Awards Announced for 2017 Portland Film Festival
The 5th Annual Portland Film Festival announced the feature film and short film recipients of this year’s awards in the Audience, Grand Jury and Director’s Choice. Juries of leading industry experts and esteemed filmmakers determined Jury Awards for Feature Narrative, Feature Documentary, and Short Film categories.
“This year’s films were a huge success with audiences. We had larger crowds, more Q&A’s and more directors in attendance than ever before,” said Josh Leake, Founder and Executive Director of the Portland Film Festival.
The fifth annual Portland Film Festival took place October 30 – November 5, 2017, at Portland’s iconic Laurelhurst Theater, and included over 152 narrative and documentary films, educational panels & forums, and many events & industry networking opportunities.
Feature Narrative: D-LOVE by Elena Beuca (pictured below).
Feature Documentary: KIM SWIMS by Katie Webber.
Short Film: MIXTAPE MARAUDER by Peter Edlund.
GRAND JURY AWARDS – NARRATIVE
This year’s Portland Film Festival’s Narrative Jury Prize was selected by a veteran panel of industry members: Erik Davis, Aisha Tyler, Adam Mirels and Shellea Allen.
Feature Narrative: THE VALLEY by Saila Kariat, “Never pat or glib, THE VALLEY deals with the vacuum created in a family by suicide, and the mark that it leaves on the souls of the living. Evocative and gripping, this film stays with you long after you’ve watched it.”
Special Jury Prize for Narrative Filmmaking: WE WERE ISLANDS by Amrita Pradhan, “Assured, experimental, and brave, WE WERE ISLANDS bursts with a picaresque playfulness reminiscent of a young Wes Anderson. It has a sweet intimacy that never feels forced, with fantasy sequences that are at once melancholy and delightful.”
Special Jury Prize for Narrative Filmmaking: THIRSTY by Margo Pelletier, “Telling a story we rarely ever see and telling it in an inventive way with memorable music and authentic performances.”
GRAND JURY AWARDS – DOCUMENTARY
The Documentary Jury-comprised of Angela Catalano, Matt Chandler, Angela Long and Joshua A. Foster.
Feature Documentary: ON A KNIFE EDGE by Jeremy Williams, “ON A KNIFE EDGE took us into the life of the Dull Knives of Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This heartfelt story shows us the often overlooked daily struggles of life on the reservation. The pride and guilt that burden the Lakota to stand their ground while fighting for survival was felt as a viewer in a unique and compelling way.
Special Jury Prize for Artistic Vision: OUT OF STATE by Ciara Lacy, “The opening shot of OUT OF STATE captivated our jury, demonstrating a keen eye for the complex beauty of the subjects and their culture. This vision continued to move us throughout the entirety of the film.”
GRAND JURY AWARDS – SHORT FILMS
This year’s Short Film Jury Prizes were selected by an esteemed panel of industry members: Shante Durham, Matt Coatsworth, Miguel Tejada-Flores and Christopher McDonald.
Grand Jury Short Award: BUNNY/BUNNY by Sarah Katarina Burke, “for a beautifully shot and sensitively acted complex human story which interweaves the stories of three young children whose traumas, hopes and dreams intersect in surprising and emotionally poignant fashion.”
Special Mention Award: DEAR DEATH by Kate Isenberg, “for exceptional visual quality and storytelling excellence.”
Director’s Choice Award: CRASH PAD by Kevin Tent (pictured below). Awarded by the Executive Director of the Portland Film Festival, “for the film team that best embodies the creative, independent, and entrepreneurial spirit of the festival, as well as showing exceptional talent as artists.”
Established in 2013, the Portland Film Festival is Oregon’s largest film festival, and was named “one of the coolest film festivals in the world,” by MovieMaker Magazine in 2014. It is a non-profit, year round organization dedicated to nurturing filmmakers and audiences, and to celebrating the power of a good story. The festival focuses on the people, ideas, technology, skills and artistry behind filmmaking, and provides both entertaining and educational opportunities for the public.
Although the festival began in 2013, its history goes back to 2009, when the Portland Film Club was founded as a film club to bring film lovers together to view and discuss films. The club now boasts over 3500 members and is one of the largest movie clubs on the west coast. It screens typically one movie a week including new and independent features.