2012 Siren Nation Film Festival

Siren Nation 2012 Film Festival program

November 15-18th at the Clinton Street Theater. Each show $6 at the door, $5 Senior/Student/EBT, $20 for all-weekend wristband.


Thursday November 15th • 8pm OPENING NIGHT FILM!

WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

Official synopsis: WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, WONDER WOMEN! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.

WONDER WOMEN! goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists, and real-life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others, who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.

Director bio: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan’s first feature-length film was an acclaimed documentary covering four years in the lives of four adolescent girls. Going on 13 was an official selection of Tribeca, Silverdocs, and many other international film festivals. It received funding from ITVS and was broadcast on public television in 2009. Kristy has also produced and directed several short films, including El Corrido de Cecilia Rios, a chronicle of the violent death of 15-year-old Cecilia Rios. It was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. Now an assistant professor at Diablo Valley College, Kristy has a MFA in Film Production from San Francisco State University. (Community Partner: Girls Lead)

TrailerFacebook event page 


Friday, November 16th • 7pm

Mosquita y Mari

Official synopsis: Set in a predominately Mexican, immigrant neighborhood in Los Angeles, Mosquita y Mari tells the story of two 15 year old Chicanas growing up in H.P. —Huntington Park. When Yolanda Olveros (“Mosquita”) meets her new neighbor, Mari Rodriguez, all they see in each other are their differences. As a sheltered, only-child to her older, immigrant parents, Yolanda’s sole concern is securing her college-bound future. Street-wise Mari hustles to help her undocumented family stay above water. But despite Yolanda and Mari’s contrasting approach to survival, Yolanda and Mari are soon brought together when Mari is threatened with expulsion after saving Yolanda from an incident at school involving Yolanda’s boy-crazed friends. Determined to call it even, Yolanda convinces Mari to let her tutor her after school to prove to the administrators that she’s more than a delinquent. Mari and Yolanda forge a friendship that soon proves more complex and sensual than anticipated. Pushed to the edge, Yolanda and Mari are faced with taking hold of their own lives.

Director Bio: Aurora Guerrero has over 10 years of filmmaking experience. She directed award-winning short narrative films, including PURA LENGUA (official selection 2005 Sundance Film Festival) and VIERNES GIRL (winner of the 2005 HBO/NYLIFF short film competition). Based on the strength of her first feature length script, MOSQUITA Y MARI, Aurora was awarded the 2005 Sundance/Ford Fellowship, the 2005 Paul Robeson Development Grant, was selected to participate in the 2005 Sundance Native/Indigenous Lab; 2006 Tribeca All Access Filmmaker Program; 2009 Film Independent Producer’s Lab. Most recently, MOSQUITA Y MARI was awarded the 2011 SFFS/KRF grant, LG Cinema 3D Fellowship, and the Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship for post production.

Official selection: Sundance, San Francisco International Film Festival, OutFest (Community Partner: Asian Pacific Islander Pride and Tierra Educational Center)

TrailerFacebook event page


Friday, November 16th • 9pm

Code of West

Official synopsis: At a time when the world is rethinking its drug policies large and small, one state rises to the forefront of attention. Once a pioneer in legalizing medical marijuana, the state of Montana is poised to become the first in the US to repeal its medical marijuana law. Set against the sweeping vistas of the Rockies, the steamy lamplight of marijuana grow houses, and the bustling halls of the State Capitol, CODE OF THE WEST follows the political process of marijuana policy reform. This is the story of the many lives and fraught emotions when politics fail and communities pay the price.

Following the film there will be a Q&A with representatives from both Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

Trailer •  Facebook event page


Saturday, November 17th • 3pm

Marija’s Own

Official synopsis: Marija’s funeral was interrupted by a storm. Six years later her grave remains unadorned, so her granddaughter, filmmaker Suková, decides to give Marija the send-off she deserves. Suková and her two cousins (one portrayed by an actress) throw a wild dinner party, inviting Marija’s elderly neighbors. Dressed in flamboyant frills, the cousins revel in the memory of their grandmother, while the Czech synth-pop band Midi Lidi provides live entertainment.

