Women are making news today and it’s not just in Philadelphia. Today the Women’s Texas Film Festival is making news by being the “very first full-fledged festival in the state of Texas to focus solely on the work of female filmmakers.” And the scheduling of the festival couldn’t be more timely. It will take place when it’s just too plain hot to be outside — Friday, August 19, through Sunday, August 21.
And what better place for the screening of six feature-length films and 31 short films than Texas Theatre.
According to WTxFF Founder/Artistic Director Justina Walford, “We are thrilled to bring this celebration of female film making to Dallas, which is home to some of the most enthusiastic and discerning film audiences in the entire country. Rosemary Myers’ richly sardonic ‘Girl Asleep’ bursts with candy colored images of girlhood while confronting some darker realms of our heroine’s heart. And it is a vision so truly female, created for our eyes. Add to that, a lineup of films that amuse, surprise, provoke and frighten. And film goers will get a taste of the skill and imagination of some very talented women pulling the strings and at the helm of visual storytelling. We look forward to putting the women responsible for these stories on a pedestal here in the heart of Texas.”
Of course, in keeping with the film festival spirit, there will be panels with topics like “Gaming and VR, The New Frontier Demonstrated”, “I Made That – Female Producers Tell the What, Why, and How of Producing,” “Discussing ‘Beware The Slenderman’ with Psychiatrists and Pediatric Counselors” and “A Director, a Writer, a DP, and an Editor Walk into a Bar.”
Tickets are available now! VIP Festival passes are going for $95 until Monday, August 1. After that they’ll cost you $150. There’s also a Shorts Program package that’s only $25.
Oh, you want to hear about the films that will be show. Follow the jump for the festival’s full lineup.
- “Girl Asleep” — Director: Rosemary Myers; Country: Australia; Running Time: 77 min. In this vibrant portrayal of Australian adolescence, Greta Driscoll’s bubble of obscure loserdom is burst when her parents throw her a surprise 15th birthday party and invite the whole school! Perfectly content being a wallflower, suddenly Greta’s flung far from her comfort zone into a distant, parallel place — a strange world that’s a little frightening and a lot weird, but only there can she find herself. Equal measures Wes Anderson and Lewis Carroll, “Girl Asleep” is an enchanting journey into the absurd — and sometimes scary — depths of the teenage mind.
- “The Letter E” — Director: Mira Lippold-Johnson; Country: USA; Running Time: 14min. Eleanor is a 14-year-old girl who loves the letter E. She eats eggs, edamame, and English muffins. She studies economics and ecology. She has three best friends named Emily, Emily, and Emily. And she has a boyfriend named Ed. Everything is perfect until she finds out Ed’s name isn’t Ed.
- “Beware The Slenderman” — Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky; Country: USA; Running Time: 114 min. “Beware The Slenderman” tells the story of the internet’s elusive Boogeyman and two 12-year-old girls who would kill for him. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier lured their best friend into the woods, stabbed her 19 times, then set out on an odyssey to meet the tall and faceless man known online as Slenderman. Shot over 18 months with heartbreaking access to the families of the would-be murderers, the film plunges deep down the rabbit hole of their crime, a Boogeyman and our society’s most impressionable consumers of media. The entrance to the internet can quickly lead us to its dark basement, within just a matter of clicks. How much do we hold children responsible for what they find there?
- “42 Seconds of Happiness” — Director: Christina Kallas; Country: USA; Running Time: 95 min. A circle of thirty-something friends reunite for a weekend away to celebrate the same sex wedding of a member of their group. Yet, despite their best efforts to behave themselves, a series of surprise plans, unexpected arrivals and exposed secrets lead to an explosion of drama that, coupled with the flammable combination of hurt feelings, unresolved tensions, and lots of wine cannot be contained.
- “One For The Road” — Director: Mark Blitch; Producer: Danielle Wheeler; Country: USA; Running Time: 7:13 min. A bickering brother and sister hit the road to reconnect after drifting apart over the years.
- “Ma” — Director: Celia Rowlson-Hall; Country: USA; Running Time: 80 min. “Ma” is a striking modern-day vision of Mother Mary’s pilgrimage through the eyes of Ma (played by Celia Rowlson-Hall), a woman who must venture across the scorched landscape of the American Southwest to fulfill her destiny.
- “Gardening At Night” — Director: Shayna Connelly; Country: USA; Running Time: 12 min. The period between knowing death is near and death’s arrival forms an unbearable state of regret, sadness and anticipation for Samantha. She is powerless to help Anne, who on the eve of her death, has not come to terms with her fate and remains angry and afraid. Waiting expands time to the point that it loses meaning. The world shrinks to encompass only her and her phone, which will ring soon with the news. That night she can no longer bear the stillness and despite the darkness, Samantha tries to put her neglected garden in order.
