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Spotlight on Todd Haynes, Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning writer and director; Carol, Far from Heaven, Mildred Pierce


One month ago, the world was different. We were different. But even in this new reality, the Northwest Film Center 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 honorees, 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.



When Todd Haynes premiered Safe in 1995, he could have never foretold the moment in time we find ourselves in today. While the film was firmly set in 1987, the New York Times notoriously gaffed as a film “set in the future.”

And that’s where Todd Haynes lives—both of the now and of the past. His body of work, which treads the line between experimental and extraordinarily clear, creates expectations for the audience to move beyond the conventional and look deeply at gender, identity, and the world around them.

We were honored to have Todd join us as one of NWFC’s Cinema Unbound honorees and offer this further reflection on the 25th anniversary of Safe in this time both wholly unique and full of influence by the crises of our past.



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.