A documentary musical comedy with elements of kitchen-sink realist drama, featuring Marija’s three granddaughters.

Official selection: MOMA Documentary Fortnight, Hot Docs, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Göteborg International Film Festival

TrailerFacebook event page


Saturday, November 17th • 5pm

Leave Me Like You Found Me

Official synopsis: After a year of heartbreak and loneliness, Erin and Cal have forgotten enough of each other’s flaws to get back together. They take what they hope will be a romantic camping trip in Sequoia National Park. Alone in the majestic landscape, they begin to revisit their past relationship. As cracks start to show each is left wondering whether the other has changed enough to make it work this time.
Director Bio: Leave Me Like You Found Me is Adele Romanski’s directorial debut. Her producing credits include David Robert Mitchell’s The Myth of the American Sleepover and Katie Aselton’s The Freebie and Black Rock. Adele is a 2010 Sundance Creative Producing fellow and Independent Spirit Award nominee.

Official selection: SXSW, Karlovy Vary, San Francisco International Film Festival, GenArt festival, Munich International Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival.

Kickstarter trailer (with clips) •  Facebook event page


Saturday, November 17th • 7pm


In the history of Mexican cinema, the Calderón family is known for building grand movie palaces and producing outrageous genre films disdained by critics yet loved by the masses. Filmmaker Viviana García Besné investigates their legacy from the inside as the grandniece of mogul José Luis Calderón. Her journey uncovers a hidden history full of curvy actresses, masked wrestlers, human robots and Aztec mummies – all driven by the most shameless commercial impulses.  **Unrated, features brief nudity**

Official selection: Telluride Film Festival, New York Documentary Film Festival, Morelia International Film Festival (Community Partner: Tierra Educational Center)

ClipFacebook event page


Saturday, November 17th• 9pm

She Said Boom!: The Story of Fifth Column

Official synopsis: “All Women Are Bitches” was not a chart topper, but it represented a significant thread in queerpunk history thanks to the all-female art punk band Fifth Column. Former band members recall the scene in the 1980s and their progressive efforts to unite music, film and zine culture to challenge conventional art practice, gender roles and femininity. The band’s memories of the fun and feuds that fueled their creativity and built their reputations connect to the later Riot Grrrl movement. Most enlightening may be what was Toronto’s first zine war, where rivals battled it out through handcrafted photocopies. Three decades may heal old wounds but clearly a few scars remain.

Features present day interviews with Kathleen Hanna, Vaginal Davis, Caroline Azar, Beverly Breckenridge, GB Jones and Bruce La Bruce. (Presented by Kill Rock Stars records)

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Sunday, November 18th• 2pm

Shorts film program

2nd Best – Sometimes you just can’t stop fighting. Riley and Adrienne (a real life couple from Portland, OR) are coming back from a long day at IKEA already in a terrible mood, and even though Riley knows Adrienne is on the brink of a breakdown about having to eat the only thing they have left in the house (a brick of cold tofu) Riley still decides it’s a good time to ask Adrienne to reassure her about their sex life. Director: Sarah Gertrude Shapiro

A Family Memory – Hybrid animation-documentary about the last nice Christmas a family can remember. Director: Amira Dughri

The Lost Van Gogh – Shot from the POV of a painting, this comedic caper frames perfectly the value of art.
Two art dealers make the discovery of a lifetime, when a Van Gogh comes in to be appraised by an unsuspecting couple. After an attempt to buy the painting doesn’t pan out, the dealers set up a break in heist. The rightful owners remain dumbfounded by the true value until the end amidst the unusual circumstances. Director: Jessica Lyness

Valencia: Chapter 3 – Michelle Tea’s legendary queer novel Valencia has been adapted as an omnibus-style feature film. Tea has handpicked her favorite filmmakers to direct each chapter of the story.  In Chapter 3, Michelle is hopelessly infatuated with the emotionally unavailable Willa. In order to free up more time to spend with her, Michelle quits her full-time minimum-wage job in favor of a career that she swore she’d never go back to: prostitution. Director: Aubree Bernier-Clarke

Hold On Me – From a collection of short, conceptual films written and directed by Esperanza Spalding and Pilar Sanz and shot in various locations including New York City, Barcelona (Spain) and Portland.

