Written by: Ron Cotton on October 19th, 2006
Portland, Oregon @ Hollywood Theatre
Fifth Annual, October 19-21, 2006
In this Portland Film Festival, size really doesn’t matter, with each short lasting no longer than 10 minutes with content lying outside of the waking presence of Hollywood. Tony Fuentes, El Presidente of Zonker Films and the major organizer of the PISS Fest event is there literally overseeing the event every step of the way. His no-nonsense hands on approach along with his friendly demeanor makes this event quite welcome.
With the Short Short Program Number 1 (Thursday October 19th) out of the way, let me give you a sample of what’s showing. CHI Enforcement Unit: Rat Traps plays like a CSI episode while battling smokers who take the law into there own lungs. Emerging is a stop motion animation film whose subject parallels the life of insects. Dingo the Stuff Fixer stars Dingo Dizmal who has is own ways to fix things. The Touch is an attempt to live the poem of the same name written by Anne Sexton. Alone Too Often examines how victims relive the horrors of their intruders. Pretty Girls is a music video from Widney High School. The Goldfish is a film of what you become if your actions and emotions are controlled by the media. Chocolate is communication breakdown, as both wants and needs are not understood. First Date Meltdown is a dialog between two people, one whose the wanted and the needy, with a comedic, unexpected outcome.
CHI, Alone Too Often, The Goldfish, and First Date Meltdown are perhaps some of the more accessible shorts for most film goers. Pretty Girls is a refreshingly different music video. Chocolate and The Touch are cerebral films, needing attention from the viewer. Dingo the Stuff Fixer and Emerging are miscellaneous films that have no real category. All and all, this film festival is diverse and really, each night playing like a variety show.
After the shorts, came an after party at The Jupiter Hotel. Free beer with a special thanks to Full Sail. Even with the small attendance, the covered tent felt very full and active. Just make sure that you mind the clowns!
What makes PISS Fest special this year is the very first Filmmakers’ Panel on the subject of “How to Support Your Short Film Habit by Getting Paying Gigs on Richer People’s Projects.” This event will be on Saturday, October 21st at 1pm. Admission is free with a festival All-Pass or $5 donation, but get there fast because seats will be limited. Programs Two and Three will be playing on Friday, while Saturday will close with Program Four.
Please check out this amazing and often overlooked film festival, there’s more here then meets the eye.
For more information about this film festival or to buy tickets on line, go to Zonkerfilms.com.