California Women’s Film Festival


July 2020 selections and Winners

Official Selections

5 Years Gone

Dir. Katie Cleese

A recovering alcoholic attempts to confront her past and make amends for her regretful actions.

A Girl Problem

Dir. Michelle Gritzer

When Erica gets a last minute call to promote her Japanese American Cultural festival on the "Good Evening LA" Show, she has 2 hours to figure what to wear and participate in the interview , or risk losing her job. A Girl Problem is a short comedy about something we've all faced- a closet full of clothes, and nothing to wear!

After Life Vacation

Dir. Alberto Belli

When a newly wed couple books their after life vacation, a series of decisions will take them into an unpredictable journey.

After Ray

Dir. Natasha Halevi

In the aftermath of the singularity, Cole, the first “modified” human, struggles with memory loss, indicating an unstable future for humans and potential end to humanity.

Alina - 2020

Dir. Rami Kodeih

As Nazis separate children from their parents in the Warsaw Ghetto, a gang of women risks everything to smuggle their friend's three-month-old baby to safety. Inspired by true events. Starring Alia Shawkat (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEARCH PARTY), Edin Gali (MAD MEN), Erika Soto (VIDA), and Mark McCullough (LOGAN LUCKY).

Beauty Juice

Dir. Natasha Halevi

Sarah follows her invitation to Beauty Juice, a secret invite only beauty shop. Her naiveté is clear as she interacts with the regulars, but, something seems wrong with this place and these people. Writing off her instinct as unreasonable fear, Sarah shakes it off and patiently waits her turn for her Beauty Juice.


Dir. Sarah Stolar & Seth D. Meyers

A young female dancer travels on an emotional journey through psychological and physical landscapes to discover a crucial truth that lives within her.

Between The Pines

Dir. Emma Bell

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.

Brazen - Mae Jemison

Dir. Phuong Mai N'Guyen & Charlotte Cambon de Lavalette

MAE JEMISON, Astronaut (1956 - …) USA.  Mae Jemison decided that being a Black woman isn’t going to be an obstacle to fulfill her dreams. She is the first Black woman sent to space. And the first female astronaut to play in ‘Star Trek’. If we believe, we can go far, really far.

Cleaning House

Dir. Shahaub Roudbari

CLEANING HOUSE is an 80s driven action comedy that revolves around a spirited maid and an overzealous secret agent. As her love for Whitney Houston disrupts his covert op, a frantic battle erupts revealing things are not always as they seem.


Dir. Lori Shockley

Corked is a dramatic short film set in 1970's Northern California wine country. It's based on the true story of one young women’s struggle against the status quo. Jane Dunlap is at the crossroads of asserting her independence in the male dominated industry. Which direction will she choose?

Corky All Grown Up

Dir. Ralph Odierna

Corky, Kristie, Laura, and Erin are lifelong best friends and preparing for a day at the spa when Kylie, Kristie's daughter, reveals a secret her mother has been keeping from her best friends.

Dancer By The Sea

Dir. Barbara Mones

An lonely widowed older woman who lives by the sea finds and adopts an abandoned baby otter on her property. The relationship that develops transforms her life.


Dir. Maxi Witrak & Jose Muro

Debut music video for Mik&Maxi, a poppunk duo from Los Angeles, CA.


Dir. Vergi Rodriguez & Diana Zollicofer

Lily Cruz, a DACA recipient, travels on a medical volunteer mission and upon returning to the USA a TSA agent isn’t so welcoming.


Dir. Annie Chen

A down-on-his-luck lawyer meets a mysterious woman while waiting for his delayed flight. After she admits to causing a fatal house fire, the young lawyer becomes torn in doing the right thing while learning the reasons behind her heinous crime, and becoming sympathetic to her.

Gray Matter

Dir. Kate Ketcham

Tiny runs a rideshare company with her best (and worst) friends Sal, Esther, and Stella. They’re out to show the world that age ain’t no thang. The four women may drive each other up the wall more than they drive their passengers, but at the end of the day they have each other’s backs, and that’s all they need.


Dir. Travon Trammell & Atayjah Brown

A visual poem following a young woman's struggle with perception and self esteem, that must learn the only way to thrive is to accept who she is.

Innocent Goodbye

Dir. Theresa Picciallo

With her high school under siege, a teenage girl fights for her life in a standoff with the active shooter.


Dir. Linda Palmer

A woman faces depression and opioid addiction head on, encountering an unlikely source of help. Is it strong enough to help her break her (family's) destructive cycle? Does she end it all, or choose to make a change, however small, and survive for her daughter.

iPhone Only

Dir. Lily Kennedy

A young photographer who yearns to connect with her biological parents in Ireland is suddenly offered the opportunity of a lifetime by an estranged former friend.

Little French Fish

Dir. Eva Lanska

Lea is an artist from an Eastern European Jewish family. Djamil is а young man from the Middle East. They accidentally meet in Paris and fall in love. Their story is filled with passion, romance, and profound tenderness, but it cannot last long as they choose family traditions over their own happiness. Being apart is unbelievable, but will they change their mind if one day they have a second chance? One day, when they accidentally spot each other in a dark cinema hall.

Maternal Mind

Dir. Caleb Davis

A story about a new mom's struggle with Postpartum Anxiety, and how her partner attempts to help her cope.

Medicated Dawn

Dir. Rhonda Kennedy

Medicated Dawn centers around Rome a young, cocky, good looking stud who thinks she's God's gift to women. After being kicked out of her home for being a lesbian, Rome finds comfort and support in an unlikely group of women.

