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2016 Seattle Shorts announces opening night guest!

Provided by Smarthouse Creative

The shorts are coming! Seattle Shorts Film Festival is November 11-13th, 2016 at SIFF Film Center.

Known for bringing Hollywood to the Northwest, Seattle Shorts will return for the 6th annual festival this fall with well-known guests, speakers, and exciting new films. Seattle Shorts is the only regional festival dedicated to bringing brilliant short films to Seattle audiences. The festival continues to grow — already the 2016 festival has attracted a record 1400 submissions, and has expanded a full day to become a three day event.

This year’s program includes a special twist: opening night will be a feature film! Before I Disappear is a feature-length adaptation of director Shawn Christensen’s 2012 Oscar-winning short film, CURFEWFATIMA PTACEK Headshot

Lead actress (and voice of Dora the Explorer) Fatima Ptacek will attend opening night. Other highlights include a program of female-directed films; a block of music videos; and a panel discussion called “Navigating the Film Festival Circuit” with Seattle Shorts alumni. Look for the full program announcement in early August. Tickets and more information at




By Smarthouse Creative

This July 28-31, STIFF will energize and strengthen the Seattle film scene. STIFF is the only regional festival dedicated to showcasing work created specifically for new digital storytelling platforms. Since 2013, the organization’s new mission now includes incubating talent via mentorship, fiscal sponsorship, and equipment loans, making it an important new launch pad for emerging new media artists.
STIFF is ready to provide another opportunity for the city to experience the vanguard of digital storytelling. Audiences can enjoy and participate in the latest, cutting-edge accomplishments in the field of transmedia — that is, video games, feature films, interactive installations, virtual reality, and many more boundary-crossing works of art.

The festival will open with Delaney Ruston’s “Screenagers” on July 28 beginning at 7pm, followed by a gala afterparty. The new locally-produced documentary explores how technology impacts kids’ development and the challenges of parenting in the digital world. With surprising insights from authors and brain scientists, solutions emerge on how parents can empower kids to best navigate these challenges. “Screenagers” has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, and Good Morning America, among many other outlets.

Expect an announcement from STIFF’s programming team to be made during this year’s opening night festivities!

New this year: The festival will take over the glamorous Factory Luxe venue inside the historic Rainier Brewery Building on Airport Way!

Other festival highlights include:

  • Transmedia Gallery with virtual reality, 360 video, interactive content, gaming and video art–all free and open to the public.

  • Sisterhood of Shred” a documentary that shares the story of a community of local women who engage in the sport of mountain biking

Similar to the model established by the Sundance Institute’s “Labs” program, in which promising filmmakers are selected for special workshopping of their projects, STIFF has recently formalized and bolstered their efforts to incubate local talent (Seattle Transmedia Collective). Projects that have benefitted from STIFF’s support include “Asylum,” the story of a woman’s struggle through a marriage of control, rape and physical abuse, and the mental health issues it causes; “Baked – A Web Series,” a show currently in production that is hosted by 84-year-old grandma Patsy Benson who crafts delicious cannabis-based edibles; SplicedVR, a local VR/360/180 content development firm whose “Desire” was co-presented with SIFF at the Pacific NW Science Center Laser Dome for the 360 NW Program; “Redline,” a feature length documentary currently in production about a, organization that was formed to oppose the Tacoma Methane Plant; and “Polyamorous”, a WA FilmWorks innovation lab proposal for a feature length Second Screen App.

Says festival director Tim Vernor, “Transmedia is at such an exciting point right now. The festival is a real opportunity for audiences to be the first to see this type of work – to say ‘I was there.’ Filmmakers are sure to leave inspired to move into this new frontier — the possibilities for producing great art are really just emerging.”

All-access festival passes and individual are currently on sale at Opening night tickets are on sale now at The full program will be available online beginning July 14.

Join the STIFF conversation: Mailing list | Instagram |  Facebook | Twitter

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‘After Alcatraz – Surviving the Escape’ optioned by Seattle based Capestany Films

Written By Jade Kennedy – Associate Editor 

Now after 54 years, one of the most fascinating unsolved US historical mysteries of all time will be returning to the silver screen with an Award Winning screenplay and original story that follows the infamous Escape from Alcatraz by three men on June 11, 1962.Scott and Kevin

Seattle Producer Scott A. Capestany of Capestany Films negotiated earlier this Spring at the 2016 SCRIPTFEST  in Los Angeles, a screenplay option deal with book author Kevin Bruce.  Bruce, whose father J. Campbell Bruce penned the original book “Escape from Alcatraz” that was converted into a movie starring Clint Eastwood in 1979, recently completed his screenplay adaptation and became a 2015 Cannes Film Festival screenplay finalist in competition.

