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The Portland Film Festival has named more than 20 films to its "best of" awards, Friday, as the festival begins to draw to a close.
More than 400 films, documentaries and shorts are being shown at the festival, which runs through Oct. 23 at Lloyd Center. Didn't get to catch one of your favorites? Films are available to stream online through Nov. 27 and Comcast customers with Xfinity X1 voice remotes and the Flex streaming service can simply say "Portland Film Festival" into their voice remote to access many Portland Film Festival offerings.
The festival's award for best documentary went to "Dreams of Daraa," The M. Reilly Dowd directed film which tells the story of Hanadi, a 25-year-old Syrian mother who is invited to testify before the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"It was a huge honor to receive the best documentary award, especially knowing it was selected by a jury of filmmakers. This was our team's first time attending a film festival in person and we felt such a warm welcome from the Portland community. Our main subject, Hanadi Alsaidi, came all the way from Berlin to attend. It was such a special moment to have her there with me in person to accept it.
"Receiving this award is a confirmation of one of my dreams as a first-time filmmaker — that this very personal story of a young mother who fled war in Syria to protect her daughters could touch the hearts and minds of people across the globe."
The partly animated film follows Hanadi's four-year, international, wartime journey with her three daughters through Syria, Jordan and Germany in search of justice for her kidnapped husband and safety for her children. She had to flee her home of Daraa and her husband was taken by the Assad government; Hanadi leaves the Jordan refugee camp for the dangers of her homeland to find answers about her husband, and eventually seeks asylum through Germany.
The festival's award for best narrative film went to "Disfluency." After unexpectedly failing her final college class, Jane, an aspiring speech pathologist, retreats home to her family's lake house. Her older sister and neighborhood friends inspire her to embrace the carefree summer. She rekindles an old friendship with her neighbor Amber, a single mother with a difficult toddler. Jane fights through PTSD and imposter syndrome as she attempts to unravel the emotional and psychological tangle that's been haunting her and begins the healing process.
Both "Dreams of Daraa" and "Disfluency" are available to stream.Portland Film Festival "best of" award winners:Ultra Short — "Two Wong Makes a White"Black Voices — "#Hiplet"Asian Voices — "In Search of Bengali Harlem"Latin Voices — "Oliver and the Pool"LGBTQIA+ Voices — "The Unabridged Mrs. Vera's Daybook"Voices of Ability — "Derrick Changes His Mind"Women's Voices — "Las Abogadas" and ""Midnight Movie — ""Music Video — ""Portland Short — ""Portland Feature — ""Will Vinton — "" and ""Stacey Stevens Indigenous Voices — ""Alumni — ""Trailblazer — ""Programmer's — ""Director's — ""Documentary Short — ""Narrative Short — ""Documentary Feature — ""Narrative Feature — ""
Jason VondersmithEmail: Twitter