Wu-Ching Chang / Taiwan
MY GRANDMOTHER IS AN EGG
Wu-Ching Chang creates animated short films by exploring personal experiences and female issues given cultural context through interviews and research. Her films contain multiple experimental practices, such as animating with eggs. Chang’s animated short films have won awards including Hand-Painted Animated Shorts at Palm Springs International Animation Festival and Best Animation Short at Halicarnassus Film Festival for “Bird,” Best Multimedia Film at Global India International Film Festival for “The Impermanent Sea,” Best Visual Effects at 4C Digital Content Awards for her “Mother” and Jury Special Mention at Women Make Waves Film Festival for “My Grandmother Is an Egg.”
Vaishali Naaik / India
7 STAR DINOSOR ENTERTAINMENT
Born and brought up in the city of Mumbai, Vaishali Naik is a writer and director whose heart beats to the pace of urban Indian life. She has been writing for screen for the past ten years, working on popular Hindi television shows including “Barrister Badu” and “Shubharambh.” “7 Star Dinosaur Entertainment” is her directorial debut.
Tempe Hale / USA
Tempe Hale is a Los Angeles-based director, animator and Sundance Film Institute filmmaker Fellow. Her work weaves together hand-drawn animations with archival footage and collage. Hale’s multimedia films have screened at the Pacific Symphony, Grand Performances concert series, The Industry opera company, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Aloud Lecture Series at the Los Angeles Public Library, Big Apple Performing Arts and the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT). Her animated short “Door No. 5” screened internationally at the Chitrakatha International Festival of Student Design Stories, Expotoons Animation Film Festival and Cuba’s International School of Film and Television. She graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with an MFA in experimental animation.
Shir Eldad / Israel
Shir Eldad, who lives in Jerusalem, did her state-mandated national service at a technology school for teens at risk. She graduated from the full-time, four-year Production and Directing Track at the Maaleh School of Television, Film & the Arts, where she specialized in editing, in February 2020. “Crossing Lines” is her graduating film. Today she works as an editor at one of Israel’s main television news channels, Channel 13, and is also head of her own film editing business.
Sarah Menzies / U.S.
Sarah Menzies has been a freelance videographer and filmmaker since 2010, and she founded the production company Let Media in 2012. Her short documentary films, including “The Mirnavator,” “A Steelhead Quest” and “Catch It,” have screened at festivals such as Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Big Sky Film Festival, Hot Docs, Seattle International Film Festival, Napa Valley Film Festival and Mountainfilm. Her work has allowed her to venture into wild spaces to bring back amazing stories of strength, courage, and passion that highlight our common humanity. Menzies made her feature length documentary directorial debut at the 2018 Hot Docs Film Festival with “Afghan Cycles.”
Polly Pierce / Canada
Polly Pierce has amassed over 80 professional credits as a 1st Assistant Camera and 2nd Assistant Camera working on feature films such as the French/ Australian co-production “The Tree,” the Netflix film “Spontaneous” and television series such as “Bletchley Circle: San Francisco,” “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” the Apple TV series “Home Before Dark” and the Steven Spielberg-produced series “Terra Nova” as well as countless commercials and music videos. She recently wrote, produced and directed two short films: the supernatural dark comedy “Wytch Craft” and the romantic comedy “Dependable Pandemic Life Partner.” She is currently in development on a feature length documentary about the BC Crown Counsel’s poor handling of domestic violence cases.
Mona Lisa García / Spain
AQUEL ROSTRO / THAT FACE
Panamanian-born Mona Lisa García studied Communication and Cultural Studies at Villanova University in Philadelphia, Documentary Film at The New School in New York City, and Film Directing at EFTI in Madrid. Mona Lisa has worked in mediation and cultural coordination. Her interest in film started through documentary, exploring political and social issues. In 2018, she directed a short documentary titled “Arnold,” a portrait of a painter’s identity crisis who has born in the old Panama Canal Zone, as well as an examination of political relations between the United States and Panama after the invasion of 1989.
