2017 #LAWOMENSFEST BEST OF FEST
Directed by Bette Gordon
Based on Pat Barker’s book Border Crossing, The Drowning is a psychological thriller that begins as psychologist Tom Seymour (Josh Charles), out walking with his wife Lauren (Julie Stiles), plunges into an icy river to rescue a young man (Avan Jogia) from drowning. Tom’s spontaneous act saves the man’s life only to reveal that he is the same boy who was convicted of a chilling murder 12 years earlier, based on Tom’s expert witness testimony. When Danny reappears in Tom’s life, Tom is drawn into a destructive, soul-searching reinvestigation of the case. Complex, riveting and unafraid to tread deep, murky psychological waters, this is a story of shifting identities that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Best Dramatic Short
Directed by Alana Smithee
Jesse is an introverted young girl, struggling with acceptance. When a school assignment asks her to answer the question, “Who Am I?, she desperately wants to show everyone her gift. Jesse soon realizes that not everyone wants her to be herself. Her harried, loving dad wants her to be his little girl. Her dance teacher wants her to be like all the other proper ballerinas. At school, the pressure to conform, hide her light and pretend she’s like everyone else, has never been greater. Can Jesse be brave enough to be her true self in spite of everyone’s expectations…
Best Documentary Feature
Directed by Jon Kean
After Auschwitz is the latest film by documentarian Jon Kean. It's an emotional sequel to his acclaimed film “Swimming in Auschwitz”, where he followed the lives of six women as they faced the fall of Europe and the horrors of the Nazi Third Reich in Auschwitz-Birkenau. After Auschwitz follows the lives of the same six women as they transition from the fear of imminent death the day before liberation in 1945 through their post-war returns to hometowns in Europe to continued survival in present day Los Angeles. Their stories of the changing face of American society in the second half of the 20th century are much more resonant as they are told through the lens of women who have survived the worst atrocity in modern history.
Best Documentary Short
Breaking Silence aims to take the first steps towards opening up the conversation about the inescapable fact that sexual assault and abuse are prevalent and widespread within the Muslim community. By exposing the realities of sexual assault and rape with women opening up on camera, this short doc aims to be a driver of change as the community will be forced to face the issue head on.