The Submission Process

CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival is entering its fifth festival season dedicated to showcasing the exceptional work of women directors from around the world. Approximately 30 films will be screened over the course of the four-day in-person festival and in an online festival version afterward.

We are located in beautiful Bellingham, WA, USA. Our area of the Pacific Northwest is an ideal location for both filmmaking and viewing. Bellingham is a city of approximately 90,000 on the shores of Puget Sound and lies halfway between Seattle, WA.and Vancouver, BC.

CASCADIA presents separate programs for short subject films, feature narrative, and documentary films. We showcase women filmmakers from throughout the world as well as local directors, considered to be those working in the region extending from Vancouver B.C., Canada to the Seattle, Wa. metropolitan area. CASCADIA also searches for films by Indigenous women filmmakers and emerging and student filmmakers. Please let us know if you qualify for consideration in this area.

Most festival film programs are followed by Q & A with the attending filmmakers and/or an industry or subject panel discussion. The festival also hosts networking and social opportunities specifically for our directors. Directors are also our guests at CASCADIA’s Saturday night Directors’ party.

The festival also stages a reception and program with its Honored Guest. Past Honored Guests have been Cheryl Boone Isaacs, past president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Oscar-winning Documentary Director Freida Lee Mock. The 2020 festival honored the centennial of the 19th Amendment with a special online screening and discussion of the HBO film, “Iron Jawed Angels” directed by Katja von Garnier.

In 2020 and 2021 the festival successfully moved online due to COVID-19. Virtual attendance was as high as the ‘live’ festival with films viewed by audiences throughout the U.S. and internationally. ‘Live’ and pre-recorded Q&As, panel discussions, and interviews were done with filmmakers and are now available on the festival website. CASCADIA plans a hybrid version of the festival in 2022.

All filmmakers selected for the festival receive a screening fee and laurels.

CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival accepts only short films directed or co-directed by women. To be considered for the 2022 festival, films must have been completed and released AFTER October 2020. Only completed, final-release films will be allowed. No additional editing or revisions will be permitted once a film has been submitted. We accept films of any genre but the running time including titles must be UNDER 25 minutes.

Our feature films are curated. Films must be presented in English. If not, English subtitles or dubbing is required. We will NOT accept films that have been shown previously locally in another festival or at our local theatres (near Bellingham) and prefer that films not be shown in regional festivals or theatres (Near Seattle or Vancouver) or that they are not currently accessible on streaming services such Amazon and Netflix. Closed captioning is preferred.

We strongly encourage those considering submitting to review the Official Selections from the previous festivals. This will be a good indicator of the level of quality we are seeking.