CASCADIA International Women's Film Festival is entering its eighth festival season dedicated to showcasing the exceptional work of women directors from around the world. To date, CASCADIA has proudly presented the work of more than 220 women directors worldwide. Approximately 40 films will be screened over the course of the four-day in person festival. An online festival version afterwards is also planned.

We are located in beautiful Bellingham, WA, USA. Our area of the Pacific Northwest is an ideal location for both film making and viewing. Bellingham is a city of approximately 100,000 on the shores of Puget Sound and lies halfway between Seattle, WA.and Vancouver, BC, Canada.

CASCADIA presents separate programs for short subject films, feature narrative and documentary films. We showcase women filmmakers from throughout the world as well as local directors, considered to be those working in the region extending from Vancouver B.C., Canada to the Seattle, Wa. metropolitan area. CASCADIA also searches for films by Indigenous women filmmakers and emerging and student filmmakers. Please let us know if you qualify for consideration in this area.

Festival film programs are followed by Q & A with the attending filmmakers and/or an industry or subject panel discussion. The festival also hosts networking and social opportunities specifically for our directors. Directors are our guests at CASCADIA's Saturday night Directors' party. The festival also stages a reception and program with its Honored Guest. Past Honored Guests have been legendary documentary director Barbara Kopple, the only woman to have won two Oscars for Best Direction; renown director Martha Coolidge, first woman DGA president; Cheryl Boone Isaacs, past president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Oscar-winning Documentary Director Freida Lee Mock. The 2020 festival honored the centennial of the 19th Amendment with a special online screening and discussion of the HBO film, "Iron Jawed Angels" directed by Katja von Garnier.

The festival added an online version of the festival in 2020 during the pandemic and has continued since with a hybrid festival showing its films both in person at the theatre give our films and filmmakers greater audience exposure and make them accessible to those who might not otherwise be able to attend an in person festival.

All filmmakers selected for the festival receive a screening fee and laurels.

CASCADIA International Women's Film Festival accepts only short films directed or co-directed by women. To be considered for the 2024 festival, films must have been completed and released AFTER October, 2022. Only completed, final release films will be allowed. No additional editing or revisions will be permitted once a film has been submitted. We accept films of any genre but the running time including titles must be UNDER 20 minutes.

Films must be presented in English. If not, English subtitles or dubbing is required. We will NOT accept films that have been shown previously locally in another festival or at our local theatres (near Bellingham) and prefer that films not be shown in regional festivals or theatres (Near Seattle or Vancouver) or that they are not currently accessible on streaming services such Amazon and Netflix. Closed captioning is encouraged and preferred.

CASCADIA's feature films are curated. If you have a feature you'd like us to consider, you may contact us at and someone will get back to you.

We strongly encourage those considering submitting to review the Official Selections from the previous festivals. This will be a good indicator of the level of quality we are seeking. Trailers for those films may be found on our website.

Overall Rating
  • We do love it when a festival who has a prime focus knocks it out the park! Warm, welcoming, great programming, and good communication. We were very happy to have three very different clients screen in their 2024 edition:

    Bodily Renaissance

    May 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thanks much for your feedback. We work hard to treat all our filmmakers with respect, to keep everyone in the loop and make sure that they have a good time and feel welcomed when here for the in person festival. We were happy to have all three of these films in this year's festival.

  • Amelia Cuttle

    I cannot give the CASCADIA festival more praise. I traveled a long way to attend the festival (I was a part of the script studio!), and it could not have been more worth my time. As a student, this was my first time attending a film festival as a filmmaker and not just an audience member. I was blown away by the hospitality and kindness of my host family, the volunteers, the board members, and the people of Bellingham. I was inspired by the talent, creativity, and intelligence of the brilliant female filmmakers I met. And, I was validated as an artist that I am a writer, I should continue writing, and that there is so much potential ahead. I also just had SO much fun! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this experience. I will certainly be back!

    May 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Amelia for your feedback. We were so pleased to have you with us and know that you had a great experience. Do keep in touch with us and everyone you connected with at the festival. That's a big part of it! We look forward to having you back with us one of these days with or without a script!

  • Nil Unerdem

    Amazing festival in beautiful Bellingham! Cheryl and the board went above and beyond to welcome all the women directors, set up great events, parties, film screenings, panels. It was my favorite fest so far and thank you so much for selecting my short to be part of it! Hope to return in the future.

    June 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Nil! Was wonderful to have you with us for the festival. Look forward to seeing you again soon!

  • NataĊĦa Prosenc Stearns

    Filmmakers receive a royal treatment at Cascadia, which is a festival like no other. From great hospitality, excellent program, to beautiful projections and wonderful people. Don't know how they pull it off so flawlessly! Cheryl and her team are professional, friendly, fun and they draw in the community of Bellingham film fans, who support the festival. Thank you for the unforgettable experience in hopes that our paths cross again.

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Natasa! We were so honored to have you and your film at the festival this year. We look forward to you returnig again soon!

  • Cat Dale

    I took part of the 2023 Script Studio portion of the festival--and it was magical. Thank you for including my script in the festival and allowing me to hear the actors and feedback from the judges. This festival will continue to be one of the best supporting female filmmakers and writers!

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Cat! We're pleased that the experience was helpful. Look forward to seeing another of your scripts in the future and to having you at the festival again!