Women Directors Shine at 2016 DTLA Film Festival,  Presented by Toyota Mirai, Los Angeles, Sept. 21-28, L.A. LIVE

Women Directors Shine at 2016 DTLA Film Festival, Presented by Toyota Mirai, Los Angeles, Sept. 21-28, L.A. LIVE

14 films directed by women in 2016 line-up, including award-winning homeless youth drama ‘Between the Miles,’ complex character piece ‘Erasing Eden’ by three-time Emmy nominee Beth Dewey, and Margaret Byrne’s intimate look at rural poverty ‘Raising Bertie’

LOS ANGELES – September 19, 2016 – The 8th annual DTLA Film Festival, presented by Toyota Mirai, will once again showcase some of the best in cutting-edge indie filmmaking by women. From narrative features to documentaries and shorts, from L.A. to Berlin to Cuba, the 14 women-directed films in the 2016 line-up tell original, compelling stories and highlight the complex realities of the modern female experience.

Last year DTLA Film Festival became the first non-genre-specific film festival to establish a goal that that half of its films would be by women directors. (The final count was 64% of the films screening at the 2015 festival were by women filmmakers.)

The 2016 DTLA Film Festival, which begins for 8 days on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at L.A. LIVE, continues the commitment to showcasing the work of women filmmakers. One of the highly anticipated feature films of the festival week will be Michelle Opitz’s award-winning, autobiographically inspired Between the Miles, screening September 27 at 10:00 pm. In the AFI graduate’s complex feature film debut about teen homelessness set in Los Angeles, Florence (Leigh Schindler), a hapless musician, takes three homeless teens off the streets and into her care only to realize she has to overcome her own reckless tendencies in order to care for them.

“I had the idea for the film when I was teaching music video production to homeless and at-risk teens all over L.A. and some of the kids were displaced after their center had shut down,” explained Opitz, who also hopes the film will help to change common misconceptions about homeless people: “We sometimes judge people right up-front and have these predetermined judgments on the homeless population or the street teens that we see but they all have a story and they need a chance.”

Beth Dewey’s character drama Erasing Eden promises to be another gem among the feature film submissions this year. In her second feature, Dewey, a three-time Emmy nominee for her editing work on the Oscars, follows Eden, a self-described “master of self-sabotage,” who puts her wedding on the line to reclaim her identity and prove that she alone can make or break herself. Independently financed and shot over the course of three years, Dewey described the film as having “a total self-empowerment, feminist bent. It is about someone having control over their own life, albeit in a slightly self-destructive manner. But it is definitely a very self-determining story.” Starring Breeda Wool (from Lifetime’s TV series UnREAL) and Ben Rovner (Area 51), Erasing Eden screens Monday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 pm.

The music documentary How Berlin Got The Blues by Victoria Luther takes the viewer back to Cold War Germany. It traces how musician Ebylee Davis spread the blues to East and West Berliners during his stint in the U.S. Army. It screens Saturday, Sept. 24, at 8:00 pm.

Two other documentary features by women filmmakers at this year’s festival are Margaret Byrne’s Raising Bertie and Nicole Di Rocco’s Pastport Cuba. While Raising Bertie, which will screen in the festival’s special series on Income Inequality, is an intimate portrait of three boys growing into adulthood in a rural African-American community, Pastport Cuba unveils the mystery behind a country often misunderstood, as it follows director Di Rocco and her parents returning to the country they left almost 50 years ago. Pastport Cuba screens in the festival’s special series on Cuba, while another feature film, Millie and the Lords (Jennica Carmona), about a young Puerto Rican woman from Spanish Harlem secretly longing for a different life, is part of the festival’s American-Latino Series.

In the shorts section, women directed more than half a dozen films: Dreamworld (Johanna Siracusa), The Graveyard Shift (Lara Arikan), Have You Seen My Boyfriend? (Beth Rowe, Lexi Langill), Lay It On Me (Michelle Larkin), NOTFUCKINAROUNDCREW (Lyle Friedman), Spectrum (Katelyn Schulfer), Zulu Maniacs (Rachael Pelzer) as well as Domino (Maylen Calienes) in the Cuban Film Series. While the latter explores how the game of Domino is played by some of the characters inside the famous Domino Park en la Calle Ocho in Miami, an unlikely character is at the center of Larkin’s Lay It On Me: a mattress. It tells the stories of the lives of the couples and people connected through it over the course of five decades. For her clever directorial debut, Larkin has won several awards, including Best Director of a Short Film at The International Film Festival Nice.

