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Directed by Todd Rohal, Megan Griffiths, Justin Zimmerman

Washington, Oregon, Texas 2017 120 mins.

After winning the Special Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival for his surreal mystery The Guatemalan Handshake (2006), director Todd Rohal buried the film in the New Mexico desert in despair over not being able to find distribution. One of the film’s producers was Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths, who also co-produced Rohal’s Sundance-winning short Rat Pack Rat (2014) with Justin Zimmerman. In 2017, Zimmerman discovered the only remaining 35mm print of The Guatemalan Handshake in the basement of a theater in Los Angeles, ready for fresh reappraisal. Tonight’s screening of these two award-winning films is also the opportunity for a conversation about what it means to have reached a certain moment and then watch things crash and burn before rising again to grow even stronger. Rohal, Griffiths, and Zimmerman still work together and will be on hand to discuss their films and experiences and the hard road of the independent filmmaker.

Genres: Narrative



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.