POW Film Fest
POW Film Fest is Portland’s premiere film festival showcasing films directed by women. Now in its 12th year, the festival features the work of some of today’s top women directors, while honoring the true pioneers and recognizing the next generation of leading women filmmakers. Over the years POW has striven to encourage thoughtful and engaged discourse of the female perspective while heralding the need for greater parity in the film industry through the keen discerning eyes of women and non-binary film and media makers. POW was created, in part, to celebrate women in their quest to thrive and grow in the film industry.
The fest also provides space to strengthen the Portland community of women in film by offering year-round film workshops for girls and non-binary youth ages 15 -19 with their POWGirls program.
Born 1961 in Poland, Christine Jezior is a film director and producer. In 1986, she emigrated to Germany. She is the founder of the artists agency KONZERTAGENTUR 2000 and the co-founder of the film production company MAAM.TV. She is a prizewinner of the TV award "Trzy korony". Her filmography includes numerous documentary films, such as "I'll Play It For You" (1st prize at the "Kameraton" festival for best biographical film), "Ida Haendel - This Is My Heritage" (nominated at the "DocMiami International" and the "Jewish Motifs" festivals), as well as "The Case of Ivo Pogorelich", "Why Competitions", "Hassan", " First day ", “The Haendel Variations” (nominated for “Best Documentary” at the International Film Festival in Hof, Germany) and “Remember the Sabbath Day, to Keep it Holy”.
Ida Haendel is considered a legend among professional musicians and listeners of classical music alike. This documentary utilizes footage that was shot between 2009 and 2017, showing the life and work of British-Polish violinist Ida Haendel. After having given her final performance, her everyday life oscillates between nostalgia and joy of living, between loneliness and hopefulness. Ida Haendel is a person of wisdom and humor, whole-heartedly accepting the challenge of spending her remaining years in a self-determined way. Though at some point she has to accept she can't play the violin anymore, she refuses to stop singing. "The Haendel Variations" is not an ordinary music documentary, not just another portrait of a world-renowned classical musician. Its rather restrained, more intimate approach focuses on the inner life of an extraordinary woman and on the two things that still give her life meaning: her love for music and for her fellow human beings.
“THERE IS A THIN LINE THAT SEPARATES LAUGHTER AND PAIN, COMEDY AND TRAGEDY, HUMOR AND HURT.”
— ERMA BOMBECK
The Only Sad Person On The Beach
Directed by Lily Jiacheng Xu
14 MINS • COMEDY • CHINA
A short film set in Coney Island about a breakdown in communication at the intersections of personal and monumental history.
Directed by Aubrey Peeples
11 MINS • COMEDY • UNITED STATES
A teenager late to bloom has a night of firsts with her best friend, their stoned waiter, and an aspirational DJ.
Directed by Ahya Simone
11 MINS • COMEDY • UNITED STATES
Femme Queen Chronicles is a web-series about the lives of four black trans women as they navigate through love, life, trade, and shade in the city of Detroit; written, directed, and brought to life by black trans women themselves. In Episode One, the four friends just try to make it through the day without getting clocked as trans women — or clocking someone else over the head instead.
All Men Must Die
Directed by Kate Beacom
9 MIN 20 SEC • COMEDY • UNITED STATES
Prudence throws her best friend a nice birthday party but it's ruined by a dude, and Kyle learns just what Prudence meant when she said “ It's your birthday, I'd do anything for you. ”
A Hard Day In The Empire
Directed by Sezen Kayhan
20 MIN 26 SEC • COMEDY • TURKEY
Cansu (26) works as a prop assistant on the set of an Ottoman period soap opera. On a difficult day, she cannot fulfill the extreme requests of the director. Challenging conditions and endless requests bring her to an irreversible moment.
Directed by Foster Wilson
13 MINS • COMEDY • UNITED STATES
On the eve of his wedding day, Dave commits a cardinal sin: His doubts about tying the knot go viral. Alone at the altar, the groom must confront his own cold feet, a Greek chorus of bridesmaids, and the bride herself - all to save his marriage before it's even begun. Directed by Foster Wilson, Made Public explores the impulse to share our most intimate thoughts and sacred moments with the general public - and how much we're willing to lose to obtain the approval of strangers.
