Check out photos and information below from this years festival















Opening Night Party! :: Mini Screening & Live Dance for Film Creation

August 24, 2017 | 7:30pm

Bad Habit Room – 5433 N Michigan Ave, Portland, OR 97217

What a special night! Thanks all who came and celebrated, participated, and supported the first Portland Dance Film Fest!
Watch the film that you participated in below and download here. Then share! #PDFF2017 This film was shot, live edited, and screened in 5 hours! Read about the amazing artists who made this happen below!

See all the photos here.
Photos by Duke Stebbins

An evening of celebration and insights as we kick off the First Annual Portland Dance Film Fest! Join us at Bad Habit Room in North Portland for a taste of PDFF with the first dance for film screenings of the festival, an interactive dance for film creation with director and filmmaker Tomas Valladares, choreographer and dancer Katie Scherman, and live editing by Tiki! Stay to the end and you might see yourself in the final product!

Also – drinks, food, merch, and dance-able jams. You never know what magic can happen when the libations are fresh off the bar, the atmosphere is sparkling, and the people are ready for the delight of dance!



Tomás Alfredo Valladares is a creative producer, director and filmmaker.  He has over 12 years experience creating documentaries, commercial video projects, music videos, and visual art projects. Originally from South Florida he is now the founding co-director of the Portland Street Art Alliance.

Katie Scherman is an artist, choreographer, teacher, and movement researcher based in Portland, OR. Originally from California, Scherman has performed with Houston Ballet, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Washington Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, Zhukov Dance Theatre, Terpsicorps Dance Theatre, Bodyvox, and in numerous festivals and galas around the world. In 2009, she was honored with a Princess Grace Award in Dance. Scherman holds a BFA in Dance from LINES Ballet/Dominican University and an MFA in Dance from the University of Oregon. She was awarded a graduate teaching fellowship at the University of Oregon from 2012-2015 and is the 2015 recipient of the UO Graduate Student Emerging Artist Award. Her research is deeply rooted in the creative process, vulnerability, and collaboration.  Scherman was awarded a 2016 Alembic Artist Residency at Performance Works NW where she premiered her first evening length work, “Complicated Women” in which she directed, choreographed, and performed in. Scherman has held guest residencies at Pacific University, University of Utah, LINES Ballet/Dominican University BFA program, and the Bodyvox Junior Artist Generator program. Her choreography and teaching have been presented throughout the US. Most recently, Scherman held a Visiting Assistant Professor position in the School of Dance at the University of Utah where she taught, choreographed, and mentored students.  She was also a 2017 Guest Artist for Salt Dance Fest.  For the 2017-2018 season, Scherman will create a new work for Salt II Contemporary Dance Company and the JUNTOS collective, as well as restaging works on the LINES Ballet BFA program and the JAG Bodyvox program.  Scherman‘s project company “Katie Scherman + Artists” will premiere a new work in Spring 2018 as part of BodyVox’s 20th anniversary season.

Ikaika “Tiki” Cofer is a Portland based videographer (by way of Hawaii & Lake Tahoe), specializing in directing music videos for local artists. He has also done work for Red Bull and various ad agencies. @tikimon

PDFF Picks 1

August 26th, 2017 @ 7:30pm

5th Avenue Cinema – 510 SW Hall St, Portland, OR 97201

Willamette Week Interview with Director Kailee McMurran!

White Flag / Canada – 3:25
White Flag is an experimental short dance film inspired by aesthetics from the Greek Classical period. The purpose of the film is to elevate dance as a visual form, and to create a more intimate presentation of performance art, devoid of a traditional stage-like setting. Being a highly stylized and visual piece, the focus is placed on utilizing improvisational movement to interact with the environment and surroundings.

MARS & VENUS / France – 10:16
MARS & VENUS opposition phases, is an unique sequence-shot about the machinery of cinema and celestial mechanics. It is a sound film about appearances and reality, an experience about the place of the viewer.
Beyond the geometric and scientific project basis, the film develops a tension between the relentless astronomical measurement, and the body of a dancer. The body and the machinery (incarnation of the celestial mechanics) are caught in a dialectical relationship of agreement and struggle.

