Imagine This Women’s International Film Festival (ITWIFF) announced that its second annual event will be held at Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel from November 4–5, 2017. The two-day film festival will feature 39 feature and short films, 3 web series, a TV pilot, and a music video, all created by women storytellers from 15 countries.
Haitian-American Mother-daughter duo, Susie and Patrice Francois launched Imagine This Women’s International Film Festival (ITWIFF) with the aim to celebrate and empower independent and aspiring women filmmakers from around the world. ITWIFF held its first film festival at Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel on November 12-13, 2016.
Among works selected for the festival selection, 9 will be make their world premiere, 3 will be make their international premiere, 3 will make their East Coast premiere, and an additional 3 will make their New York Premiere. Several works shown will touch on themes related to personal struggles amid political and social conflicts across the world.
This year, the festival will screen Campbell X’s Different for Girls starring Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, The L Word) and Rachel Shelley (The L Word), Margaret Katch’s Ctrl Alt Delete starring Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story), Sean Bolger (Twin Peaks, Scandal), and Roni Geva (Jane the Virgin, This Is First), and Mischa Marcus’s I Am Still Here starring Erika Ringor (Love & Basketball).
“It’s clear that there is tremendous female filmmaking talent out there but there is still so much work to be done to create an inclusive environment that supports women storytellers,” said Patrice Francois, co-founder of ITWIFF. “We hope that audiences from across New York will join us to experience these powerful stories from across the world.”
Other special events during the festival will include an opening night mixer on November 4 and an award ceremony on November 5, both with an open bar and light snacks.
A partial lineup of work to be screened at the festival appears below and the complete festival lineup here.
NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMS
I AM STILL HERE (East Coast Premier)
Director: Mischa Marcus
Ten-year-old Layla is kidnapped from her family and held captive in America’s child sex industry. Courageous stories drawn from interviews with sex trafficking survivors are the foundation for this fictionalized account of Layla’s journey as she confronts the monsters of her past and embraces the hope of her future.
PRETTY FAR FROM OKAY (East Coast premiere)
Director: Helena Hufnagel
At 27 years old, Isi is stuck in a quarter-life crisis. With a graphic diploma in one hand and a drink in the other, Isi occupies a strange place between university and real life.
AND STILL WE LOVE
Directors: Erika Santosuosso and Jessica Afton
Amid a tumultuous political climate, a couple fights to find beauty in the face of indefinite separation.
BLACK IN RED OUT
Director: Monica Moore–Suriyage
When Meryl’s roommate tells her to go for Davey, her long-time crush, Meryl musters the courage to tell him how she feels at a party. When a zombie apocalypse erupts mid-party, what seems like a disaster could actually work in Meryl’s favor—that is, if she survives.
Director: Vered Rodriguez
When Hailee, a brilliant physics student working toward her doctorate, crosses paths with Troy, a charismatic music producer and full-time partier, their worlds crash. As things heat up between them, Hailee learns that in real life, just like in physics, opposites can attract in powerful ways.
IDIA: THE IDAH WAR (World Premiere)
Writer: Patience ‘Ovo Okhuofu
When the Warriors of Benin refuse to fight against their enemies because of the perceived misdeed of their king, Oba Esigie, the patriotic Queen Idia takes up arms to preserve the throne of the Great Benin Kingdom.
IN A WARM, DARK PLACE
Director: Sydney Waltz
With her newborn son’s incessant crying and her husband’s lack of support, Clarissa is learning that motherhood is not as satisfying as she had hoped. When her son goes missing, Clarissa blames herself.
LITTLE ELIZABETH (World Premiere)
Director: Elizabeth Ayiku
A young woman with childhood trauma takes a compassionate journey to heal herself.
THE BENEFACTION (New York Premiere)
Writer: Nikhat Powell
Rishi, a young Indian taxi driver, struggles to make payments on his sole means of income: his taxi. Under the threat of repossession, he finds his daughter falling prey to an unknown illness that could take her life. When his taxi is repossessed and his wife is ready to leave him, Rishi must make choices that will affect his future and the life of his daughter.
Director: Jennifer Perrott
When young Ruby’s father unexpectedly returns from war, his volatile state makes it difficult for their family to reconnect. Ruby’s anxieties are projected onto a pair of ravens that vigilantly defend their nearby nest and catalyze the troubled family’s journey from crisis to healing.
Director: Jessica P. Jackson
While lack of knowledge links Wicca directly to old-school witchcraft and Hollywood continues to paint witches as gruesome, “Modern Craft” reveals the truth of Wicca and its peaceful methods during expert interviews with a long-time Wiccan, a newcomer to the religion, and a researcher in Wiccan studies.
Director: Geneviève Delouche
At 35 and late for work, Julie gets harassed in the street by 25-year-old Karim. Finally arriving at work, she discovers that the job candidate who she has to interview that day is none other than Karim. Determined to take revenge, Julie will show him what unnatural selection is.
DIFFERENT FOR GIRLS
Director: “Campbell X (Stud Life)
In this sexy, groundbreaking five-part LGBTQ drama web series, enter a world where love, sex, and suspense meet betrayal, cruelty, and heartbreak.
HUG IT OUT (New York Premiere)
Writer: Kincaid Walker
Post-divorce and seriously broke, Gwen moves to L.A. and takes a reluctant dive deep into the odd, hilarious subculture of professional snuggling—something that she didn’t even know existed until last week.
DOGS OF DEMOCRACY
Director: Mary Zournazi
Shot in location in Athens, Greece, the birthplace of democracy, this documentary explores life on the streets through the eyes of the city’s stray dogs and the people who care for them. The everyday experiences of the people and animals in the film illuminate Greece’s new role as the stray dog of Europe and how dogs have come to symbolize hope for Greeks and the anti- austerity movement.
SHAKE SISTER SHAKE (World premiere)
Director: Lisa Eismen
Breathing new life into an old genre, Shake Sister Shake takes audiences on a musical journey from California to New York with the best women in blues. Featuring Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records.
Director: Kasha Sequoia Slavner
On her 16th birthday, teenage filmmaker and social justice advocate Kasha Sequoia Slavner sets out for six months on a journey around the world in search of stories of hope and resilience that shine a light on what it means to be a global citizen and how we can all make a difference.
COMING OUT OF THE SHADOW: ALBINISM IN FIJI (International premiere)
Director: Christine Nestel
Fiji’s indigenous population has one of world’s highest rates of albinos in the world—1 in 700—whose challenges in Fiji have remained mostly hidden. Finally, in this first film to document Fijian albinism, families come out of the shadows to tell their stories.
Director: Anna Hass
Delightful celebrates self-empowerment and independence, coupled with the idea that happiness is a choice.
About Imagine This Productions
Imagine This Productions (ITP) is dedicated to providing aspiring women storytellers and filmmakers with a platform to encourage and develop new creative projects. ITP strives to support women by sharing their work with the public, promoting equal opportunities, en