“IT’S A SLOW-GOING WORK AT FIRST, BUT ONE THAT BEWITCHES BY DEGREES, SOFTENING UP THE VIEWER WITH
ENTRANCING VISUALS TO ENSURE THE LAST-ACT EMOTIONAL SUCKER PUNCH LANDS WITH MAXIMUM FORCE.”
— THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Nuria, 12, Fabio, 9, and their mother Amparo arrive in a small island in the middle of Amazonia, at the border of Brazil, Colombia and Peru. They ran away from the Colombian armed conflict in which their father disappeared. One day, he reappears in their new house. The family is haunted by this strange secret and discovers the island is peopled with ghosts.
The archaic structures of white hegemony continue to reign through inequality, injustice, and vigilante violence. But a rumble can be heard on the horizon. In the wake of a mutiny, the anxiety over shifting powers is at a fever pitch. The system will not yield without a fight, but the oppressed and their allies are too eager to stop now.
“MEET ME AT THE UNDERPASS, REBELLION IS ON HER WAY.”
— LEANNE BETASAMOSAKE SIMPON
Nimmikaage (She Dances For People)
Directed by Michelle Latimer
3 MINS • DOCUMENTARY • CANADA
Both a requiem for and an honouring of Canada's First Nations, Métis and Inuit women, this short film deconstructs the layers of Canadian nationalism. In the process, it reverses the colonial lens by shifting the balance of power to reclaim the Canadian narrative, putting the enduring strength and resilience of Indigenous women at the forefront.
The Ambassador’s Wife
Directed by Theresa Traore Dahlberg
14 MINS • DOCUMENTARY • SWEDEN
We find ourselves in an extravagant garden in Ouagadougou. The French Ambassador’s wife dreamt about becoming a famous opera singer. Instead, she is now using the singing as a ventilator to survive her seemingly privileged life surrounded by workers. This film raises questions about power structures, class, intersectionality, post colonialism and feminism in a poetic, subtle and seductive way.
Directed by Kelly Sears
3 MIN 19 SEC • EXPERIMENTAL • UNITED STATES
A version of how the following year can unfold, put into motion before the confirmation vote occurs.
Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes)
Directed by Amanda Strong
19 MINS • ANIMATION • UNCEDED COAST SALISH TERRITORY
Accompanied by a 10,000-year-old shape-shifter and friend known as Sabe, Biidaaban sets out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees in an unwelcoming suburban neighbourhood in Ontario.
Directed by Soda_Jerk
50 MINS • FANTASY • AUSTRALIA
TERROR NULLIUS is a political revenge fable which offers an un-writing of Australian national mythology. It works entirely within and against the official archive, in order to achieve a queering and othering of Australian cinema. Part political satire, eco-horror and road movie, TERROR NULLIUS is a world in which minorities and animals conspire, and not-so-nice white guys finish last. Where idyllic beaches host race-riots, governments poll love-rights, and the perils of hypermasculinity are overshadowed only by the enduring horror of Australia’s colonising myth of terra nullius.
“I WAS WILLING TO PUT MYSELF OUT THERE. I WAS WITH TWO WOMEN WHO WERE HIGH PROFILE WHO WERE AT RISK AS WELL. I WASN’T SCARED IN AFGHANISTAN. I WASN’T AFRAID. I FELT THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO AND I’M WILLING TO THIS AND WITH PEOPLE THAT I LOVE. AND IF SOMETHING HAPPENED, LET IT BE QUICK. COULD I DO IT AGAIN? I DON’T KNOW.”
— SEDIKA MOJADIDI
Facing the Dragon is a story that will resonate with anyone who has had to leave the homeland they love in search of a safer future for their children. The film follows the lives of two brave Afghan women striving to maintain the hard-won women's rights gained since the start of the Afghan war, while living under the intense scrutiny of life in a male-dominated culture.
