April 4-6, Willamette Week's Longbaugh Film Festival will premiere at the historic Hollywood Theatre. Our hope is that the festival--a celebration of independent cinema--will become an annual event in the City of Roses, providing a showcase for indie filmmakers from all over the world.

The first Longbaugh Film Festival promises to be a cinematic event the likes of which this city has never seen. It will feature the work of some of the best and brightest filmmakers from all over the country, with a special emphasis on our own back yard. Although some of the films featured in the program have been seen around town, you can rest assured a vast majority of the films have not been screened before.

One of the films that will screen as part of the festival's program of documentaries is Collectors at Large. Portland-based Patti Lewis' quirky film focuses on the passions of an eclectic mix of collectors and the objects they doggedly pursue. Among the subjects are a man who collects rare insects and a woman who collects glass grapes which she uses to adorn the outside of her house.

Todd Robinson is the James Brown of the Portland film scene--the hardest-working man (often for free) in the city. A former Navy submariner who moved to Portland 10 years ago, Robinson became involved in acting after a near-death experience (he survived a fall off a five-story building). Since that time, he has built up a solid résumé that includes acting, directing, co-producing and every other job imaginable in film. Robinson is involved in five of the films that will been screened at Longbaugh. He appears in The Sexy Chef, Car Trouble, Life of Death and One Night Hand, and he directed 12 City Blocks.

The critically acclaimed Sex and Violence, from New York filmmaker John Zibell, will make its Portland debut at the Longbaugh Film Festival. The winner of the Audience Award and Best Directorial Debut at the New York International Film & Video Festival, Zibell's shot-on-digital-video feature is a daring, stylish film that boldly defies the rules of conventional filmmaking. Oddly reminiscent of Woody Allen--only with a punk-rock sensibility--Sex and Violence takes the sort of creative risks that should define the upcoming generation of digital filmmakers if they ever hope to establish themselves as serious artists.