Skip to content

The Northwest Film Center is a place where individuals find and cultivate their personal voices as storytellers and image makers, and audiences explore our region and the world through the big screen. Our theater, classrooms and facilities welcome a diverse cross-section of community members for film appreciation, skill- and community-building and technical support.

Established in 1971, the Northwest Film Center is a regional media arts resource and service organization founded to encourage the study, appreciation, and utilization of the moving image arts, foster their artistic and professional excellence, and to help create a climate in which they may flourish. The Film Center joined the Portland Art Association in 1979 to become a sister organization to the Portland Art Museum.

The Center provides a variety of film and video exhibition, education, and information programs primarily directed to the residents of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.


Through year-round exhibition programs surveying cinema past and present, audiences and filmmakers come together to explore our region and the world through the moving image arts. Highlights of our exhibition programs include:

  • Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival (November), a juried showcase of new work by regional artists, including Fresh Film NW youth-made films
  • Portland International Film Festival (February), an invitational survey of new world cinema
  • Reel Music Festival (January), exploring the lively interplay between sound and image, music and culture
  • Global Classroom brings the best in new world cinema to high school classes through free screenings.


Individuals find and cultivate their personal voices as storytellers through education programs and innovative community collaborations which advance media literacy and engage the next generation.

The Northwest Film Center’s education programs provide learning opportunities to working filmmakers, aspiring video storytellers, creatives and youth 4th-12th grade through classes, workshops, studios and camps. The Film Center’s programming in filmmaking, video production, animation, and screenwriting and more serves makers who wish to develop their personal vision as a film artist, offering classes and workshops that emphasize media aesthetics in a hands-on context. Film Center faculty are working artists who devote a portion of their professional lives to teaching.


Regional filmmakers are supported as artists, educators, mentors, connectors and community leaders, strengthening cinema’s place in the creative, social and economic sectors of the community. Our Filmmaker Services:

  • circulates traveling exhibition programs featuring work by regional artists to other arts presenters throughout the Northwest
  • administers the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship and David King Fellowship
  • serves as a fiscal agent for independent producers in need of non-profit sponsorship
  • offers low-cost equipment access to community producers, as well as a variety of consulting services

In partnership with local arts councils and other arts, education and industry partners, the Center works to develop media arts audiences and opportunities for artists and organizations.

Portland Art Museum/Northwest Film Center Tax ID: #93-0391604

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.