California Women’s Film Festival


January 2022 selections and Winners

Official Selections

180 Degrees

Dir. Jenn McGuirk

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 1

A letter: One that brings nothing but dread, until the waiting room door finally opens. 180 Degrees is the tense story of two women in one conflicting circumstance.


Dir. Traci Hays

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 2

A 40-year-old actress , refuses to give up her dream of “making it," in Hollywood, but 20 years later, she won’t face the reality, that age and how many followers you have, dictates the rules for talent and and when she lands her big break, she struggles to tell the truth, when casting demands to know her "real age," before they'll hire her for the role.

A Girl Can Change The World

Dir. Andrea Ureno

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 1

There is not a documentary out there like this. The stars, these real-life girls, collaborated in front and behind the camera with the Documentarian and her team to have their voices and opinions heard. Two heels on the ground veteran feminists elaborate their experience and with archival footage introduce the audience to the Equal Rights Amendment. a girl can really change the world.

A HORROR... Or Something Like That!

Dir. NaTonia Monét

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 3

While trying to stay alive, one friend comes to a frightening realization about her friend's survival instincts.

A Poetess

Dir. Sahra Fathi & Saeed Dashti

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 1

Considering arguments and issues with her husband, Sara is hesitant to choose between aborting their child and immigration, or staying in her country. By realizing the truth about her husband, she makes up her mind and plans for a new future.

A Pregnant Woman

Dir. Ana Carrizales

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 2

An eight-and-a-half month pregnant Alejandra is on the road and on the run from an abusive husband. She drives to a remote desert, hiding a heavy secret inside a dusty piece of luggage. Undocumented and exhausted with nowhere to go, she drags the heavy suitcase to the middle of nowhere, burning all the remains of her past.

A Sirens Call

Dir. Adam Moses

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 6

"A Sirens Call" tells the mythical tale of a woman driven by power who is willing to do anything to get it.

A Study In Conservation

Dir. Anna Ramey Borden

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 2

A young family confronts the impending realities of a positive pregnancy test.

Achieving Greatness

Dir. Kristina Chatow

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 3

Achieving Greatness -- A Kristina Chatow film which tells the story of three families whose lives were changed forever by a non-profit which gives economically disadvantaged students the skills and mindset to attend college and succeed in life.


Dir. Fanny Lecendre

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 2

A single mother is facing the obstacles of life to secure her child's future.


Dir. Sarah Hanner

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 2

A carnival hand falls in love with a circus starlit and decides to visit the Great Crystal Seer, Alexandra, to uncover more about his fate.

Amethyst Girl Destiny

Dir. Reggie Gaskins

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 3

To save her country, A successful Black Dance and Wellness coach has 24hrs to realize her gifts and superpowers and use them to stop a deadly missile.

Baby Dance

Dir. Alex Walker

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 2

THE BABY DANCE shows the grief and depression of a woman suffering after a miscarriage. After reentering the workforce, Miriam comes face-to-face with a pregnant co-worker and must work through her own trauma to understand herself and eventually find her own peace of mind.


Dir. Vrushali Aniruddha Telang

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 3

Bena, a 27-year-old house-help sits on the rocks to take respite in the expanse of the Arabian Sea. A tin box and a black chiffon scarf lie in her lap. This is her routine before and after work. A phone call from her daughter unsettles Bena. Her daughter has been asked to leave school as her fees are never given on time. 

Blinded By Sight

Dir. Amy Rose D'Allessandro Stolz

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 2

We can not unsee what we've seen. It will fight us until we stop fighting.


Dir.  Tanner J. Smith

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 3

Two friends decide on the same day after years of sitting on their feelings that they are going reveal them to one another, but when the day takes a dark turn, how far will they go to make it work?

Dear God

Dir. Timneisha Greene Kim

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 2

After six failed attempts, a desperate couple trying for a baby is confronted with infertility. Determined not to give up, they decide to take matters into their own hands.

Defining Dodo

Dir. Lauren Harris

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 2

This story was written to spark viewers’ prior knowledge (even if only on a tangential level) of growing up and navigating the realities of machismo in the pursuit of self-expression from a Latino perspective. This lens is important for exploring how a gay male character tries to work through mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as finding peace at home and at work, with an ever-present tension from his mother would never accept a gay son.


Dir. Frankie Ingrassia

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 4

Denied a girls' night out, Sophia, a teenage influencer, pushes the limits of the mother-daughter relationship as she attempts to DETACH.


