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Finding Face/POW Fest @ Hollywood Theatre, March 18

March 18th, 2010 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · News

By William Crawford

The 3rd Annual Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (POW Fest) kicks off its 4-day festival tonight with a free screening and reception at the Hollywood Theatre.

Impossible to have better luck than last year’s special screening of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, which went on to win Best Picture, but this year’s roster of over 50 films directed or co-directed by women won’t disappoint.

Before launching into its impressive lineup of films made by women from all over the world, the festival will showcase four short films and one feature length documentary directed or co-directed by local women filmmakers:

Nous Deux Encore (2009), directed by Heather Harlow, follows the course of the French narrator’s life with her deceased soul-mate. At times the poorly produced music spoils the mood, but Harlow gives us a bittersweet glimpse (or a voyeuristic portrait) of a loving relationship presented through still photos and the haunting words of a woman who has lost a part of herself.

Talking Heads (2009), directed by Gabe Van Lelyveld and Kristina Whipple, is a collection of interviews of toddlers, cops, hippies, policemen, average Joes on the street, and nonagenarians. The filmmakers ask each interviewee two simple questions, sometimes noting their years of birth. “Who are you? What do you want from life?” It’s not surprising that the answers differ wildly, but it’s still impressive to see the earnestness their subjects show when randomly asked these two important questions everyone should contemplate.

Her Name Was Mary, directed by Elizabeth Vice, is easily the most polished of the short films, but also the most sentimental. The 1950s period piece follows six-year-old Mary, who secretly helps her illiterate and uneducated grandmother, learn to read. Short and sweet, with a heavy emphasis on the sweet.

Linda (2008), directed by Jainee Dial, is the fantastic story of a bespectacled, nerdy young girl, who finds herself at a popular girl’s birthday party. As the chronologically disjointed story unfolds, Linda refuses to bow down to bullies or the woes life throws at her, ending with the ultimate, awkward comeuppance as she unleashes her secret weapon: crazy dance moves.

Finding Face (2009), directed by Skye Fitzgerald and Patti Duncan, concludes the evening with 68 harrowing minutes of one Cambodian woman’s story of surviving a violent act, and demanding justice. Young karaoke star Tat Marina’s life changed forever in 1999 when the jealous wife and bodyguards of a government official attacked her with acid, horribly disfiguring her face and body. Despite multiple witnesses, no charges have been filed even after an entire decade. The filmmakers hope to break the silence on these horrific acts of violence directed toward women that, sadly, are all too common in Cambodia.

Reception for the opening night program of Local Shorts plus Finding Face starts at 6:30 PM on March 18 at the Hollywood Theatre.

More info about the rest of the festival line up at powfest.com

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