- “Miz Markley & Me” — Director: Sharie Vance; Country: USA; Running Time: 44 min. Inspirational for subjects and audience alike, this funny, poignant, and musical film is the story of two late-bloomers, with all the doubt and angst you might imagine, finding encouragement and validation from each other’s journey.
- “The Puppet Lady” — Director: Kate Gondwe; Country: USA; Running Time: 8:05 min. “The Puppet Lady” is a short documentary profiling Lillie Solomon. Solomon is a professional in millinery, puppetry, costuming, theater and number of other works of art. She explains her career and shares her thoughts on the creative mind and the feeling and being of an artist.
- “On The Farm” — Director: Rachel Talalay; Country: Canada; Running Time: 88 min. Based on a true story, a powerful study of the dysfunction and disorder in the police and criminal justice systems that allowed a wily psychopath to murder nearly 50 marginalized women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
- “Three Fingers” — Director: Paul D. Hart; Producer: Virginia Newcomb; UPM: Hilary Craft; Country: USA; Running Time: 12:30 min. A female USMC combat vet struggles to navigate her disintegrating life after returning from being wounded in the war in Afghanistan. As her PTSD worsens, her options begin to run out until she is forced into making a life & death decision.
- “A Perfect Cocktail” — Director: Kat Albert; Country: USA; Running Time: 8:40 min. April is hot mess with daddy issues. Maybe she just needs the right man and the perfect cocktail to get it all right. What connects with people is the depth of these characters and the heartfelt emotions the actors bring to their parts.
- “Ball Is Life” — Director: Terry Bluez; Producer: Megan StCin; Country: USA; Running Time: 7:40 min. “Ball Is Life” is the story of a young female basketball star on the verge of earning a Division I scholarship under the intense coaching of her overbearing father. But when her hoop dreams are jeopardized by an unplanned pregnancy, she must decide which is more important, Ball or Life?
- “Kleptomania” —Director: Paloma Hernandez; Country: USA; Running Time: 10:50 min. A remorseful thief returns stolen goods to their rightful owners unaware of the chaos it will ensue.
- “Minor Setback” — Director: Augustine Frizzell; Country: USA; Running Time: 10:50 min. Two teen girls scheme their way out of work to spend a day at the beach. Things don’t go as planned.
- “Mosca (Fly)” — Director: Lizette Barrera; Country: USA; Running Time: 9 min. A wayward teen revisits her hometown to reconnect with her cousin.
- “Piece of Naan” — Director: Rijaa Nadeem; Country: Pakistan; Running Time: 11:15 min. Living as an outcast within the conservative religious society of Pakistan, Rafi is a transvestite who earns a living through begging and selling his body. He meets Nadia who grew up in the upper class of society however is forced into prostitution by her indebted father. Even though they are from completely different walks of life, They learn to bond amidst a common difficult situation.
- “Starry Night” — Director: Paxton Farrar; Associate Producer: Katherine Paige; Director of Photography: Maria Rusche; Country: USA; Running Time: 19:58 min. Inspired by the night skies of the high desert, a teenage girl struggles to escape poverty and rural isolation to become an astronomer.
- “(Un)sexy” — Director: Paige Snider; Country: USA; Running Time: 4:32 min. This comical short follows the sexual misadventures of a young woman as she navigates the dating world and discovers that self-acceptance is the key to success.
- “The Graveyard Shift” — Director: Lara Arikan; Country: USA; Running Time: 2:13 min. It’s long past midnight when the tired and jumpy waitress decides to go and investigate the ominous noise she hears right outside the roadside coffee shop she’s working at. She discovers that a she is being attacked by a Zombie! The zombie lazily wobbles inside the shop and corners the poor waitress behind the counter. How will she save herself? What will it take?
- “100 Levels of Just in Time” — Director: America Young; Country: USA; Running Time: 13:13 min. When a simple game night turns into a Wild West showdown, two couples must work together to escape the most dangerous game of all time.
- “Shelved” — Director: Brooke Honcharik; Country: USA; Running Time: 15:07 min. Jane and Peter have known each other since the 4th grade. Over the past 10 years, they have shared lunches and swapped spit but never exchanged feelings. When the pair decides to secretly spend the night in an antique shop, they determine the future of their relationship by being forced to face their past.
