CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival is pleased to announce its 2018 Official Selection of 26 exceptional films directed by women from around the world. The second annual multi-day festival will be April 12-15, 2018 at Pickford Film Center in Bellingham, WA. The line up includes feature-length and short documentaries, narratives, animated films.
Feature selections for this year will take audiences around the globe with issues and questions that will stir thoughtful discussion. The festival will open on April 12 with Seattle-based director Lynn Shelton’s newest feature, Outside In, that was filmed in Snohomish, WA and stars Edie Falco and Jay Duplass. It’s the story of an ex-con, who’s struggling to readjust to life in his small town and forms an intense bond with his former high school teacher (Falco).
Angels Wear White by Vivian Qu explores what it’s like to be trapped in a world that offers girls and women no safety when two Chinese schoolgirls are assaulted by a middle-aged local police official. The film will make its Washington State premiere at CASCADIA.
The Divine Order, by Petra Volpe is an inspiring tale of Nora who, in a quaint village in Switzerland, starts to publicly fight for women’s suffrage in 1971. This film was Switzerland’s submission for Best Foreign Film in this year’s Academy Awards race.
Feature documentaries will expand audience perspectives about the world. Ascent directed by Fiona Tan, explores Mt. Fuji and its culture through 4,500 extraordinary photographs collected from the past 150 years, melded over a fictional love story.
Women of the Silk Road directed by Iranian-American Yassamin Maleknasr portrays the lives of four women from Iran, Oman, Turkey and Tajikistan and the history of how their forbear handicrafts wove the European Renaissance. Her film cannot be shown in her native Iran.
The Peace Agency directed by Sue Useem, is about the creation of The Women’s School in Indonesia whose mission is to transform its female students into non-violent peace agents in altering the course of conflict in that country. This film will be shown on Wednesday, April 11 at 6 p.m. in a special festival event at Western Washington University as part of their Reel World Series.
CASCADIA’s short films include a variety of dramatic-storytelling, comedic, and experimental films. As it did last year, CASCADIA will present a showcase of student films from the prestigious School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City. The selections represent some of the best of SVAs emerging women filmmakers with vibrant animated and narrative shorts.
Two films will be screened in CASCADIA’s Local Filmmaker Showcase. Headhunt Revisited by Seattle filmmaker Michele Westmoreland is a documentary feature that follows Caroline Mytinger in her 1920s quest to find and paint portraits of the unspoiled native civilizations of Melanesia before they disappear.
A complete list of the 2018 Official Selection including updates appears on the CASCADIA website. Announcements of the festival schedule and ticketing information will become available on the website, as well as the CASCADIA Women’s International Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.
As a pre-event to the Festival, CASCADIA will also provide an encore presentation of the feature Letters from Baghdad at a special event on International Women’s Day, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Pickford Film Center. The film sold out at the Doctober screening and is a documentary about Gertrude Bell and her role alongside Lawrence of Arabia in shaping the post-war Middle East.
In addition, CASCADIA is proud to welcome immediate Past President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy) Cheryl Boone Isaacs as Special Honored Guest.
Boone Isaacs is the Academy’s first African-American and third female president of the 90 year organization responsible for the awarding of the Oscars each year. “A Conversation with Cheryl Boone Isaacs” will take place on Friday, April 13, 2018 in the Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room in the Old City Hall, 121 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA. The program of behind-the-scenes stories will be free and open to the public with a ticketed Happy Hour Reception to precede at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building.
Additional details about the Cheryl Boone Isaacs April 13 event will be available on the CASCADIA website and Facebook page as the festival nears. Tickets for the Happy Hour with Boone Isaacs will be $50 that includes appetizers, wine and beer, reserved program seating, and a $25 donation to CASCADIA.
CASCADIA was founded in 2015 to promote Bellingham, Whatcom County and the Pacific Northwest as a destination for filmmakers and film enthusiasts, to present an annual film festival showcasing exceptional films by women directors, and to provide educational opportunities relating to the viewing, making and distribution of films. CASCADIA’s annual film festival is dedicated to exclusively showcasing the work of women directors. The festival debuted in April 2017, presenting 24 exceptional films directed by women.
A 2017 study conducted by the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Communications and Journalism School showed that of the 1,000 top grossing films from 2007 to 2016, only 4% were directed by women, and that “there was no meaningful change in the prevalence of female directors across the top films from 2007 to 2016.”
“The impact of film empowers women, supports local and global ideas and creates opportunities for community members, as well as filmmakers, to participate in the collaboration that is film,” explains CASCADIA’s Executive Director Cheryl Crooks. “CASCADIA is part of a larger movement to allow womens voices to be heard.”
More information may be found on the CASCADIA website: www.cascadiafilmfest.org.