Chimera / France – 1:37
Myth-inspired choreography brings dancers together in kaleidoscopic movement.
Inspired by the mythological chimera—a fierce hybrid of a lion and a goat with a snake’s head for a tail—director Steven Briand’s balletic short sees dancers merge three unique movement styles through a single sequence, all choreographed by MIA collaborator Cathy Ematchoua.

Kali / Belgium – 11:49
In the fringe where you dance with your shadow, where being naked flows seamlessly into being masked, three female figures try to find a harmony between illusion and disillusion in their longing for the innocence of the ‘untouched’.


Cavernous / United States – 3:36
This short documentary follows my 14-year-old cousin, Kelsey Taussig, as she discusses her experience after suffering a seizure due to a Cavernous Angioma. Kelsey describes the chaos of that night and the immediate aftermath as she walks and dances her way around Chetek, Wisconsin; the setting of our dance film of the same name shot 2 years earlier.

Cold Storage / Finland – 8:46
Cold Storage is a short dance film that pays homage to the virtuosic physical performances and melancholy comedy of the classic silent screen. On a desolate arctic shore, a lonely ice fisherman discovers his prehistoric counterpart frozen in the sea ice, and thaws him out as his newfound soul brother. A wild all-night drinking and dancing party in the fisherman’s tent ensues, but in the harsh light of the morning he must once again confront his own loneliness and dependency. As the ice melts under the foundations of his life, he is forced to even question the reality of the space and time surrounding him.

Abismo / Canada – 8:12
Drifting on a raft, a man and a woman choose the only possible escape.

Stopgap in Stop Motion / United Kingdom – 4:40
Photographs of performers in an inclusive dance company come to life. The individual artists dance out of the photos and across table tops until the whole company meet and perform in unison. Combining live action and stop motion animation techniques, this originated as a promotional film made for Stopgap Dance Company.

Separate Sentences / United States – 15:00
Incarceration is not a single or discrete event, but a dynamic process that unfolds over time and affects families for generations. Separate Sentence (2016) is a 15-minute dance/theater film that draws upon individual experiences and physical memories of a cast comprised of Bay Area artists– some of whom are fathers or sons who have experienced incarceration.

Dance for Film Expert Panel & Discussion

August 30, 2017 | 7:30pm

FLOCK Studio – 8371 N Interstate Ave Studio 4, Portland, OR 97217

An evening with the experts. Come hear stories and learn tips from the artists in the industry. Whether you are a choreographer wanting to make a dance for film or a film-maker inspired by dance, there are many things to think about when venturing into making a dance for film: the process of storyboarding, the realities of budgeting, the differences of choreographing/dancing for a camera, and post-production timelines; the panel will provide you with their valuable insights and snippets of their work to inspire you. While the learning curve can feel steep, the possibilities of dance for film are infinite. Let us give you a boost!


Dylan Wilbur is a filmmaker and animator transplanted from the Midwest. As one half of the company Pixel Fort, he makes commercial motion graphics and animations for corporate clients and national brands, and sometimes just for fun (i.e. internet points). He has produced and directed two dance films, “Living the Room” and an unnamed project currently in post-production. He has also worked with numerous local dancers in creating visuals for their live performances. His work as a cinematographer and editor on the web series, “The Digits” has twice been nominated for an IAWTV award, and he has produced numerous music videos and animations for local bands. He doesn’t find much time to spare, but if he did he’d probably spend it hiking in the gorge, rock climbing, camping, or otherwise getting as far away from a computer as possible.

Amy Leona Havin is an Israeli dancer, choreographer, and performance artist based in Portland, Oregon. She first began training with Ohad Naharin’s Gaga Movement Language and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and choreographic studies from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. Upon graduation she was invited to attend workshops in Kibbutz Ga’aton, Tel Aviv, and New York City before relocating to Portland in 2013. She currently acts as Artistic Director for dance-based company, The Holding Project, and has been an artist in residence at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center as well as producer and director for various dance film projects.

