NOT TOO LONG AGO, say Hannah Piper Burns and Ben Popp—two of the organizers of the first-ever Experimental Film Festival Portland—Portland was a major hub for experimental film.
That clout was largely due to the Portland Documentary and Experimental Film Festival (PDX Fest), until organizers announced the fest's hiatus in 2009.
EFF Portland was designed by Popp, Burns, and Dustin Zemel to reignite the torch. "We want Portland to be a destination for experimental media, and we want the experimental media community here to have a flashpoint," says Burns.
The fest features 85 films by creators both international and local. In addition to screenings around the city, there will be performance and installation works, afterparties, and meet and greets.
The hard opening on Tuesday, May 22, at galleryHOMELAND, Rumblings, will find film interfacing with contemporary art and performance. Look for installations by Kelly Rauer, Ajna Lichau, and more, plus techno-freakout performances by Future Death Toll and Weird Fiction.
"Eruption," the first evening of screenings at Studio Two, sounds something like accessibility night—designed to ramp up people's energy for the rest of the fest. "Mycology" features "mind-melting weirdness" like David Finkelstein's "Epistolary Fusillades," which brings together Tim and Eric-esque animations and live actors. "The Far Side" is an international showcase; "The Near Side," local; "The Upper Crust" is a best-of program, while "Magma Flow" is described by Burns as "a bit darker and more challenging" and includes a 3D, 16mm piece by Charlotte Taylor.
Aside from screenings and installations, the afterparties at Boom Bap! promise "funny, porny, and awesome" off-program films, "conversational karaoke" by Jesse Malmed, free beer, and some surprises.
Burns says EFF Portland will serve up "films you would never see anywhere else"—films that have been carefully considered and filtered. It's a lens well worth looking through.