By Julie Oatfield /// Staff Writer
For 25 years, the Cascade Festival of African Films has been held at the Portland Community College Cascade campus, and the films keep flowing in 2015. Over 30 documentaries, comedies, dramas, and shorts are being shown throughout the festival from Feb. 6 to March 8.
The little Lewis & Clark crest on the back of the programs may be a bit surprising. “CFAF has had a relationship with Lewis & Clark for many years now,” said the festival’s development coordinator Ronna Neuenschwander in an email. All screenings are free to the public largely because of contributions from local institutions, including LC. So students looking for entertainment, new perspectives and something free off-campus have a unique opportunity.
Though our liberal arts education offers an array of perspectives in dozens of fields, these films provide insights that classrooms rarely can. The visual art, plotline, and creation story of each film make interdisciplinary studies seamless. One documentary, “The Beautiful Game,” explores the relationship between soccer and nation-building; film noir “Of Good Report” is based on sexual abuse happening in schools in South Africa and worldwide; and “The Afronauts” follows the Zambia Space Academy racing the United States to the moon in the 1960s, to name a few examples. Several filmmakers are even accompanying their work to Portland, opening up discussions about their creative process and the subject matters inspiring them.
Whether an LC student is studying biochemistry, Chinese, or art history, there’ll be something to catch their eye at the festival. It will not only be a chance to appreciate works of art, but hopefully another step in better embracing multiculturalism and perspectives many of us don’t often see.
Screenings are Thursdays-Sundays at the PCC Campus on 705 NW Killingsworth. Accessible from the downtown Pioneer Express stop by a half-hour ride on either the 4 bus, Max Yellow Line, or bike.
For details, check out https://www.africanfilmfestival.org/.