Tomás Alfredo Valladares is a creative producer, director and filmmaker.  He has over 12 years experience creating documentaries, commercial video projects, music videos, and visual art projects. Originally from South Florida he is now the founding co-director of the Portland Street Art Alliance.

Gabriel Shalom is an award-winning director and video artist with a focus on music, dance, design, and fashion. Profiled by French Vogue for his documentary work, recipient of the ADC Young Guns award for his branded content commissions, he is an international public speaker on trends and futurism.

He’s directed videos for MINI, Sephora, Sony, Shure, Wieden+Kennedy and BMW. As an artistic consultant for industry-leading foresight companies The Future Laboratory (London), BOX 1824 (São Paulo), and Boston Consulting Group (Berlin) he has worked for clients such as Nokia, Unilever, and the Daimler Group.
His video artworks and documentary essays have been commissioned and exhibited in international museums and festivals, including MU Eindhoven, Transmediale Berlin, and the Frankfurter Kunstverein.
Located in Portland Oregon since 2015, Gabriel is the director of Vocoder Films, a production company focused on the development of design fiction projects. He is also the founder and director of That Soft Hysteria, a label for site-specific dance fashion films.
Warehouse Samba Screens During PDFF Picks 3 – September 2nd at 7:30 at 5th Avenue Cinema

Jessamine Fok is an emerging director/writer, and is entering her second year at Ryerson University’s film production program. Less than a year ago, she left her job as a marketing professional to pursue a career in the film and television industry. Her portfolio includes work in music video and film, including a TV feature called Jazz Hands and a Canadian Film Centre short titled Mary.

Before being immersed in cinema, she studied contemporary dance and also trained at Broadway Dance Centre’s International Student Visa Program in New York. Being a former dancer with an affinity for film and photography, she has always been drawn to combining the two forms of creative expression. As a director, she sees film as a visual medium that can bring the element of storytelling to dance, and create a more intimate view of how movement is experienced by removing the physical separation between audience and stage.

White Flag is Jessamine’s first film and role as a director –  a long-awaited vision realized combining visual art, dance, and film.
White Flag screens during PDFF Picks 1 – August 26th at 7:30 at 5th Avenue Cinema!
PDFF Picks 2

September 1st, 2017 @ 7:30pm

5th Avenue Cinema – 510 SW Hall St, Portland, OR 97201

See all the photos here.
Photos by Duke Stebbins

Return of the World of Dance / United States – 7:00
Return to the World of Dance is an instructional guide for those perplexed by the post-modern condition. Return to the World of Dance is not about dance but is a tribute to Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique.

Return to the World of Dance is the last in a series of videos made for the lovers of dance, the Jane Fonda workout video, and the twister game. This series ask the question, “If it is big, if it is orange and if it is ugly–is it contemporary art?” The World of Dance series provide self-help for those who love dance and are without the means to produce a
full-scale “Le Sacre du Printemps.”

Body Language Zone / Finland – 10:13
In four episodes a consultant gives expert advice on body language for the office environment.

Helena / United States – 4:05
An introspective narration accompanies a contemporary male soloist on an empty stage. “Sleep is not a democracy and it is not a mantra. It is neither plastic nor glass. It cannot break. It cannot burn. It cannot pollute.”

Rizophora / Viet Nam – 16:14
Dancing between waking and dreaming, a day seen through the eyes of eleven young residents of the Friendship Village in Vietnam who are living with disabilities caused by Agent Orange. As the film progresses we are welcomed ever deeper into their richly symbiotic world.


Monument / United States – 28:36
A funny, brutal and deeply personal exploration of masculinity and American values, MONUMENT is set in the imposing interiors of an abandoned 1930’s Elk’s Lodge. Scene by scene and room by room, the dancers unpack their relationships to tradition, gender identity and sense of self. With an original score by Chris Garneau, the ensemble takes shape both as embodiments of dance-historical material and as ghosts – quietly navigating a world with fast-changing rules where they must work together to find liberation.