Capestany Films has been gaining much attention with numerous industry insiders over the last few years involving their aggressive campaigns designed to bring new large scale Film/TV productions to the Pacific Northwest.  Capestany has been strategically positioning his companies IP that includes current projects in development and production mirroring the efforts of Washington Filmworks who have been fighting to restructure the current film incentive program.  Currently, the incentive program ranks at the bottom of over 30 States in the union whom offer spectacular and appealing rebates and tax incentives for producers filming in their regions.

At this years 2016 Seattle International Film Festival, Executive Director Amy Lillard accepted an award for Washington Filmworks’ hard work over the years and helping to restore WA State as a premier filming location that could offer better incentives for their filmmakers which in turn positively impact the States local economies.

“It’s always been a cornerstone of Capestany Films to help enhance the number of commercially sound feature films and TV productions that can be filmed in our State without losing high concept global appeal and avoiding big budgets”, Capestany said.   “The digital revolution now allows quality feature films to be made in the $1-5M range that now carry  lucrative box-office revenue potential around the world”, he added.  “We commend the efforts of Washington Filmworks in helping us filmmakers in this regard.  However, WA state lawmakers need to re-examine the colossal positive economic impacts these films and TV productions make in our communities and the contributions they make among the overall economic vitality of the region.” ONE SHEET Revised_Alcatraz_Jpeg

With their new project ‘After Alcatraz – Surviving the Escape’, Capestany and his team plans on bringing  a large portion of the film to a small Pacific Northwest community that will feature a magnificent 1960s production design, theme and one of the most popular prison escape stories of all time to Washington State.  “Having watched Scott work tirelessly over the years, re-opening the Alcatraz mystery – so to speak – and bringing this tale of intrigue and history to the Evergreen State soil could be the kind of film that helps put Washington State back on the map as a prime and economically viable filming destination.”, said local production designer Aaron John III.

The producers did not comment on or speculate if Clint Eastwood would reprise his role of the aged 85 year old escape Frank Morris or speculate the possibilities of Scott Eastwood to play the lead part of the younger Frank Morris in this film.

Keep Film in WA

Attendees of the Keep Film in WA campaign launch in Spokane, Bellingham and Seattle listened to Amy Lillard (Filmworks executive director) and Don Jensen (Filmworks board chair) speak about the upcoming legislative session. Photos by Joe Flores.

Attendees of the Keep Film in WA campaign launch in Spokane, Bellingham and Seattle listened to Amy Lillard (Filmworks executive director) and Don Jensen (Filmworks board chair) speak about the upcoming legislative session. All photos by Joe Flores.

The Washington film industry is battling for its future as the 2016 legislative session rolls on.

Flanked by a strong coalition of film industry allies, Washington Filmworks is leading a campaign to fight for the future of production in the state.

Specifically, Filmworks and its “Keep Film in WA” campaign partners are rallying behind House Bill 2542 (HB 2542), which, if signed into law, would increase funding for the production incentive program and extend its sunset date.

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Amy Lillard

Prime sponsored by Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-3), the bill doubles the size of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program fund to $7 million over two years and increases the fund incrementally until it reaches $10 million by the year 2020. The bill will also extend the sunset date of the program to December 31, 2023.

With its current film incentive fund of just $3.5 million per year, the state has had to turn away millions of dollars in business. In 2015, Washington State lost out on $65 million in economic activity after Washington Filmworks exhausted its fund by March. By increasing the fund’s cap to $7 million, and eventually $10 million, HB 2542 would make Washington more competitive when it comes to drawing production from outside the state.

Credit Joe Flores 2

Don Jensen

Washington Filmworks urges film industry professionals to help the campaign by signing the Keep Film in WA petition ( and by contacting their local legislators to not only provide them with facts and data about the incentive program, but to also share their personal stories of why film is important in Washington State.

