The 40th Portland International Film Festival (PIFF XL) will open on Thursday, February 9th and will run through the 25th of the month.
The Opening Night selection is director Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, which focuses on James Baldwin’s final, unfinished novel and is a potent reflection on what it means to be Black in America. The film uses archival footage of the civil rights and Black Power movements to explore the racial violence that continues to permeate American culture.
In addition to the Opening Night film, the Festival will host the Portland premiere of several Oscar-nominated features, including Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea (Italy/France), Martin Zandvliet’s Land of Mine (Denmark/Germany), and Claude Barras’ My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland/France).
As in past years, the Festival features an abundance of short films. This year’s lineup boasts eight discrete short film programs, including one devoted entirely to films made in Oregon, an animated shorts program curated by LAIKA’s Mark Shapiro, two programs exploring innovative experimental short form works, a collection focusing on art and artists, and more. Among the multitude of shorts on offer, the festival is proud to host Theodore Ushev’s Blind Vaysha (Canada) and Andrew Coats’ Borrowed Time (US), both nominees in the Short Film – Animated Oscar category.
Other highlights of PIFF XL include screenings of Olivier Assayas’ (Clouds of Sils Maria) Personal Shopper, Albert Serra’s (Story of My Death) The Death of Louis XIV, Portland-based director Matt McCormick’s (Some Days are Better Than Others) Buzz One Four, Steve James’ (Hoop Dreams) Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Sergei Loznitsa’s (My Joy) Austerlitz, Jee-Woon Kim’s (I Saw the Devil) The Age of Shadows, Oriol Paulo’s (The Body) The Invisible Guest, Bertrand Bonello’s (Saint Laurent) Nocturama, Bill Plympton’s (Cheatin’) Revengeance, Cristian Mungiu’s (Beyond the Hills) Graduation, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s (Tokyo Sonata) Daguerrotype, François Ozon’s (Swimming Pool) Frantz, André Øvredal’s (Troll Hunter) The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Gastón Solnicki’s (Papirosen) Kékszakállú, Andrzej Wajda’s (Ashes and Diamonds) Afterimage, Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon’s (The Fairy) Lost in Paris, Terence Davies’ (Distant Voices, Still Lives) A Quiet Passion, Juho Kuosmanen’s (The Painting Sellers) The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, Xavier Dolan’s (Tom at the Farm) It’s Only the End of the World, Joäo Pedro Rodrigues’ (The Last Time I Saw Macao) The Ornithologist, Alain Gsponer’s (Life Actually) Heidi, and Salomé Lamas’ Eldorado XXI.