Cinema Femme magazine is having its inaugural short film festival from August 6 – 9, 2020. Over the past year and a half, Cinema Femme has featured over 100 female filmmaker interviews, as well as interviews with producers, festival directors, film researchers, production designers, and more. Rebecca Martin, Festival Director and Founder of Cinema Femme says: “After hearing these artist’s stories and watching their films, it only made sense that we would create an online film festival embracing the spirit that defines Cinema Femme, which is that of womxn supporting womxn in the industry. As with our interviews, our goal with the festival is to bring awareness to some amazing work by female filmmakers and to disrupt the industry. Cinema Femme is the voice of the female film experience.”
Cinema Femme is a platform for stories about woman in film and their allies. Cinema Femme inspires change in the industry. The platform is vocal about the need for women, women of color, and LGBT+ representation on screen and behind the lens and elevates the diverse voices of film critics, filmmakers, and moviegoers. Cinema Femme’s goal is to change the industry for the better by bringing womxn in film together and elevating their voices.
The festival is proud to be screening 20 short films by female identifying filmmakers from all over the world. The films will be available to watch anytime between August 6 – 9, 2020. The festival is powered by the Seed&Spark festival online site, along with virtual events and Q&As. The films are organized in four blocks, with five short films in each block. The short films vary in genre, comedy, drama, horror and documentary. Each block will have a mix of genres.
Every day, there will be a Q&A moderated by a well-known female filmmaker, including Karyn Kusama (“Girlfight”, “Jennifer’s Body”, and “Destroyer”). The Q&A is live, and free to the public. Viewers can ask questions via a live chat feature.
Virtual events include The Black Female Filmmaker Renaissance panel, moderated by Chaz Ebert, Editor in Chief of RogerEbert.com. The panel will illuminate the work of Black female filmmakers that has empowered screens in 2019 and 2020. Some of those panelists include Numa Perrier (“Jezebel”) and Channing Godfrey Peoples (“Miss Juneteenth”). Another panel will focus on distribution and will be moderated by French journalist, producer, and filmmaker Nora Poggi, podcast host of “Creative Distribution”. Panelists include Adele Free Pham (“Nailed It”), Maria Judice (Founder of Indigo Impact), and Liz Manashil (Senior Manager, Impact Distribution at Picture Motion).
On August 8th, there will be a Tribute event honoring filmmaker Jennifer Reeder (“Knives and Skin”, “Signature Move”) for her imaginative work that pairs a feminist lens with a diverse cast. The event will be a Q&A between Jennifer Reeder and Cinema Femme Founder and Festival Director, Rebecca Martin.
For the final day of the festival, four filmmakers behind the selected short films will be entered into a six month Womxn to Womxn in Film Mentorship program. Mentors include Deborah Kampmeier (“TAPE”, “Queen Sugar”, “Hounddog”, and “Virgin”), Patricia Vidal Delgado (“La Leyenda Negra”), Laura Moss (“Fry Day”), and Haroula Rose (“Once Upon A River”).
The festival is sponsored by RogerEbert.com and is partnering with Mezcla Media Collective, a hub that lifts up over 500 women and non-binary filmmakers of color in Chicago.
Virtual Live Events
The following is a breakdown of the festival’s live events, powered by Seed&Spark:
Short Block 1 Q&A – 8/6/20 (5 PM PT / 8 PM ET) – 1 hour
Q&A with the directors of the selected films from Short Block 1, moderated by filmmaker Sonejuhi Sinha (“Stray Dolls”). Featured for the Q&A are Dani Wieder (“Cool for Five Seconds”), Andi Morrow (“Pusher”), Nathalie Villarpando (“Mi Alma”), Brittany Reeber (“The Cheap Seats”), and Regina Banali (“In the Blood”).
Creative Distribution Panel – 8/7/20 (8 AM PT / 11 AM ET) – 1 hour
Nora Poggi, French journalist, filmmaker and impact producer will moderate a panel discussion film distribution. The panel will also be featured on the “Creative Distribution” podcast, which Nora hosts. Panelists include Adele Free Pham (“Nailed It”), Maria Judice (Founder of Indigo Impact), and Liz Manashil (Senior Manager, Impact Distribution at Picture Motion).