Additionally, on January 21, Filmworks organized Film Day in Olympia. Over 200 film professionals and supporters from around the state showed up to lobby their legislators in support of the bill. Campaigners were able to organize and execute over 100 meetings with legislators and got great feedback and insight from the attendees who took the meetings.

Following Film Day, on January 22, was the Hearing in front of the House Finance Committee, during which 9 members of the film community testified on behalf of HB 2542. According to Filmworks, a total of 35 people signed in to support the bill that morning—an amazing show of support.

Stay tuned to as the legislative session progresses to find out what you can do to Keep Film in WA!

Filmmaker Celia Jensen poses with her friends on the Opening Night red carpet at the Seattle Cinerama during NFFTY 2014. Photo by Mark Malijan

Looking Back at 10 Years of NFFTY

Filmmaker Celia Jensen poses with her friends on the Opening Night red carpet at the Seattle Cinerama during NFFTY 2014. Photo by Mark Malijan

Filmmaker Celia Jensen poses with her friends on the Opening Night red carpet at the Seattle Cinerama during NFFTY 2014. Photo by Mark Malijan

By Todd Kaumans Program Manager, NFFTY

This April, NFFTY (pronounced ‘nifty’, standing for the National Film Festival for Talented Youth) turns 10 years old! In addition to inspiring us to present the best festival yet, the anniversary also gives us a chance to look back at the many highlights of the past decade.

NFFTY was founded by Seattle native Jesse Harris, who, after producing and distributing his feature film Living Life as a college student, realized there was no festival specializing in presenting the work of young people. He teamed up with Jocelyn R.C. and Kyle Seago, and in 2007 the first ever NFFTY took place as a one-night event, showing work from around the country.

NFFTY 2008 filmmakers pose together for a group photo in front of the press wall. Photo by Mong Kon Mo

NFFTY 2008 filmmakers pose together for a group photo in front of the press wall. Photo by Mong Kon Mo

By 2008 the festival was a three-day affair, with a full program of screenings, panels and two concerts. In 2009 we began accepting international submissions, making the festival a truly worldwide event. By 2010 the now four-day festival included 190 films representing 33 states and 16 countries, and in 2011 NFFTY was officially the world’s largest film festival for emerging filmmakers.

Over the years we’ve featured the work of some truly tremendous talents, and we couldn’t be more proud of our alumni. Former NFFTY filmmakers are now working for prestigious companies such as The Weinstein Company, Pixar, and Trigger Street Productions, including Kevin Klauber who edited the Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.

A representative from AJA Video Systems instructs filmmakers during the NFFTY 2015 Digital Expo at McCaw Hall. Photo by Octavian Matei

A representative from AJA Video Systems instructs filmmakers during the NFFTY 2015 Digital Expo at McCaw Hall. Photo by Octavian Matei

Though Jesse has since moved on to pursue his own film projects, the festival now boasts award-winning producer and nonprofit executive Stefanie Malone as the manager of the organization. Under her leadership, in 2014 NFFTY created our Young Women in Film initiative, a year-round effort to support young female filmmakers around the world. NFFTY also formally launched an in-house production company known as NFFTY Creative with the mission of connecting sponsors and brands with the festival’s most promising alumni to work on original branded content projects. The first major project, “A Supporting Role,” has earned multiple accolades including ADDY Awards and a Telly Award.

Hollywood producer Dana Brunetti (House of Cards, The Social Network, Fifty Shades of Grey) speaks on the keynote panel during NFFTY 2011. Photo by Bobby Bonsey

Hollywood producer Dana Brunetti (House of Cards, The Social Network, Fifty Shades of Grey) speaks on the keynote panel during NFFTY 2011. Photo by Bobby Bonsey

And we haven’t stopped growing! Last year the festival had a record-breaking 248 films representing 30 states and 25 countries. The festival continued to support female filmmakers with a closing night screening called “Femme Finale.” Forty-eight percent of the films screened at the festival were directed by young women, a major accomplishment compared to Hollywood where women direct less than nine percent of films.

NFFTY now looks toward its 10th anniversary, happening April 28 – May 1. Over 1,000 emerging filmmakers from around the globe submitted their work for consideration in this major milestone of the festival’s history. The festival will also launch our first ever
Screenwriting Competition to be operated as both a component of the annual event and also in the off-season.

