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Zombie blood and radical activism

Founder Yvonne MacCormick Lyons says the Women's International Film Festival combats being "categorized as chick flicks" by screening films in various genres. But for the first time, the WIFF will include a fright night.

Three female-directed horror films will screen this year, and one of them will be in 3-D. Titled "Dead Before Dawn," director April Mullen's zombie-demon bedlam features Christopher Lloyd recalling his performance as Emmett "Doc" Brown in the "Back to the Future" series.

"We're not trying to be separatist … some films that come in are directed by men," MacCormick Lyons says. "We're just trying to find a venue where women's films can be seen and heard, because our numbers are so low."

She cites a statistic saying no more than 10 percent of filmmakers are female, depending on the year. So, from March 20 to 24 in various Miami theaters, the eighth annual festival will also screen works dealing with female-centered domestic violence and political imprisonment.

Jada Pinkett Smith's "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners" is Wednesday's opening-night premiere. The documentary features activist Angela Davis narrating the story of her imprisonment in the early 1970s for attempting to free three inmates from California's Soledad Prison.

"We as women go see more films than men, but we have not broken that seal as filmmakers," MacCormick Lyons says. "The festival furthers [women's] freedoms just by having these films out there,"

INFO: The Women's International Film Festival runs March 20-24, starting with the red-carpet screening of "Free Angela." Tickets cost $28-$100. Go to

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