Princess of the Row was named Best Narrative Feature and Fire on the Hill took home Best Documentary Feature at the 8th Annual Portland Film Festival. Princess of the Row is director Max Carlson’s inspiring tale of a runaway foster child who will stop at nothing to get back to the only family she knows: her homeless, mentally ill veteran father who lives on the streets of LA’s skid row.
Director Brett Fallentine’s Fire on the Hill paints a vivid portrait of the little-known urban cowboy community in South Central L.A. This genre-bending documentary combines the iconography of the American film western with South Central’s urban landscape to depict Los Angeles like it has never been seen before.
Gavin Michael Booth took the inaugural Best Director prize for his feature, Last Call, the gripping story of a wrong number with life-saving implications, shot in innovative split-screen and played out in real time.
Best Short was awarded to Jane. Written, directed and produced by Kathryn Prescott (Skins), Jane is the story a young woman suffering from heroin addiction who receives an invite to her estranged 4-year-old daughter’s birthday party.
Audience Award Winners included: The First and the Last Time, an Austrian documentary about supermarket apprentices whose unusual training project is a performance of Romeo and Juliet; Ashes to Ashes, a documentary short about the only living survivor of a lynching; and Colour Code, a music video from prolific TV actress Maria Doyle Kennedy (Outlander, Downton Abbey) that places her real-life daughter inside a personal narrative about keeping her kids safe in a world where the color of their skin could be a trigger for sudden violence.
The Portland Film Festival created two new awards for 2019, Best New Director and Best Midnight Feature. Eugene, Ore.-born Tim True won the inaugural Best New Director prize for his feature, Here Awhile. Shot in Portland and tapped as the Festival’s Closing Night film, it’s the story of a terminally ill woman who returns to Oregon to reconnect with her estranged brother while simultaneously making the heart-wrenching choice to end her life under the Death with Dignity Act. Best Midnight Feature went to Crack House of the Dead, director Jason Toler’s retro genre romp about a group of misfits who hunker down in a crack house to survive an onslaught from rampaging zombies.
2019 Portland Film Festival Awards
Best Narrative Feature
Princess of the Row
Best Documentary Feature
Fire on the Hill
Gavin Michael Booth, Last Call
The First and the Last Time
Ashes to Ashes
Best New Director
Best Midnight Feature
Crack House of the Dead