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Portland is Growing Film Festival draws big crowd at Kennedy School

Portlanders can now watch more than a dozen movies by local filmmakers about growth and development in Portland

Portland is Growing film festivalOn Wednesday, April 29, 2015, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, in partnership with the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association, hosted the Portland Is Growing Film Festival at McMenamins Kennedy School. A standing-room-only crowd of about 130 people filled the gymnasium, including members of United Neighborhoods for Reform, the Albina neighborhood, and the local filmmaking community.

The event featured films covering a variety of perspectives on growth and development in the city. Through their lenses, filmmakers shared stories about demolition and infill, gentrification and displacement, coal trains, the Memorial Coliseum, bicycling, urban design and more.

Some of the highlights included Ruth Ann Barrett, who created her short video using her iPhone, encouraging the audience to “flex their civic engagement arm, not just their consumer arm.” Rick Potestio’s presentation about focusing growth around parks or “commons” met with some vocal resistance from the audience. Karina Adams’ plea for bird-friendly design was graphically portrayed in the movie she made as a student at Portland State University. And even a 35-year-old Douglas fir tree made compelling viewing as the audience watched it being systematically de-limbed and cut down.

Two films stood out as poignant reminders of how far we’ve come but how much more we need to do to address displacement and gentrification. Future Portland by journalist Ifanyi Bell and Kathleen Holt of Oregon Humanities features slow moving shots of Portland interspersed between interviews with several prominent African Americans living in Portland, who talk about the loss of community and connection when whole swaths of people are displaced. And Richard Wilhelm and Sue Arbuthnot’s digest of their full-length feature film Imagining Home about how Columbia Villa became New Columbia was a touching close to the evening.

If you missed the event or would like to rewatch the videos, visit the film festival page. Then enjoy the work of local filmmakers and hear different stories of Portland’s past, present and future.

REMINDER: Portland is Growing: A Festival of Local Films is this Wednesday, April 29 at the Kennedy School Gymnasium

Join us for an evening of “cinematic discussion” of how Portland is growing. Event starts at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments; movies begin at 7.

Portland is growing in all directions. Come hear different perspectives on growth through the eyes of local filmmakers. Arrive early to chat with friends and colleagues, then watch the movies and participate in a brief question and answer period with the filmmakers. This event is co-hosted by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Portland is Growing: A Festival of Local Films

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
McMenamins Kennedy School Gymnasium
5736 NE 33rd Avenue

This event is an opportunity for community members to share their ideas about how Portland is growing. The videos cover such topics as density near parks, bird-friendly buildings, demolition and infill, gentrification and displacement, bicycling in Portland, the development of New Columbia, growing in Centers and Corridors, and more.

For more information, please call 503-823-7700.  

Lights, camera, action! Final Centers and Corridors video released; more videos solicited for April film festival

Watch the last episode of our video series about centers and corridors, then submit your own story about growth and development in Portland

Over the past few months, we've shared a series of videos about making great places, how Portland is growing and what makes a vibrant, safe and healthy community. These videos were developed to help explain what is at the heart of the city's new Comprehensive Plan: growing in centers and corridors. We're coming to the end of our story now with the fifth and last installment in the series, called A Healthy, Connected Portland.

But growth, however well planned, can result in some growing pains. People are concerned about traffic and parking, new building designs and compatibility, and gentrification and displacement. And some of them have even made movies about their issues and wishes for the future of Portland. 

So we're putting on a film festival to showcase all the ideas and feelings out there in the community about how Portland is growing and changing. 

Call for film festival submissions

Have you made a movie about Portland recently? Would you like to share it with the greater community? Here's your chance to shine!

Portland is Growing: A Festival of Local Films
Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 6:30 - 9 p.m.
McMenemin's Kennedy School Gymnasium
5736 NE 33rd Ave
Light refreshments served; movies begin at 7 p.m.

This will be a fun and lively event with local film makers, neighborhood activists, city planners and Portland celebrities. Submit your film with a link to bps@portlandoregon.gov by Monday, April 20. Please include the following in your email submission:

  • A link to a YouTube or Vimeo page (or similar web hosting site)
  • Title
  • Subject
  • Reason for making the film (what story are you trying to tell?)
  • Director, producer, writer, etc.
  • Date of publication or release
  • Name of submitting organization or individual
  • Contact information

Entries will be selected to ensure a broad range of topics and perspectives are covered. We'll let you know if your film will be included in the festival by April 22. Then get ready for Portland's homegrown Academy Awards! Your film or others', Portland is Growing: A Film Festival promises to be star studded.

And to see the entire Centers and Corridors video playlist, please visit our Centers and Corridors page.