The 2005 Portland Documentary and eXperimental Film Festival has come and gone and proven to be our biggest and most successful fest to da. A huge amount of thanks has to go out to all the artists, organizations, volunteers, spectators, and sponsors who came together to make it all possible. The festival ran for 5 days, with a total of 15 programs that included 8 feature films and 81 shorts, and the archived schedule will remain on our website at www.peripheralproduce.com.
One obvious highlight of the festival was the homecoming of Miranda July and the Portland premiere of her new feature film “Me and You and Everyone We Know.” Miranda introduced the film, and said she felt that showing it in Portland was the final step in the over-all process of making the film, and that she could now consider it a finished project. The capacity audience was happy to be part of this closure, and it was a wonderfully fitting event for the closing night of the festival. We were also bowled over by Garrett Scott, who came to town to show his new documentary Occupation: Dreamland, as well as his 2002 film Cul De Sac. With both these films, it’s clear that Garrett is becoming one of the important documentary filmmakers of our time, and it was fascinating to have him hear to offer his insights and recollections. We must also make note of the incredible collaboration that happened between Portland noise rockers Jackie-O-Mother-Fucker and Detroit video artist David Dinnell, who created a spacious and beautiful audio-visual landscape at our opening night party. Other noted visitors included David Gatten and Deborah Stratman who were both presenting their new films The Great Art of Knowing and The Kings of the Sky, as well as Roger Beebe, Bryan Boyce, Eric Ostrowski, and Cassandra C. Jones, who were the non-Portlanders competing in the Invitational.
Speaking of the Invitational, the winner is...
History was made as Vladimir became the first ever Back-to-Back winner of the Peripheral Produce Invitational. In similar fashion to last year, Vladimir showed up to the theatre with her 400 view-masters in tow, distributed them amongst the capacity crowd, and conducted her signature “communal view-master experience” with Vladmaster disks that she photographed, cut-out, and glued together.
The Invitational, for those who aren’t in the know, is Peripheral Produce’s annual rock-em-sock-em film showdown that is often considered the World Championship of experimental cinema. The qualifying artists are selected up to a year before the event and invited to make a new project and compete in the event. Some artists complete their films months in advance, while others cloak themselves in mystery and work on their piece right until the final moment. All the competing artists must be in attendance, and the event’s organizers often haven’t seen the work until the night of the event. The Invitational is also one of the hottest tickets in town, with audiences consistently packing 400+ seat theatres, and bingo is played during the evening’s format changes. The Invitational has proven to be the perfect platform for non-conventional film presentation such as Vladimir’s view-masters; PPI 2001 featured Craig Baldwin and Bill Daniel simultaneously running twelve 16mm film projectors in a live found footage remix. 2001 also featured an Animal Charm live video mix as well as Melinda Stone and Kate Haug incorporating the audience to supply the soundtrack for their film. The 2002 Invitational featured Sandra Gibson and Louis Recoder incorporating 35mm and 16mm projectors as well as a music + projector performance by the Distance Formula. In 2004, Reed Harkness shot his Super 8 film at the theatre as the audience was arriving, and then quickly processed the film in the men’s restroom and projected it in the second half of the show, and in ’05 Eric Ostrowski taped film to the sidewalk in front of the theatre for days leading up to the event, and then spliced it together and projected it with an accompanying live soundtrack.