Saturday, March 5, 2011

FantAsian: Fantasy Films by Asian Women Invade March 6th BleedFest!

My good friend and blazingly smart filmmaker Elizabeth Fies has been working her tail off to promote amazing work written, produced and directed by women.  With the tireless help of her sister Brenda, they have created the Bleedfest film festival to showcase badass genre work that would otherwise go unnoticed. If you're in the L.A. area, be sure to check it out!

Los Angeles, California-- March 4, 2011 --

Monthly badass genre film festival BleedFest continues its quest for gender equality in movies and moviemaking with its March 2011 charity and screening event. The theme of BleedFest's March 6th event is FantAsian: Fantasy and musicals by female Asian filmmakers.

Deepika Daggubati will be present for a Q &A after her fantasy musical feature WAKING DREAMS, as will Anna Biller for a retrospective of her subversive retro shorts including THREE EXAMPLES OF MYSELF AS QUEEN. Carly Lyn will receive her Inanna Award statue for A FOUNDLING, and Nora Jesse will receive the Best Producer certificate award for her satirical short GRANDPA. Susan Bell will accept the Partnership certificate award for FIELDS OF MUDAN. Special appearances on our red carpet include rapper Lil Zane, writer/director Steve De Jarnatt (MIRACLE MILE, CHERRY 2000), The Garza Sisters (TRANSYLMANIA, The Doublemint Twins), featured alumnae and actors: Sulekha Naidu, Deepika Daggubati, Anna Biller, Jared Sanford, Carly Lyn, Susan Bell, Cindy Baer, Tara Cardinal, and Nora Jesse. The volunteer bartender for the event will be comedian Candice Rankin, who will perform part of her routine at the May 1st BleedFest Event. Schedule subject to change, personal appearances dependent on schedule.

Featured guests and audience members are invited to have their photos taken on the BleedFest red carpet between 11-11:30am and 1-1:30pm. There will be two event photographers, including stalwart Winston Burris, whose past BleedFest photos have been featured on the front page of  PR and Online magazine will be back again to cover the red carpet and video interview filmmakers and actors about their projects.

BleedFest's charity events for the month of March are a book drive for BRIDGE TO ASIA (READ THIS LIST on their website and bring an approved educational or text book). Or you can donate cash to THE ASIA FOUNDATION-WOMENS EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM and get into BleedFest for half off (five dollars).

Sunday marks the fifth BleedFest event, which has taken critics and the genre world by storm showcasing over a dozen unexpected and bold genre shorts and features by women every month. Festival co-founders and masterminds Brenda Fies and Elisabeth Fies say May 2011 could be the last event unless a title sponsor can be found. Says filmmaker and programmer Brenda Fies, "My sister and I started BleedFest because of all the incredible female artists we met on the festival circuit who weren't getting their movies played as much as the boys, and weren't getting studio deals and funding for their next picture. Before meeting these women and seeing their work, we bought the party line that they didn't exist or weren't making movies as good as men's. We started BleedFest to dispel these myths and get eyeballs on fantastic films that we knew the genre community didn't want to miss. Sadly, the financial burden of putting on a monthly festival that charges no entry fees, gives bronze award statues to winners, and an open bar to its audience has taken a financial toll on the Fies Sisters in this recession. "I wish we could continue shouldering the fiscal responsibility and asking the community for monthly donations through our IndieGoGo fundraisers, but it's just not feasible that we continue on past May working full time on BleedFest without a title sponsor. It's been my sister's and my privilege to fund BleedFest with the help of the generous donations from audience members, filmmakers, our wonderful volunteers, and especially co-sponsors Film Radar and Werewolf For We sincerely hope the genre communities can provide help finding a title sponsor. Because no woman should have their awesome film sitting in their closet because they don't know what to do with it next." Several BleedFest alumna have received theatrical and DVD distribution offers as a result of their BleedFest screenings. A dozen have received more festival screenings at Miguel Rodriguez's Horrible Imaginings, Mike Snoonian's All Things Horror, or Jennifer Cooper's Jennifer's Bodies in Scotland. Many alumni attest to the Fies Sisters' PR savvy and BleedFest's dozen Press Partners who cover the event monthly, review the films, and even interview alumnae. Says Partnership Award winner Dave Reda "My movies have played in many festivals. BleedFest is brand new and got me as many reviews as top tier festival" (BleedFest December 2010 WINNER for THE HORROR OF OUR LOVE). Carly Lyn, writer/director of A FOUNDLING (BleedFest January 2011 WINNER Best Picture) states "I received more press coverage from BleedFest than from paying a Hollywood publicist $7,500. The exposure the Fies Sisters provide for filmmakers is invaluable."

Elisabeth Fies stresses the fight isn't over yet, and the Fies Sisters are still aggressively pursuing companies. "Our dream is to be hosting the Tampax BleedFest Film Festival, or the Belvedere Vodka BleedFest Film Festival. Corporations are so hip nowadays, why wouldn't they want to follow the Dove route of marketing directly to their female patrons with empowering content? But for now, we're relying on the generosity of our amazing fans through our IndieGoGo campaign, which offers some really fun perks including t-shirts and autographed posters." April's campaign will be up soon will be available at next week. The March BleedFest fundraiser at IndieGoGo is located here:  