The Distribution Downlow – 8/7/20 (9:30 AM PT / 12:30 PM ET) – 1 hour
Distribution is one of the most mysterious and misunderstood topics for independent creators. Join us as we break down the current landscape of distribution for independent film and TV, including the economics of different avenues to take, the right questions to ask potential partners, and what needs to be done from pre-production through post-production to set yourself up for success.
Short Block 2 Q&A – 8/7/20 (5 PM PT / 8 PM ET) – 1 hour
Q&A with the directors of the selected films from Short Block 2, moderated by filmmaker Lara Gallagher (“Clementine”). Featured for the Q&A are Lori Shockley (“Corked”), Erin Brockhouse (“Tension”), Veronica Miles (“Bess”), Kristine Morgan (“The Revelation”), and Sam Herath (“Mia”).
Short Block 3 Q&A – 8/8/20 (12 PM PT / 3 PM ET) – 1 hour
Q&A with the directors of the selected films from Short Block 3, moderated by filmmaker Alice Waddington (“Paradise Hills”). Featured for the Q&A are Luana Di Pasquale (“Keep Mum”), Weronika Maria Szalas (“Curiouser and Curiouser”), Xiwen Miao (“Me & Myself”), Carolina Di Lazzaro and Giorgio Ghiotti (“FENICE | Running for Life”), and Christiana Laine (“Petal Push”).
Cinema Femme Tribute Award – 8/8/20 (3 PM PT / 6 PM ET) – 1 hour
Q&A with filmmaker Jennifer Reeder (“Knives and Skin”, “Signature Move”), who will receive the 2020 Cinema Femme Tribute Award for being an exciting and inspirational filmmaker. Moderated by Cinema Femme magazine Managing Editor and Cinema Femme Short Film Festival Director, Rebecca Martin.
Black Female Filmmaker Renaissance Panel – 8/8/20 (5 PM PT / 8 PM ET) – 1 hour
The panel will discuss the powerful cinematic stories by Black female filmmakers in 2019 and 2020, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement. The panel discussion will be moderated by Chaz Ebert, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of RogerEbert.com. Feature panelists include filmmakers Channing Godfrey Peoples (“Miss Juneteenth”), Ashley O’Shay (“Unapologetic”), Numa Perrier (“Jezebel”), Christine Swanson (“The Clark Sisters”), and Sandrel Nicole Young (“Training Wheels”).
Short Block 4 Q&A – 8/9/20 (12 PM PT / 3 PM ET) – 1 hour
Q&A with the directors of the selected films from Short Block 4, moderated by filmmaker Karyn Kusama (“Girlfight”, “Jennifer’s Body”, and “Destroyer”). Featured for the Q&A are Gabriela Ortega (“Papi”), Claudia Lee (“Clan”), Desireé Moore (“Over and Under and Through”), Victoria Malinjod (“Don’t Burst My Bubble”), and Jorja Hudson “Withdrawals”).
Cinema Femme Short Film Fest Awards – 8/9/20 (3 PM PT / 6 PM ET) – 1/2 hour
Mentors of the 2020 Cinema Femme Womxn to Womxn in Film Mentorship program will announce the four winners of the festival, who will be matched with a seasoned and accomplished female identifying filmmaker for a six-month mentorship.
The following is a breakdown of programming by block:
Short Block 1
Cool for Five Seconds
Directed by Dani Wieder
When Colleen reunites with her estranged sister, things don’t go exactly as she planned.
Directed Andi Morrow
In a small Appalachian town crippled by opioid addiction, a young drug dealer is coming to terms with the life she’s chosen.
Directed by Nathalie Villarpando
A coming of age story that surrounds Alma who was raised in an American society that clashes with the Latin culture represented by her mother Viviana. Struggling with her identity, Alma finds a way to combat her internal struggles through her multiple identities represented in her portraits.
The Cheap Seats
Directed by Brittany Reeber
A docu-narrative short about Donna’s day in the psychic capital of the world, Cassadaga, Florida starring Laura Cayouette (“Queen Sugar,” “Django Unchained,” “Kill Bill Vol. 2”) and a real life resident medium, Nellie Conner.
In the Blood
Directed by Regina Banali
In the old west, Sartana rides into town to score some cash, form a gang and settle a score. His ex Dolores has been hiding out with an unwitting suitor. She has secrets and they are catching up with her. She means to skip town but her beau confronts her looking for answers and she doesn’t make it out in time before having a shootout with Sartana and his gang.
