PDX Fest 2008 was one serious blast! With non-stop events throughout the five-days of the festival, this year’s PDX Fest packed a serious punch! This year we hosted over 20 events at three venues making this the biggest PDX Fest EVER! Over 60 of the 95 artists featured in this year’s festival made their way to the festivities creating an exciting impromptu community of filmmakers and film lovers, all eager to dive into the week’s surprises.
The festival kicked things off with Matt Wolf’s gorgeous documentary, Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, where an eager crowd of Russell fans enthusiastically welcomed Matt and his beautiful film to Portland. Other big NW premieres included Linas Phillips beautiful portrait of ten homeless people in Seattle, Great Speeches from a Dying World, as well as Craig Baldwin’s brand spanking new feature Mock Up on Mu presented by the maestro himself!
Featured guests Travis Wilkerson and Shana Moulton wowed the PDX crowds with their stunningly unique work. Travis did a special presentation of his multi-media performance, Proving Ground, as well as a special screening of two of his earlier documentary pieces – An Injury to One and Superior Elegy. Shana brought the crowd to their feet with a whirlwind program of her Whispering Pines videos including two super special live performances. Sam Green also came to town to give us a sneak peak into his upcoming feature documentary The Universal Language via a special PowerPoint presentation and Ben Russell and Brigid McCaffery premiered their gorgeous experimental documentary Tjuba Ten, shot in a small village in Suriname.
PDX Fest ushered in a new tradition with our first ever Experimental Filmmaker Karaoke Throwdown, featuring homemade karaoke videos by a handful of our favorite filmmakers. The enthusiastic crowd belted out the karaoke hits all night long, including some jaw-dropping performances (Tara Jane O’Neil singing to Zak Margolis’ Xanadu video was just one highlight of the evening), making this one unforgettable night! Look for its return next year!
Then of course there was the 7th annual Peripheral Produce Invitational, where everyone’s favorite 92-year-old filmmaker, George Andrus appeared to defend his title as World Champion of Experimental Film against a rowdy pack of challengers. George premiered his brand new video, Good Times in Nature, alongside new work from his competitors, including Shana Moulton, Michael Robinson, Roger Beebe, and Bryan Boyce. New records were set as Zak Margolis arrived just as the show was starting with his hot-off-the-press video and Jeremy Rossen and JP Jenkins upped the ante with a five projector performance featuring a live soundtrack PLUS a smoke machine (an invitational first!). But as the smoke cleared, Orland Nutt walked away as the new World Champ with his beautifully strange video The Trinity of Three Dragons.
This was hands down one of the most fun PDX Fests EVER! Thanks to everyone who helped make this year such a blast. We can’t wait until next year! See you then! XOXO