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Learn how to maximize your success on the film festival circuit from these prominent Oregon filmmakers and festival programmers:


Aaron Kirk Douglas Aaron’s films have been seen in over 150 film festivals around the world. Among them is the groundbreaking documentary, FREEDOM STATE, distributed by Cinema Epoque to Germany, Russia, Israel/West Bank and Gaza; and MONSTER CAMP, released theatrically throughout the Northwest and a popular Netflix feature. His new book, A MENTOR’S MEMOIR: RICO AND ME, will be published by Newsworthy Books this fall.

Heather Harlow
Director Heather Harlow’s latest work, the 19-minute short, THE PUNISHING BUSINESS, starring Storm Large and edited by James Westby, premieres at PIFF on Saturday, February 7. Her first film, NOUS DEUX ENCORE, garnered the top prize for shorts at 12 of nearly two dozen U.S. and European film festivals. Though only 17 minutes in length, NOUS DEUX ENCORE was called “a truly, madly, deeply moving love story, inventively told and powerfully evocative of time and place” by the Los Angeles Times.

Jacob Pander
A filmmaker and graphic novelist whose collaborations with his brother, Arnold, include the new graphic novel, GIRLFRIEND, to be released by Dark Horse Comics in April; the 17-minute short, SUBTEXT, which premiered at the 2014 Palm Springs International ShortsFest; the recently-launched digital comics hub, PanderBrosComics.Com; and the award-winning feature film, SELFLESS.

James Westby
Known for his provocative films with economical budgets and no compromises. His features include the cult hits, FILM GEEK, THE AUTEUR and RID OF ME. His current project is the experimental documentary, AT THE VIDEO STORE. His work has been shown in numerous film festivals, including Tribeca, Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival and Palm Springs ShortsFest. Westby has been called “a wizard of concision and a master of discomfort” by The New York Times.

Tara Johnson-Medinger
executive director of The Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (POWFest) and the producer of the feature films, MY SUMMER AS A GOTH (2015) and CITY BABY (2013), and documentaries ROCK N ROLL MAMAS (2013) and THE WINDING STREAM (which premiered at SXSW 2014).

Thomas Phillipson
Northwest Film Center’s Regional Services Manager whose responsibilities include the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival, the “Northwest Tracking” series, and Region One of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s ® Student Academy Awards.

Lyla Foggia
Founder of the Portland Film Marketing & Distribution Meetup and a former TriStar Pictures VP with over three decades of marketing, publicity and distribution experience as a studio executive and independent consultant on over 120 motion pictures. Her clients have included Oregon filmmakers Matt Briggs, The Pander Brothers, Heather Harlow and Neal Miller.

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