2016 Women & Film Festival: April 9-10

Five outstanding directors and a leading actress are attending, and will be on stage for Q&A.

“Women & Film,” the Port Townsend Film Festival’s annual Focus event, will be held Sat. and Sun., April 9-10. Eight feature films will screen during the day at the Rose and Rosebud Theatres, with a special event for all pass holders on Saturday night. Passes are on sale now.

“Until Hollywood recognizes the significant work of women film professionals, we’ll be showcasing their work in this festival,” said Janette Force, PTFF executive director. She spent three months curating films to select the final roster of films, two of the directly from Sundance 2016.

The Saturday night special event is a screening of lauded cinematographer Kirsten Johnson’s “Cameraperson.” Johnson, whose work has taken her to Bosnia, Nigeria and Iraq, has made “a bold documentary that is both a transcendent overview of her professional life and a probing look into her own personal experiences….The way individuals, and societies, grapple with memories both buried and lost, stands at the heart of “Cameraperson”…(Johnson’s) ultimate role is not only that of the silent witness, but also the engaged participant and empathetic autobiographer,” says Variety.

A filmmakers’ roundtable follows moderated by human rights poet and film scholar, Susan Rich.  Saturday night’s event will take place at the Wheeler Theatre, Fort Worden. Doors open at 6 p.m., screening begins at 7 p.m.

Avril Speaks, with over 18 years as a filmmaker, producer, director, writer and editor, joins us for the roundtable. After receiving her Masters degree in film directing from Columbia University, she was a full time professor at Howard University, Washington DC. She currently teaches film at California’s Azusa Pacific University and at Greenway Arts Alliance. She is the director of two award-winning feature films and has worked in development for Focus Features.

Other attending filmmakers who will be available for Q&A after their screenings and part of the roundtable discussion are Doria Bramante with her six-year-project, “The Refugees of Shangri-La” and Varda Bar-Kar with her funny documentary about a perfectionist high school choir director, “Big Voice.” Michelle Steffes will attend with her narrative film, “Driftwood,” about the search for love. Sara Hirsch Bordo attends with her film, “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story.” Joining the panel is up-and-coming actress, Diana Elizabeth Torres, with her film “East Side Sushi.” Torres was recipient of Mexico’s Celebrity Centre International Award for improving the arts in Latin American culture.

Passes are $75 each, include concierge service and give you the choice of four films. Several films include shorts. All passes include Saturday night’s special event at the Wheeler Theatre. For a schedule, film synopsis, filmmakers’ bios, and to buy passes, see www.ptfilmfest.com or call 360-379-1333.

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