The February BleedFest WiHM Blood Drive was a smashing success, raising 25 pints of blood for the Twisted Twins Massive February Blood Drive. Many celebrities walked the red carpet or snuck in to the blood mobiles to quietly give blood without fanfare. Special appearances included Michael Worth, Diana Hart, Devanny Pinn, Lori Bowen, Lil Zane, Kevin Tenney, Michelle Tomlinson, Viscera Film Festival founder Heidi Martinuzzi, model Olga Socal, musician Shawn Bowen, and first ladies of horror Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley. BleedFest Inanna Award winners included horror mistresses Katt Shea and Stacy Title, and Aussie slasher SLAUGHTERED which made its triumphant US premier. Ray McDermott was on hand to present co-sponsor Film Radar's Award to Susan Bell's frightening A PATCHWORK MONKEY. The audience award for Best Horror Short went to Terryll Shaffner for her lyrical retro vampire tale THRENODY. Other audience favorites of the day included whacky gorefest DAY OF THE HELL HAMSTERS and the indescribable cartoon stylings of  Sarah Brown's zombie kitty apocalypse MEOW. Coverage of BleedFest's February Women in Horror Blood Drive event can be found here: next BleedFest will be Sunday April third, and the theme is THRILLHER. Canadian filmmaker Maude Michaud is flying in for a retrospective of her shorts and to world premier short RED and the first episode of BLOODY BREASTS: AN EXPLORATION OF WOMEN, FEMINISM, AND HORROR. The April feature film will be the world premier of the anthology I HATE LA. The horror feature is 11 interlocking vignettes by seven horror mistresses including Barbara Stepansky, Maude Michaud, Tyrrell Shaffner, Heidi Hornbacher, Marichelle Daywalt, Elisabeth Fies and Brenda Fies. Drew Daywalt will receive the Partnership Award for his short SUICIDE GIRL.

More information is available at


Full March 6th Schedule:

March BleedFest Event: FANTASIAN
Sunday March 6th, 2011
TIME: 11am-4:00pm (come and go as you please!)
Downloadable/printable PDF: march_BleedFest_schedule

Location: CAP Theatre
13752 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Free unlimited street parking.

$10 cash at door for all day ticket and open bar
(Mimosas, Bloody Marys, red and white wine)
$5 with cash donation to Asia Foundation Women’s Empowerment Fund or bring an approved book donation to Bridge to Asia.

11am-11:30am Red Carpet, Mixer, Open Bar

FAIRY BALLET, 1998 (11 minutes)
A VISIT FROM THE INCUBUS, 2001 (26 minutes)
VIVA, feature trailer 2007 (2 minutes)

“Biller paints feminist fantasies with her lush 35mm film stock, fetishistic detail, trademark humor and intelligence. Not content to be a regular multi-hyphenate, Ms. Biller acts, writes, produces, directs, scores, sings, and creates the spectacular settings and costumes. Ms. Biller both worships and reimagines our celluloid history with her blend of wit, camp, y chromosome perspective, and love of movies. It is a cinematic crime that she has not been given a Hollywood deal.”
Inanna Award presented to Anna Biller
Q & A with Anna Biller

12:45pm-12:50pm A FOUNDLING TRAILER

Inanna Award presented to Carly Lyn of A FOUNDLING (screened at BleedFest in January)
“An important film. We were thrilled to play the sci-fi/western/drama A FOUNDLING in January to a warm and enthusiastic crowd ready for a smart, genre-bending film steeped in feminist film theory and issues of race, gender, other, and literal alienation. It is beautifully shot and directed, with fine acting performances.” – BleedFest Film Festival

GRANDPA, 2009 (2 minutes) produced by Nora Jesse
“There’s someone I’d like you to meet.”

Inanna Certificate Award accepted by producer Nora Jesse, writer/director Andy Novak. Q&A.
“A cute AND provocative take on the current climate of race relations versus gender politics. Kind of amazing that 32 years after Yoko Ono’s provocative quote and Lennon’s song immortalizing this ‘slave of the slave’ stance, women are still subservient to men across all cultures.” – BleedFest Film Festival

1:00-1:30pm BREAK Red Carpet, Mixer, Open Bar

1:30-3:20pm FEATURE

WAKING DREAMS, 2007 (92 minutes)

comedy/romance/fantasy/musical by Deepika Daggubati
Bollywood meets Texas, when a dreamer discovers the world of professional gamers.
Inanna Award presented to Deepika Daggubati
Q & A with writer/director Deepika Daggubati, actress Sulekha Naidu, producer Kalyan Vindhya
“We started BleedFest to show ambitious films like WAKING DREAMS. Deepika’s tyro feature is a brave and bold act of courage allowing a glimpse into the female Indian American culture, and the pressures still constricting modern Indian American women. The movie utilizes a vibrant backdrop of fantasy, humor, and whimsy while telling a humanist story about a female protagonist straddling two cultures and a global recession, in the middle of a quarter life crisis. The feature was a huge undertaking with a large cast of industry vets, shot on two continents, with elaborate dance numbers and even animation. We’re thrilled that WAKING DREAMS is coming to DVD to find the audience that will appreciate Ms. Daggubati’s fine work.”

3:20pm-3:30pm BREAK

FIELDS OF MUDAN (23 minutes) by Stevo Chang
Drama 2004

A young Asian girl, Mudan, is forced into modern day slavery by a brutal child brothel owner. Mudan soon befriends another young girl in the brothel, and starts dreaming of a better life with her mother in America.
Inanna Certificate Award accepted by Associate Producer Susan Bell. Q & A.
“The sex slave industry is an issue near and dear to our hearts. We are proud to present this fine, moving short. Another stellar achievement from Florida State University.” – BleedFest Film Festival

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