Terror Nullius POW Film Fest

Have you seen Captain Marvel three times in the theater and ache for more movies by, for, and about women and nonbinary people? Me too! Good thing the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival—better known as POW Film Fest—is back for its 12th year, offering an expansive program featuring the work of non-dude filmmakers.

I was able to check out some of the goods already, including the short-film collection “System of Supremacy” (screening Fri March 29), which is anchored by Terror Nullius, about Australia’s history of racism and colonialism. Heavy, right? Yes! But also... super fun? Terror Nullius is an absurd adventure, cut with new and old footage, and it’s gory and weird. I loved balancing the heft of that film with After Fall, a powerful revenge fantasy about what life ~could~ have been like following Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.

My palate cleanser was POW’s “Comedy” shorts program (Thurs March 28), where I found some real treats: Decadeless, about two teenage girls having a simple, stony night out on the town, isn’t a gutbuster, but it is sweet and relatable. What is a gutbuster is Made Public, about a wedding-day social media crisis. I won’t spoil it, but I cringed AND lol’d.

The fest also has a handful of feature-length films, including Facing the Dragon (Sun March 31), a documentary about two prominent professional Afghan women that was shot over the course of four years (whoa, yes!), and Los Silencios (Fri March 29), about a family that unwittingly settles on an Amazonian ghost island (whoa, YES YES YES!).

Another awesome thing about the festival is the organization behind it: Throughout the year, POW runs workshops that help teenage girls learn about the filmmaking process. If you or someone you know is a teenage girl, look into it. We need more of all of this. Because while I wholly support watching Captain Marvel as many times as possible, POW offers plenty of other opportunities for women to get things done.