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.
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.”
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 www.powfest.com.