Press Release: WOMEN IN FILM DALLAS ANNOUNCES TOPAZ FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

AUGUST 24, 2020

Contact: topazfestival@wifdallas.org

         

WOMEN IN FILM DALLAS ANNOUNCES
TOPAZ FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

DALLAS, Texas, August 24, 2020: The Topaz Film Festival presented by Women in Film Dallas (WIFD) is proud to announce the 46 films chosen for the 2020 Festival.  The festival is adding two days to it’s calendar to accommodate an expanded lineup of 6 shorts blocks and 4 features.

In light of the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the WIFD board of directors has decided to hold this year’s festival on a virtual platform. The difficult decision was also made to postpone the Topaz Awards Brunch to a future time when "we feel it is safe for us to celebrate our female filmmakers and contributors in person,” stated WIFD President Alicia Pascual.

This year, the festival will be held from September 8-13, 2020 through the Eventive virtual platform. Screenings will include short blocks in the following categories: Student, Texas, Comedy, Narrative and Animated/Experimental. All of these female-driven selections were curated from a large pool of submissions from across the nation and around the world. The Topaz Film Festival has also expanded its feature film presentations to 2 documentary films and 2 feature films.

Films were eligible if women were credited in two or more of the following positions throughout the making of the film: director, writer, producer, director of photography, editor or composer. “We were proud to see women of all backgrounds represented in each of the film submissions. Many of the stories we received brought about feelings of nostalgia, contemplation, activism and compassion for all humankind. The films selected for screening this year resonate a theme of togetherness, for together we can accomplish the impossible,” said Pascual.

For more film information and updates about the festival, as well as ticket purchases, please go to http://www.wifdallas.org or https://watch.eventive.org/TopazFilmFestival.

For 19 years, Women in Film Dallas has provided a platform for independent female filmmakers to promote their work through its annual film festival. The Topaz Film Festival is an extension of the Women in Film Dallas Scholastic Grant Fund, a 501C3 that provides financial support through grants and scholarships to women in the pursuit of media arts degrees and those in the productions of film, television and screen-based media. Proceeds from the festival will serve to fund the 2021 scholastic grant program.

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS:

FEATURE FILMS
Movie Title: Another Child (Premiere)
Director: Leanna Borsellino, James Headrick
Country: USA
Running Time: 1:01:02
Synopsis: From the time she was 3, Leanna knew what her cousin did to her body behind closed doors was wrong. Still, shame kept her from telling anyone for many years. When she finally found the courage to tell her mother, the startling response caused Leanna to choose silent torment for several more years to come.
Why did Leanna’s mother repress her cry for help? ANOTHER CHILD is director Leanna Borsellino’s attempt to unravel the confusing maze of emotion, religion, sexuality and family history to grasp her mother’s triggers, and why she failed to protect her daughter. Finally reunited, Leanna and her mother Cyndi set out on a cross-country journey to rediscover their true selves, and to attempt to right some wrongs.

Movie Title: Inez & Doug & Kira
Director: Julia Kots
Country: USA
Running Time: 1:35:35
Synopsis: When Inez (Tawny Cypress) took her own life after a long struggle with bipolar disorder and drug addiction, she left no note—only a pile of old photos strewn about her bed. The two people closest to her—her sister, Kira (Talia Thiesfield), and Kira’s fiancé, Doug (Michael Chernus) – are left with too many questions. Doug embarks on a self-destructive quest to decipher the significance of the photographs and understand what pushed Inez to slit her wrists one night. Driven by a series of flashbacks and increasingly haunting dreams, Doug’s investigation grows more obsessive; while his relationship with Kira begins to unravel, as does his sanity, until he finds himself face to face with his own demons.

Movie Title: Women of Earth
Director: Isadora Carneiro, Katia Lund, Mayara Boaretto
Country: USA
Running Time: 1:11:00
Synopsis: Mayara grew up in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil and Latin America. She was a teenager surrounded by millions of people, technology, and everything the modern world can offer but she still felt empty. In search of someone who could answer her questions, she went back to the roots of Brazil, to indigenous quilombolas and rural communities. On this journey, she met women who showed her how the wisdom of the past can heal the future. They are traditional midwives, healers, and community leaders. They are keepers of an ancient knowledge that we can’t afford to lose. She calls them Women of Earth

Movie Title: Family Matters
Director: Stanley Kolk
Country: Netherlands
Running Time: 1:32:05
Synopsis: When Kelly (Jennifer Welts) comes out of jail, she returns to her birthplace Hemelrijken. Although her sister Samantha (Esmée van Kampen) can barely make ends meet herself, she is ready to help. She takes Kelly home and arranges a job for her at a package delivery company. If an old acquaintance (Maarten Heijmans) reclaims a large sum of money from Kelly, the financial problems pile up and she sees no other solution than to go and deal for him. When Samantha hears that, she doesn't want to know anything about her. Until it really goes wrong, because family does not abandon each other, right?

