California Women’s Film Festival


January 2020 selections and Winners

Official Selections

After Emma

Dir. Gabrielle Stone

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 2

A father on trial for a tragic mistake tries to make peace with the destruction of his family.

Alive Day

Dir. Lindsay O’Keefe

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 4

Against incredible odds, a young swimmer tells her inspiring story.

Ally 3000

Dir. Giovannie Espiritu

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 2

The CEO of a tech firm has to make a decision about a new product designed to alleviate white guilt.


Dir. Charles Stulck

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 3

Justine Crowe, a fast-paced, quick-witted, lone wolf comes to your typical small town to sell policies door to door. What kind of policies? End of the world plan-B policies. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place for you and your family to live together after everything around us is gone? Estranged from her empathy and sympathy for others, and on a fast track to success, she doesn’t spend much time enjoying the small things in life. Until she meets a quirky local in town, Steve, who helps her realize that she’s lost touch with her ability to connect with others and treat everyone as a human being, and not just another sale

Artemis & the Astronaut

Dir. A. L. Lee

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 3

Artemis and Henri have spent a lifetime together. Loved one another deeply and imperfectly. Four weeks ago Henri died and so much was left unsaid as Henri's mind ebbed away. And then Artemis hears Henri crying in the next room. Will Artemis get a chance to be with Henri one last time?

Between The Pines

Dir. Emma Bell

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 3

After the tragic loss of his sister Charlotte, Devon has gone mute. As a way to ease his pain his mother Cheri tells him a passed down fairytale where Charlotte has simply gone to live in the magical pine kingdom in their backyard. When Devon is visited by Charlotte in his dreams, the fairytale becomes a reality but there’s a problem- Charlotte is in danger and only Devon can save her.

But Mom! It Is The End Of The World

Dir. Ella Sahlman & Kyle Kallman

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 4

It's the end of the world and a teenager needs to live her truth and get out of family dinner.


Dir. Bonnie Foster

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 1

A fashion model leaves her life for the desert...and meets a mysterious stranger who finally brings the change she's been looking for.

Chance Of Showers

Dir. Michelle Bossy

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 1

The last two single women of their peers, Jen and Alexa drag themselves to a friend’s bougie LA baby shower. Jen is desperate to make friends while Alexa is looking for some free mimosas. Surrounded by moms with a capital M, Alexa and Jen struggle to find common ground, and things get weird. Very weird.

Coming To Terms

Dir. Kait Gallagher

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 2

Coming to Terms is the story of a young woman, Ellie, as she comes to terms with the fact that she's an alcoholic. Caught in the grips of shame, she's forced to face not only her drinking, but herself.


Dir. Liam Parry

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 3

A woman orders a decadent dessert to find it comes with more than just a thick layer of frosting.

Fine, I’ll Write My Own Damn Song

Dir. Allyson Rice

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 1

A 56-year-old mom sends a comedic rap video response to her 25-year-old rap artist/musician son when he invites other family members to be in his music but not her.

Gay Camp

Dir. Mark Marchillo

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 3

In a world where most of the population is gay, children who exhibit "straight" tendencies are sent to camps in order to convert them back to their natural homosexual lifestyle. Camp Sohomo will convert your child in record time.

Drawing upon real documentaries about straight-conversion therapy such as “Jesus Camp”, this faux promotional video is a biting satire of how plainly ludicrous conversion camps are if only the roles were reversed.

Heaven Everywhere

Dir. Dimitra Korri

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 5

Dimitra Korri sings and figure skates in her new music video "Heaven Everywhere."

His Period

Dir. Nihal Vasudevan

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 4

When Neil is asked by his girlfriend, Lia, to get her a pack of sanitary pads from a pharmacy, he blatantly refuses. In a fit of anger, she curses him. What results is him being the first man to ever get his period. Will he survive his bloody fate?

How Far

Dir. David Tayar

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 3

Theodora has it all… except the man she loves won’t leave his wife, Catherine.

I Am Evelyn Rose

Dir. Becca Flinn-White

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 2

Following a dramatic breakup, Evelyn Rose, an awkward 16 year old gets sent to her Grandma, Carly's house for the summer to learn about love, friendship, and life after 60.

In The Blood

Dir. Regina Banali

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 5

In the old west, Sartana rides into town to score some cash, form a gang and settle a score. His ex Dolores has been hiding out with an unwitting suitor. She has secrets and they are catching up with her. She means to skip town but her beau confronts her looking for answers and she doesn’t make it out in time before having a shootout with Sartana and his gang.


Dir. Sophie Webb

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 5

A young Australian actress moves to Hollywood with dreams of making it big, but her ambitions are jeopardized when mysterious letters start showing up in her mail box.

It’s A Girl Thing

Dir. Augusta Mariano

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 1

It's A Girl Thing is an honest depiction of what many women experience in college. It is a female centric and female driven series that uses each episode to highlight a way in which women experience the world around them differently than men during their late teens and early twenties.