Visit our website,, for more information about this year’s event, and to get your tickets!

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Ashland Named A Best Place to Live and Work as a Filmmaker by MovieMaker Magazine for Third Year in a Row

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By Ginny Auer Executive Director, Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM)
Photo by Sean Bagshaw

When thinking of Ashland, most people’s minds go to the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the powder atop the slopes of Mt. Ashland or the many local wineries and breweries. But after a third year in a row on the list of best places to live and work as a filmmaker in MovieMaker Magazine, Ashland’s reputation as a filmmaking hub is solid as well.

Ashland was recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as the #2 Town to Live and Work as a MovieMaker in the nation for 2014, and then was honored with a bump to #1 in January of 2015! In 2016, MovieMaker changed the criteria for the award to combine small cities and towns. Ashland beat out film hubs with populations of more than 150,000 and more robust incentive packages, ranking at #5 on the list this year. How is it that this small town of 20,000 is getting such accolades? MovieMaker cited “a bustling culinary scene, a no-big box store policy (and no state sales tax!), film festivals, independent theaters and a super-supportive film organization called Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM).”

SOFaM supports the local film industry by promoting the region to both local and out-of-area producers, and works to connect productions with local film professionals, actors, equipment and resources via its online directory. With its large database and deep reach across the entire region, SOFaM is a great place to start for any film or media project.

In recent years, Ashland has shown up on big and small screens quite a bit. Wild, with Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon, featured the downtown area, as well as nearby sections of the scenic Pacific Crest Trail. Ashland was also seen in Night Moves with Jesse Eisenberg and then again in the locally-produced independent film Black Road. Companies like Hewlett-Packard and even John Deere are finding Southern Oregon a great place to film.

Ashland has a film-friendly community, with low- to no-cost permits, strong state incentives, no sales tax and unexpectedly large numbers of filmmakers, technicians, equipment, support services and on-screen talent.

And then there are the kinds of resources you don’t expect to find in a town this size. Beyond the talented performers that join the Oregon Shakespeare Festival each year, OSF’s costume rental shop is just as impressive. The shop is the size of a football field with costumes from nearly every era, and it regularly rents to theaters, film and TV productions across the country, including Saturday Night Live.

Ashland is in the center of a filmmaker’s goldmine. Southern Oregon boasts a unique and beautiful coastline, high desert to the east, and many small towns with a host of unique venues for shooting. Medford, situated at the heart of the region, is the location of an airport with direct flights to and from Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. When taken as a whole, the MovieMaker designation of Ashland as a best place to live and be a filmmaker really applies to all of Southern Oregon.

Cameras are rolling in Southern Oregon like never before and SOFaM extends an invitation for new and returning filmmakers to join in and see what all the buzz is about!

The staff of Three Dollar Bill Cinema with Maureen Bradley, director of the 2015 Best Narrative Feature, Two 4 One.


The staff of Three Dollar Bill Cinema with Maureen Bradley, director of the 2015 Best Narrative Feature, Two 4 One.

The staff of Three Dollar Bill Cinema with Maureen Bradley, director of the 2015 Best Narrative Feature, Two 4 One.

Seattle Transgender Film Festival is a constellation of shining stars & original stories

By Sam Berliner Festival Director
Photos courtesy of Three Dollar Bill Cinema

The 2016 edition of Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival is all about connecting audiences with stars and stories. This year we are excited to celebrate some of the champions who have led the way for transgender communities and highlight connections through an array of voices and perspectives.

One of the most visible and highly acclaimed transgender-centered series is the groundbreaking Transparent. Join us during this year’s festival for an exciting discussion with some of the remarkable talent behind the making of this captivating show, including pioneering star Alexandra Billings—the first openly trans woman to have played a transgender character on television back in 2005. Our guests will share some inside scoop, thoughts on the broader implications of the show’s success, reflections on what it means being transgender both in front of and behind the camera, and where they see trans representation going in the future.

Festival director Sam Berliner

Festival director Sam Berliner

We’re incredibly excited for the Northwest premiere of Major! about Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, the 73-year-old Black transgender woman who has fought for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years. From the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion to the Transgender
Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), Miss Major’s life is a testament to the fierce survivalism, resilience and celebration of a community that has been historically traumatized and marginalized. The film, which recently sold out its San Francisco premiere at the historic Castro Theatre, shows one woman’s journey, a community’s history, and how caring for each other can be a revolutionary act.

