Skip to content

At the Northwest Film Center, we are reimagining what could be—both because of the changes to our world and in spite of them. We are reimagining cinematic storytelling, how stories are told, by whom and for whom. Rather than waiting for “normal” to return, the Film Center is reimagining a future filled with creative synergy, sustainability, and surprise.

What does that future look like?

  • Innovative venues. With the Whitsell Auditorium closed indefinitely, we built out a Drive-In with our partners at Zidell Yards. Result: 20 sold-out showings for our community!
  • Imagine a new storytelling reality. The Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum became the sole U.S. partner of the Venice Biennale’s VR Expanded program. Result: Portland audiences are the first in the world to experience cutting-edge virtual reality work from artists all over the world.
  • Supporting community.  In conjunction with the Museum, we launched an artist relief fund for makers in need—including film and new media artists. Result: $100,000 awarded in Phase One, and more in Phase Two.
  • Greater access to virtual programming. We’ve strengthened our relationships with distributors and filmmakers as well as offered curated content to our community.  Result: More diverse films, series, and programs from more makers to present to our audiences.
  • New connections. We hosted more than 20 virtual happy hour discussions with national and regional arts leaders—which connected media makers, funders, board members and industry stalwarts trying to navigate what comes next. Result: We’re part of the conversations about the future of film and visual storytelling.
  • New audiences. We’re seeing new faces at our events and introducing NWFC to people we have not hosted before. That’s not only exciting, it’s expansive. Result: Approximately 80 percent of our Drive-In shows and 40 percent of 2020 PIFF attendees are new to us!

All to say, despite COVID and theater closures and crowd restrictions, we’ve been doing our best to find a new way of seeing what is possible and look forward to seeing what’s possible. Our city, state, region, and nation are changing. We intend to be part of that change. Join us.

Ways to join

Join Online

  • By phone at 503-276-4246
  • By mail using the printer friendly order form. Mail to Northwest Film Center, 1219 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205


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.