40th Portland International Film Festival

  • February 9, 2017 — February 27, 2017

Welcome to the Northwest Film Center’s 40th Portland International Film Festival. This program is arranged by section with the films in each section ordered chronologically by screening date with soonest on top. Showtimes and theater locations are listed on each film’s page. We hope the sections outlined below help you navigate your PIFF experience.

Please use the filtering tools below to sort by country, language or section.

Download the PIFF XL Schedule  Audience Awards Ballot

MASTERS

Exciting new works from some of the leading voices of national and world cinema.

NEW DIRECTORS

New and emerging filmmakers who represent the new generation of master storytellers.

DOCUMENTARY VIEWS

Fresh perspectives on the world we live in and the fascinating people, places, and stories that surround us.

GLOBAL PANORAMA

Award-winning films that tell stories that resonate beyond the unique cultures from which they emerge.

PIFF AFTER DARK

For the cinematically adventurous and nocturnally inclined, genre-bending films that push the boundaries.

WAYS OF SEEING

Bold, original new works exploring the possibilities of form and personal expression.

ANIMATED WORLDS

Animated features and shorts that have charmed audiences world-wide.

FILMS FOR FAMILIES

Film lovers of all ages will be entertained by these films suitable for younger viewers.

SHORT CUTS

Short programs featuring over 50 memorable snapshots from around the world and here in Oregon.

 

Monday, February 27

Truman

Directed by Cesc Gay

Goya Winner for Best Film, Director, Actor, and Screenplay, Truman is a warm tale of friendship in the face of

Monday, February 27

Obit

Directed by Vanessa Gould

Who makes it on the obituary page of the paper of record? Both a peek into the inner workings of

A Dark Song

Directed by Liam Gavin

A grieving mother (Catherine Walker) hires a man (Steve Oram) well-versed in the occult to help bring her son back

A Quiet Passion

Directed by Terence Davies

A Quiet Passion is the life story of the celebrated American poet Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon), from her youth as

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Directed by Steve James

The incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York, elicits both

After Love

Directed by Joachim Lafosse

Marie and Boris, married for 15 years, are going through the emotional turmoil of divorce in front of their twin

After the Storm

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda

In Kore-eda’s latest domestic drama, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe), a novelist who struck it big with his first tome, struggles to

Afterimage

Directed by Andrzej Wajda

The final film of illustrious Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda (Kanal, Man of Iron), who died last year, charts the passionate

Alive & Kicking

Directed by Susan Glatzer

Some dance styles and crazes endure. For many who love music and dance, the lindy hop, jitterbug, shag, and other

All the Cities of the North

Directed by Dane Komljen

Built around origin myths and mysteries from a not-so-distant past, Komljen’s debut is set in an abandoned, hotel complex near

All These Sleepless Nights

Directed by Michał Marczak

“Many of us know the freedom of our twenties—unfettered by responsibilities or mortality, inventing ourselves in the rush of the

Aloys

Directed by Tobias Nölle

Aloys, a reclusive private investigator, experiences life from a safe distance. After a night of heavy drinking, he wakes up

Apprentice

Directed by Junfeng Boo

Aiman, an ambitious 28-year-old correctional officer, is transferred to the Singapore territory’s top prison. He strikes up a friendship with

Austerlitz

Directed by Sergei Loznitsa

Filmed on the sites of former Nazi concentration camps, Loznitsa’s (Maidan, In the Fog) Austerlitz is a stark observation of

Barakah Meets Barakah

Directed by Mahmoud Sabbagh

In Saudi Arabia, physical contact and meeting the opposite sex in public without a chaperone are prohibited, which makes this

Behemoth

Directed by Zhao Liang

You can’t un-see political documentarian Liang’s cinematic allegory, which draws inspiration from The Divine Comedy in fashioning a simultaneously intoxicating

Burden

Directed by Timothy Marrinan, Richard Dewey

One the most intriguing, boundary-pushing artists of his generation, Chris Burden guaranteed his place in art history in 1971 with

Buzz One Four

Directed by Matt McCormick

Buzz One Four chronicles the ill-fated flight of a Cold War B-52 Stratofortress loaded with two 3-4-megaton nuclear bombs that

Clash

Directed by Mohamed Diab

Set in the midst of the 2013 riots in Cairo pitting Egypt’s pro-military supporters against the Muslim Brotherhood of the

Daguerrotype

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Japanese horror master Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s continues his winning stream with this patient and elegantly rendered ghost story set in modern-day

