CASCADIA International Women's Film Festival is entering its seventh festival season dedicated to showcasing the exceptional work of women directors from around the world. Approximately 40 films will be screened over the course of the four-day in person festival and in an online festival version afterwards.

We are located in beautiful Bellingham, WA, USA. Our area of the Pacific Northwest is an ideal location for both filmmaking and viewing. Bellingham is a city of approximately 90,000 on the shores of Puget Sound and lies halfway between Seattle, WA.and Vancouver, BC.

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.

Most 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 also 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 renown director Martha Coolidge, 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.

In 2020 and 2021the festival moved online due to COVID-19. In 2022, the festival continued with a hybrid festival showing its films both in person at the theatre and online a week later. CASCADIA plans to repeat this format again in 2023 to 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 2023 festival, films must have been completed and released AFTER October, 2021. 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 25 minutes. Our feature films are curated. 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. 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
  • Katie Green

    We were delighted that our student film, "Crossing Lines," participated in this year's festival. Communication was excellent. We will be waiting to submit again next year! Thank you to everyone on the team.

    May 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Katie. We were pleased to include "Crossing Lines" in the 2022 festival and look forward to seeing more films from you this year!

  • Ashley Brim

    This is one of the best fests out there. Bellingham is beautiful and the community loves this fest so the screenings are packed and if you stay the whole weekend (DO!) you will get to chat with folks about your movie every day.

    The festival coordinates housing for the directors and I was totally overwhelmed by the generosity shown by my host. She did airport runs, stocked the fridge with food requests, and helped us navigate the city.

    I also made great connections with other filmmakers! So grateful I am now part of the Cascadia family. Thank you Cheryl and the spectacular CIWFF team!

    May 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Ashley! We were so glad you could be here for the festival and become a member of the CASCADIA festival family! Look forward to seeing more of your work and to having you back soon.

  • Wonderful experience. Excellent communication. Great feedback and reception from the Cascadia team.

    May 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Melissa. We were happy to have you as one of the 2022 Script Studio writers. Keep writing and be sure to let us know when you have another script or film you'd like us to consider! Script Studio submissions will open in November.

  • All the five stars - this was such a great experience! I got excellent feedback on my script from true industry professionals of a caliber I did not expect to see at such a budget-friendly festival. I will definitely be entering again next year with a different project!

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Cathy! Great to know you had a good experience. We at CASCADIA work hard to honor our filmmakers and scriptwriters and want them to have the best experience with them possible. We'll look forward to your next project!

  • Janire Etxabe

    I am very happy that HARRIA HERRIA has been screened at the festival.
    The whole team has been very attentive with me.
    I am looking forward to finishing my second short film to repeat the experience.

    June 2021