Northampton Press

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
CONTRIBUTED imageSyd Stauffer, “Make It Pink,” directed by Brandon C. Lay, 3-6 p.m. May 5, Emmaus Theater. CONTRIBUTED imageSyd Stauffer, “Make It Pink,” directed by Brandon C. Lay, 3-6 p.m. May 5, Emmaus Theater.

Emmaus Film Fest: ‘Femmes’

Friday, May 4, 2018 by KATHY LAUER- WILLIAMS Special to The Press in Focus

Emmaus native and award-winning filmmaker Stephanie Gardner wanted to spotlight local films directed by and starring women in her second film festival in her hometown.

“I was excited to find out how many women are making films in the Lehigh Valley,” Gardner says. “It was bigger than I expected.”

She could only include four local films in her red carpet screening at The Emmaus Theater May 5, but they are paired with six international films by women for “Emmaus Film Fest Celebrates Films and Femmes,” a new film festival spotlighting the women of independent cinema from here and abroad.

The curated screening, “Lehigh Valley Visionaries and Global Greatness,” 3 - 6 p.m. May 5, Emmaus Theater, is the main event of the festival May 4-6 that includes free community workshops and panels at Emmaus businesses.

The theme is “The Masks We Wear,” celebrating female filmmakers.

The local films being screened are “Tides of Wyrd,” director Louise Devery, “Make It Pink,” director Brandon C. Lay, “helpless,” director Amanda Seemayer, and “Mayo Girl,” director Jaccii Farris. The films are presented alongside six international films presented in cooperation with the prestigious Taos Shortz Film Festival.

Gardner, a 2004 Emmaus High School graduate, who lives in Taos, N.M., has written, directed, and produced more than 18 short films. One of her films will be screened at the festival. Gardener, a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts, studied in Singapore with Oliver Stone, Todd Solondz, Richard Wesley, and Sabrina Dhawan. She wrote, directed, and produced the multi-award winning “If I Had A Piano (I’d Play You The Blues).”

“I was looking looked for films that were made by women or treated women as the protagonists,” Gardner says. “I want to start a conversation about why we as a society are still afraid of strong women.”

Films screened include adult themes and are for mature audience.

After the screening, there will be a Cinco de Mayo after party, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. May 5, Yergey Brewing, Emmaus, where local filmmakers will receive awards and the audience will enjoy live music, raffles and giveaways, including free samples of mezcal from sponsor Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal. Gardner has invited professional women filmmakers to participate and talk about the art and business of filmmaking as they “mingle over a brew.”

“It will be artistically, emotional and visually stimulating and then we go and have a really fun time,” Gardner says.

Emmaus Film Festival schedule:

Ticket information: