Philadelphia’s Fourth Annual Women’s Film Festival

The fourth annual Women’s Film Festival runs from March 16th to March 24th. The event is the brainchild of one Temple alumnus.

Phuong Nguyen met with Layne Marie Williams four years ago and began to look for places for women to show off their work in the city. They realized that many festivals—including the Asian Film Festival, which Phuong was already involved in—still had a male focus. In turn, they founded the Women’s Film Festival, which has grown exponentially each year.

Director of Programming Suzi Nash believes that it’s something the city desperately needed. She said that it was the perfect time for it as well, with #MeToo growing in power and the film industry beginning to recognize female empowerment.

Nash says that they have been doing the same thing for four years – creating a space for, by, and about women to share their filmmaking talents. The festival keeps growing, and received over 400 submissions this year.

In recognition of the huge influx, they shifted the event from 4 days to 9. Visitors can check the schedule online.

For the end of the week, the Women’s Film Festival has partnered with Qflix for its closing ceremony on Sunday, March 25th. The festival has several venues, starting with its big opening night showing at the Kimmel Center.

Opening night viewed a recent, award winning film And Then There Was Eve and had a number of guest speakers to kick off the event.

Other venues include the Ruba Club and African American Museum for a variety of special events. Saturday’s final venue will be at the Drexel Urban Center Annex, where the first several screenings were held last weekend.

The festival, held in March to celebrate Women’s History Month, has been an exciting new scene for Philadelphia’s filmmakers. Phuong stated that the city has been looking to become a hotspot of the film industry, and the best way to insure that was by giving young filmmakers a place to share their stories and get audience feedback.

Temple students and alumni Colin Pawlowski, Jenna Lam, and Eli LaBan were featured at the event. Their student film last year The Art of Being Izzy has been chosen and featured at this event, and they were brought up for a Q&A with several film professionals. Temple graduate Amy Frear’s short film Selkie was shown as well.

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