Artemis Women in Action Film Festival returns for a 6th year

By Kamala Kirk

The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival (AWIAFF) celebrates women in narrative, documentary and animated films.

Every year, the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival (AWIAFF) shines a spotlight on women who step up in all walks of life through narrative, documentary and animated films. AWIAFF was founded in 2014 and was the first festival with the sole dedication to the celebration of female action and empowerment heroes.

The festival returns this year in a virtual format that allows attendees to watch from anywhere in the world. AWIAFF remains true to the mission of showcasing carefully chosen, excellently crafted movies with a strong focus on the power of women.

“Typically, we held the Artemis Awards ceremony at the Laemmle Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills and the balance of the event was held at the Monica Laemmle Theater in downtown Santa Monica,” said Melanie Wise, founder and executive director of AWIAFF. “In 2020, we didn’t have an event. Our 6th edition is the first completely virtual event we’ve done. In past years, we have given filmmakers the choice to have their film included in a streamed event that ran concurrently during the festival. This year, we chose to forego an award ceremony so that we could place our attention and dedication on our filmmakers, screenplay writers and musicians in our festival competitions. The 6th Edition Competition Awards will be announced live during our virtual event on April 25.”

This year’s participants include Westside resident Sarah Gurfield, the creator of “Boy East Girl,” a zombie love story that has garnered three Official Selections – one for film, one for the theme song and one for the score.

The film “Now You See Us”, which uses comedy to tackle the tough conversation of ageism, is about two actresses who compete fiercely for a role in a TV commercial, but as their audition approaches, the lifelong rivals begin to discover that they are in the presence of a much larger threat: a society that finds them invisible. Danna Kinsky, who is the director of photography for the film, is another Westside resident.

“Every single year, I’m simply floored with content entrusted to our festival by creators,” Wise said. “The festival gets to host amazing slices of history that are little-known stories about real life heroes, films that tackle tough topics, documentary and narrative films that inspire, and films that truly stand out in the indie world.”

Other things to look forward to this year include interactive events during the third weekend of April and actress Chase Masterson will take part in the festival welcome on April 23. There will also be a screenwriting round table with screenplay finalists and a musical corner featuring the musicians and composers in the music competitions. The event will close with Masterson presenting awards to competition winners.

“I’m very excited because we’ve got some great prizes for our winners this year,” Wise said. “Our greatest hope is that this festival is a launching pad for the success of the creators included in this edition.”

This year’s film content will be available to stream from April 10 through May 10 and will be exclusively on Artemis’ website. This year’s edition includes 50 films from all over the globe and constitutes 13 screening blocks that have been thoughtfully programmed into themed film screenings and represents over 30 hours of content with 30 days to stream. An all-access pass costs $29.95.

“Women come in all shapes, sizes, characters and types – and so do our movies,” Wise said. “We offer a little something for everyone, from the corners of the globe, with the hope that we all recognize some of ourselves in each of them and are inspired by their stories.”