Nikki Sings Again

Dir. Isaac Medeiros

Nikki is a single mom and bartender. Her son's father shows up to sing at her bar and the bar owner wants Nikki to sing duets with him.

Northern Light

Dir. Fanny Lecendre

Alex and Hugo meet on the anniversary of their father's death to reconnect with each other, on a journey with the elements of the Northern French coast.

Odd Bird

Dir. Katy Dore

As a boy, Clark always felt like the odd bird in his conservative ranch family. To cope, he created a comic book, “The Adventures of Odd Bird,” making himself the hero of his own story. Now 19, a publisher is interested in his work and Clark needs to return home to get the comic manuscript…and tell his mom his truth. Clark fears once he tells her he’s gay, he won’t be welcome there again.

Pas de Deux

Dir. Jason O. Silva

A love story transcends time when two ballet dancers meet at a mysterious private estate.


Dir. Jordyn Raye Torres

Liza, 23, is assistant to renowned film director, Sam Zimmerman. Zimmerman is notorious for ruling with an iron fist, which thrusts various degrees of harassment and mistreatment Liza’s way. Though this sort of environment would send many running for the hills, Liza braves these trials and tribulations in the hopes that she, too, will become a film director in the future. Just when it seems like no one is on her side, Liza’s saving grace arrives in the form of award-winning female director, Ella Harding. With new found confidence and Harding by her side, Liza will acquire success of her own at the expense of the chauvinistic, Zimmerman.


Dir. Angela L. Harvey

Thirty-something Franklin Matthews relives the heartbreak of being stood up for his high school’s segregated prom when his daughter’s prom date turns out to be the son of Jill Carpenter, the white girl who stood him up all those years ago.

Right Where You Need To Be

Dir. Choice Skinner

An inner city black girl finds ways to mentally escape from her tragic childhood memories by selling drugs and street-life. Another recent tragedy plagues her with her chronic insomnia and she copes with it by writing poetry and short stories. An optimistic young man enters her life and motivates her to further her dreams as a writer.


Dir. Kerry Bishé

Two women's stories intersect a century apart.

Speech & Debate

Dir. Cassandra Jean Amell

In the cut-throat world of High School Speech & Debate, if you're not a Winner, you're a fucking Loser.

Tempest Desert

Dir. Talita Maia

After moving to the US to become an illustrative artist, Laura gets sidetracked with meaningless jobs and vapid friendships. She searches for unhealthy ways to cope with the lack of real connections with people, as well as discouragement when it comes to her dreams.  By chance, she meets a stranger that reminds her of the potential she always carried within.

The Hall

Dir. Ted Leonard

An abusive, family patriarch brings estranged siblings to a hospital, resulting in a decision that will change all their lives.

The Hostess

Dir. Rosalie Alspach

After an uncomfortable sexual encounter with a customer over the phone, restaurant hostess Margot tries to unload on to her friend Charlotte. But it's the dinner rush and Charlotte couldn't be less interested.

The Last Leaf

Dir. Sia Aleskovskaya

Haunted by dark visions and unable to protect her family, Cathy has a final chance to save her lover Sue and stand up against the mysterious gentleman that has haunted her since childhood.

The Tragic Tale of Willis Wilde

Dir. Lila B.

Willis Wilde is on a nearly impossible mission to face a tragedy that happened in his past. With the help of his two best friends, maybe he’ll make it in time to finally confront the enemy in a classic western show down.

The Voice Within

Dir. Ernesto Sandoval

Catherine, suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, wrestles with her alter-ego Angelina as she uncovers and pieces together a traumatizing event.

The Waste Tide

Dir. Xiaotong Wen

“The Waste Tide” is a 4 minutes 3D animation about the consciousness of life and forms from a female clone who gradually raises her self-cognition and awareness under a experiment.

The Wind Phone

Dir. Kristen Gerweck

A phone booth on an ocean cliffside brings together seven strangers whose seemingly different conversations are connected by one harrowing reality. Inspired by true events.


Dir. Bita Elahian

In January 2017 with the first executive order from president Trump “Travel ban” Iranian immigrants mom (Vida) who lives in the United States, goes to airport to pick up her daughter when she arrived from Iran . Not only she can’t pick up her but also , she couldn’t see her and they deported her daughter directly from airport to Iran . After one week her life goes to change forever .

Walk Of Shame

Dir. Emilie Cheung

As a young student walks down a street of houses, she uncovers a fragmented and traumatic memory.Produced with support from Art With Impact's Voices With Impact program, which enables filmmakers to make work about underrepresented topics in mental health

We Say Thank You

Dir. Lou Schad

During the Coronavirus quarantine, a woman is isolated from her symptomatic husband. She finds solace in her cheering neighbors as the days pass in solitude.

Best Short Script

The Ultimate Gift by Jo-Ann Bierer Wilhelm


Short Script Finalist

Lessons From Ignorance Ep. 2 by Beverley Simmons

Not Yet by Marieve Herington & Jeffrey Jones

Ocean Child by Marilyn Swick & Laura Koons

Out of the Mist: Battle in the Middle Realm by Theresa V. Wilson

The Persistence Of  by Elise Valderrama

The Yard by Aminah Hughes

Thirty Minutes by Claire Elizabeth Terry

Best Feature Script

Fled by Meg Keneally


Feature Script Finalist

Every Ticket Tells A Story by Tamara Steren

Fiona by Elfenworks Productions LLC

Leapers by Sherlann D. Moore

Rosa by Chelsea Hazzard

So Don’t Call Me Sir! by Bo Svenson

Taffeta by Nancy Nyman & Heather McNama

VXX by Bridget Bell McMahon