October 19th - 21st at the Dekum Street Theater

Welcome! We have an exciting festival in the works! Each year, it is a treat to witness what artists are giving themselves over to. We have noticed that screendance has a certain way of asking questions in which the body is the question and in turn the answer before inevitably turning back to an inquiry. Often the ones we enjoy the most don’t try too hard to answer them for us, for how can they?

This year’s festival will be held at the newly renovated Dekum Street Theater for our usual three nights of PDFF Picks, informal after-screening gatherings, a masterclass with filmmaker Nadav Heyman and more!

Please enjoy these 24 films and the spaces they push and pull at within you. There is something whole that can emerge from the microcosm they represent, and even as everything ends, “the energy of what we have lived together will remain forever.” (HISIN 15).
See you soon!


October 19th – October 21st, 2023

PDFF Picks 1

Oct 19th | 7:30 @ Dekum Street Theater


We begin this festival with 8 films from the United States, Netherlands, Poland, France, and Canada. There are conversations between young and old, meditations on this time of heat and smoke, and we “observe a frisky animal herd collide with otherness” (Beast). As we continue to endure ourselves and one another; to catch, drag, climb, prop, and fall with and on each other, there seems to be a suggestion that we are being worn down. The surprising part is that with this wearing down, in all its discomfort, an apparent softness emerges. Picks 1 runs 67 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
PDFF Picks 2

Oct 20th | 7:30 @ Dekum Street Theater


“Humans are spray and sand. . .What’s left? What’s taken?” (Swash). The middle child of this festival highlights relationships: the disintegration of them, the endless queues we either feel like we are conquering or are victims to, the continuous influence on each other that we cannot deny, the natural and the digital, and an investigation into the question “How do we bring our physical bodies with us into our inevitably digitally-bound futures?” (Future Futures Series). The 6 films of Picks 2 come to us from the United States, Taiwan, Germany, and Canada and run 77 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.


Oct 21st | 10:00am @ Dekum Street Theater


Kailee’s two hour workshop will go over the basics of filmmaking and its terminology, as well as the key differences between successful dance films and staged dance performances. One of the essential components of creating a successful dance film is understanding frame compositions. Attendees will learn how to create detailed thumbnails, frame their shots, and learn/practice a choreography for the camera research technique.

PDFF Picks 1

Oct 21st | 1:00Pm @ Dekum Street Theater


Nadav’s three hour masterclass is a crash course in dance filmmaking. This lecture-style class will teach the fundamentals of producing/directing high quality work on any budget. Nadav will walk you through how to conceptualize, pitch, produce, shoot, and edit your film, balancing creative ambitions with practical knowledge.


Oct 21st | 7:30 @ Dekum Street Theater


Bringing our 2023 festival to a close are 10 films from Canada, Germany, the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, and China. The night begins with compositional triumphs and arches into an ocean of blatant experimentation, whimsy, and curious creatures. Heading back to the harbor, we are held close by flamenco’s exacting grace, “the minute struggles and frustration inherent when the body will not obey the mind.” (Forming), and a film whose synopsis simply says “To see. To sense. To feel. To love. And finally, to be.” (Aura). Picks 3 runs 67 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.

Dekum Street Theater

Meet the 2023 Guest Judges

Zahra Banzi-Horn

Moroccan-American artist Zahra Banzi is a Berlin based mover, teacher and maker. Zahra received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 2010 and went on to co-found Friendly Pheromones Dance Company and SubRosa Dance Collective in Portland OR. In 2014 she moved to Berlin, Germany where she co-founded The PAUL Collective and PAUL Studios Berlin where she spent her time teaching, curating, performing, and learning. Along with the members of The PAUL Collective, Zahra created and curated 10 volumes of The Wall Series; a platform for performing artists to share their work in an intimate setting. Zahra is currently teaching at The Center Berlin, freelancing, working towards her BASI pilates teaching certification, and running a little shop of things called Mijas in Kreuzberg.

Rob Uehlin

Rob is a filmmaker and educator specializing in the translation of dance into the language of film.

Lin Niu

I love Portland, where I pursue my dance career here. It is a city that means a lot and is very important to me. I am a filmmaker, choreographer, and dancer. My short films have received awards and nominations from Independent Shorts Awards, Europe Music Awards, The Artist Forum, Dance Camera West, Los Angeles Film Awards, FilmCon Awards, and Top Shorts. My choreography pieces have won awards in American dance competitions many times. I participated in CCTV Spring Festival Gala, the Shanghai World Expo, and the Beijing Olympic Games as a dancer.

Leaux  Elstad

Leaux has been a part of the dance community in Portland since 2011, formally training in Los Angeles from age 4-18. Starting as a student, she worked her way up to becoming a professional performer, choreographer, and instructor, training under the instruction of Mandy Moore, Durante Lambert, and Yanis Marshall. She was also the Artistic Director/Choreographer for her dance company, The Soul, for 4 seasons.

Cameron Growden

Cameron Growden comes from a dance background, performing with companies based in San Francisco and Portland, where he’s been for the past ten years. This is his second time participating as a judge for PDFF.

Suzanne Chi

Suzanne is a dancer, producer, and filmmaker based in Portland, OR.  Her films have been screened both in the US and abroad, including Mexico, Argentina, Poland, and France. This is her first time participating in a selection committee.  She continues to free-lance, and serves as co-director for Muddy Feet Contemporary Dance.