EBERTFEST 2016: WOMEN IN FILM PANEL — Report by Shalayne Pulia

EBERTFEST 2016: WOMEN IN FILM PANEL — Report by Shalayne Pulia

“How can you make an Oscar worthy film with one tenth of the budget? It’s an uneven playing field to begin with,” Darrien Gipson said in addressing the amazing disparity between the stats regarding the numbers of women compared to men from the very start of the hierarchical ladder to achievement in noviemaking. Gipson was a member of EBERTFEST’s Women in Film panel, moderated by Chaz Ebert. Read more>>

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In Reality, We Must Demand Equal Representation for Women Documentarians, Too – Victoria Cook comments

In Reality, We Must Demand Equal Representation for Women Documentarians, Too – Victoria Cook comments

Re the Oscars, there is a misperception that the documentary category is more inclusive, less sexist and less racist than the other categories. Recent talk about the underrepresentation of women and people of color as directors in the entertainment industry as a whole (reference the NYT Sunday magazine cover, the Forbes article, the Variety article about the 7% statistic, Jennifer Lawrence speaking out, etc) and specifically about the underrepresentation of women in the major categories at the Oscars but there is no public discourse about this also being a pervasive problem in the documentary category. This must change.

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Mary Walsh’s Feminist Keynote at the Filmmaker Luncheon at Whistler Film Festival 2015

Mary Walsh’s Feminist Keynote at the Filmmaker Luncheon at Whistler Film Festival 2015

Oh never mind feminism or equal pay or all that, because in 2015 they’ve got the boys over at the gym gulping down steroids, lifting weights, trying to take up more room. While we women are supposed to be over here chained to a stair master, living on diet coke and the odd Kleenex tissue for roughage, desperately trying to disappear.

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ONCE MY MOTHER, FIDELIO: ALICE’S ODYSSEY Win AWFJ EDA Awards @ 2015 St. Louis International Film Festival — Michelle McCue Reports

ONCE MY MOTHER, FIDELIO: ALICE’S ODYSSEY Win AWFJ EDA Awards @ 2015 St. Louis International Film Festival — Michelle McCue Reports

After 11 days of celebrating magnificent and electric movies, the 24th Annual St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) came to a conclusion on Sunday evening, November 15.

At the closing ceremony the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) presented EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature and Best Female-Directed Documentary. Read on…

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Top Female Performances @ New York Film Festival 2015 – Liz Whittemore

Top Female Performances @ New York Film Festival 2015 – Liz Whittemore

In consideration of the abundance of beautiful films that screened at the 2015 New York Film Festival, I wanted to call to attention to a few key women whose performances made them stand out from the crowd. Some were obvious to spot and were already garnering buzz. Others flew under the radar until their festival screenings, but they deserve just as much applause. Welcome to the top performances by women in films screened at the New York Film Festival 2015. Read on…

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@TIFF: Sarah Silverman’s Serious Challenge in I SMILE BACK – Janice Page interviews

@TIFF: Sarah Silverman’s Serious Challenge in I SMILE BACK – Janice Page interviews

In one scene, Sarah Silverman sits topless on a toilet, snorting cocaine. In another, she does lines (not the kind with words) off the same kitchen countertop where she makes and decorates sack lunches for her school-age children. The shock isn’t in seeing Silverman do these things. The New Hampshire-born actress and comedian is well known for feasting on uncomfortable subjects and working blue. What’s surprising is that her latest vehicle is a straight-on drama titled “I Smile Back,” a sobering, seriously downbeat feature film in which Silverman plays the lead — and makes it look as easy as delivering a raunchy joke about Paris Hilton. Read the interview

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@NYFF: BROOKLYN or “The Girl” as Universal Solvent – Martha P. Nochimson comments

@NYFF: BROOKLYN or “The Girl” as Universal Solvent – Martha P. Nochimson comments

“That girl” has historically been Hollywood’s fantasy of a paragon of unstained goodness, beauty, and honesty that conquers all obstacles. Neither class, nor evil, nor bigotry stops her. No matter how poor she is, she can marry upward. No matter how evil the villains, they inevitably yield to her irresistible charm — or someone who hardly knows her risks all to save her. No matter what kinds of prejudice or ethnic conflicts might surround her, it is hardly necessary to speak of them since “the girl” melts them away like ice cream in a hot New York July. Or should we say a quick BROOKLYN minute? The falsifications of such a premise are obvious. And they have many implications beyond creating an unbelievable female presence. Read the full commentary in EYE ON MEDIA.

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@TIFF: Meet Emily Blunt, American Badass – Janice Page interviews

@TIFF: Meet Emily Blunt, American Badass – Janice Page interviews

That’s probably not where we thought Blunt was headed a decade ago, when she played Meryl Streep’s prickly assistant in The Devil Wears Prada. She’s since played a queen (The Young Victoria), a cartoon gnome (Gnomeo & Juliet), a can-do business consultant (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), and Matt Damon’s futuristic crush (The Adjustment Bureau). Then earned sci-fi fan points in Looper, but it wasn’t until last year’s Edge of Tomorrow that “action hero” started looking like a legitimate entry on her resume. Now there’s Sicario and that cements Blunt’s badass qualifications. Read on…

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AWFJ to Present EDA Awards @ SLIFF 2015 – Michelle McCue Reports

AWFJ to Present EDA Awards @ SLIFF 2015 – Michelle McCue Reports

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists will present juried AWFJ EDA Awards @ St Louis International Film Festival 2015 (SLIFF) for Best Female-Directed Narrative and Documentary Feature Films. The 24th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival takes place Nov. 5-15. This is the third year AWFJ partners with SLIFF to recognize outstanding achievements of women filmmakers. Read on…

