California Women’s Film Festival


July 2019 selections and Winners

Official Selections

A Big Mission

Dir. Longyin Zhou & Yujie Chen

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 2

A Big Mission is a 3D animated comedy about a baby devil who recently was promoted at work after killing all dinosaurs and now must destroy humankind. He moves into a bigger house, however the furniture in his new house prevents him from leaving to go to work. Will the baby devil complete his big mission?

Adina E - Changing

Dir. Yoni Goodman

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 1

A music video for Adina E’s song “Changing”: A young girl runs away from home, feeling the need to escape the pain in her world. Not knowing where her path will take her, she heads out on a journey of self discovery.

Affectionate Heart

Dir. Xiwen Zhang

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 2

Three sex workers face to camera talk about their past and why they do this job. Each person’s different life experiences gave them a different purpose.


Dir. Melissa Vitello

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 2

A woman who has just lost her husband takes us on a journey through the five stages of grief through the eye of magical realism.

Back to You

Dir. Seri DeYoung

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 2

After being suddenly broken up with, Becca tries to navigate the new dating world. With help from her roommate and GBFF (Gay Best Friend Forever) and her dog Molly, she finds herself exactly where she needs to be.

Believe: The Story of The Gofarr Fund

Dir. Amanda Schenkman

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 1

Believe: The Story of The Gofarr Fund focuses on a family whose life takes a dramatic turn when their son is diagnosed with hypo plastic kidneys at only nine days old. Instead of focusing on the negative situation, they turn this obstacle into a fun

draising and research opportunity to help children battling kidney disease.


Dir. Lidia Porto

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 2

Bonita's life is crumbling under her as she struggles to find healing in the midst of trauma.


Dir. Millicent Malcolm

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 2

In the face of a demeaning request from her misogynistic boss, a hardworking young lawyer must decide whether to stick up for herself or keep living in her imagination.


Dir. Rok won Hwang & Samantha Tu

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 2

The girl in the back of the classroom cannot focus on her test. She is doing her best to hide a secret from the rest of the class and the teacher. Will she be able to keep the secret from being discovered?


Dir. Caitlin Norton Wyatt

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 2

On the day she plans to finally dump her crazy girlfriend, Bette finds out that Amy is already engaged to a man.

Cluster #1

Dir. Julie Boulaire

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 1

3 generation of women : 3 years old, 32 years old, 56 years old 

A little girl, a professional dancer, an amateur dancer 

3 ways to express themselves through their bodies 

3 stories which could be connected 

What brings them closer and unites these women breaking down the age barriers ? 

Cold Cold Man

Dir. Rona Ahdout

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 3

A female engineer, in the midst of a breakthrough with the creation of her AI Tom, fights for time to explore his potential against the corporate desires of her boss.


Dir. Sophie Martin

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 1

Jully, a 14 years old teenager girl with a sturdy character and captain of her city's basketball team, is struck by the tragic car accident of her parents. Overnight, she is placed in a foster care with her little sister Charlie. Jully prefers to hide the truth from her friends, and she is going to learn how to integrate herself and overcome her anger and sadness. Basketball will be the key for her adaptation that seems impossible.


Dir. Emma A Kazarian

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 2

A group of female directors show up to a studio fellowship expecting a chance to direct the next big blockbuster, only to find out the fellowship is actually a fight to the death.

Finding Amelia

Dir. Haley McHatton

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 3

A young woman struggling with her self identity and fitting in does whatever it takes to reach her goal, break records and shatter through the glass ceiling in the sky.

Fly Right

Dir. Patricia Mizen

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 1

In the deep canyons of California, Lilly and Scott accidentally find a secret box. When Lilly and Scott put on the charms found in the box they are morphed into another world, the dark world. Only love can set them free. 

Following Kanika

Dir. Alan Manzo Becerra

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 1

This short film is about social media and the role it plays in today’s society particularly in our youth. 

Our message we want to give to our audience is to be aware of your actions when posting on social media. There are consequences and dangers of posting personal photos of yourselves, which can make you vulnerable to viewers and future perpetrators. This is a film for all audiences no matter the background.

Foxx n Wolfe

Dir. Shaunette Wilson

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 3

As the planet decays, siblings Foxx and Wolfe try to survive in a reclusive cabin. Their resources are meager and their security is constantly under threat by an otherworldly predator that now inhabits the earth. As each hollow day passes, the siblings find themselves closer to encountering their ruinous fate.

