Documentary Screening: When Gentrification Was a Good Thing?

NOTICE: Venue has changed for Nov 17 show. Screening will be at Billy Webb Elk's Lodge, 7 North Tillamook, 97212. 

Was there ever a time when some Portlanders thought gentrification was a good idea, when neighborhoods said there was too much affordable housing? 

The film NorthEast Passage documented life in North/Northeast Portland in the late 1990s when crime and abandoned buildings were the neighborhood's number one concern. Rising home prices and outside investors were welcomed by many. A lot has changed for the better and a lot of mistakes were made for the worse.

Come to a screening of NorthEast Passage: The Inner City and the American Dream and participate in a panel discussion about what the lessons learned in North/Northeast Portland can teach the rest of the city. 

Screenings of NorthEast Passage are part of a drive to raise funds to complete its sequel, Priced Out: Gentrification Beyond Black and White.

For the last six months Priced Out producers have been grinding hundreds of hours of footage into 65-minute rough draft. Once editing is complete, producers hope to take the project into finishing, where audio and color are refined into a production that's ready for primetime.

“Our first film, NorthEast Passage, was very successful locally but never made it to the finishing phase,” said producer Cornelius Swart. “Taking Priced Out into finishing will allow us to get into festivals and reach a much larger audience.”

The film launched successful Kickstarter last summer that funded the start of production. Producers hope to raise new funds through a series of micro-screenings of NorthEast Passage held on the first three Thursdays in November. The event is co-sponsored by Northwest Documentary and Ignorant/Reflections's Gentrification Is Weird project.

Nikki Williams is featured in both  NorthEast Passage  and Priced Out.

Nikki Williams is featured in both NorthEast Passage and Priced Out.

NorthEast Passage documents gentrification long before the issue became a household word in Portland. The documentary was released in 2002 at a time when much of North/Northeast Portland was plagued by crime and abandoned buildings. Some saw the influx of new white residents and businesses as a boon for the neighborhood while others cautioned that residents could get displaced as the area's revitalization turned into gentrification.

Since that time, the black population in the core of North/Northeast has fallen by 60 percent and gentrification has swept across the city, prompting Portland’s City Hall to declare a “housing state of emergency” in the fall of 2015.

Screenings of NorthEast Passage will be followed by a panel discussion on gentrification with producers, advocates and individuals featured in the film

Proceeds from Ignorant/Reflections and Priced Out items will go to fund the completion of project.

Proceeds from Ignorant/Reflections and Priced Out items will go to fund the completion of project.

Refreshments will be on sale along with Priced Out and Gentrification Is Weird collectible items. Other donations to the project are encouraged.

“We’re considerably behind schedule,” said Swart. “But the idea that we might be able to raise money to make the project something that will really shine will make it all worthwhile.”

Priced Out, the follow-up to NorthEast Passage, began production in September of 2015 and its subject has become increasingly relevant. Producers anticipate release of the film in the winter of 2016/17.

Doors open at 6:15 pm, discussion at 8pm. Seating capacity is limited to 60 per showing; advanced ticket purchase is encouraged.

Thursday Nov 3 tickets
Thursday Nov 10 tickets
Thursday Nov 17 tickets- Change of venue: Billy Webb Elk's Lodge 7 North Tillamook St, 97212,  across the street from Northwest Doc.

Tickets $10-$20 sliding scale. Screenings at Northwest Documentary, 6 NE Tillamook St., Portland, 97212. For more information, email