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10 Must See Films At The Portland Film Festival

CqaCeWCVMAAZDEpThis weekend, the Portland Film Festival is in full force and I wish I were there.

In addition to the festival programming the show has both Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke) and William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run) in attendance as well as screenings of such beloved films as Aliens, Blue Velvet , The Fly, The Man Who Fell To Earth, My Own Private Idaho , Stand By Me and Short Circuit.

Here are the 10 films that I wouldn’t miss.

1. The Middle Man

Director: Ned Crowley
Cast: Jim O’Heir (Parks & Rec), Andrew J. West (The Walking Dead)

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Lenny Freeman’s dream of being a famous comedian is about to become a nightmare. Not only is he stuck in a dead end accounting job, Lenny has a bigger problem — Lenny is not funny. When his mother suddenly dies, he quits his job and heads to Vegas in search of fame. But along the way, a mysterious hitchhiker lures him into a desert-town killing spree with dark and twisted result – as the bodies pile up, Lenny actually becomes funnier and funnier.


2. Wizard Mode

Wizard Mode Still 1 - Courtesy of Portland Film Festival

Directors: Nathan Drillot & Jeff Lee Petry

In the game of pinball, there is no bigger accomplishment than flipping your machine into ‘wizard mode’. And of all the pinball players in the world, there’s nobody more dedicated to unlocking ‘wizard mode’ than Robert Emilio Gagno, who also happens to be an autistic savant whose parents just want him to get a job.


3.  Neil Stryker & the Tyrant of Time

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Director: Rob Taylor
Cast: David Ogden Stiers, Rob Taylor, Nic Costa

The greatest secret agent must race through time to rescue his son from the clutches of his infamous former mentor.


4.  6 Love Stories 

Copy of Beth Grant and Stephen Tobolowsky in 6 Love Stories

Director: Michael Dunaway
Cast: Ashley Williams, Ross Patridge, Carrie Preston, Matthew Lillard, Stephen Tobolowsky

Six locations. Six couples. Six conversations. This ensemble drama explores the many facets of love from six unique perspectives, sometimes finding laughter, sometimes finding tears, but always finding truth.


5. Spaghettiman

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Director: Mark Potts
Cast: Ben Crutcher, Winston Carter, Brand Rackley

After gaining powers from radioactive spaghetti, Clark Kant learns that with great power comes great opportunity.


6. Girl Flu

Copy of Girl Flu - Film - Have a Nice Life

Director: Dorie Barton
Cast: Jade Pettyjohn, Katee Sackhoff, Heather Matarazzo, Jeremy Sisto

Bird, 12, has to become a woman whether she wants to or not when – in the worst week of her life – she gets her first period, is ditched by her impulsive, free spirited mom, and learns that you can never really go back to The Valley.


7. Dark Harvest

Copy of FILM-v063 tweaks00157965 copy 2Director: James Hutson
Cast: James Hutson, Cheech Marin, A.C. Peterson

A successful grow operation plans to transition to legalized marijuana sales but tripped up by a murder and a shady narcotics officer.


8. Hunter Gatherer

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Director: Joshua Locy
Cast: Andre Royo, George Sample III, Kellee Stewart, Ashley Wilkerson

Ashley Douglas gets out of prison and goes to great lengths to get his ex-girlfriend back.


9. Some Freaks

Copy of SOME FREAKS - SNOW TRIO - film

Director: Ian MacAllister McDonald
Cast: Thomas Mann, Lily Mae Harrington, Ely Henry, Marin Ireland

When Matt meets Jill, they both are forced to confront who they were, who they are and who everyone thinks they’re supposed to be.

10. Those Left Behind

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Director: Maria Finitzo
Cast: Daphne Zuniga, Jack Griffo, Debra Mooney, Jack Hogan

25 years after her brother’s suicide, a women returns to her childhood home with her 16-year-old son to help her mother recover from surgery, opening up new wounds.

For more information, screening times and tickets, visit

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