CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival is proud to partner with Pickford Film Center as the home theatre for screenings during the Festival.
About Pickford Film Center
Pickford Film Center is a non-profit community cinema dedicated to the communal experience of cinema and its ability to entertain, enlighten and inspire. PFC builds a diverse and engaged film community through immersive film curation, conversation, and presentation. A vital, mission-driven organization dedicated to its community, PFC offers an authentic, rich and uniquely Bellingham experience in a casual and friendly environment.
Women Directed/Co-Directed Films of DOCtober
While locked-up for six years in federal prison, artist Jesse Krimes secretly creates monumental works of art—including an astonishing 40-foot mural made with prison bed sheets, hair gel, and newspaper. He smuggles out each panel piece-by-piece with the help of fellow artists, only seeing the mural in totality upon coming home. As Jesse’s work captures the art world’s attention, he struggles to adjust to life outside, living with the threat that any misstep will trigger a life sentence.
Battleground is an urgently timely window into the intersection of abortion and politics in America, following three women who lead formidable anti-abortion organizations to witness the enormous influence they wield. As the nation faces the end of Roe, the film also depicts those on the front lines of the fierce fight to maintain access.
David Giovanni is living on the streets of New York, determined to stay together with his beloved cat Lucky. When he’s finally granted a spot in a transitional housing facility that accepts cats, the COVID-19 pandemic and a devastating medical diagnosis puts his future together with Lucky in doubt.
David’s journey is interspersed with portraits of other “cat dads” from all over the country and some of which struggle to navigate the unprecedented events of 2020 with their little furry friends. They include a group of firefighters, a stunt man, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker, a schoolteacher whose cat becomes a viral sensation, and an actor/Instagram influencer. These men couldn’t be more different, but they share an unconditional love of their beloved pets. CAT DADDIES is a refreshing and timely exploration of modern masculinity and the unlikely bond between man and cat.
ALFIE KOETTER/CRISTINA COSTANTINI
Matty Square Ruggiero and his childhood friends, the Union Street Boys, tell their story of what it was like to grow up in South Brooklyn, where money was tight but friendships were tighter.
*This short film is part of the Characters with Character shorts program.
PAIGE MORROW KIMBALL
A budding artist in her 60s hangs joyful sculptures on telephone poles in her urban community. Afraid to get caught, she disguises herself as a man and through her random acts of kindness, she comes into her own and makes peace with her troubled past.
Farsi with English subtitle
As the Arctic Polar Ice Cap melts, reaching the North Pole has become increasingly dangerous. Yet an expedition of ordinary women from the Arab world and the West strap on skis and haul heavy sledges toward the true north, against all odds and polar advice.
Award-winning filmmaker Holly Morris captures it all, from frostbite and polar bear threats, to sexism and self-doubt in this intimate story of resilience, survival and global citizenry––on what may be the last-ever expedition to the top of the world.
DAWN MIKKELSON & KERI PICKETT
For thousands of years women have been locked out of Taiko drumming. Not any more. In the dead of a Minnesota winter, Asian drumming divas smash gender roles and redefine power on their own terms. Finding Her Beat dives into the rhythms and struggles that lead to an electrifying historic performance that changes everything.
Set in the cutthroat, boy-dominated world of high school debate where tomorrow’s leaders are groomed, GIRL TALK tells the timely story of five girls on a diverse, top-ranked Massachusetts high school debate team as they strive to become the best debaters in the United States on their own terms.
The Newton South Debate Team is one of the largest in the country, with a diverse roster of debaters; nearly half are girls and many are first generation Americans. Unlike most of their elite competitors, Newton South is only allotted a part-time volunteer parent coach, and the team must rely on one another to master the art of debate.
VIOLET DU FENG
Hidden Letters tells the story of two Chinese women trying to balance their lives as independent women in modern China while confronting the traditional identity that defines but also oppresses them. Connected through their love for Nushu—a centuries-old secret text shared amongst women—each of them transforms through a pivotal period of their lives and takes a step closer to becoming the individuals they know they can be.
Hostile is a feature-length documentary focusing on the UK’s complicated relationship with its migrant communities. The film focuses on the impact of the evolving ‘hostile environment’ policies that target migrants and the UK’s complicated relationship with its migrant communities.
Told through the stories of four participants from Black and Asian backgrounds, the film focuses on the impact of the evolving ‘hostile environment’ policies, which are designed to make living conditions so difficult for migrants that they voluntarily leave the country.
Behind a white picket fence, on an unremarkable suburban street, we discover Eli Timoner, who founded Air Florida, the fastest growing airline in the world in the 1970’s. During his final days, we discover his extraordinary life filled with incredible success and devastating setbacks, and most importantly, an innate goodness which won him the enduring love and support of his family. Through stunning verité footage recorded by his middle child, Last Flight Home takes audiences on a heart-wrenching ride through Timoner’s life, illustrating a modern day success story built on the power of human connection.
