Film

Cascadia Film Festival

Celebrating women in film

Attend

What: Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival

When: 9 pm Thu., Apr. 11 -14

Where: Mount Baker Theatre, Pickford Film Center, Western Washington University

Cost: Free-$75

Info: http://www.cascadiafilmfest.org

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

When it comes to viewing the world, women have a different perspective than that of their male counterparts. We all know this deep down, but when it comes to film, that difference is especially conspicuous. And, sadly, it’s rarely highlighted given the dominance of men in film.

Statistics collected by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film indicate that while women account for 50 percent of all moviegoers, of the top 100 grossing films of 2018, women represented only 4 percent of directors, 15 percent of writers, 3 percent of cinematographers and 18 percent of producers. Only one out of the 112 directors of the top 100 films in 2018 was a black woman. The work and perspectives of women are of profound importance, and yet the presence of women in all aspects of the film industry remains ridiculously outweighed by men.

The third annual Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival, which takes place April 11-14, will celebrate and emphasize the contributions of women in film worldwide with an exciting lineup of films shown at the Pickford Film Center, Mount Baker Theatre, and Western Washington University.

The festival is receiving more applications from female filmmakers each year as its recognition and importance grow. Cheryl Crooks, CIWFF executive director, is thrilled that this year’s festival will have an honorary guest. Freida Lee Mock, a Chinese-American Academy-award-winning director, will travel to Bellingham for this year’s festival. Mock was the first governor elected to the documentary branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science, which she chaired for six years. She’s a documentary filmmaker and five-time Oscar nominee, and she’s a “giant in the film industry,” Crooks says. “Not only has she mentored many women, but she has a very strong social conscience and her films are set against the social fabric of our culture.”

Mock’s films include Anita: Speaking Truth to Power; Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision; Rose Kennedy: A Life to Remember, and Ruth: Justice Bader Ginsburg In Her Own Words. On April 12, CIWFF will host a reception, film and conversation with Mock mediated by Tom White, editor of Documentary Magazine, at the Mount Baker Theatre. Crooks said the conversation will focus on Mock’s career, the challenges she has faced and why she selects the subject matters that recur in her films. Two local representatives will participate in the discussion: Ana Cecilia Lopez, assistant professor of law at Western Washington University, and Audrey Sager, retired attorney and CIWFF’s vice president.

“In the films she selects, Freida picks individuals who have a huge impact on American society and culture,” Crooks explains. “People want to talk about what’s happening and why her films are still so topical, relevant and powerful—because many of the same themes continue today.”

A total of 37 films will be shown at the Pickford Film Center this year, representing 15 countries. “They’re very high-caliber films,” Crooks says, and they include feature-length and short documentaries, narratives and animated films. Among the films selected is Ajo by More Raca, about a young woman who decides to escape an early arranged marriage. The film OchiSkwaCho, directed by Jules Koostachin, is part of the festival’s indigenous film program, and China Love, directed by Australian Olivia Martin-McGuire, explores China’s new position as a globalized country. G-DOG by Freida Lee Mock, follows a Jesuit Priest as he works with former gang members to reconstruct their lives.

For a full lineup of the selected films, a schedule of showings, events, world premieres and all things Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival, visit http://www.cascadiafilmfest.org.

Alan Doyle
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