DTLA Film Festival programming director Carolyn Schroeder is pleased with the strong submissions by women filmmakers the festival received this year. “The film industry continues to grossly underrepresent womenin the executive office and behind the camera. Our showcase of the work of some incredibly talented women directors, whether in the feature film, special series or shorts sections, is one more crack in Hollywood’s glass ceiling,” she said.

The 2016 DTLA Film Festival is presented by Toyota Mira. The festival is sponsored by Regal L.A. Live: A Barco Innovation Center, UCLA Extension, City Club Los Angeles, Mrs. Fish, Council District 14 – Jose Huizar | City of Los Angeles, 8th & Grand Luxury Apartments, The Park DTLA, Level Furnished Living, ChillHound, Los Angeles Times, BitTorrent Now, Metro, Wynning Touch Event Planning, Cloud 19, Fostered Productions, District Restaurant on the Bloc, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, Little Easy, Down and Out, and Creative Handbook.


Press Contact:
Alisse Kingsley
for DTLA Film Festival

Press Credentials:
To apply for press credentials for the 2016 DTLA Film Fest, contact info@dffla.com.

About DTLA Film Fest
The only major film festival in the Capital of Cool – downtown Los Angeles – DTLA Film Festival was established in 2008 as a showcase for independent cinema in the historic core of the Film Capital of the World. The festival embraces its mission to reflect in its programming the unique cultural, ethnic and gender diversity of downtown Los Angeles and its neighboring communities. DTLA Film Fest is produced annually by a nonprofit arts organization that is led by a volunteer group of filmmakers and community activists.

Erasing Eden Movie

Erasing Eden Movie

Official Selection of the Downtown LA Film Fest


Monday, September 26th @ 7:30 pm – Erasing Eden – Los Angeles Premier






Stars Breeda Wool and Ben Rovner
Directed by Beth Dewey
Written by Beth Dewey and Justo Diaz
Director of Photography Yasu Tanida. Produced by Tina Pavlides

A young woman plunges her life into chaos by drinking herself into a blackout the night before her wedding, facing the ultimate soul-searching. She decides her own fate, recognizing that she has the power to make or break herself.




toronto-film-scene“ERASING EDEN is a unique and emotional character piece you shouldn’t miss…”

“Dewey creates the perfect headspace for the viewer to be in.”

– ANDREW PARKER, Toronto Film Scene

Read more…





STUDIO Selectees, Casting Directors Call for Diversity, and Erasing Eden

Read more…


Beth Dewey’s ‘Erasing Eden’ to Premiere at Female Eye Film Festival, 

Read more…


Pimp Girl Trailer

Pimp Girl Trailer


A vigilante finds superhuman powers in acts of altruism which conflict with her agenda of revenge (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo meets Kick Ass).

Produced by: Beth Dewey
Executive producer: Tina Pavlides
Director: Beth Dewey
Cinematography by: Yasu Tanida
Written by: Beth Dewey and Justo Diaz
Starring: Angela Gots

How to navigate SXSW and find a sex party

How to navigate SXSW and find a sex party

I recently met Janet Pierson, the visionary force behind SXSW.  I stalked her at an event as she added condiments to her dinner, plaguing her with some inane small talk.  Eventually she turned and hammered, “Have you ever been to SXSW?  I advise all filmmakers to actually GO to the festival.”  Damn.  Okay.  So I did.

As a filmmaker who makes a living  via reality TV, there were plenty of reasons to go.  My ten-year marriage had recently tanked so I was beholden to no one..  I hopped a plane for Austin for a whopping two days.  I had to work on Monday so I only had the weekend.  Luckily, I did the smartest thing possible… I went for the Interactive week, as opposed to the film or music week.  Why?  Because the indie film world and television, as we know it, are dead.  It’s fucking over.  There’s a whole new generation of people  who don’t watch conventional TV and the world is their oyster.

