Later this week, the 38th Annual Portland International Film Festival will be kicking off.

Probably my favorite cinema-related event in Portland, PIFF is a great opportunity for a casual movie-goer to see some stuff they would likely never be exposed to, and for the most avid of film aficionados to check out some of the best films worldwide. This year’s installment includes over 150 films, with 97 features and 60 shorts, with the vast majority of them coming from outside of the United States.

That’s not to say American films aren’t represented at all — Dave LaMattina’s I Am Big Bird, for example is one that caught my eye — however all of the American films are documentary films or involve documentary elements. While that doesn’t necessarily say anything about American filmmaking as a whole (correlation does not imply causation, after all), it’s still an interesting trend to observe.

PIFF runs February 5 – 21, with tickets to a single screening running $12 (slightly less for students, seniors, children, and PAM members), or five films for $50. Below you’ll find trailers as well as links to showtimes and synopses of the five films that look most interesting to me, although I urge you to check out all the films that PIFF 38 has to offer and find your own favorites. Afterwards, you can brag to your friends about how cultured you are.


MR. KAPLAN

dir. Álvaro Brechner (Uruguay)

Showtimes and synopsis


ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL

dir. Pascal Plisson (France)

Showtimes and synopsis


THE FOOL

dir. Yuri Bykov (Russia)

Showtimes and synopsis


THE 100 YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED

dir. Felix Herngren (Sweden)

Showtimes and synopsis


THE GAMBLER

dir. Ignas Jonynas (Lithuania)

Showtimes and synopsis

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