Dead Slow Ahead

Directed by Mauro Herce

Despite new technology, the transport of physical goods continues to rely on age-old means. Herce’s film is a hypnotic and

Death in Sarajevo

Directed by Danis Tanović

Tanović’s deft and dizzying thriller satirically illuminates the conflicts that have torn the Balkans apart for a century. On the

El Acompañante

Directed by Pavel Giroud

Cuba 1988. The Castro regime has established “Los Cocos,” a sanatorium in Havana’s suburbs where HIV patients are confined under

Eldorado XXI

Directed by Salomé Lamas

Set at 18,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes and focused on a community of exploited miners in the small village

Fire at Sea

Directed by Gianfranco Rosi

The island of Lampedusa, between Sicily and Tunisia, is a major destination point for refugees fleeing Africa and the Middle

Forever Pure

Directed by Maya Zinshstein

Beitar Jerusalem, an intensely nationalist soccer team in the Israeli Premier League, inspires as much extreme fandom as it does

Frantz

Directed by François Ozon

A year after his death in 1918, Anna is mourning her fiancé Frantz, a German soldier killed in the war.

Glory

Directed by Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov

When a reclusive railway worker finds bags of cash on the tracks, he does the right thing and calls the

Graduation

Directed by Cristian Mungiu

Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days) won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for this keenly observed depiction

Half Ticket

Directed by Samit Kakkad

Half Ticket is a story of the “Have Nots” struggling to survive in a world of “Haves.” Fascinated by the

Hedi

Directed by Mohamed Ben Attia

Resigned to his fate, Hedi is stuck selling cars, a job he hates, and engaged to a woman he barely

Heidi

Directed by Alain Gsponer

Johanna Spyri’s classic children’s novels return to the screen for a new generation. Our heroine Heidi is sent to live

I Am Not Madame Bovary

Directed by Feng Xiaogang

Superstar actress Fan Bingbing stars in this searing and fearless satirical comic drama about a cafe owner’s epic battle with

I Am Not Your Negro

Directed by Raoul Peck

Based on the text of Remember This House, James Baldwin’s final, unfinished novel, Peck’s urgent essay film is a reflection

Indivisible

Directed by Edoardo De Angelis

Indivisible is a beguiling poetic fairy tale that plays with the idea that we carry our loved ones with us

It’s Only the End of the World

Directed by Xavier Dolan

Winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and this year’s Canadian Oscar submission, Dolan’s visually and emotionally

Kati Kati

Directed by Mbithi Masya

Kaleche, a young woman with no memory of her life or death, wanders into the otherworldly village of Kati Kati,

Kedi

Directed by Ceyda Torun

Cats (“kedi”) have an exalted status in Turkish culture, and caring for them is both a social and religious obligation,

Kékszakállú

Directed by Gastón Solnicki

Loosely based on Béla Bartók’s 1918 opera “Bluebeard’s Castle” and largely constructed out of improvised scenes featuring non-actors, Solnicki’s film

Kills on Wheels

Directed by Attila Till

In this exuberant coming-of-age crime comedy, two aspiring comic book artists with disabilities become embroiled in the schemes of an

Land of Mine

Directed by Martin Zandvliet

Land of Mine surfaces a little-known story that took place in 1945 as the five-year Nazi occupation of the country

Life After Life

Directed by Zhang Hanyi

A young boy becomes possessed by his late mother, whose spirit has wandered Shanxi Province’s disintegrating cave homes for years.

Life+1Day

Directed by Saeed Roustayi

Somayeh is at a loss. Her only desire is to leave her family and take her life into her own

Like Crazy

Directed by Paolo Virzì

Paolo Virzì’s (Human Capital) bittersweet comedy recounts a Thelma & Louise-like adventure between two women on the run in Tuscany.

Lost in Paris

Directed by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon

Fiona, a hapless Canadian librarian, visits Paris for the first time after receiving a letter of distress from her 88-year-old

Louise by the Shore

Directed by Jean-François Laguionie

Louise, an old woman, sits on the beach at a French resort town enjoying the last days of summer and

Ma’Rosa

Directed by Brillante Mendoza

In the slums of Manila, you pay the police, or you go to jail, if not your grave. Based on

Maliglutit

Directed by Zacharias Kunuk

Kunuk’s (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) poignant film, shot in the spectacular Arctic, is set in 1913 and inspired by John

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea

Directed by Dash Shaw

“The title tells the tale in this inventive, beautiful, and more than a little bizarre animated feature debut from acclaimed

My Life as a Zucchini

Directed by Claude Barras

Barras’s funny and brightly colored stop-motion film tells the story of nine-year-old Icare, known to his friends as Courgette (Zucchini).

