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The 2016 Portland Film Festival announced the winners of this year’s awards, and SOME FREAKS and JACKSON are the big winners. SOME FREAKS by Ian McAllister McDonald won both the Festival’s Narrative Jury Prize and the Audience Award for Feature Narrative; and JACKSON by Maisie Crow won both the Festival’s Documentary Jury Prize and the Audience Award for FeatureDocumentary.

“What a great way to end this year’s Portland Film Festival – by celebrating the films our esteemed jurors and incredible audiences have awarded these talented filmmakers, who represent the best of truly independent filmmaking,” said Josh Leake, Founder and Executive Director of the Portland Film Festival.

The fourth annual Portland Film Festival took place August 29 – September 5, 2016, at Portland’s iconic Laurelhurst Theater, and included over 54 narrative and documentary feature films, 89 short films, over 20 educational panels & forums, 12 archival screenings, and many events & industry networking opportunities.



Feature Documentary: JACKSON by Maisie Crow.
The fight over the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.

Feature Narrative: SOME FREAKS by Ian McAllister McDonald.
SOME FREAKS depicts a sweet yet wounding romance between a one-eyed boy (Thomas Mann) and a large girl (Lily Mae Harrington) who come together from shared experiences as high school outcasts.

Short Film: OUT OF THE VILLAGE by Jonathan Stein.


This year’s Portland Film Festival’s Narrative Jury Prize was selected by a veteran panel of industry members: Leslie Dixon, Miguel Tejada-Flores, Bears Fonte and Ina Pira, and film distribution executive James Shapiro.

Feature Narrative: SOME FREAKS by Ian McAllister, “typifies the excellence and high standards which PDXFF16 embodies: it is an involving story of identity and relationships, an independent film whose seamless storytelling is the result of fine writing, excellent acting, and thoughtful direction. This is the kind of film you don’t forget after seeing it; in a field of deserving candidates, it stands out.”


The Documentary Jury, comprised of journalist Steve Dollar and Gary Walcott and industry veterans Kristy Breneman and Nancy Chang announced the awards below.

Feature Documentary: JACKSON by Maisie Crow, “for an urgently well told exploration of the human sides of the abortion debate.”

Special Jury Prize for Creative Vision: BOONE by Christopher LaMarca, for “for a beautifully realized and immersive observation of Oregon organic farm life, illuminated by captivating se of cinematography and sound.”


This year’s Short Film Jury Prizes were selected by an esteemed panel of industry members: MTV development director Brendan Kennedy, film critic Enid Spitz, Portlandia producer David Cress and actress/Portland SAG AFTRA Board member Skeeter Greene.

Grand Jury Short Award: ARC OF JUSTICE by Mark Lipman & Helen Cogen, “to tell a story that has never been told before, with the depth of historical knowledge and cinematography that gives you visceral feeling of what’s at stake is incredible.”

Special Award for Achievement in Short Film Making: SQUIRREL ISLAND by Astrid Goldsmith, “for a unique world created to tell a complex and recognizable story that can be understood in a new way.”


Director’s Choice Award: THE REMNANT – Karmia Chan Olutade. Awarded by the Executive Director of the Portland Film Festival to the film team that best embodies the creative, independent, and entrepreneurial spirit of the festival, as well as showing exceptional talent as artists.


The Festival awarded their annual award in the screenplay competition to Hannah Johnson for Roadway.

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