It’s Me

Dir. Helen Randag

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 5

"It’s Me” is a dark tale of a game that cannot be sustained. Set over the course of an evening, a mother remembers moments from a game she played with her son throughout his childhood. Tragedy strikes when he unexpectedly returns.


Dir. Denise Chan

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 1

A darkroom photographer named Mitsuko struggles with self-doubt.


Dir. Shannon Van Metre

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 3

A stranger, and a little kismet, give a defeated woman the courage to face her fate.


Dir. Phil Scarpaci

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 3

Sometimes the best stuff in life keeps you from being the perfect you.


Dir. Nathalia Syam

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 1

A young man has doubts over his future bride on his wedding day. With external pressure from his family it seems that there is only one path for our groom-to-be.

Los Angeles, Fuck You

Dir. Emilie Rae Ohanian Svensson

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 1

A grown-up child star returns home to her estranged functioning alcoholic father.

Love Nonnie

Dir. Lisa Addario

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 1

This 106 year old woman became a viral sensation at 102. But we quickly see why she's so much more than that.


Dir. Gabriela Tollman

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 3

A young woman finds hope while processing the grief of her Mother’s suicide.


Dir. Camille Kane

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 4

A strikingly raw and factual depiction of a young mother forced by family court to co-parent with the rapist responsible for impregnating her at 13.

Meeting Madame Rosalia

Dir. Alexandra Dybvig

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 4

Pragmatic Stockbroker George is visiting Margarita's mum, a passionate fortune teller, for the first time. Mum discovers from her cards that George isn’t right for Margarita and wants to chase him away, but Margarita wants to give it a chance, despite Mum’s protest that she has already arranged a marriage for her. George arrives and has to deal with Mum’s different attempts to get rid of him.

Mother’s Day Memories

Dir. Matthew Michael Ross

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 3

A woman's struggle with Alzheimer's leads to conflict between her husband and her son over how best to love and care for her.


Dir. Monika Ivonne

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 2

A Latvian grandmother visits her daughter in America, where she encounters surreal scenes of life in Los Angeles.

Pamela & Marion

Dir. Faith Larsen

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 3

Two estranged sisters meet again after 3 years apart. When their very different personal beliefs and lifestyle choices are challenged by one another, they must decide if their familial relationship is worth the hurt.

Parents Inc.

Dir. Harald Zwart

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 3

A girl living in a post-apocolyptic world, struggles with the new reality she lives in, being a teenager, and unreasonable parents. How she handles it may surprise you!


Dir. Marlena Damico

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 1

After the local Memory Bank glitch, thousands of participants are now having horrific unwanted memories of strangers uploaded into their minds. A young woman is faced with a morally ambiguous decision when trying to find whose memories she now has, track them down, and get the code to have them removed.


Dir. Kyra Gardner

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 4

Phoebe is a real catch... she just doesn’t know it yet. Far from home, she tackles a new sea of challenges during her first weeks at college. With her flamboyant roommate Adam as her navigator, she no longer feels like a small fish in a big pond, and she learns to feel comfortable in her own skin.


Dir. Jessica Cisneros Ramsey

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 3

We follow two friends that also happen to be pregnant. One is still in heels and the other only wears yoga pants. Does one really have it more figured out then the other?


Dir. Jessica Heidt

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 2

What is the cost of inaction? Set in modern day San Francisco, three people wrestle with the question at an opulent cocktail party as an accidentally spilled drink brings them each face to face with themselves.

PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

Dir. Jacoba Atlas

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 2

“PUSHOUT” is a feature length film confronting the criminalization and miseducation of African American girls that has led to their alarming high school dropout rate and increase into the juvenile justice system.


Dir. Katja Colja

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 6

ROSA is the story of the rebirth of a woman who, after a serious loss, manages to find herself and the pleasure of being loved and loving again.

In ROSA the boundaries are told - between lands, people, generations, between mind and body, reason and feeling - and the brave overcoming of those.


Dir. Vaughn Juares

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 2

Two strangers meet in a hospital waiting room after a major catastrophe. One of them must decide to give up their loved one so the other's may live.

Shape Shifter

Dir. Kelly Thompson

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 1

The Spokeswoman for a famous diet product (that doesn’t really work) is struck by a sudden bout of…a conscience.

Simple Things

Dir. Kagure Kabue

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 5

Simple Things is a tragic, story of a brilliant, talented but fatally flawed young lady. It questions the meaning of depression and celebrates individuals that do not fit into society.


Dir. Janina Gavankar & Russo Schelling

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 4

J is trying and failing to move forward as the scars of old relationships keep her trapped inside her new home. While hanging a piece of art, she knocks a hole in her wall that reveals what might be a hidden room. Her mind races to think what could be on the other side as she continues to unravel.

Stud Boob

Dir. Shaina Feinberg

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 2

Rage. Dud Boob. Stud Boob.


Dir. Sasha Krane

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 5

In the wake of a college campus rape, a South African attorney struggles to prepare her client for the ruthless cross examination that she will endure on the stand.

