Portland Film Festivals | The official guide to Portland

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Check out our guide to the best movie events in town.


2 minutes to read

Portland hosts over 20 film festivals each year. Here’s a look at some of the best movie events in town.

Know before you go

To slow the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, as of August 27, a statewide mask warrant is in place. Oregon residents and visitors ages 5 and older are required to wear face coverings in all indoor public places, as well as in crowded outdoor public spaces where physical distancing is not possible, regardless of whether or the vaccination status. This rule does not apply to people who actively eat or drink.

Additionally, some event and venue planners may require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for admission. Other events can be canceled, postponed or held virtually. Please check each event’s websites for the most recent information.

Reel Music Film Festival

(January)

Reel Music Film Festival, the Northwest Film Center’s celebration of music on film, offers music lovers some of music’s most intriguing artists (both famous and little-known) delivering a cinematic take on the sounds, roots and personalities from bossa nova to independent rock. Live music is scattered throughout the Reel Music Festival in various venues.

Portland International Film Festival (PIFF)

(February)

Founded in 1977, the Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) now attracts an audience of over 35,000 attendees, making it Oregon’s largest film event. More than 100 films, including international feature films and short films, are previewed each year at the largest festival presented by the Northwest Film Center.

Filmed by bike

(May)

In a city that loves biking almost as much as it loves movies, it’s only natural that there is a festival celebrating both. Filmed by bike is a two-day festival at Hollywood theater screening of independent short films on the theme of cycling from around the world. In total, around thirty films, all of less than eight minutes, celebrate the culture of cycling.

Portland’s cycling culture reaches its peak during the multi-week Pedalpalooza Summer, with over 200 locally-led themed rides, all open to the public.

QDoc: Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival

(May)

QDoc is the first festival of its kind in the United States, and only the second in the world devoted exclusively to documentaries with queer content. QDoc aims to address fundamental questions of queer identity in politics, history, culture, family, aging and coming out issues, queer diversity, gender identity, and sexuality. Film screening at Hollywood theater.

From top to bottom: cinema on the roof

(July August)

Each summer, the Northwest Film Center presents From top to bottom: cinema on the roof, a series of open-air projections on the panoramic roof of a Portland State University (PSU) parking garage. More than just movies, these parties in the sky feature live music, tasty food and drink, and spectacular city views. Films featured include cult classics and lesser-known B-movies, light meals perfect for summer.

Brick Films

(July August)

Gather the family and head to Pioneer courthouse square for free movies and popcorn under the stars on Portland’s “biggest outdoor screen”. Brick Films take place every year on five consecutive Friday evenings, from mid-July to mid-August.

Cycling across bridges and cheering on the soapbox runners are two of Portland’s many big August events.

Portland Women’s Film Festival (POWfest)

(September)

The Portland, Oregon Women’s Film Festival focuses on the art and cinematic contribution of women filmmakers around the world. Spanning four days, the program of events includes an exhibition of films made by women, animated filmmaker panels and filmmaker workshops.

Portland Gay Film Festival

(September)

The Portland Gay Film Festival annually presents feature films, documentaries and short films from around the world directed by, about or of interest to the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community. The films are screened at Cinema 21 in Northwest Portland.

Portland Film Festival

(OctoberNovember)

The Portland Film Festival brings together a wide variety of independent voices on a single stage. In 2021, the festival will virtually screen more than 150 films from around the world, while offering limited screening capsules for in-person viewing.

Cinephiles line up for a screening at the Portland Queer Film Festival

Portland Gay Film Festival

The Portland Queer Film Festival returns each fall with an annual showcase of narrative and documentary films from around the world.

woman holding a pink painted model camera

Prisoner of war film festival

Each March, the POW Film Fest returns to showcase films by non-binary Portland-area directors, inviting attendees to experience cinema designed by seasoned and up-and-coming filmmakers.

a performer on stage

Time Based Art Festival (TBA)

Portland Time Based Art Festival (TBA), returning September 16 through October 16. 3, 2021, brings together visual artists, musicians and performers from around the world every year.

Quality Ski Time Film Tour presented by Salomon

Friday, October 22, 2021

Quality Ski Time Film Tour presented by Salomon

Aladdin Theater
$ 15.00

Introducing the premiere of the Quality Ski Time Film Tour presented by Salomon to delight you for the ski season. Along with a lineup of some of the year’s biggest ski movies, there will be athlete poster autographs and plenty of gear giveaways from OnX Backcountry, Athletic Brewing, YETI and more. sponsors, including …

Nordic-style foul play: Scandinavian detective stories

26 Oct – Dec 14, 2021

Nordic-style foul play: Scandinavian detective stories

Nordia House
General admission $ 150 | Nordic Northwest Members $ 100

Join us for an eight week workshop focusing on Nordic detective films and novels. Tom Birnie, Professor of Scandinavian Studies at Portland State University, is back to lead this one-of-a-kind course, in which we’ll discover, discuss and savor several films and books from the northernmost parts of Europe. Detective novels and Nordic films have …

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
$ 35 – $ 145 + VIP packages

Live Time Bubble Tour THE SHOW After the resounding success “Watch out for snakes!” Tour ”in 2017, the“ 30th Anniversary Tour ”in 2018 and“ The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour ”in 2019, Mystery Science Theater 3000 LIVE is launching the next all-new production to hit the road. Join host Emily Connor (Emily Marsh) and the…


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