Nilofar, an elected parliamentary politician, and Shakila, a television reporter/journalist for Tolo TV, walk the dangerous line of being an outspoken woman in a world where their adversaries would prefer they remain hidden behind burqa's. In the film, the Taliban are making a comeback and, these women increasingly find they must fear for their lives, and the lives of their loved ones, as they point a laser light on the uneven and unfair practices of a weak government. Each woman must make a difficult personal choice to protect their families.
Their heroic strength, perseverance, and faith get them through the trials and loneliness they experience in their separate journey's for a better life, for their families and their beloved homeland.
“THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I FIND IN THE WORLD THAT ARE COMPELLING THAT EXIST: QUESTIONS I WANT TO RESPOND TO, ISSUES I WANT TO EXPLORE, PROBLEMS I WANT TO FIGURE OUT, AND SOME HOW DOCUMENTARY IS THIS INCREDIBLE ELASTIC MEDIUM THAT ALLOWS YOU TO REFLECT ON AND ENGAGE IN THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN THE REAL WORLD IN A WAY THAT IS CREATIVE. I JUST THINK THERE IS NO BETTER COMBINATION THAN A WAY OF BRINGING THOSE THINGS TOGETHER.”
— JENNIFER BAICHWAL
Directed by Alexandra Lazarowich
13 MINS • DOCUMENTARY • CANADA
The Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition returns in the astonishingly dangerous Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles with secondhand horses and a new jockey on his way to challenging the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy.
Directed by Vivian Rivas
15 MINS • DOCUMENTARY • UNITED STATES
Zee, an 86-year-old retired teacher decides to go back to the happiest time of her life in order to make peace with the path she has chosen and reconnect with her students from the early 90’s in East Harlem. Most of her students were non-readers, but through her non-traditional methods, they produced a pretty significant body of poetry, which she has kept all these years. Finding the kids will give Zee the closure she needs and also a sense of what her legacy is, as a teacher and as a human being.
Brother, Move On
Directed by Antshi Von Moos
8 MINS • DOCUMENTARY • SWITZERLAND
In Delhi Geeta offers a taxi service "from women for women". This taxi service allows women to move freely anywhere and at any time in the city. Her motivation is: "The more women become taxi drivers, the fewer women are afraid to step out of the house." Thus the cityscape and the atmosphere of the city changes and increasingly also the position of women in society, is Geeta's hope.
Liquor Store Babies
Directed by So Yun Um
5 MIN • DOCUMENTARY • UNITED STATES
Liquor Store Babies explores the intersecting lives of two friends and their fathers, each of whom own Liquor stores amidst the unpredictable backdrop of Los Angeles. Director and star So Yun Um pulls from true-life experience, contrasting two sides of the same coin. As the lives of So, Danny, and their parents begin to diverge, their differences only work to strengthen their bonds. What follows is a candid and real look at how the lives and dreams of liquor store owners and their children are cyclical and ever connected to one another.
Respect & Love
Directed by Angelique Webster
15 MINS • DOCUMENTARY • UNITED STATES
With the hope of attaining a four college degree, Gloria makes a decision to move from a sleepy country town to the city with her two young children. While attempting to build a solid foundation, her family is devastated when her 15 year old daughter shares that she has been sexual abused by their parish priest. Thirty years later, she sits with her daughter and examines how the abuse of her daughter at the hands of the local parish priest impacted her life. They discuss motherhood, decisions, life and spirituality. Through a frank conversation, a mother and daughter get to know each other and reimagine their relationship.
Directed by Cheri Gaulke
17 MINS • DOCUMENTARY • UNITED STATES
In 1971, graduate student Gloria Orenstein received a call from Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington that sparked a lifelong journey into art, ecofeminism and shamanism. The short film, Gloria’s Call, uses art, animation and storytelling to celebrate this wild adventure from the cafes of Paris to the mountaintops of Samiland. The film is produced by artists Cheri Gaulke (director), Cheryl Bookout, Anne Gauldin, Sue Maberry and Christine Papalexis.
Directed by Corina Schwingruber Ilić
10 MINS • DOCUMENTARY • SWITZERLAND
Under the spell of mass entertainment on the high seas.