Dir. Seri DeYoung

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 3

Two sisters reunite when the despondent younger sibling is kicked out of college and refuses to seek help.


Dir. Paulina Lagudi Ulrich

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 3

Two women confront their uncertain futures (and each other) as one readies for college and the other for a big date.

Enough Room

Dir. Christianna Carmine

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 1

A successful Latina in Los Angeles encounters assumptive bosses, racist neighbors, and a white savior roommate just before a first date -- then discovers her potential partner hates Mexicans.

Family Time

Dir. Zoe Stewart

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 4

A career woman with a family wonders what she must give up to have it all.

For Honor

Dir. Yasmine Gazelle & Charles B. Clifton

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 3

After witnessing the brutal Honor Killing of her sister, a young Muslim woman sets out on a quest for vengeance against the society that wronged her.


Dir. Chris Game

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 2

A psychological thriller told in non-sequential flashbacks. A girl revisits the fragmented memories of a broken past to come to terms with her present.

Free, Dead or Alive

Dir. Erik Bernard

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 5

A young girl makes a perilous journey from South/Central America to the United States unaware of the real dangers that lie ahead.

Fuel for Life / Blake Hansen

Dir. Katie Bennett & Blake Hansen

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 4

Some people spend their entire life discovering who they really are, and what they're meant to do. Blake Hansen knew early on. The hardest part? Acceptance.

Girls Night In

Dir. Morgan A. Grain

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 1

In this story about love, intimacy and emotional support, a chill night in for friends Naomi and Charli evolves into a night of introspection as they explore the possibilities and boundaries of their relationship.


Dir. Abbey Spacil

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 1

Anna is an immigrant actress determined to succeed, even if it means contorting herself to fit Hollywood’s misogynist standards. While preparing for a job interview we find her nearly unrecognizable and succumbing to the all consuming trauma, when she revisits a feminist poem that thrusts her into a wild and fantastical journey of total self reclamation.


Dir. Christy Lee Hughes

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 4

Gabby, a dysfunctional guardian angel struggling with addiction, fails miserably at her job of protecting her human assignment Derrik from the dangers of living on Earth. After yet another horrific accident that Gabby did nothing to prevent, Derrik summons the courage to fire her. Shocked, Gabby goes through stages of grief, revealing to Derrik exactly how she got to this low point in her existence, including her deepest and darkest secrets.

I’m Here

Dir. Jennifer Hathaway

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 2

Jenna, a thirteen year-old bullying victim, is brought to the brink after getting beat-up, and decides to end her life, but her Golden Retriever, Maizey, has other plans.

Judd And Nancy Across America

Dir. Lorin Davis

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 6

An anxious divorcée and a free-spirited wanderer form an unlikely friendship on the road to the West Coast and self-discovery.

Las Parcas

Dir. Ivan Mulero

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 1

HADES (Santiago Segura) The God of the underworld, sends Las Parcas, ATROPOS (MC Pajares), LAQUESIS (Bruna Rubio) and CLOTO (Anaïs Valley) to steal the soul of a MAN (Ricardo Cerezo) who is protected by his GUARDIAN ANGEL ( Carlos Cortés). The battle for the soul of an ordinary man will cross the limits of our world, and will open the gates of heaven, and hell.


Dir. Molly Smith

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 3

Barricaded in a motel room, a mothers determination and primal instincts kick in to protect her child's innocence.


Dir. Dilara Senbilgin

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 2

When a college student diagnosed as high-risk for schizophrenia begins seeing a stalker, she struggles to convince the people closest to her that she isn't delusional.

Me, My Meds & Mother

Dir. Kat Conway

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 3

A dramedy about a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship both with disabilities. Mother is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, yet, mesmerizes with renditions of songs and poems from the 1930s, and a glimpse of recognition for the deep love and friendship she has for her daughter. Louise has selective mutism paired with a fine prescription drug addiction representative of the current US prescription drug epidemic. Based on actual events, funny and melancholic, grotesque and dramatic, in a weird and wonderful Lynchian way that every mother and daughter can relate to.


Dir. Emily Wahlund & Matt Knudsen

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 1

Annie is a single mother to baby Sadie. After making a joke about giving Sadie away, she is warned about MOMMY, a ghost who steals children from their parents. Annie laughs it off, but what follows is a mysterious and terrifying night.

Off Limits

Dir. Megan Gorman

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 1

A girl struggles with taking the "safer option" of a rideshare.

