Brooke Jacobson In Memoriam

It is with sadness that the Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum share the passing of Brooke Jacobson, co-founder of the Northwest Film Center. Along with Bob Summers, she co-founded the Northwest Film Center in 1971 and was responsible for developing programs such as Filmmakers in the Schools until 1974. 

When asked about her vision for the Film Center in those first years she said, “We wanted to have a showcase for independent film and filmmakers but also historically significant films—deepening and enhancing appreciation for the public. We wanted to be the place to come if you wanted to make films or if you were an independent filmmaker with a film to show. We wanted to help local filmmakers seek grant funding, to assist teachers in public schools teaching film, to connect with the evolving cable television movement and local television stations, as many of them had documentary units. We saw the Film Center as kind of the hub of connection with all of these developments.” (Excerpt from the Northwest Film Center December 2011 print program)

“While I never knew Brooke, I see the lasting impact her vision had on the Northwest Film Center and our regional creative community,” said Amy Dotson, Northwest Film Center Director. “That vision is a big part of what is fueling our current reinvention. From cable public access and now to VR, AR and everything in between, continuing to be a relevant and supportive space for makers of all kinds is that wonderful connection to Brooke’s legacy.” 

After leaving the Film Center, she was director of the Media Project (1974 to 1976), supporting the work of film and video makers in the Northwest. Her articles on independent film have appeared in Film Quarterly and Journal of Film and Video. Jacobson held a B.A. from Portland State College and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. 

Photo by Jason Kaplan

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