California Women’s Film Festival


July 2017 selections and Winners

Official Selections


Dir. Jorge G. Camarena

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 3

The Music Video for Baltazar’s Lluvia addresses the pressure that the indifference of the world can have on one person, it’s bigotry depicted by a town and a father showing the repercussions that their actions cause on a romantic relationship.

Be About You

Dir. Nicole Alexander

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 5

'Be About You' is up and coming new band Winston Surfshirt's debut music video. It features the five-piece band and their trusty dog 'Pop'.

Becoming Lucy

Dir. Luisa Novo

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 4

Lucy, 15, blames her mother for her father leaving them for a 24 year-old blonde. When she finds out her crush at school likes blondes, she dyes her hair to get the attention of both men.

Bon Appetit

Dir. Maria Gabriela Cardenas

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 2

Kate, a spontaneous college girl makes a surprise visit to her friend Emma who lives with her parents Derek and Nicole for her birthday. As they enjoy dinner and lots of drinks, Kate searches for a bathroom, but finds herself in a basement and sees Derek staring at her only to realize that, maybe, she might be their next dish.


Dir. Yuechen Hao

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 1

A flower camellia infatuated with an artist, and makes a deal with a wondering soul to have a woman's body, at a cost of losing her life when the painter dies.


Dir. Thiago Dadalt

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 2

"Not All Who Wander are Lost"   A suburban housewife and mother suddenly finds herself homeless and lost in downtown Los Angeles. A beautiful story of family and hope.


Dir. William Shockley

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 4

Set in 1887, 3 generations of women are separated by tragedy and circumstance then ultimately reunited by the triumph of the human spirit.

Coyote Story

Dir. Daniel Seman

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 1

Native American tale of how Coyote tricks Ducks. Spoken in the traditional Chippewa/Ojibwe narration.

Crushed in Space

Dir. Janice Chun

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 1

The Asteroid Belt. An unrequited romance. They are coworkers.


Dir. Daisy Betts Miler

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 3

A father is convinced that his missing son can be found within the walls of a local church, but he has no proof. He confronts the local pastor, but the answers he receives are inadequate. What level of depravity is excusable in the name of love? In the name of love, do the ends justify the means? There is darkness within us all, but for some, it takes love to bring it out.


Dir. Jayna Sweet

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 4

When Jenny learns about her estranged father's failing health, she makes the journey back to her childhood home in attempt to rid herself of guilt, but what she finds there may set new revelations in motion as she's forced to face her inner demons.

Dead Color

Dir. Paul-Anthony Navarro

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 2

DEAD COLOR is a dark drama in the vein of the TV show “Tales from the Crypt”: bad people doing bad things and everyone gets their comeuppance. Lovers Joel and Hannah plot the demise of Rodney (Hannah’s husband and Joel’s brother) after he inherits a priceless painting.

Dear Cancer, Love Stacy

Dir. Stacey Summers

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 2

Stacy Middleman is a wife and mother who first had cancer at age thirty-five and was re-diagnosed for a second time eight years later. Dear Cancer, Love Stacy is a documentary short that follows her journey as she copes with the return of cancer. Her personal trials, tribulations, treatement, anger, confusion and fear are documented through her personal letters.


Dir. Sean McCarthy

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 2

Doucheaholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who exhibit poor behavior and want to better themselves in a supportive, healing, and nurturing environment.

Emerald City

Dir. Scott Coffey

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 2

Emerald City reflects the simple beauty of true friendship and the lessons in resilience and faith that Ireland teaches all who grace her shores.


Dir. Seri DeYoung

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 3

A short film that explores what it's like to grow up as a girl in today's society and struggle with negative body image and self esteem issues.

First Love

Dir. Cecilia Albertini

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 2

15 year old SOPHIA has a crush on her musician neighbour, DEREK, however she soon finds out that she has to compete with another woman to win his love.