Paradise: Nature Hasn't Mercy But People Have


Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 3

This is a documentary about after the 2018's camp fire in California, the residents of Paradise they need help and volunteers went to there to help them. This is a doc for encourage more people to help Paradise Town's residents.

Pit Stop

Dir. Erin Egan

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 3

After a bad second date, Emma and Chad’s argument is interrupted by a loud bang. Chad gets out to confirm they have a flat tire, but Emma’s offer to help is quickly shot down. Unfortunately for both of them, it rapidly becomes obvious that Chad has no clue how to change a tire…And no intention of asking for help. Emma, though impatient, follows his lead until a scare reminds her that complacency could get her hurt. It’s time to own the moment!!

Rogue: The Western

Dir. Carly Miller

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 1

1870s New Mexico, an African-American saloon girl plots her escape from her backwater town and devious employer. Her plans are complicated when an old flame rides into town asking for help -- and she witnesses an act of violence that makes her question her decision to leave.

Shadow Farm

Dir. Gina Nemo

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 6

Things are not what it seems in this small town where secrets and manipulation play their roles in this powerful murder mystery.

Silent Pandemic

Dir. Farzad Refahi

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 1

Zeinab, an Afghan woman who was exposed to domestic violence as a child and witnessed the murder of her mother by her father, is now abusing her boyfriend after migrating to the United States, although her boyfriend treats his wife violently at home.


Dir. Kay L. Sumner

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 2

Real-life testimonials of Opioid addicted 'everyday people'. What got them there and how they successfully overcame a potentially tragic outcome & rebuilt their lives.

Take It Easy

Dir. Suja Raghuram Manoj

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 3

A musical short film about 3 desi teens, Trishul, Sana, and Nikhil, who are raised in the United States in three different households. Yet their characteristics pull them together to become the closest of friends. They travel across life together with one common motto, “Take It Easy.”


Dir. Emma Kanter

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 2

After months of building chemistry, two coworkers stop the overthinking that’s been keeping them apart. But what James and Aubrey try to ignore at night proves harder to avoid the morning after... James’ long-term girlfriend, Marissa.

Tethered, Are We The Next Experiment?

Dir. Daniel Gartzke

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 1

How long has it been since you last checked your phone? 5 minutes? 1 minute? 10 seconds? Did you imagine that last vibration? In 2021, that smart phone of yours - is a fixture of you - and for many in our world, they don’t even know escape is an option. Digital addiction is a hidden illness among us, and it has our society in a vice grip.

The 5th Of April

Dir. Michael Lewis Foster

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 4

When a young woman seeks advancement in her corporate career, she comes face-to-face with the gender and racial biases of her workplace. All the while, she must live her life within a broader climate of hate that has only been growing worse over time.

The Blactor

Dir. Rukiya Bernard

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 2

Aspiring actress, Kadidja Watson is tired of auditioning for stereotypical Black roles. You know the ones: “The Best Friend,” “Angry Baby-Mama,” “Slave” "Voodoo Priestess" etc. One day, on route to a "Gangsta Bitch" audition, an undercover cop stops her suspecting she’s involved in a break and entry. Now she must audition for her life proving she can play the role. But has the role played her?

The Nest

Dir. Jammie Patton

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 3

Tanya, a young, single mom, has been secretly dreaming about this day for 17 years. Today is the day Tanya plans to drop off Tam, her daughter, at college. The freedom to do as Tanya pleases, which includes rekindling an old, sexy flame is just a phone call away! Tam is just as excited about her impending freedom as Mom is about hers. Tam's overexuberance in leaving the care of her mother's overprotective nest creates tension. Tanya is eventually left alone to face the solitude of empty-nest syndrome at 34. In her isolation, Tanya is faced with the decision to rediscover herself and possibly her dreams in the process.

The Out-Fit

Dir. Maty Young

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 1

When coming out of the thrift store isn't all you do. A new coming-of-age queer film follows Emily, a costume-wearing 25-year-old, on her journey through change, love, and discovering one's self. Written by Australian, Jessica Rookeward. Our director, writer, DP, composer and two actresses are Australian. All actors are proud members of the LGBTQ family. All rights of this film belong to Jessica Rookeward - creator and writer.

The Ritz

Dir. Allex Tarr

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 6

In 1950s Oklahoma, a 16-year-old girl must decide between eloping with her first love or staying trapped in her abusive father's home.

The War Within

Dir. Marta D’Ocon

Friday  1/7/2022 Block 1

A young woman must join a rebel force when her entire family is massacred by government troops. She initially thrives, finding strength and independence as a guerrilla fighter, and respect as a deadly sniper. But her new found sense of purpose and self-respect come with a high price.