Mehrnoush Alia / Iran
Mehrnoush Alia is a filmmaker and playwright from Tehran. Her debut short film, “Scheherazade,” won several awards including Best American Short Film at Champs-Elysées Film Festival. Her second short film, “Faranak,” won the Enderby Entertainment Fellowship Award at Austin Film Festival. She recently wrote and co-produced “Sang Saboor,” an interactive documentary about domestic violence in Iran. Mehrnoush attended Berlin Talent Campus 2020. She graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in Screenwriting and holds a BA in Film Studies and Comparative Literature from University of California Berkeley.
Mathilde Bayle / France
Born in Toulouse in 1979 and raised in a family of musicians, Mathilde Bayle played the piano and chamber music before turning to cinema. Her short film “Le Maillot de Bain” (“The Swimming Trunks”), produced by Les Films du Cygne, won awards in several international festivals and was released on Netflix. Her other directing credits include “La Chambre du Nord” (“The North Room”), “En Vouloir ou Pas” (“To Want or Not”) and “Mon Amie Pauline” (“My Friend Pauline”). “El Conquistador” marks a new partnership with Les Films du Cygne, with which she is also currently directing her first full-length feature film, “Un Petit Garçon” (“A Little Boy”).
Laura Vandervoort / Canada
MY SOUL TO TAKE
Laura Vandervoort has been a consistently working Canadian actor for 24 years. She can be seen as Supergirl in the CW series “Smallville” and in “The Lookout,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels, “The Entitled” alongside Ray Liotta, ABC’s sci-fi series “V,” “This Means War,” starring Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine, “Ted,” directed by Seth Macfarlane and starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, “Jigsaw” of the “Saw” horror franchise and the Syfy series “Bitten.” Now she’s working behind the camera as director, writer and executive producer of “My Soul to Take.”
Jingjing Tian / U.S.
MARY ANNE & FRANK
Jingjing Tian is a Chinese American filmmaker based in NYC. Born in Northeast China, she immigrated to Texas at the age of nine, where she learned to speak with a twang, wore a belt buckle, and discovered that she had an Asian American identity. She explores these identities in her work. Identity, autonomy, and oppression are major themes in her work and her life. She is a Sundance Collab Imagined Futures winner, Toronto International Film Festival Filmmaker Lab shortlisted entrant, Sundance Writer’s Lab finalist and Sundance Sloan Foundation finalist. Her work has screened at Nitehawk with MoMA, Museum of the Chinese in America, Cleveland International Film Festival and more.
Jazmin Bryant / U.S.
Jazmin Bryant attended Columbia College Chicago and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Television Arts, concentrating in Producing. In 2020, she moved to Los Angeles and joined Monkeypaw Productions as a development intern. After a successful run, she transitioned to A24 Films as a production intern. She is currently a digital office production assistant on an HBO show and works on commercials, music videos and independent projects. When she’s not developing or producing a film, she enjoys finding deals in eclectic, vintage and thrift stores around California.
Ashley Paige Brim / U.S.
Ashley Brim is a Los Angeles based filmmaker and a producer on the Showtime series “Homeland.” “The Goldfish” was a Second Rounder at Austin Film Festival and won the New Orleans Film Festival Screenplay Competition. Her short film “An Act of Terror” was awarded a Special Jury Prize at the 2020 March on Washington Film Festival. She took part in the 2018 Fox Directors Lab and the Ryan Murphy Television Directing Mentorship Program. She was mentored by Dan Minahan on “American Crime Story: Versace,” shadowed Lesli Linka Glatter and Michael Cuesta on “Homeland” and Jonathan Frakes on “The Gifted.”
Brooke Swaney / U.S.
DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD
Brooke Pepion Swaney (Blackfeet/Salish) has been a NATIVe Fellow at the European Film Market/Berlinale, a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellow, and a Sundance Institute/Time Warner Fellow. “OK Breathe Auralee,” her NYU graduate thesis film, screened at the Sundance Film Festival aired on FNX (First Nations Experience, a PBS affiliate). Her producing credits include the feature film “Bella Vista,” the short documentary and new media project “Sixty-Four Flood” (PBS), and the first season of the podcast “All My Relations.” “I Am Human,” her Native Outreach ad for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, received over 3 million hits on Facebook. She is currently a screenwriting faculty mentor at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Auréila Georges / France
SECRET NAME (LA PLACE D’UNE AUTRE)
Aurélia Georges is a writer and director who lives and works in Paris. She is a graduate of La Fémis film school. She has directed two documentaries and five short films, including “Sur la Pente” (“On the Slope”) which screened at the Premiers Plans Film Festival. She has worked as a production assistant and contributed to L’Art du Cinéma magazine. Her first feature film, “The Walking Man,” was critically acclaimed, and her second feature film, “The Girl and the River,” was screened at Cannes International Film Festival. Her third feature, “Secret Name,” was a selection at Locarno International Film Festival.
Carry Stett / U.S.
Carrie Stett is a director and writer who has worked on campaigns for major brands such as Toyota, Chase, Walmart, Barbie, Facebook, TikTok and Kleenex, including the “Kleenex Cares” campaign which received more than 500 million organic online views and won the Association of National Advertisers Multicultural Award and a silver Effie Award from the American Marketing Association. In 2017, she was featured in SHOOT Magazine’s New Directors Showcase. She is currently developing a feature documentary about Title IX and sports. When not spending time with family, she can be found on the tennis courts of Los Angeles.
Anissa Daoud / France
LE BAIN / THE BATH
Anissa Daoud is an actor, author, producer, and director who navigates between theater and cinema, drawn to projects with strong political content. She won Best Actress for “Tunisian Spring” at Durban International Film Festival and “Borders of Heaven” at the Annual Meeting of Tunisian Directors. Other acting credits include “She and He,” “Thirty,” “The Night is Long,” “Tender is the Wolf,” “Beauty and the Dogs,” and “Burning Hope,” which she also co-wrote and produced. She produced the short films “Law of the Lamb,” an Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival, and “The Rest Is Work of Man” and “The Eagles of Carthage,” both Official Selections at the Venice Film Festival. “The Bath” is her second short fiction film as a director.
Cheri Gaulke / U.S.
MISS ALMA THOMAS: A LIFE IN COLOR
Cheri Gaulke is a pioneer in the feminist art movement in Los Angeles. Her work has been presented in film festivals internationally, in galleries and museums, and alternative settings including buses, churches, and prehistoric temples. Initially known as a performance artist, her work addressed themes such as the body, religion, sexual identity, and the environment. Gaulke’s art continues to be a vehicle for social commentary, and a way to tell the stories of individuals and groups underrepresented in society. As an educator, Gaulke has mentored hundreds of award-winning young filmmakers. Her recent film “Gloria’s Call” has screened in more than 40 film festivals and won Best Documentary at the Ann Arbor Film Festival amongst other awards.
Nina Lee / U.S.
Nina Lee is an Atlanta native with an affinity for dogs and zombie films. She attended Spelman College and majored in Women Studies with a Film and Theater concentration. While at Spelman she created the college’s first student film festival, The Five Shorties. In more recent years she’s created, written, and starred in her own projects, such as “The Girls Room” and “Sorry About That.” Her voice can be heard on the Adult Swim miniseries “Spooky Dreams,” and she was the lead editorial writer for Netflix’s Strong Black Lead team. Her latest project is a short film, “Artistic,” produced by Lena Waithe and starring Marshawn Lynch.
Martha Coolidge / U.S.
