22 Films Celebrating Complex Women Brought To You by the Bluestocking Film Series

Filmmakers, special guests, and lovers of strong female protagonists alike will gather for the sixth annual Bluestocking Film Series in Portland, Maine this July to celebrate women in film. The series celebrates imaginative, well-produced films with multidimensional female characters that propel the narrative.

The film series will present 22 short fiction films from around the world and across a range of genres. This year in particular, Bluestocking added a special Road Movie category in honor of the 25th anniversary of the revolutionary Thelma and Louise. In addition, Bluestocking encouraged as many film entries as possible by waiving the entrance fee for film submissions that were shot with a cell phone.

Below are the official short fiction film selections for 2016:


Bluestocking’s selected films must feature a complex female protagonist and pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test, which has three simple parts: The film must feature at least two women; the women must talk to each other; and the conversation between the women must be about something other than men.

“This year is a total immersive experience of female-driven cinema in every genre,” Artistic Director Kate Kaminski says. “We’ve got wacko comedies, moving dramas, sharp satirical sci-fi and horror films, and road movies that radically reinterpret a narrative often exclusively male. And we’re also dubbing our 6th annual fest as The Year of The Bad Girls, so people can expect women behaving badly too.”

The selected films go beyond one-dimensional female stereotypes so often portrayed in the media. Instead, these films depict more authentic reflections of complex female characters—characters that are just as heroic, interesting, and flawed as their male counterparts.


Juliette Luini is an editorial intern at Ms. and a global youth advocate for The Representation Project. She is also a Comparative Literature major at Middlebury College, where she is a contributing writer for the student-run blog Middbeat, a yoga teacher and a participant in The Consent Project. Juliette is a Los Angeleno (with equal adoration for Vermont), a lover of languages and a travel and road-trip enthusiast.