Short Block 2
Directed by Lori Shockley
“Corked” is a dramatic short film set in 1970’s Northern California wine country. It’s based on the true story of one young woman’s struggle against the status quo. Jane Dunlap is at the crossroads of asserting her independence in the male dominated industry. Which direction will she choose?
Directed by Erin Brockhouse
A short, taboo-busting documentary about experiencing the medical condition known as Vaginismus.
Directed by Veronica Miles
After finding a photo of her recently passed Grandmother standing on a street corner in New Orleans, a young woman decides to travel to the city to find that same corner. As she journeys through her grieving process, she discovers the healing powers of the city. Based on a true story and shot on an iPhone 7 over Mardi Gras 2018.
Directed by Kristine Morgan
It’s December 31, 1999, and Gladys is preparing for the end of the world.
Directed by Sam Herath
21 year old Mia is desperate to connect and fall in love. Her world is turned upside down one day when Emilie, a girl she likes, suddenly asks her out on a date. As Mia’s excitement and preparations for the big date begin, she is confronted by one major obstacle, her crippling anxiety. Believing that she knows what works best for her, Mia pushes back her sister-in-law Helen’s attempts to help. As the big date approaches, Mia scrambles to win Emilie’s heart her own way. But, her preparations are disrupted when her past traumas, which have remained buried, pounce on her, exacerbating her anxiety. Finally, Mia must work out how to help herself.
Short Block 3
Directed by Luana Di Pasquale
A woman drunkenly wrecks her big family house. The atmosphere is eerie: something is not quite right. Soon it turns out that her past haunts her, throwing her into a whirlwind of emotions and projections as she tries to piece together what happened to her and her child; the psyche of a woman pushed beyond the limits of sanity is explored…
Curiouser and Curiouser
Directed by Weronika Maria Szalas
A deep desire and curiosity stir Woman’s mind. A door was unlocked, and the journey has begun. Through Woman’s eyes you step into her world, where one limited space opens up and you dive into the infinite mind. When your consciousness goes to sleep, and subconscious stays wide open, a dream is awake and its duality unfolds to embrace day and night.
Me & Myself
Directed by Xiwen Miao
An agoraphobic young man faces his biggest fear to visit his sister and his newly born nephew.
FENICE | Running for Life
Directed by Carolina Di Lazzaro and Giorgio Ghiotto
After overcoming difficult life experiences and attempting suicide at the age of 16, Najla finds her strength and new positive outlook on life through running. Every day Najla spreads her passion around her city, Milan and all around the world, showing the true beauty of the sport, through her authentic and unrivaled energy.
Directed by Christiana Laine
Three characters awake into unfamiliar dreamscapes where they find themselves compelled to run. As they run, they find that they are running through and amidst one-anothers’ dreams and experiences. Through music, poetry, and a series of artistic vignettes, the interconnectedness of all beings is explored.
Short Block 4
Directed by Gabriela Ortega
A daughter documents her youthful father as he introduces her to the world of 4×4 Overlanding travels. Tracing him from the passenger seat, she uses memory and a special day at the beach in the Dominican Republic to capture her father’s vibrant, at times performative, and always loving, spirit.
Directed by Claudia Lee
Following a sudden death in her family, a woman travels to her mother’s childhood home in rural Scotland, seeking closure. While there she discovers her family were part of an ancient pagan community. Things turn darkly sinister when they try to recruit her.
Don’t Burst My Bubble
Directed by Victoria Malinjod
“Don’t Burst My Bubble” is a film about puberty based off of real testimonies from many women globally. A unique glimpse into the life of a young woman experiencing the world in a new light. Our film peers into a specific phase in a woman’s life during puberty which has been often overlooked by men.
Over and Under and Through
Directed by Desireé Moore
We follow Iris through a series of interactions with peers, family and authority at home. She escapes to her subconscious to reevaluate her identity without the social pressures that define girls today. The film mediates on small moments to examine the breadth of their complex impact.
Directed by Jorja Hudson
Four friends quit their antidepressants together and all experience very different side effects.
The cost to watch the films in one short block is $12. $40 gives you access to all 20 films. Live virtual events and Q&As are free.
Purchase tickets and passes at seedandspark.com/festivals/cinema-femme