01-SXSW-2015 Beth Dewey

Goldman Sachs Party SXSW 2015

Nothing could drive that point home more than a Goldman Sach’s party  at a downtown rooftop, during the height of interactive week as opposed to film week.

The party was to capacity and the attendees were an attractive blend of techies, locals and venture capitalists.  Most all were under thirty and don’t give two shits about three act structures or the star power of former Duck Dynasty cast members. Who do they love?  “The Fat Jew” – the celeb from Instagram, aka comedian Josh Ostrovsky.  His appearance at the NewsCred brunch was one of the highlights of SXSW, for  the social media savy.  He is so incredibly talented and funny I want to dip him in chocolate, roll him in Cheetos, then eat him up then pick my teeth with his dog Toast.  Except I don’t eat sugar or grains. I need to stay fit for my new hobby – sex parties.

Before ‘ya’all judge, here’s the back-story.  The last year of my marriage was plagued with a sexual drought, so  I felt the clock ticking on my sexuality.  The late Joan Rivers once said, “What is this grey thing down by my ankles – oh, it’s my vagina”.  She’s not kidding – Fifty shades of grey takes on a whole new meaning.  So I decided to celebrate the golden years of my sexuality by attending as many swingers clubs and sex parties as possible.

Cut to later that night waiting in line outside the Vimeo party.  When surrounded by that much youth, I often feel like a vampire.  I flashback on all the other lives I’ve lived and wonder if the people around me know I’m actually a million years old.  Anyway, as much as I loved chatting, I was anxious to get my roam on.  It was already 11:00 pm and that line was not moving.  So I made the executive decision to call Uber (I know, they’re lady haters but I hadn’t set up my other accounts yet).


Vimeo Dance Party Vimeo SXSW 2015

Research revealed there was a sex club on the other side of town in North Austin. My Uber and I drove into the never-ending darkness that became a bunch of I-Hops and Denny’s morphing into a vast  expanse of taco trucks and warehouses.  Cat Stevens on the radio couldn’t quell my driver’s nerves until eventually we came upon the warm glow of neon illuminating a parking lot filled to capacity – whew.

Going into a sex club as a single female (or “Unicorn” as we are called within the swingers community) can be scary  let alone uncomfortable. I immediately felt at ease when greeted by the girl at the front who was easily eight months pregnant.  She was fresh faced and freckled like a “Carrie” era Sissy Spacek.  And wow, what a ringing endorsement for the club – it’s like see, sex really does happen here!

Inside the place was massive with three floor to ceiling stripper poles and enough cabanas and beds to hold an entire earth repopulation effort!  Far more space than participants, but the people in that club were beyond friendly and welcoming – they were lovely.  But as the night wore on, it seemed like there was going to be more dancing than actual sexing, probably because it was the owner’s birthday.  That would explain the party hats and the ghost of a potluck past strewn across the bar.

So after a quick grope with some sexy ladies that involved kissing, ass slapping and booby touching, I headed back across town.  Famished, my Uber guy and I stopped for tacos. It was exactly at this point in the evening that I finally felt satisfied. Janet Pierson was right.  Attending SXSW was way worth it because it gave me a glimpse into the future and an excuse to go play. So next up is Cannes – until then, stay safe — meaning no glove no love — and Muah!

Twerking Optional

Twerking Optional


Living the dream is a comedy series about creative women in their 40’s living the dream in Hollywood California – one disappointment at a time…

A web series comedy about mommies, acting, auditions and more. It’s an honest, comically ironic look at what it’s like to try and stay creative while focusing on life and the pursuit of happiness…Marissa, Andi and Sara are doing their best to break out of their daily routine to party in LA like it’s 1999, except it’s 2015 in hipsterville. “These besties are discovering who they are and where they belong – one disappointment at a time,”

Written by
Monica Torres

Directed by Beth Dewey

Starring –
Sabrina Hill
Laura Pursell
Monica Torres
David Carrera
David S. Jung
Michael Halpin
Sunita Param
Lola Carrera
Madison Sabato

Produced by –
Ethen Muro
Justo Diaz
Monica Torres