Cinema Femme April Showcase:
"Cinema Femme is the voice of the female film experience, a platform for stories about womxn in film and their allies that aims to inspire change in the industry. [Their] short film festival is an extension of our mission, and the womxn [they] feature (cinemafemme.com).
For 2021, [they] are turning our four-day festival into a bi-monthly (February, April, June, August, October) showcase paired with our Womxn to Womxn in Film Mentorship program. The festival emphasizes the importance of supporting emerging female and non-binary filmmakers by connecting them to seasoned industry members. The goal is for talented emerging female and non-binary filmmakers to have long-lasting, successful careers!"
This month we've partnered with Cinema Femme to highlight the short film portion of their April showcase! These films will be streaming all month and you can watch a special live Q&A on the 17th (3PM EST / 12PM PST) with the following filmmakers...
Anna Fredrikke Bjerke
A group of adolescents experiences the growing pains of coming into their own while searching for purpose and belonging. The determined & perceptive Emma is the class virgin, who has a crush on the naturally popular & emotional Liam. Selma is deeply insecure and offers sexual favors to the boys a school, while Daniel is causing trouble simply to provoke a reaction from those around him.
Anna Fredrikke Bjerke is a Norwegian screenwriter and director. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Central Saint Martins and a Master of Arts from New York University in filmmaking and gender studies. Her work has traveled the film festival circuit internationally and been featured by Girls in Film, Director's Notes, NoBudge, Melk, NRKK's Kulturstrip, and more. Her goal as a filmmaker is to tell boundary-pushing stories which break down the preconceived notion of the "likeable" female protagonist and create a dialogue around the complexities of sexuality.
A multifaceted director, Anna works across narrative, music videos, and commercials. Most recently she directed Exposed, a narrative short film, which she pitched at the 2020 Screen Talent Europe. She is currently in development with a TV-series for Paradox, a visual album for singer songwriter Mimmi, and her first narrative feature, an ensemble piece set on New Year's Eve, which has been selected for the 2021 edition of TFL Next Film.
A historical fictional drama that takes place over the course of a couple days in the early 1900s. Douk tells the story of Irene, a young Native girl, who deals with the difficult reality of her and her sister, Wanda, being taken away from their father and mother and sent to a boarding school, where they will be assimilated into the western culture. Once this happens, they will no longer be able to practice their language, culture, and traditions. In order to prevent this from happening, Irene’s parents hatch a plan to save them from this fate.
Michelle Hernandez is a Native American filmmaker and photographer. She is a Wiyot tribal member and grew up on the Table Bluff Reservation. She received her MFA in Film and Electronic Media at American University and her B.A. in both Film and Native American Studies at Humboldt State University. Her work primarily focuses on the importance of culture, traditions, and identity. With her work, she wants to create diverse stories with representation.
Hues and Hidden Kings
A poetic dialogue of racial and political injustice in America. The redefining declaration of inheritance made by African American artists.
"You can classify me as a vivacious pistol in a small yet MIGHTY package, but most importantly a rebel with a cause. I am an African American actress of Native American distinct from the Blackfoot Tribe and Cherokee Tribe. I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in the First Inaugural class of Studio School for Acting in Film and Television. I am from Queens, New York and Delaware, where I attended high school at Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Theater. Currently, Your girl from Queens now resides in Los Angeles, California.
My film credits include a USC family film Guppy, action, sci-fi film called Now Loading as the lead character of Grace Ripley, A Movie Musical of the true life story of Ronnie The Bren Gun Girl as Allison, and you may see some Sass and Sizzle in my Film Sketch Club called Happy Sketch Lab.
In Theater, I recently played the character of Linda in the play Does A Tiger Wear A Necktie. Previous productions I have been in are Almost Maine, Wild Party, Death Proof, and The Wolves.
I received my writing and directorial debut in my short film called Hues and Hidden Kings, a film that showcases the poetic dialogue of racial and political injustice in America. It is the redefining declaration of inheritance made by African American artists. The short film has recently been selected and screened at film festivals within the United States and internationally.
And now, alongside screenings of my short film Hues and Hidden Kings in festivals, I am currently in production for producing and performing my first one-woman show called Raw, Regal, and Real.
And remember, 'We are the lineage of Kings and Queens'"
-Sydney Morgan, Hues and Hidden Kings
A pair of Chicagoans meet-cute one chilly evening leading to an all-night affair and a quaint morning after... well mostly quaint.
Emma Thatcher (she/her) is a Chicago-based filmmaker, actor, and photographer. After studying acting at NYU, she began producing, writing, directing, and editing short films. Her work focuses on intimate, humanistic stories through a unique lo-fi and micro-budget lens. She often utilizes improvisation on set so that the actors can bring their own voice to their characters. She’s very grateful for her vibrant and inventive Chicago film community– which she’ll be working with to shot her first feature this Summer.
Note from the Director: "Fletcher was a very fun experiment for me! No shot-list, no rehearsed dialogue, only 4-people on-set at a time— so not only were we improvising character, but I fully improvised with the camera. This required a level of trust to shoot and direct simultaneously, and I was in very good hands with Allyson & Connor, because they were instantly able to improvise with ease. Having such a small crew allowed for a fascinating level of intimacy and naturalism. The process was less about every technical aspect and more about catching very human moments and mistakes."