Corin Tucker Band – Neskowin A music video following a teenage girl growing up in the ’80s, right at the age when she’s ready to trade her Snow White storybook for a copy of Trouser Press; who ditches a family trip to hang out with her best friend. The two girls play their favorite records, put on makeup and hitch a ride to an arcade, where they engage in awkward flirting and get in a fight before escaping to a punk-rock show. Tucker herself plays three roles: the teen’s protective but understanding mother, a hippie she flags down for a ride and the girls’ idol, punk star Poly Styrene. Director: Alicia J. Rose.

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Sunday, November 18th • 4pm

Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992

Official synopsis: Audre Lorde, the highly influential, award winning African-American lesbian poet went to live in West Berlin in the 1980s. During her stay as a visiting professor, she was the mentor and catalyst who ignited the Afro-German movement. Lorde also had a decisive impact on white women, challenging them to acknowledge the significance of their white privilege and learning to deal with difference in constructive ways. (Community partner: Sistah Sinema and Asian Pacific Islander Pride)

Trailer • Press clippingsFacebook event page


Sunday, November 18th • 6pm

Natural Women – Italian Ladies of Organic Wine

Synopsis: Four organic wine producers talk about their lives, their work as mothers, winegrowers and businesswomen, each telling her story in a different season and a different phase of work in the vineyard or winery. Though completely different, the four women share the same passion for and roots with their homeland. Devoid of bucolic idealisation of farm work, the film gives an accurate portrait of the women by following them in their daily routine, capturing their movement, faces and words. (Presented by: Artigiano, Everyday Wine and Pacific Pie Company)

Trailer •  Facebook event page



Sunday, November 18th • 8pm — CLOSING NIGHT FILM!

Last Call of the Oasis

Official synopsis: Developed, financed and executive produced by Participant Media, the company responsible for An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc. and Waiting For “Superman”, Last Call at the Oasis presents a powerful argument for why the global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century. Illuminating the vital role water plays in our lives, exposing the defects in the current system and depicting communities already struggling with its ill-effects, the film features activist Erin Brockovich and such distinguished experts as Peter Gleick, Alex Prud’homme, Jay Famiglietti and Robert Glennon.

Director bio: Jessica Yu is a director of both documentaries and scripted films. She won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short for Breathing Lessons, a film about Mark O’Brien, the poet who was confined to an iron lung. Her feature comedy debut, Ping Pong Playa premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was released by IFC Films. Her documentaries include the theatrical features Protagonist, In The Realms of The Unreal, HBO’s The Living Museum, and the hybrid short The Kinda Sutra, all of which premiered at Sundance. Currently Yu is in production on a film about the Gorongosa Restoration Project in Mozambique. (Presented by West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and Clean Water Portland)

Clip (Jack Black tries bottled water, created by treated sewage) • Trailer Facebook event page



Thank you to all of our 2012 Partners!

Artigiano restaurant

Arts For All

Asian Pacific Islander Pride

Clean Water Portland

Everyday Wine

Fat Fancy Fashions

Feminist Agenda PDX

Girls Lead — Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy

Kill Rock Stars records

Pacific Pie Company

Portland Community College Women’s Resource Center – Cascade branch

Portland Community College Women’s Resource Center – Rock Creek branch

Portland State University’s Women’s Resource Center

Q Center

Sistahs in Sinema

Tierra Educational Center

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District

Young Women’s Media Center at Harriet Tubman