Filmmaker Emily Barclay Ford on THE PUSHBACK, Purpose and Pushing Back (Guest Post)

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It’s a rainy Monday in LA, and I’m sitting on my bed with my cat and laptop in the middle of the afternoon…instead of at our film’s premiere at SXSW. Today was supposed to be the launch of our documentary The Pushback at the Paramount Theater in downtown Austin. But due to COVID-19, here we are, isolated at home and wondering about the future. For our film, for us, for the nation.

Four years ago, when the threat of a Trump Presidency was around the corner, I said “people will die”. And here we are. People are dying – and we have no real leadership at the helm.

My husband Kevin and I set off on this film journey together in 2018, in the lead up to the mid-term elections. Exhausted and terrified at the prospect of living through another four years of this administration, we decided we needed to use our skills to contribute to the conversation and help raise awareness – but in a positive way. Continue reading on THE FEMALE GAZE.

EDITOR’S NOTE: See Liz Whittemore’s review of The Pushback, published as part of AWFJ’s #SXSW2020 Project, a compendium of reviews covering films that lost their premiere dates due to the COVID-19-related cancellation of this year’s festival.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).