VALLEY GIRL / I’LL FIND YOU
Martha Coolidge was the first woman president of the Directors’ Guild of America, the powerful union to which all directors belong. Her presidency came 50 years after Ida Lupino became the first woman member. Coolidge is well known in the film industry for her contributions and, in particular, her contributions to women in the industry. She has received many awards for her advocacy work, including the prestigious Robert Aldrich Award from the DGA for her extraordinary service to the DGA and its members. She is only the second woman to receive this award. Her film credits include the newly released “I’ll Find You,” as well as “Rambling Rose,” “Valley Girl,” “Lost in Yonkers,” “Joy of Sex,” and “Angie.” Coolidge also is a full professor at Chapman University where she teaches directing.
CASCADIA Retrospective Directors
Bonnie Discepolo / U.S.
Bonnie Discepolo is a director and co-screenwriter of comedy short “GraceLand.” Their El Mariachi-style “Grandma’s House,” screened during the 2018 SXSW Film Festival. El Rey also acquired their award-winning horror short “Three-Legged Dog” (Indie Grits 2018, Best Dark Comedy Short Atlanta Underground Horror Fest 2017). Discepolo is featured in The Wrap’s Oscar Contenders Showcase 2019 for father-daughter connection drama “Real.Live.Girl.” An award-winning actor themselves, they now spend most of their time behind the lens. Audiences may recognize Bonnie as a participant in Robert Rodriguez’s docuseries “Rebel Without a Crew.” They are an alum of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and the Moscow Art Theater School.
Maya Cozier / Trinidad & Tobago
SHORT DROP (2017)
Maya Cozier’s thesis film from the School of Visual Arts, NY, Short Drop, received the New York Women in Film and TV grant at the DustyFilm Festival. She directed several short pieces which have appeared on Mass Appeal and Global Voices
Lana Vlady / Italy
RICCARDO THAT BOUNCED ON TO THE STARS (2020)
Lana Vlady is an Italian actress and director of Russian origin, born in St. Petersburg who moved to Italy at the age of 7 and grew up in the province of Pisa. As an actress, she starred on television and in films. She wrote, directed and starred in her first short film “La Lepre (The Rabbit),” which appeared in the 2019 CASCADIA festival.
Jennifer Schwerin / U.S. & China
UNSPOKEN CODE (2019)
Jen Schwerin is an award-winning filmmaker working in the U.S. and China. In the U.S., her award-winning feature documentary, “Talking Trash,” which screened at festivals and aired on PBS. Her Emmy nominated short film, “The Vessel,” aired on PBS and screened at festivals. While living in China for 24 years, Schwerin created the first Chinese short films for MTV. She is currently developing a pilot for television.
Brenda Strong / U.S.
#3 NORMANDY LANE (2020)
Brenda Strong is best known for her seminal (acting and voice) portrayal of Mary Alice Young on “Desperate Housewives,” but this two-time Emmy-nominated and SAG Award-winning actress has had a long and endearing film and television career. In addition to acting and directing, she is also a producer, notably on the award-winning documentary “Fallen,” which looks at the human side of line-of-duty police deaths.
Jules Koostachin / Canada
Born in Moose Factory. Ontario, Jules Koostachin was raised by her Cree speaking grandparents in Moosonee, and her mother in Ottawa, a warrior of the Canadian Residential school system. She is a band member of Attawapiskat First Nation. She currently resides in Vancouver where she is a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, focusing on Indigenous documentary. This is her fifth year with CASCADIA.
Reem Morsi / Canada & Egypt
THE DOOR (2018)
Reem Morsi had a career of professional scuba diving &also international human rights work prior to becoming a writer/director. Morsi’s feature film script, Bootleg, received a scriptwriting grant from the SanFrancisco Film Society(2016)&won the Telefilm Canada New Voices Award at theToronto Screenwriters Conference in 2017. Reem received the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television Female Director’s Apprenticeship Program & shadowed a director on the Handmaid’s Tale. Reem also participated at the Women in View 2X More program/Sinking Ship Director’s Lab, and shadowed and directed on the show Dino Dana.
More Raça / Kosovo
AJO / SHE (2019)