February 2, 2022

Cheryl Crooks, Executive Director
CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival
(360) 543-0149

CASCADIA Hosts Film "The Bengali" In Recognition of Black History Month

Doesn't everybody want to know where they come from? That's the question Fatima Shaik sought out to answer when she set out on an unlikely quest traveling across the globe as documented in the new film "The Bengali." The film follows Shaik, who was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, as she travels to India, the home of her grandfather, Shaik Mohamed Musa.  

Shaik, an African-American writer whose family has lived in Louisiana for four generations, travels with Kolkata-born filmmaker Kavery Kaul crossing deep cultural divides to a part of India where no African-American (or any American for that matter) has ever gone. Shaik's search for the past is fraught with uncertainty as she looks for her grandfather's descendants, the land he claimed to own, and the truth behind the stories she grew up with.  

Run time is 72 minutes. Tickets are $10 and are on sale now.

Because of geoblocking limitations, this film is available only to viewers in Washington, Oregon, and greater Vancouver B.C.


Now entering its sixth year, CASCADIA showcases and celebrates exceptional films directed by women. It is one of only a handful of festivals in the U.S. currently dedicated to this purpose. The organization also works year-round to provide film production, exhibition, and distribution education.

Since its first festival five years ago, CASCADIA has presented films by more than 125 women directors from around the world and more than half of the films shown at their 2021 were made by women of color. Films by students, emerging directors, and Indigenous women are also usually in the mix.  

Our 2022 festival is scheduled May 12-15 both online and in-person at The Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay St. Bellingham). More information is on our website at

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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