Nagasaki: Memories of My Son

Directed by Yôji Yamada

Nagasaki: Memories of My Son is a heartbreakingly beautiful study of war, love, and family. On August 9, 1948, Nobuko,

Nakom

Directed by T.W. Pittman, Kelly Daniela Norris

When his father suddenly dies, Iddrisu, a promising medical student, leaves the university in the Ghanaian capital of Accra to

Nocturama

Directed by Bertrand Bonello

Bonnello’s (Saint Laurent) latest provocation is a film in two distinct and gripping parts: first, a procedural in which we

Old Stone

Directed by Johnny Ma

Chinese taxi driver Lao Shi is thrown into a Kafkaesque nightmare where no charitable act goes unpunished. When a drunken

One Week and a Day

Directed by Asaph Polonsky

Eyal and Vicky spend a week sitting shiva after the death of their 25-year-old son. While Vicky returns to teaching,

Panamerican Machinery

Directed by Joaquín Del Paso

Panamerican Machinery may be the happiest place in the world to work. Workers and management get along like one tight-knit

Paradise

Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky

In 1942, while working as a fashion editor for Paris Vogue, Russian émigré Olga becomes involved with the French Resistance

Parting

Directed by Navid Mahmoudi

Navid Mahmoudi’s debut feature is a migration story that has not only war, but love at its core. Fereshteh and

Personal Shopper

Directed by Olivier Assayas

“Kristen Stewart is the medium, in more ways than one, for this sophisticated genre exploration from director Assayas (Clouds of

Raising Bertie

Directed by Margaret Byrne

What happens in the lives of young people caught in the complex interplay of generational poverty, educational inequity, and race?

Rara

Directed by Pepa San Martín

Twelve-year-old Sara has a warm and supportive home with her sister, mother, and her mother’s partner, and is taking her

Revengeance

Directed by Bill Plympton, Jim Lujan

Former Portlander Bill Plympton comes home for this special pre-release screening of his eighth feature, which tells the story of

SHORT CUTS 1: On Art & Artists

Directed by Various

SHORT CUTS 2: Family Ties

Directed by Various

SHORT CUTS 3: Viewpoints

Directed by Various

SHORT CUTS 4: Distant Tales

Directed by Various

SHORT CUTS 5: Made in Oregon

Directed by Various

Sponsored by Oregon Film, World Foods Portland, and OMPA

SHORT CUTS 6: Animated Worlds

Directed by Various

LAIKA’s Mark Shapiro attends animation festivals from Annecy to Zagreb and has hand-picked this collection of diverse works that showcase

Sieranevada

Directed by Cristi Puiu

In a labyrinthine Bucharest apartment, a cantankerous extended family has gathered 40 days after its patriarch’s death for a memorial

Soul on a String

Directed by Zhang Yang

After discovering a sacred stone in the mouth of a deer, Taibei, a Tibetan cowboy, embarks on a mission: to

Starless Dreams

Directed by Mehrdad Oskouei

Starless Dreams plunges us into the lives of teenage girls at a juvenile detention center on the of Tehran. The

Staying Vertical

Directed by Alain Guiraudie

Léo, a filmmaker in search of a project, is scouting in the south of France when he is seduced by

Suntan

Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos

Forty-something doctor Kostis arrives for his new posting on the island of Antiparos during the quiet winter months, which suits

Ten Years

Directed by Ng Ka-Leung, Jevons Au, Chow Kwun-Wai, Fei-Pang Wong, Kwok Zune

Despite being branded a “virus of the mind” by China’s state organ Global Times, Ten Years won Best Film at

The Age of Shadows

Directed by Jee-Woon Kim

A cat-and-mouse game unfolds between a group of resistance fighters trying to bring in explosives from Shanghai to destroy key

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Directed by André Øvredal

A father (Brian Cox) and son (Emile Hirsch) coroner team delve into the mystery of a body discovered at a

The Commune

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg

When Eric’s father dies and the grand family house in Copenhagen must be sold, he and his wife Ann, who

The Death of Louis XIV

Directed by Albert Serra

Versailles, August 1715. The Sun King (Jean-Pierre Léaud) feels pain in his leg. Fever erupts, marking the beginning of the

