California Women’s Film Festival


January 2016 selections and Winners

Official Selections


Dir. Paige Snider

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 4

This comical short follows the sexual misadventures of a young woman as she navigates the dating world and discovers that self acceptance is the key to success.


Dir. Kitty Von-Sometime

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 2

Like many of art film episodes from The Weird Girls Project, “#EmbraceYourself”, assumes a music video format. The work features women encrusted in thickly layered gold body glitter dancing amidst wet volcanic sand with a backdrop of angled mirrors. The purpose of this piece is to promote a message to women to celebrate themselves and to truly love who they are.

A Children’s Song

Dir. Shayna Cohen

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 1

When two students competing for a music scholarship discover that their original compositions are based on a single family song, both are determined to prove ownership, leading them to uncover the long lost true origin of the melody: a story of salv

ation and hope when over 20,000+ Jews emigrated to Shanghai during WWII.


Dir. Natalie Metzger

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 4

Like the heat imprint that is temporarily left after a person touches something, a house holds the memories and residues of the people that have inhabited it. Sometimes just entering the space can flood the mind with vivid imagery of days past and moments long gone. But the brain is fallible, and sometimes the images mix and the memories become re-remembered until reality, both past and present, is just an illusion.

All Rise Say No To Cyber Abuse

Dir. Hemma Kearney

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 2

An incredibly intricate film outlining the form of online abuse is just the same and worse than physical abuse. The film evolves with you each time you watch it, as you notice more and more what's happening within the short timeframe of 60 seconds.

Baby Hung The Moon

Dir. Heidi Hornbacher & Erik Nielsen

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 3

Tired of waiting for her love to return, a girl sets off to find him but she finds herself lost in strange places and must follow the moonlight he guides her with.

Bipolar & Cheese

Dir. Scarlet Perez

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 5

A therapist discovers she has Bipolar Disorder after she has a breakdown over a co-worker whom she bonds with over cheese.

Birdie’s Song

Dir. Shari Rigby

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 1

Birdie's Song tells a story about two sisters and their search for freedom, as one sister tries to escape past mistakes, and the other tries hard to forgive her.

Body + Blood

Dir. Marisa Echeverria

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 2

When Dan meets up with his ex-girlfriend Leah for dinner it quickly becomes clear that neither of them has recovered from the spiritual shock of their break-up. Both realize they will have to follow their broken hearts in order to move on in this funny, touching and surprising look at love and faith.


Dir. Lexi St. John

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 2

BOUND is a thrilling drama about a teenage boy named Derrick who finds himself trapped by responsibilities, torn between the dependency of his family and the loyalty of his friends. Overwhelmed with burden, he is drawn to his best friends who free him from his home and remind him of what his childhood should feel like. But as things get out of hand, Derrick is left to pick up the pieces and face the consequences.

Burbank Game Night

Dir. Tiffany Aleman

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 5

Welcome to Burbank. Want to play a game?


Dir. Mariana Conde

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 3

A young man's attempt at a first contact with a love interest is hijacked in a most entertaining way.

Charlie’s Supersonic Glider

Dir. Kate Maberly

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 2

Charlie's is a cruel world. As a baby, he was the only survivor of a horrible car wreck that killed his mother. His Father - once a hero, now an angry drunk - has blamed Charlie ever since. This film depicts the dynamic contrast between a very real, very brutal Father/Son relationship, and the wondrous and beautiful world that exists within a little boy's imagination. When

Charlie's Supersonic Glider eventually takes flight, Charlie is in Heaven.

Competitive Friends

Dir. Jaki Nelson & Breann Johnson

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 3

What happens when you take two best friends that are extremely competitive? This comedy short explores those possibilities. Stars Breann Johnson (Jamie) and Jaki Nelson (Becca) are constantly trying to 'one up' the other much to their dismay. They take it too far and Bryce Pyper (Sam) is there to witness it and faces a tough decision.


Dir. Georgiana Taylor

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 3

Maebh loves her food and no one's going to question her on it, ever again.


Dir. Lisa Nicole Lennox

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 1

A woman learns that the father she thought passed away when she was 5 years old had in fact been leading a double life and ultimately abandoned her and her mother for another family. Faced with this deception, she seeks out a therapist who she believes is the only one who can help her cope with her anger and confusion. It soon becomes clear, however, that she sought out this therapist for reasons far beyond just her skill.