STUDENT SHORTS BLOCK

Movie Title: Bitter
Director: Brittaney Bandoh
Country: United States
Running Time: 07:02
Synopsis: A suspicious, intolerant neighbor wants to take down a little girl's lemonade stand

Movie Title: CODA
Director: Erika Davis-Marsh
Country: United States
Running Time: 20:00
Synopsis: A young dancer struggles with her bi-cultural identity when she meets a confident young Deaf drummer who stirs up old conflicted feelings about growing up hearing in a Deaf family.

Movie Title: Note for Note
Director: Olivia Santos
Country: United States
Running Time: 07:02
Synopsis:A film set during the 2020 quarantine, Note for Note is a film about connection during strange and distant times.

Movie Title: Paper Trails
Director: Heather Moser
Country: United States
Running Time: 15:58
Synopsis: Following a rough breakup, Jamie's life is turned around as mysterious notes appear and interfere with attempts to reconcile her feelings.

Movie Title: TAMPON
Director: Alessandra Rodriguez
Country: Peru
Running Time: 3:33
Synopsis: When a young woman loses her tampon inside of her, then she must persuade her friend to help her, until he proposes an alternative.

Movie Title: The Air We Breathe
Director: Wana Luwaya, Zayd Nicholas
Country: United Kingdom
Running Time: 15:04
Synopsis: Climate change and global warming are a never-ending issue. The slash and burn practices, especially in Indonesia, have been a problem for too long. With nothing being done in the South East Asian region, our documentary's goal is to give awareness of the on-going situation that has been an issue for decades.
Although the whole world will eventually feel the repercussions of these forest fires, we spoke to those who are affected first hand. Who do they blame for this and what is being done stop the fires?

Movie Title: The Last Rights
Director: Aastha Verma
Country: India
Running Time: 16:48
Synopsis: A young Indian woman challenges her society's patriarchal traditions in order to give her deceased grandmother her last rites.

Movie Title: The Piñata
Director: Stevie Lynn Cavalier
Country: United States
Running Time: 13:39
Synopsis: On the day of Mia’s twelfth birthday party, her family is excitedly preparing for another family-fun celebration with presents, cake, and most importantly, a hand-made piñata. However, when Mia’s two school friends join the party, they don't think the piñata is cool, and they refuse to hit it. Mia finds herself stuck between pleasing her friends or her parents, while still trying to figure out how to please herself.

TEXAS SHORTS

Movie Title: In the Pink
Director: Katharine Stocker
Country: United States
Running Time: 13:00
Synopsis: "In The Pink" is the story of Marie (25), a young medical professional who discovers she might be infertile.
What unfolds is a narrative of friendship, youth, and maintaining normalcy, when something as fundamental as bodily autonomy is taken away.

Movie Title: 20,564 ft, Poco a Poco
Director: Ilma Vallee
Country: United States
Running Time: 15:50
Synopsis: Ecuador Mountaineering Honeymoon

Movie Title: Bloom
Director: Lucy Owens
Country: United States
Running Time: 15:00
Synopsis: Amateur photographer Nora hires young male model Des to do a risqué photoshoot at a remote location in the Texas hill country. As strangers to each other, they are free to be whoever they want; but when they are caught trespassing on private property, reality comes crashing down.

Movie Title: Rise Above: WASP
Director: Kara White
Country: United States
Running Time: 19:42
Synopsis: A documentary film exploring the history of the WWII veterans known as the WASP (Women AirForce Service Pilots). Designed for an immersive 170 degree wrap-around screen, the film envelopes the viewer in its custom made theater.
The WASP were the first women to fly for the United States Armed Forces. While not permitted in combat, these high spirited women broke barriers to serve their country and fulfill their dream....to fly!

