Taking place annually in July in beautiful Portland, Maine, Bluestocking Film Festival is an exclusive showcase for high-quality, provocative short fiction films featuring complex female protagonists driving the story and leading the action.

All short film submissions therefore must have a female main character and also pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test (include at least 2 or more female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man). At every screening since we began in 2011, we prove that audiences love a good story no matter what the lead character's gender is.

We are very proud to have received FilmFreeway’s “100 Best Reviewed Festivals” designation two months in a row in 2016.

For its 7th season, and for the first time ever, Bluestocking's show will go on the road throughout 2017 as a program of Cinefemme! A gala one-night-only premiere will take place this May in Los Angeles where we'll screen Bluestocking's 2017 selections (exact date TBA). After our opening show, the films will travel around Maine, across the U.S. and around the world to reach new audiences and to build capacity with lovers of great female-driven films, wherever they may be.

Women are over 50% of the population, yet to this day, women still play a leading role in films only 12% of the time. Bluestocking demonstrates that women and girls can legitimately dream of driving the action in a film and becoming a writer-producer-director.

In July 2016, Bluestocking's 3-day festival and screenings reached 500+ audience in Maine and brought filmmakers and honored guests together for networking and connection. Our Best of Bluestocking show screened internationally last fall in Manchester, U.K. and twice in Sweden.

Bluestocking's 2016 prize jury notably included Amma Asante (British Academy of Film and Televsion Arts award-winning film director), Michelle Kantor (Cinefemme) and Maria Giese (Women Directors in Hollywood).

Tema Staig, founder of Women In Media, presented one of our evening programs and hosted a fun, packed, opening night networking event. Bloggers Megan Kearns (Bitch Flicks), Che Grayson (TED Resident), Annie LaBarba (NYWIFT), and New Hampshire-based Leah Gage (who wrote about the event in real-time) all were in attendance to document the event.

A special afternoon screening of historic female-driven films was presented by Women Make Movies co-founder Ariel Dougherty. We hosted an opening day panel (moderated by Boston Globe film critic, Loren King; with panelists Yolonda Ross, Maria Giese, Ariel Dougherty, and Alison Beyea, ACLU of Maine), which was followed that night by a gala opening night party featuring great drink, food, and conversation.

"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

"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

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Again, to be considered, your submission must feature a female protagonist and pass The Bechdel-Wallace Test (film must include at least 2 female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man). We reserve the right to reject any film that doesn't pass the test, regardless of any of its other virtues.

NOTE WELL: we invite submissions of short fiction films ONLY, with a preference for films 15 minutes in running time or less. Feature length films are not considered. Nonfiction films/documentaries are not considered.

Rules & Terms

As a showcase for talented directors (whether established or emerging), the Bluestocking Film Series seeks high-quality, provocative, and innovative films that feature complex female protagonists and pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test (2 or more fem characters who talk to each other about something other than a man).

We're specifically looking for cinematic stories that portray women characters who are as strong, complicated, flawed, and heroic as their male counterparts and highlight female relationships with each other. Please note: Films that center stories of female relationships with men (or boys) are not in keeping with our mission, however good they might be.

BLUESTOCKING FILM SERIES GENERAL GUIDELINES:

You must be 18 years of age or older to submit a film.

By submitting your work, you guarantee that your entry is your original work, and does not infringe on the copyright or other rights of other people. You further guarantee that all listed creators have authorized submission to Bluestocking Film Series.

If selected, you agree to allow Bluestocking Film Series to screen your film in public, at booked screenings throughout 2017. By submitting your film, you also guarantee that you have no distribution agreements that would disallow us to screen your film as described.

Until dates and venues are confirmed on our website, please note that dates and venues are subject to change.

JUDGING PROCESS
We watch submitted films in their entirety. Submitted films are initially assessed by Artistic Director and Lead Curator Kate Kaminski, then films are viewed by a select panel of judges to be assessed and scored according to our guidelines and mission. Please read through all criteria before submitting your film. All selection decisions are final.

ALL submissions must
1) feature a complex female protagonist in the leading role
2) pass The Bechdel-Wallace Test.