This Is 35

Dir. Tara Imperatore

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 3

Kids, cats, vibrators, caffeine, meditation, Zoom calls, family dinners, and if you're lucky, one effing minute of peace. This isn't what you signed up for. This Is 35. Created by an entirely female-identifying cast and crew.


Dir. Chloe Lenihan

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 3

An intimate portrait of a couple in denial about the limitations of their relationship.


Dir. Mary Clare Plaschke

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 3

A young woman spends an anxiety-inducing, world-bending 5 minutes waiting for the results of a pregnancy test.

Wasted Seed

Dir. Nino Mancuso

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 1

A dramedy film that explores the humour, trauma and absurdity of infertility.


Dir. Genéa Gaudet

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 1

Music Video for Seether

What Is Your Price?

Dir. Monika Barbara Ekiert

Saturday  1/8/2022 Block 2

The film is about love that goes beyond cultural differences, the struggle, and the sacrifices. All actions, even those done in the name of love, always have consequences. The film tries to show the emotional tapestry of two immigrants trying to achieve THE American Dream and how far are they willing to go in this attempt.


Dir. Cat Dale

Sunday  1/9/2022 Block 1

Mary Todd Lincoln, who is committed to an insane asylum by her last living relative, tries to prove her sanity with the help of a medium and her dead son.  Based on true events.

Audience Award Winners

(Audience Winners will be posted by January 11th)

1st Place

Take It Easy  Dir. Suja Raghuram Manoj

2nd Place

Girls Night In  Dir. Morgan A. Grain

3rd Place (tie)

Adelina  Dir. Fanny Lecendre &

Dear God  Dir. Timneisha Greene Kim

Jury Category Winners

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

Best Feature Film

Free, Dead Or Alive  Dir. Erik Bernard

(Presented at the end of Block 5 on Saturday 1/8/2022)

Best Short Film

40ish... Dir. Traci Hays

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/7/2022)

Best Feature Documentary

Survivors Dir. Kay L. Sumner

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/7/2022)

Best Short Documentary

Achieving Greatness Dir. Kristina Chatow

(Presented at the end of Block 3 on Friday 1/7/2022)

Best Student Film

The War Within Dir. Marta D’Ocon

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Friday 1/7/2022)

Best Foreign Film

A Poetess Dir. Sahra Fathi & Saeed Dashti

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Friday 1/7/2022)

Best Animation

I’m Here Dir. Jennifer Hathaway

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/7/2022)

Best Music Video

Alexandra Dir. Sarah Hanner

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/7/2022)

Best Experimental Film

Blinded By Sight Dir. Amy Rose D'Allessandro Stolz

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 1/7/2022)

Best Feature Script

Hand Twins by Macee Binns

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Saturday 1/8/2022)

Best Short Script

Miss Lovey’s Perfect Pizza by Lindsay Elston

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Saturday 1/8/2022)


Feature Script Finalist

Abuse Of Power by Rachel Pauline Cann

Bitter Beans by Lolita Fortuin

Dial It Back by Erin Elizabeth Keefer

Dom And Felix by Bridget Flanery

Here To Stay by Joseph Harrison

I Dream Of Horses by Lynnette Wollery

Lost In Control by Maria Massei-Rosato

Luz by Kieran Shea & David Osorio

Notes From A Best Kept Village by Elizabeth Blandford

Secret Roses by Elan Carlson

You Were Just Here by Dania Denise

Short Script Finalist

A New Leaf by Kieran Shea

Anthony’s Heroes by Melanie Sovran Wolfe

Forked by Sarah Goeke

Little Miss Hit Girl by Emily Hannah Ventimiglia

The Gift Of Life by Manshu Jian

Vigilante Nancy by Denise Hauf Miotke

Wedding March by Deborah Savadge

Who We Are by Kagure Kabue

Yasodhara by Gabriel Constans

Jury Creative Winners

Best Director

Erik Bernard - Free, Dead or Alive

(Presented at the end of Block 5 on Saturday 1/8/2022)

Best Actress

Edy Ganem - Free, Dead or Alive

(Presented at the end of Block 5 on Saturday 1/8/2022)

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Velasquez - Free, Dead or Alive

(Presented at the end of Block 5 on Saturday 1/8/2022)

Best Actor

Seth Michaels - Free, Dead or Alive

(Presented at the end of Block 5 on Saturday 1/8/2022)