CASCADIA is a multi-day annual curated film festival celebrating exceptional films directed by women from around the world.
The CASCADIA festival spans all film genres: narrative, live action, animation, documentary, and experimental films of all lengths.
CASCADIA is based in Bellingham, WA., a city of approximately 83,000 people on the shores of Puget Sound. It’s located about halfway between the film centers of Seattle, WA, and Vancouver, BC. The city enjoys strong local and regional support for the arts. It is also a destination for hikers, kayakers, climbers, sailors and other outdoor enthusiasts. Increasingly, filmmakers, too, are finding Bellingham, attracted to its proximity to urban and rural environments, as well as the ocean, lakes, rivers and mountains. It is also home to Western Washington University, with a 15,000 undergraduates and graduate enrollment, including the well regarded College of Fine and Performing Arts.
CASCADIA is an IRS-registered non profit 501(c ) (3) organization.
Helps women directors pursue their goals, by offering educational forums, panel discussions, and director Q&A’s, designed to encourage information-sharing and networking.
Educates audiences and the community, by partnering with businesses, Western Washington University, arts and other organizations to sponsor forums, workshops, special film showings and events.
Promotes Bellingham, Whatcom County and the surrounding area as a destination for filmmakers and for film enthusiasts to spend time and enjoy the city’s and region’s many restaurants, microbreweries, shops and hotels, while attending the festival.
CASCADIA’s signature film festival occurs in Bellingham, WA. over several days in April. The 2017 festival consisted of four days of 24 films, in addition to social and networking events, workshops, industry panels, educational forums and more. The 2018 festival will be April 12th – 15th.
CASCADIA also hosts selected women-directed documentaries at the Pickford Film Center’s annual “Doctober” Documentary Film Festival, including Q&A sessions with the directors afterwards.
Throughout the year, CASCADIA features a variety of other festival activities: educational forums, workshops, special film showings and other events.
In October, 2015 CASCADIA presented its first event, hosting women-directed documentary films at the Pickford Film Center’s annual “Doctober” Documentary Film Festival in Bellingham. CASCADIA has participated in every Doctober since then, hosting and screening women-directed documentaries, director interviews and Q&A sessions.
In April, 2017 CASCADIA presented its first multi-day film festival in Bellingham, WA. The festival included 24 women-directed films from 11 countries, presenting long and short-version narration, documentary, live action, animation and experimental films. Twelve directors attended the festival, including five from other countries. They participated in Q&A sessions, press interviews, workshops and panel discussions.
During the April festivals and Doctober, and throughout the year, CASCADIA sponsors multiple networking and educational opportunities for working and aspiring filmmakers. It offers these in partnership with numerous local and regional organizations, including Western Washington University (WWU), a student-run CASCADIA Women’s Film Club at WWU, the non-profit organization Bellingham Film, Bellingham’s The Foundry Makerspace and other organizations. Workshops have included sessions on immersive reality technology, script-writing and how women are ‘breaking the celluloid ceiling’ in the film industry.
CASCADIA’s 2018 festival is set for April 12th – 15th in Bellingham, WA. We again will show a range of women-directed films from around the world. We also will host networking and educational events, post-film Q&A’s, receptions and discussion sessions for directors and others. This year’s festival will also include a special guest speaker of note from the film industry. Visit cascadiafilmfest.org or our Facebook page for updates.
In film, directors literally call the shots – and very few of them are women.
This means that a woman’s perspective is rarely seen in film. An art form that teaches, informs, inspires and motivates, is missing an essential perspective on humanity when women’s voices are not heard.
This problem exists internationally, but especially in Hollywood. Numerous studies now document the persistent, ongoing failure of Hollywood studios to fund and support the work of women directors.
The current flood of stories of sexual harassment and sexual violence against women in the entertainment business frequently point to one principal factor driving this bullying, predatory behavior towards women: the lack of women in decision-making roles.
CASCADIA is committed to changing these factors, by offering a venue, and a support system, for women to tell their stories through the medium of film.
Further, while Hollywood continues to produce few women-directed films, CASCADIA sees that greater access to digital cameras and Internet postings makes it possible for women directors to bypass some of the ubiquitous Hollywood obstacles to their work, and to create good films that tell important stories.
We believe that a film festival dedicated to showcasing quality work by women is an important and welcome extension of these new technology-driving opportunities, by creating a new forum for the work of women directors to seen and their voices heard.
In short, CASCADIA fills a much-needed niche, by providing a place to showcase the best of women-directed films.
In April 2018, CASCADIA will present a curated selection of women-directed films. Short films by women directors may be submitted through www.FilmFreeway.com. Suggestions are welcome from filmmakers who wish to have CASCADIA consider their feature, but the festival is not open to submissions at this time.
CASCADIA is comprised of a diverse group of people with a love of film, and a commitment to opportunity and diversity in art and all walks of life. They have had or currently enjoy successful careers in film or other art forms, business, education, recreation, community development and government. Most, but not all, are connected to Bellingham and the Pacific Northwest. Some have ties to or still work in other areas of the US, Canada or other parts of the world.
All share a vision of building a unique international event that showcases the work of women directors, and what they believe are the extraordinary opportunities for filmmakers to work in Bellingham, Whatcom County and the surrounding area. Visit Our Team page for information on our board of directors and advisory panels.
You should support CASCADIA if any or all of the following apply:
You understand the power of film to engage, inform, inspire and sometimes empower change in both individuals and society. You see that the absence of women’s perspectives in this powerful art form results in a dangerous imbalance, affecting the way the world sees and seeks solutions to concerns among individuals and communities.
You want to support the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County, by encouraging people from outside this area to come here for a festival and vacation, and to support local businesses.
You want to be associated with CASCADIA because you have a business that offers goods or services that would interest the same people who would likely attend the CASCADIA Festival.
You’re committed to diversity, in art as in other walks of life and community.
You support the showcasing of films that might not otherwise be seen in the Bellingham community.
You just love film and want to support quality work.