Women Make Movies present: Early Works by African American Women [In-Person Only]

This event took place Nov 8 - Nov 12, 2023

$14 General Admission
$10 Student/Child/Senior
$7 NWFF Member

2h 7m


(127 min TRT)

Synopses and stills courtesy of Women Make Movies.

Click for Accessibility Info

Ticketing, concessions, cinemas, restrooms, and our public edit lab are located on Northwest Film Forum’s ground floor, which is wheelchair accessible. All doors in Northwest Film Forum are non-motorized, and may require staff assistance to open. Our upstairs workshop room is not wheelchair accessible.

The majority of seats in our main cinema are 21″ wide from armrest to armrest; some seats are 19″ wide. We are working on creating the option of removable armrests!

We have a limited number of assistive listening devices available for programs hosted in our larger theater, Cinema 1. These devices are maintained by the Technical Director, and can be requested at the ticketing and concessions counter. Also available at the front desk is a Sensory Kit you can borrow, which includes a Communication Card, noise-reducing headphones, and fidget toys.

The Forum does NOT have assistive devices for the visually impaired, and is not (yet) a scent-free venue. Our commitment to increasing access for our audiences is ongoing, and we welcome all public input on the subject!

If you have additional specific questions about accessibility at our venue, please contact our Patron Services Manager at maria@nwfilmforum.org. Our phone number (206-329-2629) is voicemail-only, but we check it often.

Made possible due to a grant from Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Sensory Access, our Sensory Access document presents a visual and descriptive walk-through of the NWFF space. View it in advance of attending an in-person event at bit.ly/nwffsocialnarrativepdf, in order to prepare yourself for the experience.

⚠️ Covid-19 Policies ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. We are not currently checking vaccination cards. Recent variants of COVID-19 readily infect and spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about NWFF’s policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

Films in this program:

Killing Time

(Fronza Woods, US, 1979, 10 min)
An offbeat, wryly humorous look at the dilemma of a would-be suicide unable to find the right outfit to die in, examines the personal habits, socialization, and complexities of life that keep us going. “…an unforgettable ten-minute short plumbing the art of everyday horror. The nonchalant mood not only creates deadpan wit but also knowingly hints at a deeper truth: that the alienation of women of color from U.S. society had become surreally normalized.” (Village Voice)

Fannie's Film

(Fronza Woods, US, 1981, 15 min)
A 65-year-old cleaning woman for a professional dancers’ exercise studio performs her job while telling us in voiceover about her life, hopes, goals, and feelings. A challenge to mainstream media’s ongoing stereotypes of women of color who earn their living as domestic workers, this seemingly simple documentary achieves a quiet revolution: the expressive portrait of a fully realized individual. “With this fifteen-minute portrait, Woods isn’t interested in condescendingly canonizing its principal; rather, she makes the mundane facts of Drayton’s life indelible.” (Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice)

A Different Image

(Alile Sharon Larkin, US, 1982, 52 min)
A Different Image is an extraordinary poetic portrait of a beautiful young African American woman attempting to escape becoming a sex object and to discover her true heritage. Through a sensitive and humorous story about her relationship with a man, the film makes provocative connections between racism and sexual stereotyping. “Extraordinary, a fresh and clear expression of an acute sensibility.” (Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times)

The screenplay of A Different Image is published in Screenplays of the African American Experience, edited by Dr. Phyllis R. Klotman.

Your Children Come Back to You

(Alile Sharon Larkin, US, 1979, 27 min)
Your Children Come Back to You is a contemporary allegory about values and assimilation. The film literalizes the meaning of a “mother country” by means of the story of a young girl, Tovi, torn between two surrogate mothers: one comfortably bourgeois, the other nationalist. “…(Larkin’s) pride and sensitivity is matched, happily, by an equal aesthetic sense… If there’s any other film as tender as this one, I haven’t seen it.” (Ruby Rich, The Chicago Reader)

Four Women

(Julie Dash, US, 1975, 10 min)
In this experimental short by Julie Dash – which is one of the first experimental films by a Black woman filmmaker – dancer Linda Martina Young interprets the same-titled ballad by Nina Simone and embodies the spirits of four women: Aunt Sarah, Saffronia, Sweet Thing and Peaches. These women represent common stereotypes of Black women attempting to survive in America.

Diary of an African Nun

(Julie Dash, US, 1977, 13 min)
A nun in Uganda is consumed by fear and doubt about her decision to take the solemn vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Her anguish intensifies night after night as she lies on a hard bed in her small room at the convent and listens to the rhythmic, beckoning drums of her village. Adapted from a short story by Alice Walker, the film was a deliberate first move by director Julie Dash toward narrative filmmaking; it precedes and anticipates her acclaimed film Daughters of the Dust.

About Women Make Movies:

About Women Make Movies:


We support women producers and directors from the beginning, planting the seeds for a diverse and inclusive filmmaking landscape. As the world’s leading distributor of independent films by and about women, we amplify historically ignored voices and challenge the mainstream media. wmm.com

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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