And when it comes to unique stories, Suited fits to a tee. This documentary—fresh from its Sundance premiere and produced by Lena Dunham—tells the story of Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn tailoring company that makes custom suits for gender -nonconforming and transgender clients. Among the people on the gender spectrum sharing their stories are a trans boy preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, a New York City cab driver, a young Southern law student and a trans man preparing for his wedding. At its heart, the film is an intimate journey of coming into a new identity, accepting difference and living bravely in one’s own skin. It’s another Northwest premiere!

Co-directors of last year's Best Documentary Short Film, Passing, Lucah Rosenberg Lee (left) and J. Mitchel Reed (right).

Co-directors of last year’s Best Documentary Short Film, Passing, Lucah Rosenberg Lee (left) and J. Mitchel Reed (right).

Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival is not only a groundbreaking film festival that provides the Pacific Northwest with a venue for films by, for, and about transgender people and the issues facing the transgender community, but one of only a few transgender film festivals in the world. The goal of the event is to place emphasis on visibility and positive representations. Join us for four days of shining stars and exciting stories from our community.

Translations takes place May 12-15 at the Northwest Film Forum and 12th Ave Arts. To read more or purchase tickets, visit and

Photo by Sherry Zheng

Asian American Festival Bridges Culture in Seattle

Photo by Sherry Zheng

Photo by Sherry Zheng

This past February, audiences enjoyed the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, which screened at the Northwest Film Forum over four days. Media Inc. spoke with the co-directors of the festival, Vanessa Au and Martin Tran, to hear about the festival’s contribution to the Seattle film and cultural landscape.

Media Inc: Tell us a bit about the Seattle Asian American Film Festival. It had been on hiatus starting in 2007, and then it was resurrected in 2013. What about the festival has changed?
Vanessa Au and Martin Tran: Since SAAFF’s resurrection, we’ve made several changes. We kick off every festival with an opening night party featuring live performances from local Asian American musicians, artists and dancers. We’ve also tried hard to bring the filmmakers to the festival so that they can network with one another and meet the audience, whether that’s during post-film Q&As, panel discussions or in the theater lobby. Finally, we’ve spent a lot of time doing outreach to the Asian American community through our co-presenters program. We get at least one API (Asian Pacific Islander) nonprofit group to promote each program and in turn provide them with a table to distribute info about their organization and a few minutes at the start of the screening to tell the audience about their org.

Photo by Amy Zhong

Photo by Amy Zhong

MI: What are some of your goals with the festival? How does it contribute to the Seattle community?
VA/MT: One of our top goals is to contribute to the Asian American community by bringing attention to various organizations and bringing community organizers to the festival. Some of the groups who’ve participated as co-presenters include API Chaya, Asian and Counseling Resource Services (ACRS), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Seattle, Vietnamese Friendship Association, Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Greater Seattle, Trikone, International Community Health Services (ICHS), and others. We also use the opening night party to feature local live Asian American talent.

MI: What were some highlights about this year’s festival?
VA/MT: The biggest highlight this year was the number of filmmakers that were in attendance. It was amazing to see them meet one another and the greater Seattle community, be it at official events like our Opening Night Party, Filmmaker Brunch, VIP party, and Q&As after their screenings, to more casual settings like the lobby of the Northwest Film Forum, or in our VIP Lounge or at an impromptu dinner the last night of the fest. It was just really wonderful to see people coming together, and to share our wonderful city with these visiting filmmakers.

Photo by Amy Zhong

Photo by Amy Zhong

MI: Can you speak about some of the Northwest filmmakers that were showcased in the festival?
VA/MT: Every year we do our best to showcase local filmmakers, and we were lucky to have so many great short films to share. Tadd Mitsui told a touching story about a man and his place in our ever-changing city in The Car Doctor Pat Abe. Jade Justad brought such a beautiful visual eye and drew out naturalistic performances from her young actors with her short film, Creased, about a young Asian American woman struggling with self-image and what it means to be beautiful, let alone “normal,” in this world. She brought a deft touch to the issue of Asians having the double eyelid surgery that makes them look more “White.”