Movie Title: Sapphire
Director: Rosa Nichols
Country: United States
Running Time: 14:09
Synopsis: A daughter believes her bond with her father is inseparable...until she's forced to accept the truth about him.

Movie Title: Pappy Hour
Director: Nell Teare
Country: United States
Running Time: 10:40
Synopsis: A woman must bring together her dysfunctional family to fulfill her father’s last wish.

COMEDY SHORTS BLOCK

Movie Title: AC
Director: Sonia Sebastian
Country: United States
Running Time: 14:30
Synopsis: Diane is about to give up her dreams of making it as an actor in Hollywood when she is shockingly interrupted by an unlikely source of motivation. AC is a short about inspiration and getting the encouragement you need to believe in yourself -even if that means you might be losing your mind!

Movie Title: Casanova
Director: Marie Richardson
Country: United States
Running Time: 14:44
Synopsis: Cassie is a modern day, pansexual, female Casanova. She's also a badass computer programmer. She traverses the male-dominated world of tech alongside her app's (also) female co-founder and best friend, Nav, all while adding names to her "list" -- the list she keeps in her phone of everyone she's ever had sex with. When it comes to both her promiscuity and her feelings toward the tech bro status quo, it's clear -- Cassie D(oesn't) G(ive) A F(*&%)

Movie Title: CC Dances the Go-Go
Director: Erin C. Buckley
Country: United States
Running Time: 11:00
Synopsis: A little love story + go-go dancing.

Movie Title: Old Flames
Director: Cydney Cox
Country: United States
Running Time: 7:36
Synopsis: Damian likes to daydream, especially about his ex-boyfriend, Jessie. And on one quiet night in a bar, we see his fantasies take shape and he meets face-to-face with the man of his dreams. As he journeys back to the "love of his life", Damian gets the wake-up call that memory and desire don't always match who we are in real life.

Movie Title: The Bra Mitzvah
Director: Stacy Jill Calvert
Country: United States
Running Time: 10:00
Synopsis: Becca is about to have her Bat Mitzvah, but her Nana insists she does one thing first: get a "real bra”.

Movie Title: The Perfect Date
Director: Sonia Bajaj
Country: United States
Running Time: 2:14
Synopsis: The story of a serial dater in search of his perfect date.

Movie Title: Think Tank
Director: Merri Beth Stanfield
Country: United States
Running Time: 13:38
Synopsis: Birdie and her friends try to interpret her crush’s confusing behavior. The more she overthinks the relationship, the more outlandish her perspective becomes.

Movie Title: Who's The Daddy?
Director: Mary-Sue Masson
Country: United States
Running Time: 13:35
Synopsis: Who’s the Daddy? Is a character driven comedy-drama about the ups and down of motherhood. Rachel, (Kellie Shirley) has a rude introduction to Emma, (Olivia Lee) while in play-ground purgatory. Things soon get much more interesting. It turns out these two mums have far more in common than either of them could have possibly imagined...

ANIMATED/EXPERIMENTAL

Movie Title: Amazone mon amour
Director: Aurore Michaud
Country:France
Running Time: 10:51
Synopsis: Four women, in four different worlds, will save the lives of their princes, all in very bad shape. Breaking down the cliché of Prince Charming, "Amazone mon amour" is a plea for equality between men and women, in a totally hallucinatory fairytale universe.

Movie Title: SPECIMEN
Director: Maisie Hooper
Country: USA
Running Time: 1:51
Synopsis: A man finds his nightly routine suddenly interrupted by an unusual home invader.

Movie Title: Cats & Swords
Director: Heather Schmidt
Country: USA
Running Time: 7:50
Synopsis: When one of their team turns deadly werecat, two women must engage in a sword fight for survival.

Movie Title: In the House of Paper Flowers
Director: Anita George
Country: USA
Running Time: 7:30
Synopsis: In a house covered with papery flowers, a woman with white hair, two cats and a tiny wolf songstress learns a valuable lesson about the enduring power of love.

Movie Title: 4040 HOME
Director: Zoee Marsh
Country: United States
Running Time: 7:15
Synopsis: Art is community and a community with expression, collaboration and conversation can action positive changes for the generations to come.

Movie Title: Tobi and the Turbobus
Director: Verena Fels
Country: United States
Running Time: 7:30
Synopsis: You fly with no seat! That's the rule in the Turbobus. To get one is a hard day job for a young wolf on his turbo-journey to find real friendship.

