IT'S A BANNER WEEK in the world of Northwest filmmaking. The Northwest Filmmakers' Festival (formerly known as the Northwest Film and Video Festival) not only kicks off with a particularly pride-inducing schedule of films, but it also dovetails with the Northwest Film Center's 40th anniversary. Regardless of how far you're prepared to dip into the festival schedule (see for complete info), here are the highlights you should take extra pains not to sleep on:

Woman Waiting—Part of opening night's Shorts I program, Vancouver, BC's Antoine Bourges' melancholy portrait of a down-luck woman expertly demonstrates the dramatic potential of a solitary 15 minutes. (Fri Nov 11, 7 pm, Wed Nov 16, 7 pm)

Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?—This 82-minute documentary from Portland's Taggert Siegel addresses the potential ramifications of Colony Collapse Disorder among bee populations. Urgent and informative, it's an intelligent, clear-eyed, and succinct explication of one of the most important potential threats currently facing mankind. (Sun Nov 13, 3 pm)

How to Die in Oregon—This unflinchingly emotional documentary from Portland's Peter D. Richardson about physician-assisted suicide should be required viewing for all mortals. (Mon Nov 14, 8:30 pm)

Teens in Drug Treatment—Portland director Brian Lindstrom's uncompromising look at troubled youth in Texas and Florida is paired with Janet McIntyre's non-judgmental Faded: Girls + Binge Drinking for a sobering double whammy. (Thurs Nov 17, 7 pm)

The Wanteds: The Part of Rock and Roll They Never Tell You About—Stephanie Smith's portrait of aspiring Portland musician Tommy Harrington didn't set out to be as heavy and heart-shattering as it became, but it wears it quite well. (Fri Nov 18, 8:30 pm)

How The Fire Fell—E.P. Davee's chilling telling of the Bride of Christ Church cult is easily the must-see narrative feature to have emerged from Portland in the past year. (Sat Nov 19, 7 pm)

Bucksville—Making its premiere at the festival, Chel White's tale of a small-town militia is more emotional drama than action film, bolstered by polished performances and crisp production—thanks in part to executive producer Tom Berenger, who also delivers a cameo appearance. (Sun, Nov 20, 6 pm)