PDFF Picks 3

September 2nd 2017 @ 7:30pm

5th Avenue Cinema – 510 SW Hall St, Portland, OR 97201

See all the photos here.
Photos by Duke Stebbins

To Suit / United Kingdom – 3:11
These forests are home to some of nature’s most flamboyant show offs. The need to impress is key. In an attempt of courtship, the male performs his finest moves to attract his potential mate, but will the female accept?

To Suit is an exploration of the relationship between man and woman, created by dance and theatre artist Lizzie J Klotz, working in collaboration with performers Alys North and Charlie Dearnley and veteran natural history cameraman Paul Williams. Developed through an investigation into human communication, the work draws comparisons to animal courtship rituals, specifically exploring the behaviour of birds.

Wake / Canada – 6:05
Wake is a reflection on the isolation that technology can create and an invitation to reconnect and rebuild relationships with the people and elements around us.

Connection Lost / United States – 4:29
Connection Lost is a one shot dance short film that shows how devices are decreasing social connectivity and interfering with human interaction. There is no more intimacy nor closeness between people and glances and communication are being centered in an object, focusing on the ones who are not present and missing out on the ones who are.

Warehouse Samba / United States – 2:54
Video sampling and synchronized audiovisual counterpoint create a fusion of contact improvisation and musique concrete. A trio of dancers move through an empty industrial warehouse. Contact improvisation technique creates encounters between bodies and architecture. The sounds created by the dancers interactions with the space serve as concrete music. The video editing explores a counterpoint of synchronous, synchronized and asynchronous relationships between sound and image. The dancers dance to music made from the sounds of their own movements.

Recycle Project / Taiwan – 10:26
We repeat and recycle. In this loop of ” recovery “, we continuously to be filled and to be the emptied of humanity and wastes, which co-exist and then be discard together. In waves of life, we are coming back and forth in the failure of resistance

We may live in a global village, but we don’t have as many choices we think. Innumerable plastic products are manufactured by men, taking only a few minutes, yet its decomposition in nature takes thousands of years. Disorder and collapse are lurking an orderly appearance. Throughout the recycling process, in between human and waste, there is vacuum, coexistence, abandonment. Taiwanese Director and Choreographer Peng Hsiao-yin contemplates our plastic life in a confined space with dance

Curing Albrecht / United Kingdom – 5:00
Curing Albrecht shows a young man who checks into a bespoke institution, hoping to be cured of his inability to stop dancing. Directed and choreographed by Morgann Runacre-Temple and Jessica Wright, the short dance film is inspired by themes of dancing and madness in the iconic ballet Giselle.

It was filmed on location in Manchester’s spectacular Victoria Baths and features a cast of dancers from Greater Manchester, performing alongside dancer Sam Coren and actor Jenny Runacre. It was commissioned by English National Ballet and produced in partnership with Manchester International Festival.


Intrinsic Moral Evil / Netherlands – 10:00
Intrinsic Moral Evil seems to be a tale of identity and coming of age. But above all, the three dancers play with the viewer’s perception and expectations: is it a memory, a dream, a search for identity? Is it about losing friendship or about growing up? The layered story gradually develops; revealing its ultimate secret just before the end credits start. Inviting the audience to make its own interpretation.

Vacuum / Switzerland – 5:18
Vacuum generates impossible images and fantastic paintings, an interplay of bodies appearing and disappearing between black holes and dazzling lights.
This duo is the third part in a series of performances called Dispositifs (‘stage devices’), in convergence with visual arts. After Black Out (2011) and NEONS Never Ever, Oh! Noisy Shadows (2014), Vacuum explores a new aspect of our sensory perception through an optical illusion created with two neon tubes.

Line Scanner / United States – 0:57
Line Scanner is an illusory exploration of projected line animations onto human motion. In-camera effects only—all animations were projected live onto the performer.

OPEN / United States – 4:51
An intricate duet bathed in light.

Your Approval is Not Essential / Belgium – 11:49
When a chance supermarket encounter unlocks untapped passion in an ordinary woman, her grey life quickly goes into sensory overload. ‘Your approval is not essential’ sheds a colourful, whimsical light on what happens when you let go of your inhibitions and – out of the blue – start embracing life’s quirky pleasures.


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