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News Releases
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Nawara.jpg
Nation's longest-running African film festival returns to Portland (Photo) - 01/04/17

PORTLAND, Ore. -- It's a time in the nation's history when there's plenty of uncertainty.

What is certain, however, is the return of the longest-running annual African film festival in the United States. The 27th annual Cascade Festival of African Films, free and open to the public, features an exciting slate of 23 vibrant films from across the continent, starting in early February through the first week of March.

The African film festival has grown steadily since its inception in 1991 when it had 400 people in attendance. Today, the event hosted by Portland Community College attracts more than 5,000 filmgoers every year, bringing acclaimed directors and stars to Portland like actor Danny Glover. The draw is that it allows attendees a peek into the world of Africa through the eyes of Africans and helps bridge a cultural understanding between Africa and the Portland community.

"In our increasing volatile political climate, it is integral that free and inclusive community events like the Cascade Festival of African Film continue," said Tracy Francis, festival coordinator. "Now, more than ever, we need to open our minds and hearts to understanding different cultures, and create safe spaces for personal and artistic expression."

The mission of Cascade Festival of African Films is to develop an appreciation of the richness, complexity, and diversity of African peoples and their cultures through filmmaker discussions and debates on issues affecting the continent. Over the years, the festival has built the African Film Collection in the PCC Library into one of the largest in the Northwest. More than 200 African videos and DVDs are available to the public for home viewing at no charge.

"When you're putting on a high-quality film festival entirely with volunteers, every year is a miracle," said former PCC English instructor and current Oregon State Senator Michael Dembrow during the festival's 20th anniversary. "The response from community members has always been strong, many people have stepped forward to help out, and PCC's support has been so solid."

This year's festival promises to one of the best yet.

It opens with back-to-back screenings of "Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai/Rain the Color Blue With a Little Red In It" (Niger), a homage to Prince's seminal "Purple Rain." The film -- a collaboration between Portland director Christopher Kirkley and actor/musician Mdou Moctar of Niger -- will show twice at the festival's opening -- night gala on Friday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 and 9:15 p.m. at the Hollywood Theater (4122 NE Sandy Blvd.).

"Akounak," set in the burgeoning rock-guitar scene in Agadez, Niger, has the distinction of being the first narrative feature film in the Tuareg language. Both Kirkley and Moctar will be on hand Feb. 3 to discuss the film, and Moctar will share his music and stories in a special concert at 11:15 p.m., following the film's second screening.

"Akounak" kicks off the five-week schedule featuring documentary and short films throughout the month of February. Most screenings take place at the Moriarty Auditorium at the college's Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth St.). Each Saturday screening is preceded by the popular "Saturday Social Hour," starting at 5:30 p.m. and features live music, food, and an African marketplace.

This year's films hail from 14 African countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Niger, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda. In addition to welcoming Merzak Allouache in person, Portland audiences will have the chance to connect across continents through online video discussions with select directors in Africa following the screenings.

New to the festival this year will be staged readings of two new African plays: "Fishers of Hope/Tawaret" (South Africa, 2016, by Lara Foot), an examination of the prospects of hope and livelihood in Africa, and "Onions Make Us Cry" (Nigeria, 2016, by Zainabu Jallo), a look into the consequences of domestic abuse. Both readings will take place in PCC Cascade's Moriarty Auditorium at 3 and 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11, and will be paired with short films.

Returning is the Thursday evening documentary film series. This year's series focuses on the power of dissent, and offers Portland audiences a chance to witness how political and economic resistance can be a powerful force for social change.

For more information on screenings and filmmaker appearances, visit www.africanfilmfestival.org.

2017 Highlights:

Student Fest Matinee -- Timed to fit into the busy schedules of PCC students, "Green White Green," (Nigeria, 2016) captures the vibrant energy of a new generation of young creative talents in the city of Lagos. Shows at noon, Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Moriarty Auditorium.

Family Fest Matinee -- The festival's annual family-friendly matinee will feature "K3nt and Kat3," hosted by master storyteller Baba Wagué Diakité of Mali. The film will show at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25 in the Moriarty Auditorium.

Women Filmmakers Week -- An annual tradition, Women Filmmakers Week will showcase female-directed films during the festival's closing week, March 2-4, in the Moriarty Auditorium.

Saturday Social Hours -- Beginning at 5:30 p.m. each Saturday during the film festival at the Moriarty Auditorium, the social hour will feature an African market, food for purchase, and live music.


About Portland Community College: PCC is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving more than 78,000 full- and part-time students. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

Attached Media Files: Nawara.jpg , Akounak.jpg , Onions.jpg
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PCC hosts 18th Annual 'Wacipi' Traditional Powwow (Photo) - 01/03/17

SOUTHWEST PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Community College's Sylvania Campus will once again celebrate Native American culture and tradition.

The 18th annual "Wacipi" ("They Dance") Traditional Powwow will take place from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21, in the gymnasium, Health Technology Building, at the campus (12000 SW 49th Ave.).

With grand entries planned for 1 and 7 p.m., the powwow features drum groups and dancers from across the region, attracting more than 1,000 attendees each year. Money raised from the event benefits PCC's Native American Scholarship Fund and vendor space provided by the college helps local Native American businesses. There will be a free community dinner at 5:30 p.m., as well as raffle prizes, activities for children and a college fair.

Honored guests include master of ceremonies Bob Tom (Confederated Tribes of Siletz and Grand Ronde), whip man Ed Goodell (Confederated Tribes of Siletz), co-host drums Bad Soul and Shute Number 8, and head dancers Dietz and Rose Peters.

PCC and the Native American Rehabilitation Association sponsor the Winter Powwow.

For more information, visit www.pcc.edu/powwow, or call (971) 722-4116.


About Portland Community College: PCC is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving more than 78,000 full- and part-time students. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

Attached Media Files: powwowdrums.jpg , powwowdance.JPG