Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival Starts Today!

POWFest logo: pink type with a slim woman holding a videocamera on her shoulderThe Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival, aka POWFest, begins today and goes until March 11th at the Hollywood Theater. From animated, experimental, or "mature themed" (my favorite!) shorts, a local and international showcase, and more than a few powerful documentaries, you'll find a wealth of independent and underrated female filmmakers (I hope you're paying attention, Academy!). 

Plus, Guest of Honor Amy Heckerling (writer/director of Clueless!!) will be in attendance for a special screening of her breakout classic, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. (For folks jonesin' for a more '90s nostalgia kick, you can catch the March 11 screening of Nora Ephron's Sleepless in Seattle). Here are some more films you should keep an eye out for this weekend (or if you're not in Portland, to a film festival near you!) Check out the full schedule here

Click here to download a Word .doc transcript of the following trailers.

The Silent Truth 

Director: Joan Brooker-Marks
Screening: Sunday March 11, 12pm Main Theater 

When PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson's parents learn about her suicide, they're not just devestated, they're suspicious. Given the United States' military disregard of female service members, this documentary tracks their quest that ends up uncovering an ugly, horrific truth. 

*CONTENT WARNING* The trailer contains brief but very graphic images of violence and gore. It is from 2:22-2:29 if you want to skip through.



Austin Unbound

Director: Eliza Greenwood
Screening: Sunday March 11, 4pm (reception), 5:30 (screening) Main Theater

This documentary follows Austin, a deaf trans man on his journey to get top surgery. We covered the film on its way to completion, and it's exciting to see it's finished and has found a home. 



Director: Janet McIntyre
Screening: Sunday, March 11, 2:30 Main Theater

This documentary follows four young women—all alcoholics—for five years while they struggle and accept their drinking problems. I'm looking forward to see if this film will dig into the under-explored topic of teen girl binge drinking and its subjects with dignity or judgment.


How to Be Alone

Director: Andrea Dorfman
Screening: Lunafest, Saturday March 10, 7pm Main Theater

I first saw this lovely short film of Tanya Davis's poem in Thea Lim's blog series at Bitch, and have loved seeing it pop up every once in a while on someone else's Facebook wall or Twitter feed. I love that it's available on YouTube, but seeing its quiet but powerful moments of solitude on the big screen will be great too.


Reel Youth

Screening: Sunday March 11, 5:15 Upstairs theater 

This collection of short films made by (and juried by) youth from Canada's Reel Youth Film Festival include everything from short narratives on gender, documentaries on incarcerated youth, musings on Facebook, to stop-motion animals. A must for folks who are seeking faith in the future of filmmaking.   


by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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