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Cascade Festival of African Films turns 20

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NORTH PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 16, 2009) – It’s a film festival with one of the largest collections of African films in the Northwest and its cadre of volunteers are set to celebrate its 20th year this February. The Cascade Festival of African Films at Portland Community College will celebrate the occasion by bringing acclaimed Ethiopian film director Haile Gerima to Portland.

Gerima will open the festival, which attracted more than 5,000 filmgoers in 2009, with the showing of his Toronto Film Festival selected film, “Teza,” at the Hollywood Theatre on Friday, Feb. 5. The film chronicles the return of an African intellectual to his country of birth during a repressive Marxist regime. Gerima is a director, screenwriter and producer, living in Washington, D.C. He is one of a handful of African filmmakers to earn international fame and has been a professor of film at Howard University since 1975.

His will be one of more than 20 African feature films and documentaries shown at the festival, which runs from Feb. 5 through March 6 at the Cascade Campus’s Moriarty Auditorium (705 N. Killingsworth St.), McMenamins Kennedy School Theatre (5736 N.E. 33rd Ave.) and the Hollywood Theatre (4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd.). The Cascade Festival of African Films is free and open to the public. It features a wide range of films and special matinee days and feature nights. They include StudentFest Matinee on Feb. 18, Family Film Day on Feb. 20 and ends with Womens Filmmakers Week.

The Cascade Festival of African Films was founded in 1991 by four Portland Community College faculty. Approximately 400 people attended the first annual Cascade Festival of African Films. Today, more than 5,000 people attend the festival annually. Since its inception, the festival has been offered to the public free of charge and organized and run entirely by volunteers.

For more information, call (503) 244-6111, ext. 3630 or e-mail

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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