinematic storytelling in all its forms. For more information, visit

Shared knowledge around art and film enriches our communities and helps all thrive and engage in a global society. Equity, diversity, and access to art, film, and education are critical to the ongoing work of the Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center. Learn more about the Museum and Film Center’s commitment to equity at

The Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center welcome all visitors and affirm their commitment to making their programs and collections accessible to everyone. The Museum and Film Center offer a variety of programs and services to ensure a quality experience and a safe, inclusive environment for every member of our diverse community. Learn more at

The Museum and Film Center are pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. Please email a request to two to three weeks in advance, or call 503-226-2811.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.