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MadCat is back with 89 films and videos by women directors

MadCat is back with 89 films and videos by women directors from South Korea to Israel, Sweden to Portugal, and the Philippines to Australia. All in all there are 16 countries represented and over 50 premieres highlighted at this, the Ninth Annual MadCat Women’s International Film Festival. Mining selections from the more than 1,300 filmmakers is a process that takes many months. We present the cream of the crop and have curated eleven thematically programmed evenings of film.

MadCat’s screenings include diverse thematically-curated shorts programs, trailblazing documentaries from the 1970s, and slide presentations by local artists. Embracing silent-era presentation MadCat presents Shhh I and II: Silent Films set to Live Music, which will begin and end the San Francisco portion of the Festival. The Secrets of Family Happiness, Dear Nora, Tartufi and Paper Boats among others musicians lend their wonderful compositions to stunning 16mm works such as Behind This Soft Eclipse by Eve Heller and Bouquets 1-10 by Rose Lowder. Continuing the Festival’s long running commitment to cinema of the past, we present Women Speak Up, documentary films from the 1970s. The filmmakers in this program were trailblazers, allowing women to speak for themselves through verité and first person storytelling. MadCat also presents three unique programs of animated films including Documation I and II, a series of animated documentaries that blow open the genre will be presented at Pacific Film Archive. There are many filmmakers in attendance—we are thrilled to have award-winning filmmaker Jennifer Reeves in person to present The Time We Killed her meditative first feature and Caroline Martel travels from Montreal to screen her found footage opus Phantom of the Operator. Inventive and witty, this labor history uncovers the century-long story of female workers rarely given credit for their essential role in the development of global communications. Premieres of new and intriguing works by Vivian Ostrovsky, Martha Colburn and Cade Bursell will also screen.

Highlights 2005

Shhh I Silent Films Set to Live Music
Sept 13 * El Rio * 8:30 pm * Free BBQ at 6:30 pm
Contemporary silent films by Rose Lowder, Kerry Laitala, among others. With live musical accompaniment by Paper Boats, Kate Klaire, and Tartufi.

Sept 14 * El Rio * 8:30 pm * Free BBQ at 6:30 pm
Wry, dark and painfully humorous, these animated works from Sweden, Mexico and the Philippines are not your typical Saturday morning cartoons.
Media Remix
Sept 16 * ATA * 7:30 pm
Filmmakers reinterpret media and create humorous, touching, politically relevant works. Premieres by local makers, plus Paris-based Vivian Ostrovsky’s Ice/Sea, an ode to sun and beach starring suicidal skiers, soaking wet tigers, plunging mermaids and more!

City Nights
Sept 20 * El Rio * 8:30 pm * Free BBQ at 6:30 pm
Portraits of unseen San Francisco. Take a peek at pot dispensaries, sidewalk poets, strip clubs and forgotten graveyards. With films by Trina Lopez, Katherin McInnis, Erica Filanc and Ashley Tindall.

Women Speak Up
Sept 21 * El Rio * 8:30 pm * Free BBQ at 6:30 pm
This program of 16mm documentaries from the 1970s captures the intimate world of women, revealing a time when they were wriggling out of traditional female roles. Geri Ashur’s Janie’s Janie follows the daily routine of a single mother of three. Betty Tells Her Story, by Liane Brandon, is a direct address diptych of a working-class woman recounting a funny and illuminating incident of buying a new dress. Girls at 12, by Joyce Chopra, chronicles the sleepovers and dance parties of three girls growing up in an industrial suburb near Boston.

Unpacking Histories
Sept 23 * ATA * 7:30 pm
A prostitute reveals her daily routine, Russian nomads in Armenia keep cool during a drought, and Indian women recall the effects of a flood in 1968. Ariana Hamidi presents the World premiere of A Covenant Adam. An expression of memory and the loss of memory, this documentary subtly navigates a family history filled with violence and fear. Home movies, interviews with children about god, trust and safety are combined with manipulated Incredible Hulk comic strips as fragmented texts float across the screen. Also screening the West Coast premiere of Leslie Thornton’s Let Me Count the Ways. Juxtaposing aerial military footage, scientific data on genetic mutation, audio testimony about the bombing of Hiroshima, and a home movie of her father, a World War II Air Force pilot, Thornton creates a dense and compelling critique of violence. In addition premieres of work by Cade Bursell, Christine Khalafian and Andaleeb Firdosy.

The Phantom of the Operator
Sept 25 * Yerba Buena * 7 pm
A found-footage opus chronicling the feminist history of the once-ubiquitous telephone operator, rarely given credit for her essential role in the development of global communications. Director Caroline Martel in person. Also screening at PFA on Sept 20 at 7:30pm.

The Time We Killed
Sept 25 * Yerba Buena * 8:30 pm
Weaving experimental and documentary elements, this film portrays the inner life of a writer unable to leave her apartment on the brink of the US invasion of Iraq. Fipresci calls it “a beautiful, impressionistic and deeply personal cinematic poem.” Director Jennifer Reeves in person. Also screening at PFA on Sept 27 at 7:30pm.

Shhh II Silent Films Set to Live Music
Sept 27 * 8:30 pm * Free BBQ at 6:30 pm
Contemporary silent films by Eve Heller, Mary Beth Reed, among others. With live musical accompaniment by The Secrets of Family Happiness, Julianna and Seth of The Quails, and Dear Nora.

Docu-mation I: Drawn and Reported
Oct 6 * PFA * 7:30 pm
This program features surprising hybrids that reveal that “animated documentary” isn’t a contradiction in terms. Territory covered includes the history of witch-hunts, early treatments for hysteria, and art by women with mental disabilities.

Docu-mation II: History, Redrawn
Oct 13 * PFA * 7:30 pm
A chalk animation exposé of corporate corruption; a pencil-rendered, death-defying journey during World War II; a clay-mation peek at child migrant workers; and a charcoal-drawn saga of slavery and freedom; and others.

Ninth Annual MadCat Women’s International Film Festival

El Rio
3158 Mission St. @ Precita in SF
Tues and Weds, Sept 13, 14, 20, 21 & 27
Movies 8:30 pm; Free BBQ at 6:30 pm
Rain or Shine. Dress warmly! 21 and over.
Tix: $7–$20. (415) 282-3325
Tickets available in advance or at the door. There will always be tickets at the door!! Cash only.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW at the Bar 5pm to 2am daily.

Artists’ Television Access (ATA)
992 Valencia St. @ 21st in SF
Fri, Sept 16 & 23. Movies 7:30 pm
Tix: $7–$20. (415) 824-3890
Tickets available at the door. Cash only.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission St. @ Third in SF
Sun, Sept 25. Movies 7 pm & 8:30 pm
Tix: $7/$12. (415) 978-2700
Tickets available in advance or at the door. Cash or credit cards.

Pacific Film Archive (PFA)
2575 Bancroft Way in Berkeley
Thurs, Oct 6 & 13. Movies 7:30 pm
Tix: $8. (510) 642-5249
Tickets available in advance or at the door. Cash or credit cards.

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