Days Without Accident

Dir. Theresa Latzko

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 2

Two scientists find that saving the planet is a surprisingly dull occupation

Drug Mule

Dir. David Spaltro

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 1

Mexican drug enforcement agents get an unwelcome surprise when they suspect an American mother of smuggling.


Dir. Danielle Johnson

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 1

a Penguin and a Polar Bear and their love for the same egg.


Dir. Eddika Organista

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 1

'Ella' pays homage to working class women, who’s jobs are to look after, provide care, and even raise other’s peoples children, as well as being responsible for general house cleaning and maintenance. While being immersed in this type of employment, these women also have their own families to care for, love and nurture.

Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides

Dir. Karen Kasmauski, Lucy Craft & Kathryn Tolbert

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 4

Atsuko, Emiko and Hiroko were among tens of thousands of Japanese women who married their former enemies after World War II. They landed in 1950s America knowing no one, speaking little English and often moving in with stunned in-laws. In brutally honest conversations with their daughters, they reveal the largely untold story of the Japanese war brides.

Grief Sleeps

Dir. Timothy Marc Hopper

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 5

A mother struggles to maintain her grasp on reality until she is pushed to the brink of death.

I’m Going To Mary This Boy

Dir. Radha Mehta

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 3

An unlikely romance in India at a time when women weren't allowed the freedom of choice. Against all odds, this woman's love story has survived 45 years of marital bliss and is still going strong.

Jacob Stone

Dir. Roya Aryanpad

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 2

Jacob Stone is the hero of his high school basketball team. He's college-bound with a bright future full of possibilities and a beautiful, loving girlfriend at his side. But everything suddenly becomes uncertain for Jacob when elements from his complicated past surface, threatening to throw off his plans and send his life into a tailspin. Jacob must re-evaluate all that he believes as he confronts these unexpected challenges that not only jeopardize his future, but his very life.


Dir. Nathan Lorch & Milena Ferreira

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 2

Lennon Gandhi Mayburn (Kim Kutner) is different; she sees dead people. And with the help of her favorite departed friend, Mrs. Polanski (Nancy Cartwright), an old lady with a penchant for adventure, she learns that although she may never see her beloved parents again, there may still be hope at true love in the real world.


Dir. Ryan Shovey

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 5

A woman grows closer to her new lover. But, she soon discovers he’s not at all what he seems…

Lucky Penny

Dir. Nick De Luca

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 2

Two women en route to a birthday party pick up a tails up penny and bad luck ensues.

Mansions On The Moon feat. Zee Avi: Heart Of The Moment

Dir. Steve Nguyen & Choz Belen

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 4

In a mystical universe, two women are fated to meet each other under extremely ethereal circumstances in search for the mansion on the moon.

Maria Revealed

Dir. Pablo Giustorobelo

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 5

Maria is forced into a desperate and dangerous journey to protect and rescue her son after her physically abusive ex-husband beats her and kidnaps the boy.

Mom’s Night Out

Dir. Hunter Woodworth

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 2

Mom’s Night Out is a short comedy film about mothers behaving badly. Three moms and best friends, Bailey, Sarah and Nina, all hate another mom, Teresa, who insults and judges them whenever she gets a chance. They are all tipped over the edge when Teresa wins a bottle of wine at a school run auction, Sarah was hoping to get. And after drinking too much at their 'book club' the three friends decide to break into Teresa's house and steal the bottle of wine; hopefully getting back what should have been theirs and giving Teresa what's coming to her.

Mythica: The Darkspore

Dir. Anne Black

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 6

Marek and her friends face a sinister new enemy - Kishkumen, a foreign mystic bent on reclaiming the Darkspore for his master Szorlok. Armed with twin maps, Marek and her team race Kishkumen and his horde through creature-infested lands, to a long abandoned underground city – all the while pursued by bounty hunters intent on returning Marek to slavery.    Joined by the mysterious dark-elf warrior – Qole – the team journeys deep underground to discover that the ruined city is now home to an undead dragon. Trapped between Kishkumen and the dragon, Marek and her team must employ all their skill and magic to battle the beast, and combat Kishkumen for their hard won treasure and their lives.


Dir. Dylan Stern

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 1

Two sisters struggle to repair their fractured relationship while plotting to kill their sick mother.


Dir. Ward Roberts

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 1

A young woman's journey of recovery and escape from the cult of pro-ana.