Future Harvest

Dir. Carolyn Corkindale

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 4

An elderly woman relaxes on her quaint cottage veranda, enjoying the juicy fruit from her orchard and a scone, but there are hints that all is not as it seems. Armed with her secateurs, she takes pleasure in pruning the lush spring growth in her orchard. A horrific reality sets in and her harvest is still juicy but prophetic and terrifyingly unexpected.


Dir. Maclovia Martel

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 1

The visually rich, poetic and contemplative film provides a glimpse into the rejuvenative powers of community gardening. “I was attracted to this project,” Director Maclovia Martel remarked, “because of the importance of bringing greater attention to

 the urban gardening revolution.” 

Happy Hour

Dir. Jo Bozarth

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 1

It’s last call and the bachelorette of the hour, Denise, and her bff’s Shannon and Leah are winding down. What should be a quick trip to the powder room before calling it a night turns out to be life altering. Denise and her friends catch her fiancé and another woman using the bathroom stall for a purpose which it definitely was not intended. The engagement is off.


Dir. Sophie B Jacques

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 4

When Emillie returns home after renting her house to strangers, we witness what actually happened during her absence. 

Lady Justice

Dir. Saray D. Guidetti

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 4

Lady Justice is a short film about a vigilante who takes down sex traffickers.


Dir. Manuela Vasquez

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 1

A woman journeying through grief after being sexually assaulted, comes to find herself again through dance.

Love In The Shadows

Dir. Angele Cooper

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 3

A secret love thrives through the turmoils of death, oppression, and trauma as an African American girl discovers what it means to be loved and to love with out fear.


Dir. Logan Polish

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 1

Set in the near future, two aspiring astrophysicist control the fate of their human-like drone MARGOT while exploring the exoplanet Astor.

On The Other Side

Dir. Estefania Rebellon & Kyle Schmidt

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 4

An intimate and harrowing portrait of two migrant sisters as they cross the US - Mexico border through the burning Sonoran Desert in search of the American Dream.

Paris la Blanche

Dir. Lidia Terki

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 3

Lidia Terki’s film is heartfelt and heartwarming in its simplicity and humanity while addressing the issues of economic immigration through a personal life story.


Dir. Sutton Mckee

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 4

En route to Thanksgiving dinner with her family, Jess Sunland struggles to pull herself together. Black, tear filled eyes and a fracturing illusionary reality, she is clearly tortured by something or maybe someone. When she arrives at her parents house, it is as if a switch flips. Makeup for the bruises, a fake smile, within seconds everything is fine. What is she hiding? We watch as she navigates her family and best friend, fighting the physiological triggers and emotions that come with the threat of those closest to her discovering her secret… Or secrets.

Ring Of Fire

Dir. Tracy Kleeman

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 2

Callie puts on her best poker face while she embarks on the run from Los Angeles through the desert, with nothing but her Toyota Solara and a pack of cigarettes. Seeking refuge from the open road, Callie finds herself in a small, local dive bar. Though only a few townie drunks populate the joint, a young woman named Mac mans the bar. Callie recognizes the signs of an abused woman, and the interaction they share forces her to ultimately come to terms with what or whom she is running from.


Dir. Sara Swain

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 4

Three young women in their late 20's living in a two bedroom one bath apartment who moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dream careers. They decide they need to make friends in order to network to get those bomb jobs.


Dir. Suyoung Jang

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 1

In a human generating factory a new woman awakes in a flawed system. But finds she can't achieve her potential until she gets through a giant glass wall. 


Dir. Jan Johnson Goldberger

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 3

Coach Michelle "Shooter" Barnes is an ex-high school basketball star who now teaches at her old high school on the southside of Chicago. Coach encounters a ruckus in the school locker room after recess and attempts to intercede. As a result, she is threatened by one of her students and is tested in more ways than expected.


Dir. Bader Alshuaib

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 3

A conservative Muslim man living in America speaks with his wife regarding gun laws one fine day. Later, he finds out his daughter fooling around with a friend of hers in the bedroom resulting in a fight of ethics between the father and mother, threatening dangerous consequences.


