David Allen Cress Is One of Portland’s Biggest Producers

His credits include “Portlandia” and “Shrill.”

David Allen Cress (Courtesy of David Allen Cress )

Age: 59

Occupation: Producer

Why He Matters: David Allen Cress had a major part to play in the creation of Portland’s most iconic television show, Portlandia, starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Producing the 77-episode series, Cress brought global attention to Portland’s quirkiness, but also served as a conduit for the community’s arts and film professionals, offering them work in their hometown. Also, he started the successful Portland independent film production studio Food Chain Films and produces shows like Documentary Now!, Chad and Shrill.

Biggest Influence: “I don’t know if I have an influence. I think that the stuff that got me going and the peers that helped start Food Chain, we were all in love with nonfiction filmmaking…and the new trends in documentary filmmaking. It was a little less pretending to be objective and more willingness to take a side or have an opinion.”

Greatest Personal Achievement: “I worked on a short film with a really brilliant director who lives in Portland, Chel White, who made a film called Dirt and I helped as the assistant director. He called me a few months later and said, ‘Hey, David, Dirt got into Sundance.”

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: “The Portland music scene.”

Best Quote About Him: “While most influencers for Portland arts have been focused on a singular scope, David Cress’ staunch support of local arts transcends the now to cut at where Portland has been and is going. Cress cares deeply about the brand and reputation of our city, always fighting for our image while laying the foundation for future artists.” —Schuyler Telleen, production designer

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