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Spotlight on Amanda Needham, Emmy-winning costume designer; Portlandia, Shrill

One month ago, the world was different. We were different. But even in this new reality, NWFC remains committed championing storytellers who are helpers, artists who dare to try new things, and innovators who find ways to transform and shape the future in ways big and small.

On the eve of the 43rd Portland International Film Festival just one month ago, we started a new tradition of honoring those who open our eyes to new ways of seeing during times of change — folks who defy expectation and transform the world with their talents and generosity. In this ongoing series, we’ll introduce you this year’s 2020 Cinema Unbound honoree as well as shine a light on new heroes we’re seeing emerge in real time.

Because we need them, their ideas, and their future-forward thinking to inspire us now more than ever.

Amanda Needham makes folks look good on screen. Like really good. And it has not gone unnoticed—she’s a two-time Emmy Award-winning Costume Designer. She has a way of putting characters in clothing that so completely suits them and brings them to life—that her costumes become fashion trends and fodder for the media.

Amanda managed to grow her career, finish Portlandia, style Baskets AND Shrill while giving birth to two little girls back to back—and folks, that is some straight up badassery right there. She is admired and beloved on every set that’s lucky enough to get her talent on board.

She’s honored in this moment because day by day, stitch by stitch, she reshapes the mold of what’s possible in fashion. She uses her vast skills to flip the script by putting all kinds of bodies in gorgeous fashion that stares down the validity of limiting cultural norms (that cannot die quickly enough) about who can wear what and when—and she makes sure they look as damn good as they please doing it.

Her work has helped to legitimize and make the Portland design community look good. We’re thankful that she is using her talents right here, right now, to do good too.

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.