- “The Sibling Code” — Director: Roberta Marie Munroe; Country: USA; Running Time: 6:57 min. Sheryl and Austin, a pair of dysfunctional, but loving, siblings meet up at a funeral home to plan a funeral. Sheryl finds comfort in order and wants a beautiful mahogany casket, with satin as soft as butter and a monogram that would make Martha Stewart proud. Austin, is a free-spirited hipster who spends his time creating You Tube videos of neighborhood animals and believes the ashes should be released into the wind. But when the Funeral Director dares to call into question the siblings’ choices, things get ugly. It is one thing for Austin and Sheryl to take each other down, but neither take kindly to the Funeral Director butting into their affairs. That’s the sibling code.
- “Six Letter Word” — Director: Lisanne Sartor; Country: USA; Running Time: 16:30 min. An unlikely mom is forced to confront her young son’s autism after an unexpected encounter with one of her johns.
- “Someone Good Will Find YOU” — Director: Leelila Strogov; Country: USA; Running Time: 8:40 min. Inspired by a short story from award-winning Israeli author Etgar Keret, SOMEONE GOOD WILL FIND YOU is the story of a boy who learns an unintended lesson when his immigrant father attempts to teach him the value of money by giving him a piggy bank. The story transforms a modern-day Israeli fable into a dramatic story about a Chinese family adapting to Western life in New York City.
- “Winter’s Journey” — Director: Susanne Boeing; Country: Germany, Running Time: 26 min. Walter is waiting at the last station of his journey through life. His family and friends all know what is best for him. But in the end they have to understand that his ending belongs only to him.
- “You” (by Pearl and the Beard) — Director: Brandon Herman; Country: USA; Running Time: 3:40 min. Proposing marriage at a fancy restaurant seems like a good idea, but things can get crazy pretty quickly!
- “A Favor” — Director: Izzy Lee; Country: USA; Running Time: 10:03 min. “How far would you go to help a friend?” Jackson gets in over his head when Liz asks for a favor in this horror comedy.
- “Betty” — Director: Rodolfo Cervant; Producer: Sierra Robinson; Producer and Cinematographer: Nicole Pence; Country: USA; Running Time: 10:40 min. A woman bullied by a clique of bake sale mean girls takes action.
- “Lullaby” — Director: Lauren Ouellette; Country: USA; Running Time: 10:12 min. An isolated teenage girl finds herself torn between reality and delusion when a determined FBI agent tries to free her from her long term abductor.
- “Not Too Young” — Director: Alec Kubas-Meyer; Cinematographer and Composer: Montana Jaro; Country: USA; Running Time: 12 min. A young hebephile, whose only human contact comes from an anonymous online chatroom, struggles with his attraction to early adolescents but is determined not to offend. He turns to an escort service, called “Not Too Young,” which gives him the chance to fulfill his desires with a woman who only appears to be underage.
- “Penta” — Director: Andrea Wolanin; Country: USA; Running Time: 20:22 min. “Penta” is the name of a bio-mechanical companion for the discerning connoisseur… In just over twelve hours, the perfect girl will be standing in your home.” Based upon an Italian folk tale, Penta questions femininity, humanity and the system of abuse. Our titular heroine is a robot created to do nothing more than be the perfect woman – but what does that mean? As she acclimates to the world around her, her changes startle her owner and spur a chain of grim events.
- “Expecting” — Director: Jackie Perez; Country: USA; Running Time: 12:57 min. A woman with a perfect life learns she’s carrying a baby she didn’t expect. With no one to turn to for help, she carries to term and really comes to understand the saying “your life is over when you have kids.”
- “Hard Broads” — Director: Mindy Bledsoe; Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min. Three women have to transport a celebrity’s body, without anyone knowing she’s dead.
- “The Lotus Gun” — Director: Amanda Milius; Country: USA; Running Time: 25 min. The year is 2077, in a post-civilization world, where there are no laws or weapons, Nora and her best friend and lover, Daph, live an idyllic life in a rugged landscape. When a stranger arrives and Daph disappears, Nora has to go to extreme measures to get back what is hers.
- “Nasty” — Director: Prano Bailey-Bond; Country: UK; Running Time: 15:09 min. It’s 1982. 12-year old Doug’s Father has mysteriously vanished. With his Mother distraught, Doug takes the case into his own hands, leading him to discover his Dad’s secret collection of illicit video nasties. Convinced that these videos will help him find his Dad, Doug embarks on a desperate quest, infiltrating the strange world of video nasties in an attempt to reunite his family through a patchwork of horror.
- “Parable” — Director: Diana Rodriguez; Country: USA; Running Time: 15:53 min. Two young brothers living with their parents in isolation begin to question their new world after war, corruption and greed nearly decimate the entire human race.