The Film

Dir. Lisa deSouza

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 5

What does it take to make a movie? Grit? Passion? Talent? Money? "The Film" is a dramatic comedy (dramedy) which follows the lives of the main players as they struggle to finish their masterpiece. "The Film" is a story about creativity, personalities, egos, and voyeurism with a twist for an ending that leaves the audience asking who is actually watching who. "The Film" is a timeless satire on Hollywood and the business of making movies with a modern commentary on the industry.

The Follower

Dir. Patricia Frontain

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 1

To the outside world, Mary, John and their daughter Annie seem like a happy family. But, within the walls of their home, it is far from happy. As the mother and child struggle to find their voices they realize that no one should live in fear.

The New Old Fashioned

Dir. Brigid Marshall

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 1

Growing up is one thing. Having your parents treat you like an adult is a whole other story. Ama, a successful 30-something, has taken the reigns on the next stage of her life. The problem is, her parents don’t approve.

The Unexpected

Dir. Sean McCarthy

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 1

An ageless wise man sends a child on a lifelong journey of discovery.


Dir. Fabiana Serpa

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 2

It is 1888 and Therese, a bavarian botanist, undertakes a four month long expedition to Brazil. Trouble starts unfolding because of the cultural clash between her and a Brazilian local guide as he refuses to take orders from a woman, without knowing her real identity, he is in for a surprise.


Dir. Heather Hillstrom

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 3

Set in the not-too-distant dystopian future, a divided father must choose between obeying a totalitarian government and saving his own family.

Two Bodies On A Beach

Dir. Anna Paavilainen

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 6

A woman wakes up on a beach wrapped in plastic, half-naked and in high heels. "Not again", she sighs and decides to find out who is behind this. She persuades an older woman who has been pushed to the margins of society to accompany her on her revenge trip. During their journey through classical cinematic landscapes, the two women have to face their own lusts, conflicts between generations, and their fragile ideologies.

Un-Dateable Britt

Dir. Jacob Swanson

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 1

Britt is convinced monogamy is a trap and something older generations were obsessed with because they had no true career ambitions. She thoroughly enjoys the swipe community.... through the powers of the apps she can engage or disengage with whomever she pleases.

Unfinished Business

Dir. Megan Duquette

Saturday  1/11/2020 Block 5

At her first audition after an extended sabbatical, Rene Shapiro finds herself reading opposite her ex, Steve Perigo. When a phone calls pulls the Casting Director out of the room, Rene and Steve find themselves alone on stage, their past and present colliding as they reminisce. Can Rene seize this professional opportunity and successfully resist her lingering feelings for Steve, or will working with a past love jeopardize her new life and family?

When I Walk Alone

Dir. Bozena Krakowka

Friday  1/10/2020 Block 1

When I Walk Alone Music Video directed by Bozena Krakowka.

Audience Award Winners

(Audience Winners will be posted by Jan. 13th)

1st Place

It’s A Girl Thing  Dir. Augusta Mariano

2nd Place

The New Old Fashioned. Dir. Brigid Marshall

3rd Place

Mother’s Day Memories 

Dir. Matthew Michael Ross

Jury Category Winners

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

Best Feature Film

Rosa Dir. Katja Colja

(Presented at the end of Block 6 on Saturday 1/11/2020)

Best Short Film

Two Bodies On A Beach Dir. Anna Paavilainen

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Friday 1/10/2020)

Best Feature Documentary

PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools. Dir. Jacoba Atlas

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Saturday 1/11/2020)

Best Short Documentary

Love Nonnie Dir. Lisa Addario

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Saturday 1/11/2020)

Best Student Film

Therese Dir. Fabiana Serpa

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/10/2020)

Best Foreign Film

Rosa Dir. Katja Colja

(Presented at the end of Block 6 on Saturday 1/11/2020)

Best Animation

Kaeru Dir. Denise Chan

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Saturday 1/11/2020)

Best Music Video

When I Walk Alone Dir. Bożena Krakówka

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Friday 1/10/2020)

Best Experimental Film

Prufrock Dir. Jessica Heidt

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Saturday 1/11/2020)

Best Feature Script

Project Fog by Adva Reichman

Best Short Script

Purgatory: A Love Story by A. L. Lee


Feature Script Finalist

Ball Of Fire by Sean Coleman

Day Of The White Rabbit by Janet Travis & Elizabeth Tabish

Remember The Ladies by Gina Mulligan

Supposed To Be by Dr. Beth-Anne Blue

Taking Down The Met by Andrea Forrest

Short Script Finalist

Hail Mary by Emily Yuko Walborn

Last Womb On Earth by Nancy Safavi

Standing In Water by Kathleen Caprario-Ulrich

The Joymaker by Tara Smith

The Refugee by Sydney Deeter

Jury Creative Winners

Best Director

Anna Paavilainen - Two Bodies On A Beach

Best Actress

Laura Birn - Two Bodies On A Beach

Best Supporting Actress

Rea Mauranen - Two Bodies On A Beach

Best Actor

Boris Cavazza - Rosa