Rag Doll

Dir. Zena Dell Lowe

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 1

Inspired by a true story, “Rag Doll” is an edgy, thought-provoking short film about a woman who's married to a gay man.


Dir. Bryce Morgan

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 2

A short film/ music video about a woman born into a reincarnated love triangle who must stop the cycle of violence between her two soulmates.

Roast It Again, Sam

Dir. Bruce Caulk

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 5

When a beautiful woman heading out on the town stops into a corner coffee shop, she finds herself inexplicably transported back in time to a noir 1940s cafe. Struggling to communicate with the male barista attempting to woo her, hard-boiled noir language and a modern day coffee order collide.

See Me

Dir. Tyler Fordham

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 3

Following her tortured childhood, a distraught twenty-something woman must enter into the darkest parts of her mind to understand what she came from and who she’s become.

Soiled Doves

Dir. TJ Pederson

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 4

Unable to conform to societal expectations in the late 1880's, three women find their lives crumbling around them. Will they choose fight or flight?

Stay At Home Mom

Dir. David M. Gutel

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 3

Former work-a-holic, now stay at home mom, learns that staying with the kids is harder than she thought. Fearful of loosing her corporate ties, she tries to keep a foot in the door, but unplanned circumstances forces her to question what she truly wants in life.

Still Life

Dir. Seri DeYoung

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 2

A young artist must decide if she has the strength to break free from her mother's stifling grasp.


Dir. John Michell

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 4

A short comedy about lust, names and wobbly eyebrows. Naturally.

The Dazzling Darling Sisters

Dir. Brian E. Bennett

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 2

A talented but naive musical theater starlet must contend with a jealous sister, a philandering husband, an exasperated agent, an intimidating studio mogul, and a bizarre theater owner in this hilarious, irreverent, and ridiculous send-up of the great musical comedies of the 1930s and 40s.

The Grand Guignol

Dir. Maria Gabriela Cardenas

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 1

Steven, a loner surveillance technician, is sent to a job in a Beverly Hills Mansion where he falls for Mary Ann Milland, a beautiful and married singer. As they become illicit lovers their lives will never be the same in this quintessential film noir experience, that includes romance, betrayal, murder and as the film metaphorical title indicates, fate will be handled as in a dangerous marionettes show.

The Last Inca Princess

Dir. Ana De Orbegoso

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 2

This art video brings to life into a colonial painting capturing a crucial moment in south american history: the execution of the last emperor Inca Tupac Amaru and the political wedding of his niece to a Spanish captain, events that consummated the conquest of the Inca empire and the oficial mestizaje, the mixed breed, of Peruvian and Spanish cultures.

The Light Thief

Dir. Eva Daoud

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 1

When the essence of Love is snatched from someone and locked away in a vessel with no name , what happens to those persons and how do they change? How can the broken hearted souls break that curse and recover from their pain? Can they regain their spark by overcoming dark supernatural forces?

The Puppeteer

Dir. Emma Weston

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 2

A young ballerina, being magically controlled on and off stage by her Puppeteer Master, tries to escape for her freedom and pursuit of the life she once had.

The Spirit Of Iris

Dir. Corinne Jayaweera

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 1

Meet Iris, a 95 year old certified flight instructor who has trained astronauts, swam and competed in the 1936 Olympics games and was one of the first women to fly for the air force during world WWII.

Topanga Rose

Dir. Anne Nemer

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 1

A young girl living with Cystic Fibrosis goes on a birthday hike with her mother. An unexpected guest brings them peace.

Unslut: A Documentary Film

Dir. Emily Lindin

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 3

This documentary short from The UnSlut Project asks: Why is the sexual shaming of girls and women, including sexual assault victims, still so prevalent in the United States and Canada?

Vanya- Minicab Driver

Dir. Caroline Hicks

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 1

‘Vanya’ is a black comedy, the story of a middle aged taxi driving Greek woman who is looking for love. She’s early 50’s, overweight and over worked. 4 years ago her husband left one night, out of the blue. He took everything with him, including all Vanya’s savings.

Vincent The Artist

Dir. Deborah Romare & Vincent J. Wiley

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 5

Vincent, a lovable young animated characters dreams of being a great artist, against the wishes of his father. Determined, he sets out on a journey to follow his destiny, and in doing so discovers life’s biggest lessons as he travels to New York and joins the circus… all of it revealed through the brilliant artwork of Vincent Van Gogh.


