Bluestocking Film Series is an annual multi-day destination festival based in Portland, Maine. Bluestocking celebrates and promotes talented, established and emerging filmmakers who take the creative risk of placing female protagonists front and center, and serves as a showcase to amplify female voices and stories. Bluestocking was the first of its kind: an all-narrative short film festival that requires films to feature female protagonist and pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test.
Bluestocking Film Series is nothing short of genius — a beacon in the storm of gender inequity in Hollywood. The program truly casts a rare light illuminating a better future when women's voices are no longer censored and silenced in American storytelling. It is just this sort of inspired foresight that could result in the inclusion of women in the voice of our civilization — at last. —Maria Giese, film director, founder of Women Directors: Navigating the Hollywood Boys Club
By bringing independent and industry professionals from the U.S. and around the globe to cultivate ties with creative leaders pushing for cultural change from within Hollywood, Bluestocking’s work boldly empowers audiences and filmmakers alike to be a part of a vibrant and necessary cinema (r)evolution that is bound to influence the future of filmed entertainment. Bluestocking is a program of Cinefemme, a non-profit organization that provides fiscal sponsorship and support for women filmmakers and artists.
WHO WE ARE
Bluestocking curates and showcases the "best of the best" female-driven short films produced around the world. We are dedicated to the idea that #RepresentationMatters and look for films that reflect the diversity and multiplicity of the Female Experience. We believe that audiences are hungry to see stories where women and girls lead the action and drive the story, and we are here to provide a smorgasbord of Complex Female Protagonists.
Narrative works by women are so underfunded and underscreened. Bluestocking harvests the best, dynamic works with women in the heart of the frame, the center of the story. —Ariel Dougherty, Media Equity, co-founder Women Make Movies
With every passing year and every screening, we continue to prove that audiences love a good story no matter what the lead character's gender is.
where we've been
Expanding programs every year since 2011, Bluestocking seeks to attract diverse international filmmaking talent and industry leaders to nurture women's individual and collective voices. Bluestocking films travel across the U.S.. and around the world to festivals and venues as screening blocks.
Bluestocking was the real deal with uniting women in film and talking real issues in this business. The camaraderie was real with these filmmakers, and it continues on after. —Yolonda Ross , Actor-Writer-Director
What an inspiring and illuminating weekend the 6th Bluestocking Film Series was for me. I’d covered this festival in the past in my role as Boston Globe local film columnist. But I did not truly grasp how galvanizing and empowering it is for both filmmakers and audiences until I participated myself. It was also amazing to see how much the entire Portland community embraces and celebrates this festival. I moderated a panel discussion to kick off the series and I could not have asked for more informed, lively, passionate participants — and an audience that was equally engaged. The rest of the festival was for me just as enjoyable and eye-opening. From the scope of films to the diversity of filmmakers, the festival manages just the right blend of accessible and sophisticated; it’s welcoming to all, but those who love film and who crave substantial depictions of women will be most satisfied. What a well-produced, thoughtful festival with a clear and important mission. Thank you, Bluestocking; I can’t wait to return! —Loren King, Boston Globe Film Critic
Bluestocking encourages and promotes production of narratives driven by strong, complex female protagonists, characters who are as fully-developed, heroic, complicated, and flawed as their male counterparts, with a marked preference for well-structured, highly visual, cutting edge, provocative films, especially those that explore the plurality and variety of women’s relationships.
Kate Kaminski has been working as an independent filmmaker in Maine since 1990. With partner Betsy Carson, she founded Gitgo Productions in the mid-90s. Together they have produced four indie features, as well as short fiction and non-fiction works that have screened around the world. In 2011, Kaminski founded the Bluestocking Film Series, a curated short film festival that requires films to feature a female protagonist and pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test. It is Maine's only women in film event and the first to receive Sweden's A-Rate (indicating Bechdel-compliance). Kaminski has a bachelor’s in Psychology and a master’s in Film Production. In addition to filmmaking and serving as Bluestocking’s Artistic Director, Kaminski is an adjunct faculty member at University of Southern Maine (since 1999) and Maine College of Art (since 2013).
Wilma Davis works at Tangled Bank Studios, the television & film production company of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Prior to joining Tangled Bank Studios, she worked in feature film development and production with Hollywood filmmakers for over ten years. In her earlier career, Davis worked as a Broadcast Business Manager in Manhattan advertising agencies. She holds an MS in Film from Boston University and a BS in Communications from Emerson College.
Michelle Kantor co-founded Cinefemme as a graduate student at San Francisco State University and has served as Executive Director since 2007. She is an award-winning writer/director and producer dedicated to creating a more inclusive industry by empowering women to greenlight themselves through Cinefemme. The youngest daughter of political refugees who fled Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960’s, she is producing two projects about her family's historic escapes: Red Star (currently in post-production) documents her father's return on the 50th anniversary of his escape, and The Rebel, a narrative feature film in development. With a prolific background in documentary, shorts, and music videos, she works professionally as a producer on RuPaul's Drag Race, directed an episode of Galaxy Confidencial for Time Warner's Desportes Network, and recently shadowed the director on the Paramount scripted television series "Shooter." Her distinctions include Best Music Video at LA Femme Film Festival, Goldfarb Award for Best Student Film, and the Thunen Memorial Scholarship from the Illuminating Engineers Society. Kantor's industry credits include work for HBO, FYI, OWN, World of Wonder, The History Channel, Sony, Universal, MJA Advertising, NASA and the advertising agency BBDO. She holds an MFA in Cinema from SFSU, and BFA in Film Production from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Michelle is also a certified paralegal, artist, and mother.
Maria Giese is a writer-director and founder of Women Directors in Hollywood. Currently attached to two feature films, Giese was elected in 2013 and 2014 as the first ever DGA Women Directors Category Representative, and was appointed co-chair of the DGA-WSC Proposals Subcommittee providing the first official conduit between the DGA Women's Steering Committee and the DGA National Board. Giese is the recipient of numerous awards and has taught film & TV production at UCLA Extension, lectures regularly, and writes extensively about the under-representation of women directors in America on her blog. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and UCLA's Graduate School of Film & Television.