LIQUOR STORE DREAMS
SO YUN UM
Tracing back to the ‘92 L.A. uprisings to the current day BLM movement, Liquor Store Dreams is an intimate portrait of two Korean American children of liquor store owners who set out to bridge generational divides with their immigrant parents in Los Angeles.
LOVE, CHARLIE: THE RISE & FALL OF CHEF CHARLIE TROTTER
Before the Food Network and social media, Chef Charlie Trotter revolutionized global cuisine. He was a rock star among the first generation of celebrity chefs, but his meteoric rise came at a price.
With exclusive access to never-before-seen archival material, Love, Charlie reveals how his pursuit of excellence ultimately consumed him, with devastating consequences.
Based on Patricia Highsmith’s personal writings and accounts of her family and lovers, the film casts new light on the famous thriller writer’s life and oeuvre, permeated by themes of love and its defining influence on identity.
Did you know there are more than 32,000 mothers in America, many from conservative, Christian backgrounds, who fully accept their LGBTQ+ children? They call themselves “mama bears” because while their love is warm and fuzzy, they fight ferociously to make the world kinder and safer for all LGBTQ+ people
MASTER OF LIGHT
ROSA RUTH BOESTEN
George Anthony Morton is a classical painter who spent ten years in federal prison for dealing drugs. While incarcerated, he nurtured his craft and unique artistic ability.
Since his release, he is doing everything he can to defy society’s unlevel playing field and tackle the white-dominant art world.
Advance Screening / Work In Progress
A year in the lives of six members of the Minnesota RollerGirls, one of the most competitive roller derby teams in the world, as they strive to win the Hydra, the top prize in Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby. Their journey illuminates both the power and the limits of friendship.
DANIEL KLEIN / KELSEY PETERSON
Free Screening via Indie Lens Pop-Up
Beneath the waters of Lake Superior off the shore of Wisconsin, Kelsey Peterson underwent a transformation. On the eve of Independence Day 2012, she dove in and smacked the lake bottom head first, suffering a life-altering spinal cord injury that would take away both function and sensation from the chest down, essentially robbing her of her self-identities as an athlete and dancer. Within the spinal cord injury (SCI) community, she found peers and allies in her quest to answer the question: Who am I now? As she grapples with the ebb and flow of hope and acceptance, Kelsey travels across the United States. Along the way, she talks to researchers and meets with people who belong to the SCI community, and who help give her strength and the will to return to dance. When a cutting-edge clinical trial surfaces, it tests her expectations and her faith in the possibility of a cure, forcing her to evaluate the limits of her recovery—body and spirit.
PASANG: In the Shadow of Everest chronicles Pasang Lhamu Sherpa’s tragic and inspiring journey to become the first Nepali woman to summit Everest in 1993. As an uneducated, indigenous woman and a Buddhist in a Hindu kingdom, Pasang’s dream to scale the legendary mountain pits her against family, foreign climbers, her own government, and nature itself. Her determined pursuit of Everest plays out within the context of her nation’s quest for democracy and the emergence of the commercial climbing industry. As told by the Nepalis who knew her, by some of the world’s most notable alpinists, and by Pasang herself, PASANG: The Shadow of Everest, documents her historic quest that would transfix her country and uplift a new generation’s belief in its possibilities.
PERSONHOOD: POLICING PREGNANT WOMEN IN AMERICA
PERSONHOOD: Policing Pregnant Women in America follows the story of Tammy Loertscher, a rural Wisconsin woman who was forcibly detained after revealing her history of depression and occasional drug use during a prenatal appointment. Her fetus was given an attorney, while the courts denied Loertscher her constitutional rights and sent her to jail.
This timely documentary tracks the rise of the “fetal personhood” movement and reveals a growing system of laws in America that target and criminalize pregnant people – especially lower income women and women of color. At the intersection of the erosion of women’s rights, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration, Loertscher’s experience reveals the dangerous ripple effects of anti-choice policies on women who have no intention of ending their pregnancies.
PEZ OUTLAW, THE
AMY BANDLIEN STORKEL / BRYAN STORKEL
This incredible fish-out-of-water story follows the adventures of Steve Glew, a small-town Michigan man, who boards a plane for Eastern Europe soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. His mission is to locate a secret factory that holds the key to the most desired and valuable Pez dispensers. If he succeeds, he will pull his family out of debt and finally be able to quit his job of 25 years. Steve becomes the hero of his own adventure, smuggling the rarest of goods into the U.S. and making millions in the process. It was all magical, until his arch-nemesis, The Pezident (CEO of Pez USA) decided to destroy him.