We also showcase films from ACRS Southeast Asian Young Men’s Group, shepherded by Joseph Mills. This year we screened Model Minority Stereotype by Minhkennedy Pham and Chanthadeth by Chanthadeth Chanthalangsy. Both films spoke to our perceptions of identity, on both very personal and political levels.

MI: Thanks so much for sharing about the festival. We look forward to it in 2017!

More information about the Seattle Asian American Film Festival is available online at


Shokrian Leads the OMPA

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor
Photo by Owen Carey

Janice Shokrian has worked around the film industry for years. Now she’s firmly embedded within the industry as the new head of Oregon’s industry association, the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA).Janice

After Tom McFadden resigned his post as Executive Director in February 2015, the OMPA has been in the interim hands of Nathaniel Applefield. The OMPA’s Board of Directors conducted a search to find McFadden’s replacement, and selected Shokrian to lead the OMPA in December 2015.

Ever since, Shokrian has been hitting the ground running. She’s traveled around the state, familiarizing herself with the myriad of individuals involved in Oregon’s media industry. Also on the agenda: getting familiar with the SourceOregon Directory and determining how to maximize its impact, particularly with regards to state incentive programs.

“The directory isn’t just a place to have your name. It has a greater purpose. It’s also a show of force for legislators,” Shokrian comments. “This message needs to resonate more fully.”

Shokrian brings a trove of arts management experience, having worked in volunteer management and marketing over the course of her career. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Portland Actors Conservatory, and she also ran a boutique marketing company for 12 years, working with a Grammy Award-winning musician, an opera singer, and other clients from the nonprofit arts world. “I’ve always wanted to work in the nonprofit world,” says Shokrian. “It’s important that I have a cause and a drive to my work.”

Although she hasn’t been directly involved much in the film industry prior to her appointment with the OMPA, Shokrian is committed to understanding the dynamics within the organization and around the state. “I’m looking at the OMPA from a 30,000 feet viewpoint…this perspective allows me to look at our work from a different vantage point.”

She’s excited to be a champion for the industry and to provide support, especially working within Oregon’s film community. “I feel proud of our state. It’s not pretentious. Everybody stands shoulder-to-shoulder. There’s a real giveback sense in the community.” Shokrian hopes to continue that sense of involvement in the community while building the OMPA’s membership, which currently stands at roughly 800 members. Shokrian will also work with organizations around the state, such as Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM), to ensure that the sense of community is supported and sustained throughout Oregon.

“We represent the whole state, not just Portland,” she says. “We’re Oregon-centric.”

Catherine Hardwicke Showcased at POWFest’s Ninth Year

Tara Johnson-Medinger and Catherine Hardwicke

Tara Johnson-Medinger and Catherine Hardwicke

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor

POWFest wrapped up another year of showcasing film work by women in Portland. The festival, in its ninth year, ran March 3 through 6 at the Hollywood Theatre.POWFest 2

Filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke attended the festival as the guest of honor. POWFest screened three of her films—Twilight, Thirteen, and Miss You Already—and hosted a discussion with the seasoned director. Hardwicke is a vocal advocate for women in film, as highlighted by POWFest’s executive director, Tara Johnson-Medinger.

“Catherine Hardwicke’s strong voice and willingness to step publicly into Hollywood’s gender discussion is something to celebrate,” said Johnson-Medinger. “Because of her, women are less fearful of being vocal as there has been a groundswell of support to amplify these voices. There is a revolution going on and she is one of the women in the lead.”

Catherine Hardwicke presents a master class at POWFest.

Catherine Hardwicke presents a master class at POWFest.

The festival opened with Abigail Disney’s The Armor of Light, which follows an Evangelical minister tackling the issue of gun violence in the U.S. Over 35 other film directors attended the festival to screen their films, including Northwest filmmakers Dawn Jones Redstone, Kia Anne Geraths, Christian Henry and Misty Eddy. POWFest’s
educational initiative, POWGirls, also presented films. POWGirls is a program open to girls age 15 to 19 who learn skills in media-making. POWGirls participants spent three days writing, producing and editing films, which were then screened at the festival.



Hardwicke presented a Master Class for festival attendees, and also participated in a Q&A session with Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, a website devoted to exploring gender issues in the film and other media industries. The festival also presented workshops on crowdfunding and the art of the pitch.

More information about POWFest is available at

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