Director Hollie Olson could ask for no higher praise.
The Vancouver esthetician’s first feature film, “Gabby’s Wish,” won the coveted Audience Choice Award during this year’s Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival, known as POWFest.
The movie premiered to a packed house March 8 at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland. The festival reported record ticket sales and the response to the 90-minute film was overwhelmingly positive, Olson said.
“This is our first year with POWFest, they have been extremely generous and sweet,” she said.
The film follows Gabby (Catherine Johnson), a dying widow with no children, who has lost touch with her family. She attempts to become reacquainted with her relatives in hopes of finding a proper heir to her estate. But she finds herself in the eye of a growing storm of family issues that touches on both humor and drama.
Olson wrote the film in 2010 as a way of working through grief after the unexpected death of her brother, Jim Olson. It was the sudden disconnect in her family from the loss that inspired the theme behind the character-driven film.