DIN BLANKENSHIP / ERIN LEVIN BERNHARDT
Chris Buckley is a father, veteran, and a former leader of the KKK living in rural Georgia. Following concern from his wife, Buckley receives help from an extremist group interventionist. Despite his renunciation of the KKK, Buckley retains a deep prejudice against Muslims, stemming largely from the 9/11 attacks and his experiences in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chris’ long-held beliefs are challenged when Dr. Heval Kelli, a cardiologist and Kurdish refugee living in the resettlement community of Clarkston, Georgia, reaches out to him. Dr. Kelli believes that he must do what he can to quell the rising, hateful rhetoric of white nationalism that threatens his diverse community of refugees who have fled persecution and violence for a better life in America. He takes it upon himself to try to understand Chris and others like him. An unlikely relationship develops. Will Chris overcome his hate? Will Dr. Kelli find what he is seeking? What’s possible when we are willing to face hate with humanity? (-IMDb)
Throughout history, rivers have shaped our landscapes and our journeys; flowed through our cultures and dreams. RIVER takes its audience on a journey through space and time; spanning six continents, and drawing on extraordinary contemporary cinematography, including satellite filming, the film shows rivers on scales and from perspectives never seen before. Its union of image, music and sparse, poetic script will create a film that is both dream-like and powerful, honoring the wildness of rivers but also recognizes their vulnerability. Featuring music by Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead and narrated by Willem Dafoe
Filmmaker Stacey Tenenbaum brings us SCRAP, a love letter to the things we use in our daily lives. This cinematic documentary tells the stories of people who each have a connection to objects that have reached their ‘end of life’. Together their stories convey a deeper environmental and human message about our relationship to things, the sadness we feel at their eventual loss, and the joy of we can find in giving them a new purpose. The film raises awareness about the fate of the things we use and explores how artists, and other creative thinkers, can be a part of giving new life to the things we discard.
STILL WORKING 9 TO 5
CAMILLE HARDMAN / GARY LANE
When the highest-grossing comedy, 9 to 5, starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Dabney Coleman, and Lily Tomlin, exploded on the cinema screens in 1980, the laughs hid a serious message about women in the office. Still Working 9 to 5 explores why workplace inequality 40 years later was never a laughing matter.
The documentary explores the comedic tone of the film and how it resonated with a wide audience at a time when the feminist message was being rejected and/or feared by a large swathe of the population.
The documentary follows how the success of the film spawned various 9 to 5 spinoffs including: TV Series (1980s) and Musicals (2009 & 2019), discussing the same issues portrayed in the Film (and its spinoffs), and question if the message retains its original poignancy and continues to hold relevance today, as it did 40 years ago…
JENNIFER TIEXIERA / CAMILLA HALL
SUBJECT explores the life-altering experience of sharing one’s life on screen through the participants of five acclaimed documentaries. As tens of millions of people consume documentaries in an unprecedented “golden era,” the film urges audiences to consider the impact on documentary participants—the good, the bad, and the complicated.
ELISA LEVINE / GABRIEL MILLER
Driven by their addiction to heroin, four women encounter friendship and betrayal while working the streets in Sweetheart Deal, a new feature documentary about life and death on Seattle’s infamous Aurora Avenue.
Shot in unflinching vérité-style over several years, Sweetheart Deal offers an astonishingly intimate portrait of hope, heartbreak, and resilience on the fringes of modern America.
THE THEIF COLLECTOR
It was one of the most audacious and puzzling art thefts of a generation; In 1985, Willem de Kooning’s seminal work, “Woman Ochre,” was sliced from its frame and stolen from the walls of an Arizona art museum, disappearing into the desert. Over thirty years later, in a remote town in New Mexico, the $160 million dollar painting was rediscovered in the unlikeliest of places.
As China pours hundreds of billions of dollars into South American infrastructure, jaguars are disappearing from the continent’s most protected rainforests. Targeted as substitutes for tiger parts, which have historically been used in traditional Chinese medicines, jaguars are now being trafficked in dangerously high numbers to fill new market demand.
Spanning over mist-covered jungles in the Amazon to bustling wildlife markets in China, Tigre Gente follows the storylines of two passionate people fighting to stop the jaguar trade before it’s too late.
Declan McGrath / Neasa Ní Chianái
An observational documentary set in post-conflict Belfast’s Ardoyne, where a marginalized, working-class community has for generations been plagued by poverty, drugs, and guns. This film charts the dream of Headmaster Kevin McArevey and his dedicated, visionary team illustrating how critical thinking and pastoral care can empower and encourage children to see beyond the boundaries and limitations of their own community. We see how philosophy encourages young boys to question the mythologies of war and of violence, and sometimes challenge the narratives their parents, peers, and socio-economic group would dictate.