Movie Title: To the dusty sea
Director: Héloïse Ferlay
Country: France
Running Time: 12:23
Synopsis: Left alone in the deepest of the summer, Malo and Zoe are trying their best to catch their mother’s elusive eye…

NARRATIVE SHORTS BLOCK 1

Movie Title: Age of Dysphoria (2019)
Director: Jessica Petelle
Country: Canada
Running Time: 19:00
Synopsis: A young woman tracks down an elderly man in order to make amends for the tragedy that devastated his life.

Movie Title: Entwined
Director: Dale Griffiths Stamos
Country: USA
Running Time: 14:05
Synopsis: Two people in their sixties find themselves standing in front of the same painting at a gallery. Joe is black and Lisa is white and almost 50 years ago, when in high school, they loved each other. Now they must face their troubled past, and feelings that time may not have erased.

Movie Title: The House of Lekeitio
Director: Jasone Urgoitia Urrutia
Country: USA
Running Time: 18:39
Synopsis: Two sisters that have not spoken to each other in a year inherit the family home. Mysteriously trapped inside, they have no other option than to resolve their problems and come to an agreement. English Subtitles.

Movie Title: The Book of Ruth
Director: Becca Roth
Country: USA
Running Time: 14:10
Synopsis: Margo, Dan, Jordan, and Lizzy visit grandmother Ruth for Passover. Later that night, Lizzy finds Ruth watching a midnight news story about Anne Frank’s death. Lizzy then confesses to have known a related secret for years and Ruth is left with some explaining to do.

Movie Title: ALINA - 2020
Director: Rami Kodeih
Country: USA
Running Time: 24:51
Synopsis: As Nazis separate children from their parents in the Warsaw Ghetto, a gang of women risks everything to smuggle their friend's three-month-old baby to safety. Inspired by true events. Starring Alia Shawkat (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEARCH PARTY), Edin Gali (MAD MEN), Rebeca Robles (BETTER THINGS), Erika Soto (VIDA), and Mark McCullough (LOGAN LUCKY).

NARRATIVE SHORTS BLOCK 2

Movie Title: Here Today
Director: Erica Arvold
Country: USA
Running Time: 13:32
Synopsis: A high school girl struggles to find her own identity with a new group of friends and discovers that together, their choices have an impact beyond what they ever imagined. This universally autobiographical tale, written by 16-year-old Meredith Grace Dabney, is a reminder of vulnerability, life’s connections and most importantly that words and actions, however small, affect everyone and everything.

Movie Title: Shoes
Director: Meriel Rosenkranz
Country: USA
Running Time: 4:31
Synopsis: SHOES is a modern fairy tale with a twist. It is a charming story of love, heartbreak and finding your feet again.

Movie Title: CHILL
Director: Joseph Ranghelli
Country: USA
Running Time: 16:36
Synopsis: A bachelorette party at a remote cabin takes some dark turns as the usually polished bride becomes increasingly erratic.

Movie Title: HONEYMOON
Director: Amy Aniobi
Country: USA
Running Time: 14:40
Synopsis: Honeymoon tells the story of a newlywed couple on their first night together, made all the more awkward, romantic and honest, because they only just met.

Movie Title: Fertile Myrtle
Director: Robin Humbert
Country: USA
Running Time: 19:33
Synopsis: At any moment of any day, every female is either fertile – or not fertile. Whether she is, or isn’t, can cause major life challenges or solutions. Fertile Myrtle follows three different women from varying walks of life as they undergo such moments.

Movie Title: After
Director: Emily Innes
Country: New Zealand
Running Time: 7:35
Synopsis: A young woman is swept away by memories as her co-workers gather round a baby.

Movie Title: The Waiting Room
Director: Lauren Littlejohn
Country: USA
Running Time: 4:10
Synopsis: A woman finds herself questioning reality.

Movie Title:  Call It a Day Series - Bad Feminists
Director: Kieran Bourne
Country: United Kingdom
Running Time: 11:26
Synopsis: Meet Amy and Eva.
Meet you and your friends.
Meet two (very lovely) girls trying to survive their late 20s.
Follow Amy and Eva, as they navigate through life with wit, boldness and vulnerability. Shit’s about to get weird. And fun. But yeah, mostly weird.
So pop the wine, the CBD oil, the lavender candle and take off your bra (or your boxers).
We’re gonna take care of you, babe.