13633AMERICAN WOMAN banner
Canadian Cinema


Year 2019
Runtime 85 mins
Alberta Premiere
Sep 22
8:00 PM Eau Claire 1
Sep 24
5:30 PM Eau Claire 4
Calgary's own Semi Chellas writes and directs this story of a young political activist in the early 1970s who helps care for a group of America's most wanted fugitives.

Based on the Patty Hearst affair, AMERICAN WOMAN follows Jenny (Hong Chau - Golden Globe nominee for her supporting role in DOWNSIZING and also seen in another film screening at CIFF this year, DRIVEWAYS), a secretive member of a group of radicals trying to - among other things - get the US out of Vietnam through any means necessary. When she befriends the recently kidnapped (and converted) heiress, their relationship challenges their beliefs and the other members of the rebel group.

In Hong Chau, Semi Chellas has found the perfect lead performer. She serves as a cypher for the audience - our eyes into a secretive society - but, she is also given agency. AMERICAN WOMAN is a fascinating look back to a different era that, thanks to an honest script and a deft directorial hand, feels utterly current.

Writer and Director Semi Chellas is in attendance for the Sep. 22 screening; Q&A to follow.


Semi Chellas
Christina Piovesan
Semi Chellas
Gregory Middleton
Lindsay Allikas
Lesley Barber
Hong Chau, Ellen Burstyn, Sarah Gadon