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SF Int'l Womens Film Festival

The 6th annual San Francisco International Women's Film Festival is running April 7 to 11, 2010 at the Roxie Theater and other venues around the San Francisco Bay Area. This cavalcade of shorts and features, both documentary and otherwise, from a vast array of films by women all over the world make for a lavish feast of cinematic riches

The Opening Night Tribute Award will be presented to Peabody Award winning filmmaker Judith Helfand (Blue Vinyl), whose many contributions to cinema promote community building. She believes in "using films for engagement and social change" and as a filmmaker she participates in the environmental health and justice movement.

This tribute includes the 20th anniversary of A Healthy Baby Girl, Helfand’s debut film about life after DES-related cancer. The film explores how the anti-miscarriage drug DES (administered to her mother during pregnancy) changed Helfand’s life and radically transformed her future.

Also shown is an excerpt from her Sundance Film Fesitval award-winning sequel, Blue Vinyl, and her short film Ek Velt, about the big move from the blue vinyl house. In addition to moderating panels, Helfand is also holding a special master class, as she shares storytelling strategies that lead to effective (even funny and entertaining) filmmaking and ‘call to action’ activism.

Included in this year’s Festival is LUNAFEST: Film Festival by, for, about Women, a selection of 10 short films from a widely diverse group of women, including Monday Before Thanksgiving, a short film made by Courtney Cox.

The Festival tracks include:

The Jane Campion Retrospective, featuring award-winning short films by the internationally acclaimed director who went on to helm The Piano, An Angel at My Table, Sweetie and Bright Star.  The films are:  A Girl's Own Story; Passionless Moments; and Peel, a Palme d'Or winner at Cannes.  

"Girl Shorts", showcasing the best Lesbian Cinema from around the world.

"Making Herstory: Young Women in the Director's Chair", honoring the upcoming generation of women filmmakers

Children's Animation Program

Panels, including:

Local Filmmakers Panel: Documentary and Activism
Grant Guidelines, FAQ’s and best practices before applying
The Heroine's Journey: The Craft of Writing Female Characters with Pamela Gray

Documentaries include:

Orgasm Inc. Liz Canner’s film is a look inside the medical industry and the marketing campaigns that attempt to determine our lives, our health, “and that ultimate moment: orgasm.”

21 Days To Nawroz, directed by Michelle Mama.  This film explores the lives of three very different Kurdish women: a feminist attorney, an eight year-old girl, and a tech-savvy young woman, and the effect that experimental democracy really has on women.

Code Name: Butterflies, directed and written by Chilean filmmaker Cecilia Domeyko, tells the powerful story of the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic who in the 1950s, under the code name 'Butterflies', created a secret resistance movement against dictator Rafael Trujillo, who had the women assassinated.  

Indie Spotlight: Narrative films include:

Everyday Black Man, directed by Carmen Madden.  A thoughtful man running a small neighborhood fruit and vegetable store takes on a young man as a partner, only to realize the younger man is selling more than just baked goods.  The award-winning director is also making history as one of the first African American women to run a feature film studio. 

Between Floors, directed by Jen White, examines the human condition through a uniquely claustrophobic lens, five stuck elevators and the people trapped inside them.


Filmmaker and community educator Scarlett Shepard founded the San Francisco Women’s Film Festival in 2004. Originally held at San Francisco State University, the success of its first run prompted Shepard to expand the festival beyond the SFSU campus and rename the festival. “SFWFF is a necessary step - women directors should no longer be left out or considered a side note in film festivals, film history and the film industry,” says Shepard.

For further information, visit   

San Francisco International Women's Film Festival
April 7-11, 2010

Roxie Theatre
3117 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 863-1087

SF Women's Building
3543 18th Street #8
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 431-1180

Plus other venues

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