Girl Code

Dir. Casey Gates

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 1

When girls talk, there's what they say, and what they're REALLY saying. The story is about two ex-best friends running into each other at the gym. But what you'll get is a closer look at female friendships and how women communicate, for better or worse.

Girl Friends

Dir.  Clea DeCrane & Molly-Margaret  Johnson

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 2

Girl Friends. That space in between can get real messy when you're as close as these two.

Goodbye Newburg

Dir. Alana Purcell

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 2

A kid learns a life lesson before dinner time.

Hear Me Out

Dir. Jenn Page

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 1

Music video for original single "Hear Me Out"


Dir. Jonathan Cocco

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 6

Based on true events.  What happens when we blame one ethnic or religious group for all our problems? Can we learn from our past mistakes?

'Ignorance creates fear, which then turns into hate.'


Dir. Eric Hunicutt

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 2

Three agoraphobics, looking to expand their worlds, decide to move in together and open a day spa inside their apartment. A sitcom web series created by Schuyler Helford.

It Happened Again Last Night

Dir.  Gabrielle Stone & Roze

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 2

Paige has a choice to make. Caught in an abusive relationship with a man, she has fallen in love with her best girl friend, Kris. Terrified to leave him and embrace who she really is, she hides from the world until it becomes too dangerous for her to continue life as she's known it. Paige must choose between love and fear before she has no choices left to make.

Just One Thing

Dir. Alana Purcell

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 2

Artist Jocelyn Meggait describes her social practice art project.

La China

Dir. Jorge G. Camarena

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 6

The story of La China is composed of different elements that introduce us to the pilgrimage from Aztlan to Mexico Tenochtitlan through a symbolic perspective represented by the transformation of a woman (La China) and her path.


Dir. Becca Roth & Laura Goehrke

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 3

Two female camera store employees express concern and confusion about a man who has the audacity to try to buy a camera.

Letters from Alcatraz

Dir. Madeline Rozwat

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 2

It is Christmas Eve Day, 1962 and a teenage girl living on Alcatraz Island runs the risk of losing one of her best friends: an inmate.

Lily Needs a Ride

Dir. Paloma Perez

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 4

After a fight with her mother, a teenage runaway meets a seemingly trustworthy man on a lonely highway and asks to catch a ride with him. He eventually agrees, but once she gets in his car she discovers something that reveals the man's true intentions and the real danger she is in.

Love Made Visible

Dir. Liang Zhao

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 1

A 16 years old girl was brought to a house by a lawyer and she was told that this house belongs to her dad who she have never seen in 14 years. Strangely, she was told by her passed away mum that her dad died in a car accident long time ago. From not accepting her dad to once again bond with him again, what happened? What happened 14 years ago? We can find out the answer from her mums will and their confrontation.

Making It On Time - Christian Siriano

Dir. Sophia Banks

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 5

We celebrate our moment as women today. Today women celebrate that they can be bad-ass and taken seriously, whilst also being women, and recognized for their beauty as women.


Dir. Mike Berge

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 1

Kerra is a manic woman with an intense adherence to time. She lives firmly by her staunch punctuality. When circumstances get beyond her control, she has to improvise...  and things go south very quickly.


Dir. Florian Gottschick

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 6

Marthas life seems to be perfect: a big love, 3 beautiful daughters and a happy life... but a fateful blow makes her wonder if this life was really hers.

Movie Night

Dir. Rachelle Lynn

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 6

Engaged couple Melissa and Daryl "enjoy" watching a movie until Melissa Gonzalez a proud 'Afro-tina' unleashes her issues for not yet being married despite their recent engagement.

Niles Canyon

Dir. Sallyanne Massimini

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 1

On a desolate road, a troubled man encounters a mysterious teenage girl in distress. He makes a decision to help her, not realizing it will forever alter the course of their destinies.

Orange Lipstick

Dir. Gavin Michael Booth

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 1

An exhausted, working mom takes one night off from her daily routine to reclaim her youth.

Out of Touch

Dir. Lydia Hunter

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 3

Gina, a headstrong business woman deeply entrenched in her work, loses sight of the beauty in nature and within her self. An unlikely stranger gets Gina back in touch with what really matters.

Palpitations of Dust

Dir. Ann Huang

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 3

The five surrealist poems in one presentation represents the continuous and infinite patterns of a life in dreams and the dreams demanding synchronicity from it.

Part Of Me Now: Living With Breast Cancer

Dir. Emily Gerhardson

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 2

Part Of Me Now: Living With Breast Cancer targets the hardships and struggles those who've gone through Breast Cancer endure beyond their treatments. The film highlights a side to cancer that has yet to be focused on - the aftermath. It centers around the personal stories of individuals who will live with cancer in their bodies or as a lingering threat for the rest of their lives.


Dir. Kathy Liu

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 1

Fashion and entertainment: this is the industry of never saying no. As a talented personal assistant’s career begins to take off, each step up the ladder is a step farther away from her unrequited dreams of being a “real writer.” And when the merciless work hours, the unclosed chapters of the past, and the mysteriously predatory eyes surveilling her come closing in, something–or someone–has to give.


Dir. Laurel Thomson

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 1

Planta is nearing the end of her pregnancy and worries that if she cannot save her dying plant, she will be unfit to raise a child.

Psycho Therapy

Dir. Staci Layne Wilson

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 1

When emotionally exhausted Tonia visits her esteemed psychiatrist, Dr. Walsh, to discuss her husband’s infidelity, the therapy session takes an unexpected turn. Tonia does not respond well to her doctor’s advice and he finds himself locked in a game of psychological hide-n-seek with a painfully disturbed patient.


Dir. Lisa Nicole Lennox

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 1

When a woman (Sarah McLean) ventures out of her comfort zone for a rare glamorous evening out, she attends a high profile gala honoring her ex (Peter Marr), which turns out to be anything but glamorous when the attendees find themselves under attack.

Road Less Traveled

Dir. Blair Hayes

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 5

Charlotte is struggling to balance her songwriting career and planning her upcoming wedding. After trying on countless wedding dresses, she knows the only one that’s right for her is her mother’s dress, which is at her grandmother’s house in Harmony, Tennessee.

Schrodinger's Cat

Dir. Gigi Bannister

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 3

Mr. Smith (Brad Simanski), finds a kitty (Annie) and falls in love with it.


Dir. Emma Bell

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 1

When a repressed 1950's housewife is left alone by her philandering husband, she makes a horrifying discovery about the noises in the house that are coming from the walls.


Dir. Ben Gilbert

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 6

A woman begins to foresee terrifying events leading up to her husband's alien abduction. These visions have her living in a world of confusion and self doubt. She fears she's going crazy, but her strong intuition and her will to survive keeps her fighting for an answer beyond insanity.


Dir. Matthew Spradlin

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 1

Shero is a story of an imperfect female superhero trying to save a very imperfect world.  A former super model, (named Elizabeth Jones), has been granted powers beyond those of mere mortals. However, the price tag for those powers have caused her to stop before she's barely started.


Dir. Tony Chiu

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 6

Three independent sisters, entangled in a web of secrets, are forever changed by the action of just one.

Skinny Fat Girl

Dir. Brandon Baer

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 2

After losing 100 pounds, Annie struggles to get back out into the dating scene.


Dir. Erik Hirschhorn

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 3

A dancer tries to reach Prague with her family to escape the occupation in Nazi Poland.


Dir. Christine Irons

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 2

A brother and sister spread their movie star grandmother's ashes at iconic landmarks in Los Angeles.


Dir. George Bessudo

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 1

In a matter of days a couple's entire world falls apart as they struggle to repair the damage brought on by mental illness.


Dir. Jennifer Gnirke

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 4

'Strand' is short film about a woman on the brink of a major life change who draws strength from the memory of her mother.

Stronger Than Pretty

Dir. Marjorie LeWit

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 2

A young mother's "American Dream" turns into a living nightmare, until she finds the inner strength to listen to a voice she hadn't heard before:

her own.


