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The Portland Humanist Film Festival is proud to present a series of engaging screenings for the fall of 2014 and into 2015.

These will take place at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall at 1945 NW Quimby St. PORTLAND, OR 97209. Visit this link for more details on the venue. The last set took place on September 20th 2014. Scroll down to see the movies that featured that day, and thanks to everyone who attended sponsored or volunteered their time. I appreciate you all!

We will NEVER charge the public to gain admission to see our selections, but we do ask for a donation at the door to cover our rental and licensing fees. The Portland Humanist Film Festival was founded in 2010 and was established to be a provocative and enlightening cultural experience indicative of the rapidly growing Humanist movement in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission is to provide, through the medium of film, an expansive window into many of the aspects of existence, morality, history, science and philosophy that reflect the Humanist perspective.

By presenting a fusion of film genres that affirm the Humanist philosophy, the Portland Humanist Film Festival offers a meaningful dialogue for those who are curious about Humanism and its societal impact. So we invite you to laugh, think, be challenged and entertained as we present to you a carefully selected treasure of richly diverse and informative cinematic creations. The listed show times are approximate and there will be a short intermission after the showing of Contradictions.

We would like to strongly thank our sponsors and community advocates:

           

Screen image for Here be Dragons Here be Dragons.
In ancient times, unexplored regions on maps were often given fearsome sounding legends, like Here Be Dragons. Unknowns were frightening, and it gave some comfort to at least be able to label the unknown. Hypothesized dragons seemed a good enough explanation for what would otherwise be ungraspable. With a made-up concept and a few words, the unknown becomes simple and satisfying.

Here Be Dragons is a fast paced video introduction to critical thinking. Most people fully accept paranormal and pseudoscientific claims without critique as they are promoted by the mass media. Here Be Dragons offers a toolbox for recognizing and understanding the dangers of pseudoscience, and appreciation for the reality-based benefits offered by real science.

Here Be Dragons is written and presented by Brian Dunning, host and producer of the Skeptoid podcast, author of Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena, and Executive Producer of The Skeptologists and Truth Hurts.

Screen image for Heaven Heaven.
Heaven is an extremely funny rollercoaster of mixed interviews with folks of all sorts cut with slapstick movie footage. So what do aged fundamentalists and stoners think awaits them in the afterlife? Not one of us knows exactly what awaits us after this life, not even the most hardened rationalist can be completely sure. As a result getting the answers from a totally bizarre cast of characters is probably as good as any other source. But other people have other and strongly held notions of the sweet by and by, and in "Heaven," Diane Keaton assembles a large number of them and asks them such questions as:

What is heaven? Is there sex in heaven? How to you get to heaven? How do you get to hell? If you get slapped in the face would it hurt in Heaven?

These random and downright weird interviews concern people's beliefs towards the possibility of the afterlife. The interviews are filmed against a set of strange backdrops, and are intercut with clips from classic films and a variety of crazy stock footage. Heaven, the ultimate coming attraction?

Screen image for Power Surge Power surge.
Can emerging technology defeat global warming? The United States has invested tens of billions of dollars in clean energy projects as our leaders try to save our crumbling economy and our poisoned planet in one bold, green stroke. Are we finally on the brink of a green-energy "power surge," or is it all a case of too little, too late?

From solar panel factories in China to a carbon capture-and-storage facility in the Sahara desert to massive wind and solar installations in the United States, Powersurge travels the globe to reveal the surprising technologies that just might turn back the clock on climate change. Powersurge focuses on the latest and greatest innovations, including everything from artificial trees to green reboots of familiar technologies like coal and nuclear energy. Can our technology, which helped create this problem, now solve it?

Screen image for Mr. Deity Mr. Diety.
Mr. Deity is a series of satirical short films that parody aspects of religion, created by Brian Keith Dalton and distributed by Lazy Eye Pictures. It stars Brian Keith Dalton, Jimbo Marshall, Sean Douglas, and Amy Rohren.

Mr. Deity revolves around the overall theme of a disorganized family business in which Mr. Deity is the CEO/patriarch. This is very funny stuff, and more than a bit thought provoking as the “big man” struggles with his various issues. It’s not easy running the universe when you are not a details guy. We will be screening a few of the very best episodes.

Screen image for Contradiction Contradiction.
con·tra·dic·tion – [n.] a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.

Jeremiah Camara travels the country examining the paradox of Black neighborhoods saturated with churches in the midst of poverty, deprivation and despondency. Camara seeks to find if there is a correlation between high-praise and low-productivity.

There is a peculiar consistency that one cannot help but notice when riding through predominately African-American neighborhoods in most major cities in the United States. Black communities are typically saturated with churches. More often than not, the abundance of churches co-exists in the midst of impoverishment, despondency and deprivation on countless levels. The question, then, becomes, if the presence of God allegedly dwells within these “holy” facilities, why are the surrounding areas laden with so many societal issues? If God answers all things (according to the Bible) and if praise, worship, belief and love for God are prerequisites to prosperity, then why are Blacks, as a collective, in such a non-prosperous position? Can there possibly be a connection between high-praise and low-productivity? This analysis is the crux of the film.

Screen image for Watermark Watermark.
Watermark is a feature documentary from multiple-award winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, and renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, marking their second collaboration after Manufactured Landscapes in 2006. The film brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. You will see massive floating abalone farms off China’s Fujian coast and the construction site of the biggest arch dam in the world – the Xiluodu, six times the size of the Hoover. Visit the barren desert delta where the mighty Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean, and the water-intensive leather tanneries of Dhaka. You will visit Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, where thirty million people gather for a sacred bath in the Ganges at the same time. The Watermark crew speak with scientists drilling ice cores two kilometers deep into the Greenland Ice Sheet, and explore the sublime pristine watershed of Northern British Columbia. This film shows water as a terraforming element, as well as the magnitude of our need and use. In Watermark, you will be immersed in a magnificent force of nature that we all too often take for granted - until it’s gone.

Screen image for The Unbelievers The Unbelievers.
The Unbelievers follows renowned scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss across the globe as they speak publicly about the importance of science and reason in the modern world - encouraging others to cast off antiquated religious and politically motivated approaches toward important current issues.

The film includes interviews with celebrities and other influential people who support the work of these controversial speakers, including:

Ricky Gervais, Stephen Hawking, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Tim Minchin, Eddie Izzard, Ian McEwan, Sam Harris, Dan Dennett, James Randi, Michael Shermer, David Silverman, Woody Allen, Cameron Diaz, Werner Herzog, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, Adam Savage, Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, Penn Jillette, Cormac McCarthy, Paul Provenza, James Morrison ... and more.

Candid conversations on a variety of topics, including Counterintuitive Science, The Laws Governing The Universe, The Anthropic Principal, Communication Techniques, Sir Isaac Newton, and the Word “Believe”.

Screen image for Religulous Religulous.
Bill Maher interviews some of religion's oddest adherents. Muslims, Jews and Christians of many kinds pass before his jaundiced eye. Maher goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago. He talks to truckers at a Truckers' Chapel. (Sign outside: "Jesus love you.") He goes to a theme park called Holy Land in Florida. He speaks to a rabbi in league with Holocaust deniers. He talks to a Muslim musician who preaches hatred of Jews.

With quotes from major figureheads like Thomas Jefferson, George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden, Bill Maher, with a Jewish-Catholic background, sets out to prove that having faith and seeking directions from God is basically ridiculous and may be a neurotic disorder. Interviewing Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, scientists, gays, and atheists, he cites that the number of non-believers is increasing in North America. He is funny!