A three-day festival celebrating films directed by women, for everyone

Announcing the inaugural Women Under the Influence (WUTI), WUTI Goes IdyllWILD, a three-day film festival taking place Sept. 20 through 22 in Idyllwild. 

WUTI, founded in 2015 by director Tabitha Denholm, is a community committed to raising awareness of female directors and their stories. WUTI is dedicated to educating people about the heritage of female-directed film that often gets overlooked, as well as giving a platform to female-identifying directors working today. 

WUTI’s inaugural festival is the collective brainchild of Denholm, Creative Director Laura Rule, Meredith Rogers, vice president of cultural programing at NeueHouse. 

WUTI Goes IdyllWILD will feature films directed by women — honoring the trailblazers of the industry and highlighting the creative talents of today. With programming ranging from art house to activism, comedy to cutting-edge technology, the weekend will be part festival, part creative experience, and part summer camp. 

Highlights from the forthcoming festival include screenings of classics like “Wayne’s World” with a talk from director Penelope Spheeris and actress Tia Carrere, an exploration of masculinity on screen with Janicza Bravo, a 20th-anniversary celebration of “Boys Don’t Cry” with director Kimberly Pierce, a live Belletrist book club discussion with Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss, a short film by Hailey Gates, a day of programming for a Gen Z audience by Gen Z curators featuring talent Internet Girl and Candace Reels, and probing panel discussions about technology featuring speakers Claire Evans and Milica Zec.

The festival will also celebrate its LA roots with its series “LA Stories,” an exploration of how the city has been represented and revealed through the diverse cinematic visions of women. This will include a screening of “Mi Vida Loca” with director Allison Anders and the cast, “LA Rebellion,” a retrospective of the African American film movement that flourished at UCLA from the 1960s through to the 1990s with directors including Barbara McCullough, a look at the “New” LA Rebellion reimagining blackness in Los Angeles with Boiler Rooms 4:3 and a screening of “Winter in America,” Deirdre O’Callaghan’s poetic look at Skid Row and the culture of homelessness in Los Angeles, a short film by artist and director Alex Prager, and a tribute to icon Agnes Varda’s California years with “Lions, Love (...and Lies).” The star of the film, legendary Warhol superstar Viva Hoffman with her daughter Alex Auder, will be in conversation.

WUTI has also partnered with The North Face on the Move Mountains Filmmaker Grant, which offers $25,000 each to four emerging directors to make a film capturing the spirit of exploration. The grantees will attend the festival to meet a group of mentors curated by WUTI. The mentors will be on hand at the festival and in the subsequent months to guide the filmmakers through the process. 

To celebrate the announcement of WUTI goes IdyllWILD festival, WUTI will be hosting a curated evening of music and cinematic teasers, conversation and woodland activity on Friday, July 26, at NeueHouse Hollywood. The private workspace is a hub for best-in-class cultural programming in Los Angeles and is often built around the exceptional creativity and work of its members, like WUTI. 

By sharing the stories directed by women through events and media, we challenge the misconceptions of the film world and push back against the industry’s bias. WUTI works at the axis of film, music, and fashion, with mainline access to the heart of Los Angeles, London and New York culture. Our unique vantage point and authentic voice allows us to lead with a female focus and contribute to the conversation in new and vital ways. Crucially, we understand the power of a beautiful image and a story well told. Our network of diverse leaders, filmmakers, creatives and everything in between are ready and willing to spread the word.