THE WEEK IN WOMEN: SXSW Salutes Women, Harvard Honors Kunis, DGA Awards and Streep Joins ‘LIES’ Cast — Brandy McDonnell reports

Texas’ South By Southwest Festival (March 9-18) showcases several promising projects by women directors including three femme-helmed features, one documentary and a documentary series from Netflix. The Directors Guild of America presented top TV show awards to three shows focusing on women’s stories — The Handmaid’s Tale, Veep and Big Little Lies — and honored directors Reed Morano, Niki Caro and Beth McCarthy-Miller for their work on television series and miniseries. Additionally, DGA President Thomas Schlamme awards ceremony opening speech emphasized the guild’s commitment to opposing sexual harassment. Meryl Streep will join the cast of Big Little Lies in season two. And, Harvard’s The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest theatrical organization in the US, honored Mila Kunis with it’s Woman of the Year award, while also announcing that year’s production will embrace gender-neutral casting. Read all the details in THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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BALLERINA’S TALE, ROOM, MEADOWLAND, WATCHERS OF THE SKY and Other Oct 16 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

abt_poster_copyA Ballerina’s Tale pays tribute to the talent and tenacity of Misty Copeland, the African American ballerina who defied racial stereotyping to grand jete from corps de ballet into principal roles. Watchers of the Sky is filmmaker Edet Belzberg’s profile of international activist Raphael Lemkin, who defined ‘genocide’ and fought tirelessly to punish and prevent it worldwide. Beasts of No Nation is a harrowing tale of an African boy who’s forced to become a soldier. Room, Truth and Meadowland feature exceptional performances by Brie Larson, Cate Blanchett and Olivia Wilde, respectively. Momentum and Assassin boast badass female leading characters, played by Olga Kurylenko and Qi Shu, respectively. Crimson Peak casts Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain in great Gothic spectacle. Read the reviews.

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SPOTLIGHT October 2015: Reed Morano, Director/Cinematographer, MEADOWLAND

awfjspotlightsmallsmallIf there’s one thing I can say about Reed Morano’s Meadowland, it’s that it’s not an easy film to watch. A good film—yes. One of the most honestly, emotionally resonant films about grief ever made, in fact. But not easy. For those open to a cinematic experience with a side of catharsis, Meadowland comes out courtesy of Cinedigm on October 16th. Just have your Kleenex handy. We at AWFJ are proud to present the director as this month’s SPOTLIGHT subject. Read on…

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