Cinema Femme Short Film Festival to Have First In-Person Screenings at the Music Box Theater | Festivals & Awards

Filmmaker Emily Hagins.

Joanna has also played an indispensable role in this year’s festival, serving as its Creative Director, while Carolann Cohen Grzybowski devoted her own time and talents as the team’s Social Media & Operations Assistant. All four shorts blocks will also be available to stream virtually on Eventive from Friday, April 28th, through Thursday, May 4th, with live online Q&As scheduled for each. Actor/filmmaker Clare Cooney (“Runner”) will moderate Shorts Block #1 at 8pm on April 28th, Numa Perrier will moderate Shorts Block #2 at 8pm on Saturday, April 29th, Patricia Vidal Delgado (“La Leyenda Negra”) will moderate Shorts Block #3 at 3pm on Monday, May 1st, and Ashely Shelton will moderate Shorts Block #4 at 3pm on Tuesday, May 2nd. Sandra Lipski’s visually beguiling “Mi Isla” will be added to the virtual Shorts Block #3, while Joshua and Rebecca Harrell Tickell’s vital and powerful muckraking short, “Regenerate Ojai,” narrated by Laura Dern, will receive its own spotlight screening at 6: 30pm on May 1st. Rebecca Tickell delivered one of the best child performances ever captured on film in John D. Hancock’s 1989 Christmas classic, “Prancer,” before going on to helm several environmentally conscious documentaries with her husband, Joshua, including “The Big Fix,” “Kiss the Ground” and the upcoming “Common Ground,” which has already won the Human/Nature Award from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. She will participate in a live Q&A following the virtual screening, moderated by Rebecca Fagerholm.

I will have the pleasure of moderating the virtual Q&A at 4pm on April 29th for the annual Tribute event honoring a filmmaker who exemplifies the spirit of Cinema Femme. This year, the festival is celebrating Emily Hagins, a remarkable writer/director from Austin, Texas, who has been conjuring delight for 17 years with her trademark mixture of terror, satire and disarming sincerity. She made history with her feature debut, 2006’s zombie thriller, “Pathogen,” which she helmed at age 12, making her the youngest US director in history. The production itself was chronicled in the thoroughly entertaining documentary, “Zombie Girl: The Movie,” which is included among the extras in the recent pristine Blu-ray release for “Pathogen” from AGFA + Bleeding Skull. Hagins has continued to excel in her craft with each subsequent feature, including the marvelous coming-of-age film, “Grow Up, Tony Phillips,” starring her frequent collaborator Tony Vespe, and the endearing horror comedy “Sorry About the Demon,” which was recently released on Shudder. Now at age 30, Hagins has found new meaning in her previous work.

“One thing I really felt the weight of in my 20s was being a woman in film and feeling like an outsider,” said Hagins. “Over that decade, I gradually felt pressure around not fitting in with my peers and it kind of weighed on my heart a lot. While recently rewatching the films I made before all that, like ‘Pathogen’ and ‘Grow Up, Tony Phillips,’ I was reminded of why I love doing this, and that was separate from the social pressures. It was a nice palette cleanser that affirmed what is magical about movies to me and what those observations were in my childhood about life, some of which still ring true to me. Sometimes you have to dig below the surface to find that again because having that kind of youthful energy is important to the creative process.”