PDX Index

The Portland International Film Festival, by the Numbers

Our 42-year-old celebration of cinema is back March 7–21. Here's how it stacks up.

By Allison Place February 26, 2019 Published in the March 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

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


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


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


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


Expected number of 2019 attendees


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


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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