The inaugural Lady Filmmakers Film Festival, screening short and feature movies made by women, and celebrating the viability of films by women filmmakers and the men who collaborate with them, will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 17th and 18th, at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica.

Various film genres will be covered, including comedy, drama, romance, mystery, documentary and animation. Some of the films have appearances by notable actors including Laura Dern, Danny Glover and Clancy Brown.

The filmmakers themselves range from famous names such as Courtney Cox to complete unknowns, a festival spokesperson said. They hail from the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Australia and the US, and have filmed in such countries as Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, India, China, Iran, Mexico and Russia.

The participating films have been arranged into five screening programs. Films will be screened from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 17th and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 18th.

Tickets to each set of film screenings are $10. Half of the net ticket sales go to the festival’s charity sponsor, the Mary Magdalene Project (MMP), a Los Angeles organization that helps women prostitutes and their families to permanently exit prostitution. Discounted tickets are available.

The primary goal of the festival is to recognize and empower female filmmakers from all ethnic, religious and sexually oriented communities, the festival spokes-person said. However, the festival also includes films by men who have written, directed or worked as the director of photography on a film that showcases relevant female issues or is comprised primarily of an all-female cast.

In order to have qualified for the festival, films must have at least one woman in the role of writer, director, cinematographer or producer.

“We’re thrilled to announce the first ever Lady Filmmakers Film Festival in recognition and celebration of the tremendous contribution of women to film the world over,” said Patricia DiSalvo Viayra, festival director and founder.

Film festival winners will be recognized at MMP’s annual fundraising gala on October 17th at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Another distinguishing element of this event is that the filmmakers themselves, as well as the general public, were able to vote on which of the submitted films they would like to see in the festival.

Information, including screening schedules, www.ladyfilmmakers.com/, or (310) 601-7956.

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