Dir. Chelsea Stardust

Friday  1/8/2016 Block 1

A dreamer shares an intimate journey through her mind with a complete stranger, while waiting for the bus.

Waiting For You

Dir. Susan Matus

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 1

After a stroke, that has left him without the use of his speech, an old man fines himself lost and alone. He sits waiting for the return of his daughter who left a year earlier. When she returns he learns that life is about living, dying and the grey space between the two.

Which Is Witch

Dir. Paul Elliston

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 4

An unexpected surprise is revealed when a hard boiled cop meets a small town witch. Who ultimately has the power?

Wish Me Luck

Dir. Angela Robinson Witherspoon

Saturday  1/9/2016 Block 5

Nina visits her best friend, Dakota, after discovering that she has stage four breast cancer and was one of the last to find out.

Audience Award Winners

(Audience Winners will be posted by January 11th)

1st Place

Bipolar & Cheese Dir. Scarlet Perez

2nd Place 

Lucky Penny Dir. Nick De Luca

3rd Place

A Children’s Song Dir. Shayna Cohen

Jury Category Winners

(Category Winners will be presented at the end of the film’s screening block)

Best Feature Film

Mythica: The Darkspore Dir. Anne Black

(Presented at the end of Block 6 on Saturday 1/9/2016)

Best Short Film

A Children’s Song Dir. Shayna Cohen

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Saturday 1/9/2016)

Best Feature Documentary

Unslut: A Documentary Film Dir. Emily Lindin

(Presented at the end of Block 3 on Saturday 1/9/2016)

Best Short Documentary

Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight Dir. Karen Kasmauski, Lucy Craft & Kathryn Tolbert

(Presented at the end of Block 4 on Saturday 1/9/2016)

Best Student Film

Bound Dir. Lexi St. John

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/8/2016)

Best Foreign Film

The Light Thief Dir. Eva Daoud

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Friday 1/8/2016)

Best Animation

Vincent The Artist Dir. Deborah Romare & Vincent J. Wiley

(Presented at the end of Block 5 on Saturday 1/9/2016)

Best Music Video

Revolution Dir. Bryce Morgan

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/8/2016)

Best Experimental Film

The Last Inca Princess Dir. Ana De Orbegoso

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Saturday 1/9/2016)

Best Feature Script

Miss C by Kelly Karam

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/8/2016)

Best Short Script

Public Pool by Nicole Teeny

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/8/2016)


Feature Script Finalist

Porn Again Kristen by Tania Penn

Poster Girl by Jessica Folk

Screaming My Heart Out by Janyce Lapore

Squeeze by Ally May

The Debt by Michelle Patkowski

Short Script Finalist

Amber’s Shadow by Cara Bamford

Ken(zie) by Katie Sullivan

Off Book by Elizabeth Eccher

Racing The Sunrise by Amy Russo

Small Things by Ashton Hughes

Jury Creative Nominees

(Creative Winners will be announced and presented at the opening night meet and greet party on Friday, January 8th at 10:15pm)

Best Director

The Light Thief  -  Eva Daoud

Mythica: The Darkspore  -  Anne Black

A Children’s Song  -  Shayna Cohen

Jacob Stone  -  Roya Aryanpad

Bound  -  Lexi St. John

Best Actress

Kim Kutner  -  Lennon

Melanie Stone  -  Mythica: The Darkspore

Maria Pedroviejo  -  The Light Thief

Marianne Haaland  -  Birdie’s Song

Emily Elicia Low  -  The Grand Guignol

Best Supporting Actress

Meredith Bishop  -  Body + Blood

Stefany Mathias  -  Cubik

Rochelle Robinson  -  Still Life

Katherine Romans  -  Bound

Colleen Trusler   -  Birdie’s Song

Best Actor

Oscar Cardenas  -  The Grand Guignol

Blayne Weaver  -  Rag Doll

Nicholas Alexander  -  Jacob Stone

Angel De Miguel  -  The Light Thief

Andrew Burlinson  -  Body + Blood

Jury Creative Winners

(Creative Winners will be announced and presented at the opening night meet and greet party on Friday, January 8th at 10:15pm)

Best Director

Mythica: The Darkspore  -  Anne Black

Best Actress

Emily Elicia Low  -  The Grand Guignol

Best Supporting Actress

Colleen Trusler   -  Birdie’s Song

Best Actor

Oscar Cardenas  -  The Grand Guignol