Therefore, all submissions are required to feature 2 (or more) female characters who talk to each other (for more than a few seconds) about something other than a man (or men or boys).

All films must be submitted electronically. No DVD entries will be considered.

TERMS & CONDITIONS
I hereby agree for my film to be screened at Bluestocking Film Series events. I have the express authority to submit the film to the festival and I guarantee that I have obtained all necessary rights for a film festival screening. We reserve the right to use a clip or photos from accepted entries for promotional purposes. The Bluestocking Film Series will not be held responsible in the case that screening materials are stolen, lost or damaged during shipment. We do not return materials submitted for consideration. Please do not send originals! The organizers reserve the right to decide all questions regarding the rules and regulations. Further, the Bluestocking Film Series reserves the exclusive right to determine what constitutes "passing" the Bechdel-Wallace Test when selecting submissions.

5 Reviews

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
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    Maureen OConnell

    This is a brilliant film festival. They are so warm and welcoming.
    The films shown were of such a high quality and there were wonderfully stimulating Q&A sessions after the screenings. And it was such fun!

    It's one of the best U.S. film festivals, So, don't hesitate to send your films.

    September 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Mo! We hope you'll come back one day — with another great short film.

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    Dawn Jones Redstone

    I've been on the festival circuit with Sista in the Brotherhood for about 6 months now and I can affirm that out of all the festivals I've attended, this has been the most organized, thought out and nurturing to the filmmaker community. I was impressed with the quality of the films screened and appreciated the chance to network with fellow filmmakers. Highly recommend.

    July 2016
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    Response from festival:

    So appreciate this wonderful review, Dawn! We loved hosting you. Please come back with another film some day.

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    Sebastian Bertoli

    Unfortunately we couldn't attend (as Maine, USA from Melbourne, Australia is a fair hike) but all my communication with Kate Kaminski was so very positive and enthusiastic. Would definitely submit again - and hopefully one day attend!

    July 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Sebastian. Sorry we couldn't host you this year — the audience really enjoyed your film. We hope to see more from you and look forward to meeting you one day! (And remember: all Bluestocking filmmakers receive 100% fee waiver when submitting a second time.)

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    Jeffrey Blake Palmer

    We cannot speak highly enough of this destination festival in beautiful Portland Maine. The Bluestocking crew, headed by their fearless and tireless leader Kate Kaminski, dazzled the audience with amazing films and offered a variety of networking opportunities for filmmakers & cast alike. Our short film "Split Costs" had its World Premiere which went off without a hitch. The staff, the setting, the vibe... all good! This is a festival that champions films with complex female protagonists and celebrates women behind the camera as well as those in front of the lens. You can't go wrong at the Bluestocking Film Series!

    July 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Jeff — it was really wonderful to have you and your team join us at Bluestocking 2016! We're proud to have been your World Premiere and hope "Split Costs" goes on to enjoy a great festival run. We'll look forward to seeing what's next for you!

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    Eve Edelson

    [Attended in 2016.]

    This well-run festival delivers what it promises - a lot of films in which women play a central creative role. The team are committed to making filmmakers feel at home, and they are beyond gracious. They go all out to make things work.

    There are networking opportunities with filmmakers from across the country. I went to all the sessions: a few panels, five blocks of short films, breakfasts and post-film receptions. The films were projected in very nice facilities.

    It's not just for women - men are involved creatively and also a strong presence at the festival. But the "Sisterhood" vibe is strong. The curated program included filmmakers of all ages and different kinds of subject matter. There were films from a number of countries, some truly weird and/or quirky (which is to my taste).

    Portland, Maine is very walkable and there's lots to see and do in this seaside town (including of course sailing and kayaking). It adds to the appeal of the festival, and the festival is a cultural asset for Portland.

    Thumbs up.

    July 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Eve, thank you! We couldn't have imagined a better entry than "Start the Invasion Without Me" for our Bluestocking 2016 Cellphone Challenge and we were so glad you could be here to watch it with our audience. We look forward to seeing what's next for you!