Last year we had an amazing turnout for the world premiere of our opening night film “Sex Ed,” a comedy starring Haley Joel Osment, Abby Elliott and Chris Williams. The cast and crew came up with screenwriter Bill Kennedy, who also writes for House of Cards. Having the likes of Eli Roth and Justin Long in the audience made it all the more special. “Sex Ed” won’t the Best Narrative Feature Jury Award, got distribution and a theatrical run. You can now watch it on VOD and iTunes. They also got a lot of national press from our event in addition to being featured on two of Doug Benson’s podcast “Doug Loves Movies.” For us, connecting the filmmakers and their films to the audience is the primary goal. We work with all the directors to help get their film the maximum exposure possible.
Reviewing submissions is one of the perks of the job. We have a huge team that watches every selection. Each film is watched by at least three different people to insure it’s inclusion. Unlike other festivals that primarily curate films, the majority of our selections are are based on filmmaker submissions. The first thing we consider is the film’s category and where it would fit into our program. After that we sit back and emerse ourselves in the director’s world and let the story work it’s magic–or not. We always pray for good sound that doesn’t take us out of it.
Themes are usually organically found during submissions. Any film with a strong story and clear execution is a contender, and we will work to find a place for it.That’s why we brand ourselves as “The Storytellers’ Festival & Conference.” Once you’re here, we have over six classes a day to help you learn, develop and share your storytelling and filmmaking skills. We feature visiting directors and writers on panels and in workshops. In the past we’ve had an emphasis on relationship themes, social activism, quirky humor, science fiction and history—and I think we will always be interested in those type of stories, but we are always open to discovering something outside of the box.
Make the film that you believe in to the best of your ability. And send it to us.
More is more. Less is less. We like to learn about you, in addition to the basics of contact, content and social media presence. The more you give us, the more we can get to know you as a filmmaker and share your vision with our audiences.
Who’s been/screened films at the festival?
Past attendees and alumni include Eli Roth, Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Abby Elliott, Chris Williams, Chuck Palahniuk, Jason Mamoa, Doug Benson, Wendy Froud, Brian Froud, Toby Froud, Penny Lane, Chelsea Cain, Daniel Wilson, Chelsey Reist, Isaac Feder, James Franco, Lorenza Izzo, Matt Walsh, Susan Sarandon, Michael Tully, Ryan Murdock, Kelly Reichardt, Kris Kaczor, Bryan Storkel, Leah Warshawski, Daryl Hannah, Vivian Norris, Karney Hatch, Jon Matthews, Dana Nachman, Mitchell Jackson, John Jeffcoat, Shawn Telford, Leah Meyerhoff, Mark Raso, David Zellner, Bradley King and more.
When is the festival held? And can we come?
The festival will be held September 1-7, 2015. Please join us! We’re always excited to host filmmakers from around the world. We love Portland and hope you will too!
What submission platforms do you accept?
What are your deadlines?
- Late Deadline – May 6, 2015
- Extended Deadline – May 15, 2015
- Final – May 22, 2015