Film premieres to sellout crowds, pointed questions, tearful audience response
The Portland premiere of Priced Out: 15 Years of Gentrification in Portland, Oregon drew a sold-out crowd to the Portland Art Museum on Nov. 1, 2017. The show sold out so quickly that the host, NW Film Center, promptly booked an additional show on Nov. 7, which also sold out.
The film screened at the Whitsell Auditorium for the opening night of the Northwest Filmmaker’s Festival. Priced Out is the sequel to NorthEast Passage: The Inner City and the American Dream. The first film made its festival premiere at the Northwest Filmmaker’s fest 15 years ago.
Many of the film’s participants were on hand and dressed to the nines at the film’s prescreening reception, including Albina residents Brianna Williams, Percy Hampton, Michelle Lewis, Paul Knauls, Rachel Hall, and Harry Jackson.
The reception included the unveiling of the official movie poster and a brief awards ceremony for the production team. Appreciation awards went to volunteer motion graphics editor Martin Lendahls, assistant producer Donovan Smith, co-producer Eric Maxen, music supervisor Farnell Newton, and to Nikki and Bri Williams for having the courage to share their stories with the world.
[SLIDESHOW ABOVE: CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ADVANCE Photos by Jason E. Kaplan]
A lively round of questions and answers followed the show. The audience asked hard-hitting questions about housing policy and Portland’s culture of race and class. Director Cornelius Swart and activist Cameron Whitten followed with Q&A exchanges on Whitten’s podcast, Chocolate and Caramel, the following week. Listen to the podcast for more in-depth and at time hilarious discussion on the issues.
While many wanted to talk about the issues, others wanted to talk about the heartbreaking personal stories the film documents.
“What I was surprised at was just how many people were moved to tears by this film,” said director Cornelius Swart. “People young and old and of all colors just kept coming up to production folks to tell them how emotional they got.”
“I think we’ve successfully conveyed the pain and root shock that so many people who are experiencing gentrification feel,” said Swart.
The local premiere clears the way for a small theatrical run planned for Portland in the coming weeks.
After that, Priced Out will be fanning out into dozens of small community screenings hosted by groups as diverse as the City of Portland, the Boise Neighborhood Association, and the Beaverton Library.
If you haven’t already, sign up for our email list at PricedOutMovie.com and we’ll notify you of upcoming public screenings.
If you want to host a screening just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org