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Portland Books 'Sapphires' as Opening Night Film for 36th Edition

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood December 27, 2012 at 12:37PM

The Portland International Film Festival, produced by the Northwest Film Center, announces its opening night film for its 36th edition. Wayne Blair's "The Sapphires," about an Aboriginal singing group and their manager (Chris O'Dowd), will open the festival on February 7...
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The Sapphires
'The Sapphires'

The Portland International Film Festival, produced by the Northwest Film Center, has chosen its opening night film for its 36th edition. Cannes entry "The Sapphires," Wayne Blair's Vietnam era true story about an Aboriginal singing group and their manager (Chris O'Dowd), will open the festival on February 7, and will be followed by an opening night party at Portland Center for the Performing Arts’ Newmark Theatre. The festival closes February 23.

The complete lineup, which will be announced January 24 and available to the public here January 31, includes over 125 films from three dozen countries. The festival screens films in downtown Portland at the Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium inside the Portland Art Museum, Cinema 21 and Cinemagic.

Crowd-pleaser "The Sapphires" also opened the Hawaii Film Festival. Synopsis below:

SAPPHIRES is an inspirational tale set in the heady days of the late 60s about a quartet of young, talented singers from a remote Aboriginal mission, discovered and guided by a kind-hearted, soul-loving manager. Plucked from obscurity, the four spirited women are given the opportunity to entertain American troops in Vietnam. Catapulted onto the world stage as Australia’s answer to the Supremes, their journey of discovery offers them not only the chance to show off their musical skills, but find love and togetherness, experience loss and grow as women.

This article is related to: Festivals, Festivals, The Sapphires, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.