Cheryl crooks

Fabulous People: Cheryl Crooks

Cheryl Crooks is the executive director of CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival, a nonprofit that presents an annual four-day (April 25 to April 28) festival showcasing films directed by women from around the world in Bellingham. “Since the first festival eight years ago, we’ve shown the films of more than 250 women directors,” Crooks says. “The festival’s primary mission is to provide a platform for women-directed films, to raise the awareness and appreciation for their films and call attention to fact that women are still greatly underrepresented in the film industry.” Learn about Cheryl Crooks…

Follow at: @cascadiaiwff

Hometown: Parsons, KS—a small town in southeastern Kansas

First job: Working in my dad’s professional portrait photography studio as an assistant.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Pursuing my personal photography, kayaking, working in my garden, hiking, playing piano, traveling somewhere I’ve never been and playing tennis (never seem to have enough time for that).

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Besides co-founding the film festival and raising three very creative feminist sons, co-founding Independent Writers of Southern California professional association, an organization that’s now been in existence for 40 years as a networking, educational and advocacy association for independent writers.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Right now this question seems to be the biggest obstacle as I’m completely stumped by it. I’ve had a number of obstacles in my life but in comparison to what others I know have overcome, mine seem pretty insignificant.

Someone who inspires you and why: Continue to be inspired by my father, who passed away several years ago. He was an gifted, creative professional photographer who took pride in finding the beauty in people

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Whatever you choose to do, do it well. You don’t need to be perfect but strive for excellence.

Favorite quote: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I love classic cars. I own a 1954 Plymouth Belvedere station wagon that was a “supporting car” in Martha Coolidge’s film, “Three Wishes,” starring Patrick Swayze.  When she attended the festival in 2022 as its Honored Guest, I told her about it and she remembered and described one of the scenes in which my car appeared. It’s a pretty rare car. If money were no object, I’d likely own others.

What makes someone fabulous: Fabulous is in the eye of the beholder. What’s fabulous to me could be unamazing to someone else. To me, someone is fabulous if they are genuine, generous and kind without expecting to be rewarded for those qualities.

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