The Portland International Film Festival (PIFF 41) has revealed the lineup for this year’s 41st edition of the Festival, which begins on Thursday, February 15th and runs through Thursday, March 1st. The Opening Night selection is the new comedy The Death of Stalin from writer/director Armando Iannucci (Veep, In the Loop). The film, adapted from the graphic novel by Fabien Nury, stars Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Jason Isaacs, and Michael Palin.
In addition to the Opening Night film, the Festival will host the Portland premiere of a handful of Oscar-nominated films, including Ildikó Enyedi’s On Body and Soul (Hungary), nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Laura Checkoway’s Edith & Eddie (United States), which is in competition for the Best Documentary (Short Subject) Oscar, and Reed Van Dyk’s Dekalb Elementary (United States), nominated for the Best Short Film (Live Action) Academy Award.
Also present in the lineup are multiple Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award submissions, including Tatiana Huezo’s Tempestad (Mexico), Jonas Carpignano’s A Ciambra (Italy), Deepak Rauniyar’s White Sun (Nepal), Ryôta Nakano’s Her Love Boils Bathwater (Japan), Lucrecia Martel’s Zama (Argentina), Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s Under the Tree (Iceland), and many others. Submissions for the Best Animated Feature Film Academy Award in the festival include Kenji Kamayama’s Napping Princess (Japan), Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero’s Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Spain), and Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert’s The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales (France).
As in past years, the Festival features an abundance of short films. This year’s lineup boasts eight discrete short film programs, including two blocks devoted entirely to films made in Oregon, an animated shorts program, a collection exploring innovative experimental short form works, and a program of short films by Charlie Chaplin featuring live musical accompaniment by silent film composer and pianist Robert Israel. Israel has performed solo, and with orchestras, worldwide, in addition to past performances at the festival.
Other highlights of PIFF 41 include screenings of Andrew Haigh’s (45 Years) Lean on Pete, Morgan Neville’s (20 Feet from Stardom) Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Valeska Grisebach’s (Longing) Western, Portland-based director Sky Fitzgerald’s (50 Feet from Syria) 101 Seconds, the late Abbas Kiarostami’s (A Taste of Cherry) final film 24 Frames, Thomas Riedelsheimer’s (Rivers and Tides) Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy, Joseph Kahn’s (Detention) Bodied, Xuan Liang and Chun Zhan’s animated debut Big Fish & Begonia, Sergei Loznitsa’s (My Joy) A Gentle Creature, former Portlander Aaron Katz’ (Cold Weather) Gemini, a trio of features (Claire’s Camera, The Day After, and On the Beach At Night Alone) from South Korean director Hong Sang-Soo (The Day He Arrives), Christina Costantini and Darren Foster’s documentary debut Science Fair, Michael Matthew’s debut feature Five Fingers for Marseilles, Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki’s (People’s Park) El Mar La Mar, Rungaro Nyoni’s debut feature I Am Not a Witch, Ben Russell’s (A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness) Good Luck, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s (Spring) The Endless, Neïl Beloufa’s (Tonight and the People) Occidental, Samuel Maoz’ (Lebanon) Foxtrot, Warwick Thornton’s (Samson & Delilah) Sweet Country, Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s (Amer) Let the Corpses Tan, Milad Alami’s (Nordic Factory) The Charmer, Cory Finley’s feature debut Thoroughbreds, and many others.