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Presented by Rack Focus Women Underground
April 22, 2016, 
Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood, California


The world premiere of Astrid’s Self Portrait, the surreal and groundbreaking new film from writer/director/star Rena Riffel will take place on Friday, April 22, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California. The film is being presented as part of the new RACK FOCUS series at the American Cinematheque, in association with Women Underground and Etheria Film Night. The screening, held at the Speilberg Theatre within Hollywood’s iconic Egyptian Theatre, will feature an introduction from Riffel herself, who will be live and in person for the evening’s festivities.

Rena Riffel

Rena Riffel

Riffel, known to the horror and genre community primarily for performances in films such as Mulholland DriveShowgirls, and Candyman 3, has also made a strong presence as a director with unique voice and vision. Her previous directorial efforts include the exploitation masterpiece Trasharella and the much publicized Showgirls 2: Penny’s From Heaven. With Astrid’s Self Portrait, Riffel unleashes a work of surrealistic contemplation and abstract horror, promising her most artistic and personal work to date.

From the press release:

Riffel’s third feature film as a director, Astrid’s Self Portrait is wildly bizarre and entertaining. The embodiment of true DIY independent filmmaking, Riffel’s fearless sense of the absurd and extreme are never more apparent than in this feature film. We believe Riffel is an important player in the underground Los Angeles filmmaking scene and that the story of the making of this film is essential to the ongoing history of renegade women directors everywhere.

The film is being shown as part of Etheria’s Women Underground series, which showcases new independent, underground feature-length cinema from innovative and taste-making new women filmmakers. The first ever Women Underground event took place on August 21, 2015, during which Rena Riffel presented a short clip from Astrid’s Self Portrait and introduced two hours of awesomely shocking, crazy, existential, weird new films directed by women. Now Riffel is returning to premiere the director’s cut of her full film for the 2016 series, which kicked off in March with the Los Angeles premiere of Kansas Bowling’s low-budget prehistoric slasher experience B.C. BUTCHER (read our review), recently acquired by Troma Entertainment.

Heidi Honeycut

Heidi Honeycutt

Women Underground is one of the ongoing series in the RACK FOCUS slate of programming, a new initiative from The American Cinematheque and Etheria Film Night to screen an ongoing, progressive slate of female-oriented programming and events. Helmed by Etheria Film Night Director of Programming Heidi Honeycutt, it focuses on women’s contributions to film history and to current filmmaking trends.

Astrid’s Self Portrait Film Synopsis:

In this surreal film-within-a-film, Astrid Von Star (Rena Riffel) attempts to make the greatest avant-garde film in history. Abruptly dismissed from her position as a top Hollywood film critic, Astrid calls on her sole surviving ex-husband (Gregory Heath) to be her personal cinematographer on the new film endeavor. As her passion overtakes her sanity, she reminisces about her seven tragically failed marriages and the unsolved mystery that made her a widow six times over. Delusions of grandeur are followed by a deadly nervous breakdown, but her abandoned footage earns critical acclaim after being discovered by a highly regarded professor (Philippe Mora), who re-edits Astrid’s film and develops an unhealthy obsession for her.

The screening for Astrid’s Self Portrait with introduction from Rena Riffel will take place on Friday, April 22nd, 2016, 8:00pm at the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian. Click here to purchase tickets or visit the Facebook Event Page.



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