Dir. Hadas Yona

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 2

A young woman who has been subjected to sexual violence comes face to face with her tormentor.

The Bake Job

Dir. John Freeman

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 3

A simple heist to get rich leads to betrayal and murder.

The Dead Diaries: Initiation

Dir. Lauren Patrice Nadler

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 6

Friends Jason, Erik and Dre find themselves tied in a tough predicament. Despite the dire circumstances, Dre still finds a way to laugh it off, Erik gets some words in and Jason at the very least, has family with him. It can't be all that bad, when family and friends are around, right?

The Desert Left Behind

Dir. Jan Buttler

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 3

Luise, a young woman, takes on a position as kitchen staff at a boarding house for school groups in the Mecklenburg lakes region. Although both she and her colleague Maria are met with genuine interest and friendship by everyone, including the local young men, Luise remains shy, closed off and unreceptive to any attempts at intimacy. She even makes a point of avoiding the schoolchildren, who arrive in late fall to board in their castle-like accommodations. It soon appears as though a dark shadow trails her.

The Forerunner

Dir. Tatiana Samano

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 1

A story of a young woman in search of her mother. After searching for 10 years, she discovers ruthless operatives are after her.

The Interrogation of Olivia Donovan

Dir. Carl Mackenzie

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 1

Following the arrest of Bradley Donovan for the abduction of a young schoolgirl, DI Watkins and child psychologist Sarah Hardy set out to Donovan’s house in the hope of finding the missing victim. When they arrive, they are greeted by Donovan’s worried wife, Olivia. With Olivia’s state of mind in a very vulnerable place, Watkins and Sarah must use all their experience and tact to try to encourage Olivia to cooperate.

The Last Day

Dir. Stephen Gregory Curtis

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 2

A loving couple's marriage is put to the test when the husband loses his job and the wife must take over and keep the family afloat.

The Pen & The Sword

Dir. Chris Gallego wong

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 4

It’s an inspiring tale about a brave young woman who fights the enemy not with guns or swords, but by putting her story onto paper and passing it along to future generations.

The Rag

Dir. Zoe Vitale

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 1

Ruth, an innocent ten-year-old, must face the horrors of adulthood when a stolen thong causes her to begin her period during a middle school cross country race.

The Waltz

Dir. Lesley Demetriades

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 3

Two friends go for a hike in Los Angeles.


Dir. Kimberley T. Zulkowski & Stephen Gregory Curtis

Friday  7/14/2017 Block 1

Tiff, a troubled young girl whose life is on a downward spiral, finds cutting as a means to escape and cope with the physical, verbal, and sexual abuse suffered at the hands of her drug-addicted mother.

To Quiet My Mind

Dir. Hollis Sherman-Pepe & Cole Woods

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 2

This is a mixed media film examining a man coping with loss. Is there a difference in the value of imagined thoughts and perceived memory? Painting is the only salvation for the protagonist. He searches for meaning after the death of his wife, a war photojournalist. Art is therapy to quiet the mind.

Uncle Eddy

Dir. Rommel Andaya

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 3

After missing her sister's phone call, slacker Veronica forgets to bring their sickly Uncle Eddy to his doctor's appointment. When Veronica tries to defend herself, her Type A sister Jessica doesn't let Veronica live her shortcomings down. After a feud in this potty-mouthed comedy, the sisters learn to come together despite their differences in an unfortunate event.


Dir. Julia Myers

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 3

A father must face his past when his daughter Sophie, a surgeon in the Union army, returns home with an unexpected companion: a soldier whose arm she amputated.


Dir. Zhichun Huang

Sunday  7/16/2017 Block 3

Newly immigrated mother and daughter from China who are living under the condition of water shortage in a shabby household in Los Angeles, are going through the threshold of cultural assimilation and racial displacement.