The Distinguished Citizen

Directed by Gastón Duprat, Mariano Cohn

Daniel (Oscar Martinez), a Nobel Prize-winning author, accepts an invitation to visit his hometown in Argentina for the first time

The Dreamed Ones

Directed by Ruth Beckermann

In 1948, Paul Celan, a concentration camp survivor and esteemed post-war poet, met Ingeborg Bachmann, a writer whose father was

The Dreamed Path

Directed by Angela Schanelec

Influenced by the ethos of legendary French director Robert Bresson, The Dreamed Path is a riddle of a film and

The Eyes of My Mother

Directed by Nicolas Pesce

A young girl named Francisca witnesses a terrible act of violence perpetrated by a stranger upon her mother. Years later,

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

Directed by Juho Kuosmanen

Winner of the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and this year’s Finnish Oscar submission, Kuosmanen’s debut

The Human Surge

Directed by Eduardo Williams

Work and leisure—particularly in the “developing” world—has inexorably shifted to a quasi-industrial, quasi-service hellscape where everything is commodified and interpersonal

The Invisible Guest

Directed by Oriol Paulo

As a suspect is prepped for court testimony, the story of the crime, a murder in a hotel room where

The King’s Choice

Directed by Erik Poppe

The King’s Choice looks at a seminal moment in modern Norwegian history: the days in 1940 when King Haakon faced

The Land of the Enlightened

Directed by Pieter-Jan De Pue

Shot over seven years, De Pue’s debut, a hybrid of documentary and fiction, paints a whimsical yet haunting look at

The Long Excuse

Directed by Miwa Nishikawa

Celebrated novelist Tsumura is married to Natsuko, but their passion for each other has long disappeared. When she dies in

The Olive Tree

Directed by Icíar Bollaín

This engaging, warmhearted fable encapsulates the wider story of modern Spain within a very personal narrative. Alma’s family has deep

The Ornithologist

Directed by João Pedro Rodrigues

Winner of the Best Director award at the Locarno Film Festival, Rodrigues’s The Ornithologist follows a man’s journey on a

The Sense of an Ending

Directed by Ritesh Batra

Based on British author Julian Barnes’s Booker-prize winning novel about memory, jealousy, aging, and self-delusion, this film follows Tony (Jim

The Son of Joseph

Directed by Eugène Green

Wry visual humor, playful religious subtext, and a note of farce inform a coming of age story that takes aim

The Stopover

Directed by Delphine Coulin, Muriel Coulin

Aurore and Marine are given three days of “decompression leave” with their unit, among tourists, at a five-star resort in

The Student

Directed by Kirill Serebrennikov

This scathing, pitch-black satire, set in the coastal city of Kaliningrad, follows Veniamin, a high school student who, as a

The Teacher

Directed by Jan Hrebejk

In this intelligent and funny meditation on totalitarianism, the arrival of a new teacher at a Bratislava school in 1983

The Women’s Balcony

Directed by Emil Ben Shimon

Emil Ben Shimon’s feature debut is a comical feminist narrative about finding the right path to happiness and the subjectivity

The World of Us

Directed by Ga-Eun Yoon

At an age when perhaps friends mean more than moms, 10-year-old Sun is an outcast at school. During summer vacation,

Tonio

Directed by Paula van der Oest

Based on the best-selling autobiographical “requiem novel” by one of the country’s most renowned writers, A.F.Th. van der Heijden, this

Train Driver’s Diary

Directed by Milos Radovic

Statistics show that during their professional career, most train drivers will inadvertently kill 20 to 30 people. Their victims are

We Are the Flesh

Directed by Emiliano Rocha Minter

The most transgressive film in this year’s program, Minter’s trance-inducing debut feature concerns a brother and sister drawn into an

Window Horses

Directed by Ann Marie Fleming

Vancouver animator Ann Marie Fleming’s first animated feature is an extraordinary tale of art, history, and family. Rosie (Sandra Oh),

Without Name

Directed by Lorcan Finnegan

Eric, a surveyor by trade, is hired by a corporate developer to assess a large plot of ancient forest. Superstitious

Wùlu

Directed by Daouda Coulibaly

Set in Mali’s capital city of Bamako, Coulibaly’s debut feature offers perspective on the country’s enduring political turmoil. When low-level

Yourself and Yours

Directed by Hong Sang-soo

“Hong Sangsoo boldly and wittily explores the painful caprices of modern romance. Painter Youngsoo hears that his girlfriend, Minjung, has