Sundance’s 2007 roster boasts 50 films by women, including fiction features, documentaries, shorts and an animation. Special mention should be made of the festival’s postumous premiere of Adrienne Shelly’s WAITRESS. The beloved actress and filmmaker was murdered on November 1, 2006 in New York City. The film is about a pregnant, unhappily married waitress in the deep South, who falls into an unlikely relationship as a last attempt at happiness. In Shelly’s memory, husband, Andy Ostroy, has formed a foundation to support the work of female filmmakers.
Sundance has 50 films, including fiction features, documentaries and shorts, by women this year, including the postumous premier of the final film of Adrienne Shelly, the beloved actress and filmmaker who was murdered in New York on November 1, 2006. The film, WAITRESS, is about about a pregnant, unhappily married waitress in the deep South, who falls into an unlikely relationship as a last attempt at happiness. In Shellys memory, her husband, Andy Ostroy, has formed a foundation to support the work of female filmmakers.
Other womens films at the Sundance 2007 include
Lauren Thierrys short documentary, AUTISM EVERY DAY (USA), is a gritty, truthful insider view of the lives of families struggling to raise children with autism, overcoming heartbreaking circumstances with uncompromising hope and unconditional love.
Sarah Polleys AWAY FROM HER (Canada) is about Grant and Fiona, happily married for 50 years, forced to come to grips with her frequent memory lapses caused by Alzeimers disease, stretching their love and loyalty to the limits.
BROKEN ENGLISH (USA) is Zoe Cassavetes tale of a thirty-something woman whos surrounded by friends whore married, in relationships or with children and unexpectedly meets a quirky Frenchman who opens her eyes to a lot more than love.
Alejandra Sanchezs documentary, BAJO JUAREZ, THE CITY DEVOURING ITS DAUGHTERS (Mexico), investigates a Mexican industrial town near the US border, where hundreds of women have been sexually abused and murdered, and untangles a web of corruption that reaches the highest levels of Mexican society
BLAME IT ON FIDEL (LA FAUTE A FIDEL, France), by Julie Gavras, shows how a 9- year-old girl weathers big changes in her household as her parents become radical political activists in 1970-71 Paris.
In Lilah Vandenburghs short, BITCH (USA), a tough girl with a predilection for quality vinyl and a hard jab soon finds herself falling for a jerk with poor social skills and bad taste in music.
Cherie Nowlan helms CLUBLAND (Australia): Tim has a new girlfriend. It should be the perfect romance but somethings holding him back. He has a secret his parents are Entertainers! There are never just two people in a family love story.
Uli Gaulkes documentary, COMRADS IN DREAMS (Germany) unites four pople from the far ends of the globe through their shared passion for cinema and their quest to bring silver screen magic to everyday lives of those who most need it.
In Nanobah Beckers short, CONVERSION, Christian missionaries make a catastrophic visit to a Navajo family.
THE DAWN CHORUS (USA) is Hope Dickson Leachs short about Bonnie and Lloyds ongoing search for answers regarding the plane crash that killed their parents seven years ago.
DESTINY MANIFESTO (USA) is Martha Colburns animated short, an exploration of the visual and psychological parallels between the American western frontier and the conflict in the Middle East
In DREAMS AND DESIRES – FAMILY TIES (UK, short), Joanna Quinn follows Beryl who, acquiring a digital video camers, becomes obsessed with filmmaking process, experssing her dreams and desires in a video diary with disastrous results.
Annie Sundberg and Ricki Sterns THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (USA) is a documentary exposing the genocide raging in Darfur, Sudan as seen through the eyes of a former U.S. marine who returns home to make the story public.
In ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS (VORES LYKKES FJENDER, Denmark), documentarians Eva Mulvad and Anja Al Erhayem tell the story of Malalai Joya, a 28-year-old Afghani woman who redefines the role of women and elected officials in her county with her historic 2005 victory in Afghanistans first democratic parliamentary election in over 30 years
The documentary, EVERYTHINGS COOL (USA), is Judith Helfand and Daniel B.Golds take on a group thats warning about global warming trying to find iconic images, proper language and points of leverage to move the an increasingly aware public from simply acknowledging the problem to adopting an alternative energy economy.
In THE FIGHTING CHOLITAS (USA, documentary short), Mariam Jobrani, Kenny Krauss and Teresa Deskins show a group of bold, female, Bolivian wrestlers pushing the limits of their culture by performing the acrobatic maneuvers of Lucha Libre every Sunday.
Tara s short, SWIM WITH THE FISH, is the story of a child who believes her mother has relocated (literally) to the Gulf of Mexico, and skips school to pay her mother a birthday visit.
Andrea Stakas FRAULEIN (Switzerland) is about a hardened Zurich restaurant owner from Yugoslavia who finds her detachment from her past disrupted by the arrival of a younger, free-spirited woman seeking a better life after the Balkan War.
FLYING-CONFESSIONS OF A FREE WOMAN (Denmark/USA) is Jennifer Foxs ground breaking documentary, is a 6-hour, sexy, often humorous, personal account of one womans four year investigation of her own life and the lives of other women around the globe-to discover what it means to be a woman today.
In Cynthia Wades FREEHELD (USA, documentary short), Lieutenant Laurel Hester, in the last weeks of her life, has one goal: to leave her hard-earned pension to her life partner Stacie.
In GOD PROVIDES (USA, documentary short), Brian Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky take a look at the varied and unexpected responses to natural disaster.
GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB (USA), Rory Kennedys documentary, looks at the abuses that occurred at the infamous Iraqi prison in the fall of 2003, uses direct, personal narratives of perpetrators, witnesses, and victims to probe the effects of the abuses on all involved.
GRACELAND (Thailand) is Anocha Suwichakornpongs look at a one night in Bangkok, where Jon and a mysterious women embark on a journey to a foreign land – the human heart.
In Sophie Barthes HAPPINESS (USA, short), one evening after work, Iwona buys a box of happiness in a strange discount store and has to decide what to do with it
HEAR AND NOW (USA) is Irene Taylor Brodskys deeply personal story about her deaf parents, and their radical decision-after 65 years of silence-to undergo cochlear implant surgery, a complex procedure that could give them the ability to hear..
Deborah Kampmeier sets HOUNDDOG (USA) in late 1950s Alabama, where a precocious, troubled girl finds her angel in the Blues.
Annmarie Morais screenplay for HOW SHE MOVE (Canada) is about a high schooler who, following her sisters drug-related death, is forced to leave her private school and return to her old, crime-filled neighborhood where she re-kindles an unlikely passion for the competitive world of Step dancing.
In Lilli Carres short, HOW SHE SLEPT AT NIGHT, a man tries to remember his wife, but only comes up with scant details as his memory starts to stray..
Dominique Wirtschafter helms IF I HAD KNOWN I WAS A GENIUS (USA), about a young African-American man recounting his life when he finds out he has a high IQ, he struggles to fit in somewhere, while also battling with his dysfunctional family..INFINITE DELAY (USA) is Lisa Kadet Kuhnes strange tale of a restrained subject surrenders herself to a sublime state of waiting in a mysterious underwater world.
In LA MISMA LUNA (THE SAME MOON, USA), Patricia Riggen directs Ligiah Villalobos script about a young Mexican boy who, when his grandmother dies, tried to cross the border to reunite with his mother, who is working hard in Los Angeles to create a better life for the family.
Jennifer Reeves experimental short, LIGHT WORK I binds together found images from 20th century educational films with melted down pharmaceuticals affixed directly to the film, forming a concentrated fusion with pulsating electronic sounds, bass clarinet and organ.
In MAGNETIC POLES (USA, short) Maria Rosenblum follows a waitress who tries to reattract her boyfriends waning interest with a bizarre trip to a magnetic hill.
MAKE A WISH (Israel) is Cherien Dabiss short about a Palestinian girl will do anything it takes to buy a birthday cake..
Jennifer Baichwals MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES (Canada) is a visually stunning documentary providing the unique perspective of photographer Edward Burtynsky, chronicler of the worlds transforming landscape due to industrial work and manufacturing.
Marjan Alizadehs MEN UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER BETTER (Iran, short) is about a man who gets a call from a friend seeking comfort when his wife hasnt arrived back home.
Alex Mack & Diana Montero follow mothers addicted to methamphetamines in MOTHER SUPERIOR (USA, short).
NEVER FOREVER (USA) is Gina Kims film about how a women begins a clandestine relationship with a stranger in a desperate attempt to save her marriage.
Nina Menkes PHANTOM LOVE (USA) is a surreal drama about a woman trapped within an enmeshed family, and her slow process of personal liberation. Set in Los Angeles and Rishikesh, India, the film combines fairy-tale elements with brutal black and white photography to create a powerful testament about inner transformation.
PHANTOM CANYON (USA) is Stacey Steerss short about a curious woman who encounters enormous insects and an alluring man with bat wings in a surreal recollection of a pivotal journey..
In PEACE TALK (Sweden, short) Jenifer Malmqvist presents Little Jonna and her friend Emilie playing at being soldiers, but Jonnas mother doesnt approve of the course their game takes
Jessica Yus PROTAGONIST explores the organic relationship between human life and Euripidean dramatic structure by weaving together the stories of four men-a German terrorist, a bank robber, an ex-gay evangelist, and a martial arts student.
In RED ROAD (UK), Andrea Arnold shows what happens when a staid and conventional Glaswegian women reencounters a man she never wanted to see again, and has to confront him.
Tamara Jenkins THE SAVAGES (USA), an irreverent story about life, love and mortaity, is a comic-drama about a pair of adult siblings who are suddenly plucked from their self-absorbed lives when theyre forced to care for their estranged and elderly father who never cared for them.
In Birgitte Stærmoses short, SOPHIE (Denmark), a pregnant wifes questions her husband about whether hes ever been with a prostitute.
Lynn Hershman Leesons documentary, STRANGE CULTURE (U.S.A) shows artist and college professor Steve Kurtz awakening to realize his wife of 27 years has died in her sleep. A surreal sequence of events ensues, leading to his being held as a suspected terrorist. Nearly three years later the charges have not been dropped. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN (USA) is Mitch McCabes short about a photographer chronicling her life over five years of political events, comically
interweaving protest footage with her photographic diary of self-portraits to tell a modern tale about art, change, hope, and futility.
Laura Dunns documentary, THE UNFORESEEN (USA), shows how an environmental movement rises up to fight against a west Texas farm boys efforts to develops pristine hill country into large-scale subdivisions, thereby threatening a fragile limestone aquifer, and poses hard questions for future development in America.
Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fines WAR DANCE (USA), set against the backdrop of Ugandas 20 year civil war, is a documentary about three children who make an historic journey from their school in the Patongo IDP camp to compete in Ugandas national must and dance festival.
Thelma Adams and Jennifer Merin