With Love, Trudi

Dir. Matthew Serrano

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 4

In 1946, a young German woman and an American soldier by the names of Trudi and Shelley, fell in love in post World War II Germany. 62 years later, Trudi must make a final phone call to say goodbye...

Zeek vs Zit

Dir. Tara Gordon

Saturday  7/15/2017 Block 2

A boy struggles to pop a zit.

Audience Award Winners

(Audience Winners will be posted by July 18th)

1st Place

Ignofear Dir. Jonathan Cocco

2nd Place 

Tiff Dir. Kimberly T. Zulkowski &

Stephen Gregory Curtis

3rd Place (Tie)

Reaction Dir. Lisa Nicole Lennox &

Niles Canyon Dir. Sallyane Massimini

Jury Category Winners

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

Best Feature Film

Road Less Traveled Dir. Blair Hayes

(Presented at the end of Block 5 on Saturday 7/15/2017)

Best Short Film

Common Threads Dir. William Shockley

(Presented at the end of Block 4 on Saturday 7/15/2017)

Best Feature Documentary

Part Of Me Now: Living With Breast Cancer

Dir. Emily Gerhardson

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Saturday 7/15/2017)

Best Short Documentary

Dear Cancer, Love Stacy Dir. Stacey Summers

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Saturday 7/15/2017)

Best Student Film

Standpoint Dir. Erik Hirschhorn

(Presented at the end of Block 3 on Saturday 7/15/2017)

Best Foreign Film

Martha Dir. Florian Gottschick

(Presented at the end of Block 6 on Saturday 7/15/2017)

Best Animation

Planta Dir. Laurel Thomson

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Sunday 7/16/2017)

Best Music Video

La China Dir. Jorge G. Camarena

(Presented at the end of Block 6 on Saturday 7/15/2017)

Best Experimental Film

To Quiet My Mind

Dir. Hollis Sherman-Pepe & Cole Woods

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Saturday 7/15/2017)

Best Feature Script

The Rubber Room by Jennifer Dunbar

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 7/14/2017)

Best Short Script

Tectonics by Gayla Goehl

(Presented at the end of Block 2 on Friday 7/14/2017)


Feature Script Finalist

Riggers by Dane Krogman

Rocket To Waterfalls by James Mason

Scott by Anna Rose Moore

Screaming My Heart Out by Janyce Lapore

Sins Of The Father by Sheri Davenport

Short Script Finalist

Hank And Martha In The Basement by Kate Langsdorf

Seeds Of Change by Frances Wilkerson

The Boarding House by Jess Grant

The Habit by L’Oreal Little

Yolk by Natalie Houchins

Jury Creative Nominees

(Creative Winners will be announced and presented during the opening night party on Friday, July 14th which starts at 10pm)

Best Director

Madeline Rozwat - Letters From Alcatraz

Gabrielle Stone & Roze - It Happened Again Last Night 

William Shockley - Common Threads

Blair Hayes - Road Less Traveled

Emma Bell - Scratch

Best Actress

Piercey Dalton - Chocolate

Nancy Stafford - Common Threads 

Gabrielle Stone - It Happened Again Last Night

Shanell Rene - Tiff

Lauren Alaina - Road Less Traveled

Best Supporting Actress

Noa Fridman - Taken

Yolanda T. Ross - Tiff 

Lexie Helgerson - Stay

Eva Pope - The Interrogation Of Olivia Donovan

Sydney Scotia - Common Threads

Best Actor

Oscar Cardenas - Bon Appetit

Jason Burkey - Road Less Traveled 

Grant Lancaster - Seer

Randy Wayne - It Happened Again Last Night

Ori Zaltzman - Taken

Jury Creative Winners

(Creative Winners will be announced and presented during the opening night party on Friday, July 14th which starts at 10pm)

Best Director

Blair Hayes - Road Less Traveled

Best Actress

Gabrielle Stone - It Happened Again Last Night

Best Supporting Actress

Yolanda T. Ross - Tiff

Best Actor

Randy Wayne - It Happened Again Last Night