Dir. Anna Chi

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 2

Michelle, a 17-year-old Chinese American girl, is trying to figure out her sexual identity while her mother and her stepfather are busy with her almost 4-month-old baby sister. One day Michelle is left in charge of the baby on her own, she gets frustrated with the crying baby and takes the baby to the beach. While Michelle thinks the outing created a special bonding between her and her baby sister, her worried parents blame her for being irresponsible. They fight. Michelle’s mother is confronted with the facts that Michelle has been hurting herself and she is gay.

The Coffee Run

Dir. Gustavo Sampaio

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 1

Carol is sent on errands by her boss and comes to the edge of a nervous breakdown.

The Weight of Honor

Dir. Stephanie Seldin Howard

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 1

THE WEIGHT OF HONOR is the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the lives of the caregivers and families of veterans who have been catastrophically wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The film’s subjects are six women who allow a rare glimpse into their person worlds that are disrupted by the fallout of war. Filmed over five years, in many States, THE WEIGHT OF HONOR reveals the ongoing uncertainties, courage, and the strength of these military caregivers during the most calamitous times of their lives. 

Things Break In

Dir. Tess Harrison

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 4

Things Break In is an intimate portrait of independence and love. Ida and Rosa work on a farm to support their families during wartime. Things Break In drops us into a unique circumstance that invites us to see what might happen when two women in 1940 are required to work together in privacy.

What Is Your Brown Number

Dir. Vinnie Ann Bose

Saturday  7/20/2019 Block 1

The film talks about how in India everyone wants to be light skinned, and how there is a sense of idealism and beauty associated with fair skin, whereas it is negativity and repulsion that is associated with dark skin.


Dir. Michael Vaughn Hernandez

Friday  7/19/2019 Block 2

Fresh off a winning case that brought her unwanted internet fame, a rising ADA learns of the district's most respected judge allegedly assaulting her best friend. She starts a case but is surprised to be met with resistance by the district attorney who mentored her, her best friend who questions the system and her motives, and the judge himself who knows her own dark secret.

Audience Award Winners

(Audience Winners will be posted by July 22nd)

1st Place

Sicko! Dir. Bader Alshuaib

2nd Place

Lady Justice Dir. Saray D. Guidetti

3rd Place (Tie)

Bonita Dir. Lidia Porto &

Fellowship Dir. Emma A Kazarian

Jury Category Winners

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

Best Feature Film

Paris la Blanche Dir. Lidia Terki

(Presented at the end of Block 3 on Saturday 7/20/2019)

Best Short Film

Swimming Dir. Anna Chi

(Presented at the end of Block 4 on Friday 7/19/2019)

Best Feature Documentary

The Weight Of Honor Dir. Stephanie Seldin Howard

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Friday 7/19/2019)

Best Short Documentary

Grow Dir. Maclovia Martel

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Saturday 7/20/2019)

Best Student Film

Cold Cold Man Dir. Rona Ahdout

(Presented at the end of Block 3 on Friday 7/19/2019)

Best Foreign Film

Dunk Dir. Sophie Martin

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Saturday 7/20/2019)

Best Animation

Shattered Dir. Suyoung Jang

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Friday 7/19/2019)

Best Music Video

Adina E - Changing Dir. Yoni Goodman

(Presented at the end of Block 1 on Friday 7/19/2019)

Best Experimental Film

Roommates Dir. Sara Swain

(Presented at the end of Block 4 on Friday 7/19/2019)

Best Feature Script

Something Old Something New by Christina Babinsack

Best Short Script

Ripple Effect by Maza White


Feature Script Finalist

A Four Sided Bed by Elizabeth Searle

Austentatious by Charmaine Colina

Crickets by Jennifer Steets

Northern Cross by Melody Cooper

Sadie Sasquash “Her Side Of The Story by Frank Vespe

Turn Left by Janice Corran

Short Script Finalist

Bear Trap by Thresa Richardson

Board To Death by jodi Teti

Hunting Season by Sheila Schroeder

Last Man Standing by Jeff Woodard

Party Lines by Carolyn Coal

Jury Creative Winners

Best Director

Lidia Terki - Paris la Blanche

Best Actress

Louise Malek - Dunk

Best Supporting Actress

Karole Rocher - Paris la Blanche

Best Actor

Iyad Hajjaj - Sicko!