Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Portland certainly has no shortage of film festivals going on throughout the year.  Blink and you've probably missed a few already.  What our town doesn't have many of, however, is an influx of traveling festivals, curated omnibuses of cinematic goodness brought to our fair city from without.  Enter HDFest, a "digital cinema festival" that's crawled all over the globe since its inception some twelve years back.

To quote the statement of purpose from HDFest webpage:

Since 2000, HDFEST has known that high-def and digital cinema are the future of the entertainment industry. Since that time, the festival has been at the heart and core of this revolution. HDFEST has been responsible for numerous historic digital cinema landmark events and technological firsts. Since HDFEST's inception, there have been 23 HDFEST events in 10 cities including LA, NYC, London, Helsinki, Seoul, South Korea and Sydney, Australia.

A still from Leh Wi Tok (Let Us Talk)

Well, add Portland to the above list, as HDFest kicks off this year's series in Portland tonight (5/15) at Living Room Theaters.  Over the course of three nights, the festival will host multiple features, including Amy Alyson Fans, DisCONNECTED and Light of Mine (directed by Portland native, Brett Eichenberger).  HDFest also has several themed showcases in store for PDX audiences: "romantic relationships & intrigue," hd indie shorts, gay-themed shorts, etc.

A still from Two Boys

Of the films that I was able to preview, I most admired fun and playful animated piece, Place Stamp Here.  But I was also taken by the honesty and simplicity of Two Boys, a no-nonsense look at loss that overcomes its lack of visual flair via a commitment to emotional truths.  Le Wi Tok (Let Us Talk), focusing on the healing process in the aftermath of war, was, likewise, gripping to encounter.

A still from Place Stamp Here

HDFest opens tonight, Tuesday, May 15th, at Living Room Theaters.  More info about the festival available here.

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