Women Underground Presents ASTRID'S SELF PORTRAIT April 22, 2016

(Hollywood, CA) - The new RACK FOCUS Women Underground series at the American Cinematheque is proud to present the first public screening of writer/director/starRena Riffel’s new director’s cut of Astrid’s Self Portrait on Friday, April 22, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California. 

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 that 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. 

Rack Focus at the American Cinematheque, in association with Women Underground and Etheria Film Night, is proud to present a special event screening of filmmaker Rena Riffe’s latest work, Astrid’s Self Portrait.  

Riffel, known to the horror and genre community primarily for performances in films such as Mulholland DriveShowgirls, andCandyman 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.

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.  

Previously, a snippet from Astrid was screened at a Women Underground shorts event in Fall 2015, also hosted by The American Cinematheque and Etheria Film Night, and the organizations couldn’t be happier to return to help Riffel return and finally unveil the whole feature.


Friday, April 22nd, 2016, 8:00pm


Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian 

6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028






A powerful, fun, and positive statement about gender equality in Hollywood, RACK FOCUS is 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, RACK FOCUS highlights women’s contributions to film history and to current filmmaking trends; emphasis is placed on women in all aspects of the film industry and on showcasing their films to Cinematheque members and audiences.  WOMEN UNDERGROUND showcases the Los Angeles premieres of new independent, underground feature-length cinema from innovative and taste-making new women filmmakers. 

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.