Buffalo, New York – Valkyrie International Film Festival (VIFF), a new annual event spotlighting films directed by women, has announced its first-year Official Selections. Co-founded by Tamar Lamberson and her daughter Kaelin, the festival runs Friday, March 24th – Tuesday, March 28th at the Screening Room Cinema and Arts Café in Amherst, New York. Film categories include short and feature-length documentary, experimental, and narrative films, with domestic, local, and international divisions.
“We were surprised by the consistent high quality of the submissions,” says Tamar, who has produced three feature films in Western New York, most recently the action film Guns of Eden. “We only had a few months to get everything together because we want to screen during Women’s History Month. Halfway through our submissions period we had to expand from four days to five to include as many of the films we loved as possible. Rejecting films that you like is the hardest part of this process.”
Among the 63 films selected are 10 created by local artists. While the festival programmers will judge several of the film categories themselves, they enlisted indie film icon Debbie Rochon, who directed the horror-thriller Model Hunger in Buffalo and has acted in almost 300 films, to judge the local films. Julianne Donofrio, New York City based director of the award-winning documentary Pieced Together, will judge U.S. documentary shorts.
Kaelin Lamberson, 16, grew up on the sets of films directed by her father, Gregory Lamberson, and appeared in the Fred Olen Ray TV movies A Mother’s Revenge and A Christmas in Vermont before receiving accolades for her performance opposite Craig Sheffer in Widow’s Point. She has no interest in pursuing a career in film.
“I’m doing this because we want to uplift women,” the teenager says.
On the same day the mother and daughter programmers notified filmmakers of their acceptance, five out-of-town directors immediately announced their intention to attend VIFF.
“We want this to be an event where women can come together, screen their work for each other and an audience, and support each other,” Tamar says. “We’ve traveled to film festivals and know female directors are often under-represented.”
The full list of selected films is available on the VIFF website, and a schedule should be announced in one week’s time. The five-day Pegasus Pass will go on sale for $50 at the Screening Room box office.
VIFF website: https://www.valkyriefilmfest.com/
VIIFF on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/valkyriefilmfest
Featured Image at top of page -Official Selection “Mother of Color” Directed by Dawn Jones Redstone – lead actor Ana del Rocio. Trailer: