Swedish comedy Amateurs, PIFF 2019’s opening-night film

Image: Courtesy PIFF

“We’ve worked hard to be able to bring great contemporary world cinema to Portland, [films] the city’s residents would otherwise likely never encounter. A substantial number of the films we invite will likely be unable to secure a distribution deal in the US, thus likely never appearing in local first-run theaters, on home video, or on any streaming platform.” —Morgen Ruff, lead programmer

1977

Year the festival was founded by Bill Foster, who ran the NW Film Center until his retirement last May, and Randy Finley, founder of what is now the West End Ballroom

59

Number of countries represented on screen this year, including the Republic of Macedonia, Qatar, and Ecuador

4,200

Titles screened in total since the festival began, including works in Hungarian, Tagalog, and Bengali

38,000

Expected number of 2019 attendees

500

Number of volunteers who check coats, usher, and run the festival behind-the-scenes

15

Number of days PIFF runs in five venues across Portland

1.5 hours

Length of dinner break thoughtfully offered to PIFF attendees in 1980 about three hours into Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s seven-hour epic, Our Hitler: A Film from Germany

F for Fake

Orson Welles’s last completed film and the first movie shown at PIFF. Longtime Oregonian critic Ted Mahar panned it, saying, “This film is rated R—for rip-off.”

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