Cheryl Bookout is a filmmaker and studio artist residing in Joshua Tree, CA. Bookout directed the 2021 award-winning short documentary film “Inside the Beauty Bubble” and produced the 2022 short narrative film “Just a Friend” which is currently entering the 2023-2024 film festival circuit. In 2019 she produced two award-winning films, the short documentary “Gloria’s Call” and a short sci-fi narrative “PURE.” She is currently producing a feature-length documentary “Acting Like Women.”

“Women of Steel” is Cheryl’s first narrative screenplay and it has been winning awards in competitions: Finalist 2021 Screencraft screenplay competition; Official Selection 2021 Sherman Oaks Film Festival; Semi-Finalist 2021 Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards; Quarter Finalist 2022 Reno Tahoe Screenplay Contest; Nominee Best Screenplay 2022 Sensei Film Festival; Nominee 2022 Lonely Wolf Festival; and Finalist 2023 Berlin FilmHaus Festival.

Cheryl is deeply involved in the Joshua Tree community. She believes nonprofit organizations provide a way for people to work together for the common good, transforming shared beliefs and hopes into action. She is the Executive Director/Founder of The Chimaera Project, a nonprofit championing women and non-binary filmmakers. Her nonprofit work includes sitting on the Board of Directors for the Joshua Tree Retreat Center and Mil-Tree Veterans Project and Advisory Board for FurstWurld. She is the past President of the Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art and has been a guest on numerous filmmaking/art panels throughout the U.S. As an individual artist, Bookout is included in the California Women Artist Project archived at the University of Southern California and Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, a project organized by Gloria Orenstein, Professor of Women in Literature and Art at USC. 

Fine Art Practice

Classic fairy tales and fables are my inspiration. I use frogs and other creatures to tell stories. My earliest childhood memories are the illustrations of Alice in Wonderland by John Tenniel.

The Clairvoyants, original painting, 12″ x 24″ x 2″

Why Frogs?

Most frogs require suitable habitat in both the terrestrial and aquatic environments, and have permeable skin that can easily absorb toxic chemicals. These traits make frogs especially susceptible to environmental disturbances, and thus frogs are considered accurate indicators of environmental stress: the health of frogs is thought to be indicative of the health of the biosphere. Frogs have survived in their current form for 250 million years, having survived countless ice ages, asteroid crashes, and other environmental disturbances, yet now one-third of amphibian species are on the verge of extinction. This should serve as an alarm call to humans that something is drastically wrong in the environment.

An ecological indicator they are
The most accurate so far
Pollution, destruction and disease
We need to hear their pleas
— Frog Poetry by Shruti Sengupta, 25, India

Branch Office, original drawing 14 x 17″