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Alliance of Women Film Journalists To Present AWFJ EDA Award @ IDFA 2015 – Jennifer Merin reports

Alliance of Women Film Journalists To Present AWFJ EDA Award @ IDFA 2015 – Jennifer Merin reports

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists will proudly present our juried AWFJ EDA Award @ IDFA 2015 for the Best Female Directed Film. This is the second consecutive year of the organization’s partnership with IDFA to recognize women’s accomplishments in documentary filmmaking. In 2014, the AWFJ EDA Award @ IDFA was presented to Maite Alberdi for Tea Time The AWFJ EDA Award and the Oxfam Global Justice Award are the only two independently-presented awards on the IDFA Awards roster. Read more>>

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Ten Noteworthy Female Performances at TIFF 2015 – Pam Grady comments

Ten Noteworthy Female Performances at TIFF 2015 – Pam Grady comments

With the Toronto International Film Festival, the Oscar season officially opens in North American. TIFF, with its hundreds of features, is one of the true harbingers of nominations to come. And while there was much emphasis this year on women behind the camera—20% of features and 45% of shorts at TIFF were made by women, according to figures cited by Indiewire—the festival also provided a peek at performances that should warrant attention from Academy voters (or ought to!), if not this season, then next. Read on…

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Digging deeper into Toronto festival films – an overview by Janice Page

Digging deeper into Toronto festival films – an overview by Janice Page

Toronto International Film Festival was overrun with big movies about and by Bostonians. While headlines were grabbed by predictable awards-season contenders, there were just as many smaller films worth noting. A number of them were femme-helmed and femme-centric flashes of genius. Think Laurie Anderson, Julie Delpy, Charlotte Rampling, Sarah Silverman and others. Read more>>

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Susanne Bier on Directing in Hollywood and Other Challenges – Interview by Julide Tanriverdi

Susanne Bier on Directing in Hollywood and Other Challenges – Interview by Julide Tanriverdi

Susanne Bier’s In A Better World won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2011, putting the Danish filmmaker into that very small circle of women who’ve won Oscars for directing. It also won her a place on Hollywood’s A-List and an invitation to move from indies to studio films. But transitioning from Copenhagen to Hollywood has been challenging. Here’s what she has to say about it. Read on…

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Negotiating Unfamilar Places: Girls Respond to Programming @ Berlinale 2015 – Essay by Monty Majeed

Negotiating Unfamilar Places: Girls Respond to Programming @ Berlinale 2015 – Essay by Monty Majeed

The magic of movies lies in the fact that they evoke in children — girls and boys, alike — a horde of emotional responses to onscreen images. Young women, in particular, are profoundly influenced by films that follow girl protagonists whose stories transport them to new cultures, environments and character circumstances outside of their personal experiences within their familiar realm. As Indian critic Monty Majeed discovered while interviewing girls at Berlinale 2015, this year’s festival’s expanded programming of films with young women protagonists projected horizon-broadening images that were as transformative and enlightening as they were disturbing. Read on…

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An Open Letter to the New York Film Festival Selection Committee – Rania Richardson

It was a surprise to many when when filmmaker Ava DuVernay was not on the list of Academy Award nominees for the 2015 Best Director despite her widely hailed work on “Selma.” Then again, Kathryn Bigelow’s 2010 Oscar win for “The Hurt Locker” didn’t exactly usher in a new dawn for female filmmakers. It’s a boy’s club, this movie world. You know it is. Read on…

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Canada’s Women In the Director’s Chair Participants Celebrate Each Other’s Work – Filmmaker Rebecca Gibson Bears Witness

Canada’s Women In the Director’s Chair Participants Celebrate Each Other’s Work – Filmmaker Rebecca Gibson Bears Witness

My name is Rebecca Gibson, and I am a filmmaker. A writer, director, producer, and actor. On November 25, 2014, I came from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Vancouver, British Columbia to join a group of eight carefully-selected female filmmakers from across Canada to participate in the nineteenth annual Women In the Director’s Chair program, an internationally respected Canadian professional development offering, specially designed to advance the skills, careers and screen projects of women directors. Read on…

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Women Rule Whistler Film Festival – Literally! — Katherine Brodsky reports

Women Rule Whistler Film Festival – Literally! — Katherine Brodsky reports

Ffounded some 14 years ago by Shauna Hardy Mishaw, who is currently its executive director. WFF, is a significant player within the Canadian film fest circuit,i known for its intimate, casual environment, set by Mishaw’s loyal and tireless admin team, consisting mostly of women, most of whom have been with the festival for years, setting the stage for high-quality film-centric hospitality through which filmmakers and industry honchos mingle, and deals are made not only via scheduled one-on-one meetings, but also in the hot tub or on the ski slopes. The festival continues to grow, and to shine the spotlight on women in film. Read on…

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Doc Watcher Chris Campbell’s Male Perspective on The Female Gaze

Christopher Campbell, who covers documentaries at NonFics.com, has written an interesting report and commentary focusing on one important aspect of The Femsle Gaze discussion — that is whether the filmmaking industry — or to be more specific, the documentary film industry — requires the use of a Bechdel Test to establish equal opportunity for women. Do you agree with his accessment?

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The Female Gaze @ IDFA: AWFJ Presents EDA Awards to Two Female-Directed Documetaries

The Female Gaze @ IDFA: AWFJ Presents EDA Awards to Two Female-Directed Documetaries

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists Inc. (AWFJ) presented juried AWFJ EDA Awards to two female-directed film at the 2014 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the world’s leading documentary film festival. The awards were presented in conjunction with this year’s The Female Gaze program, which included a strand of 28 female-directed feature length documentaries and a panel discussion with 15 leading female filmmakers from around the world.

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