MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 23, 2018: PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS

The invaluable film distributor Kino Lorber has assembled a truly eye-opening collection of films from the silent era—all made by women. Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers is a DVD/Blu-ray box set that presents more than 50 silent feature and short films digitally mastered from 2k and 4K restorations from a variety of sources. The six disc set is divided by subject matter. Disc one is devoted to the works of Alice Guy-Blaché. All together, the set is essential viewing.

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AWFJ Set to Present EDA Awards at Whistler Film Festival 2018 – Jennifer Merin reports

This is the sixth consecutive year in which the Alliance of Women Film Journalists has the honor to partner with Whistler Film Festival to recognize women filmmakers with presentation of EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Feature Film and Best Female-Directed Short at this year’s festival, held in Whistler from November 28 to December 2, 2018.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK, November 2, 2018: WHAT THEY HAD

What They Had, the first feature from actress-turned-writer/director Elizabeth Chomko, is a stirring family drama in which adult siblings, Bridget (Hilary Swank) and Nick (Michael Shannon) are trying to cope with their mother’s (Blythe Danner) progressive dementia and their father’s (Robert Forster) denial of her disability. Chomko’s well-crafted script and sensitive direction, and the superb performances from the stellar ensemble bring a balance of heartbreak and humor to this painful and entirely relatable situation.

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Women Make Movies initiates the #WontBeErased Screen In – Jennifer Merin reports

The Trump administration’s determination to define gender as an immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, would eradicate federal recognition and civil rights protections of approximately 1.4 million transgender Americans. In response and as a counter measure, Women Make Movies has initiated the #WontBeErased Screen In, an online streaming program of enlightening LGBTQ films, curated to honor and celebrate trans, intersex and gender non-conforming family, friends and colleagues. Essential for fostering the work of diversity, inclusion and tolerance, the series is streaming for free for two weeks, beginning today.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK, October 26, 2018: LIYANA

Profound and poignant, the documentary affirms the value of story and storytelling as emotional relief and an element in healing for those who’ve been traumatized — the five orphaned children followed in this extraordinary documentary and, by extension, the survivors of war, rape, genocide, drought, starvation, extreme poverty and other disasters around the globe. Movies can matter. Liyana clearly does.

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2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominees Announced – Jennifer Merin reports

The official announcement of nonfiction nominees for the Third Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards (CCDA) kicks off this year’s race for nonfic recognition, and what a race it is. Throughout the year, documentary production and distribution have soared, making 2018 the year of trending nonfiction. This year, more than 300 qualifying documentaries were submitted for consideration by the CCDA nominating committees.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 19, 2018: CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Melissa McCarthy trades pratfalls and slapstick for wry wit and introspection in Marielle Heller’s keenly observed biopic “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” McCarthy plays biographer Lee Israel, whose brief time in the Manhattan publishing scene’s spotlight has passed, leaving her bitter, lonely, and strapped for cash, which ultimately leads to a life of literary crime. It’s a compelling role for McCarthy, who seems to relish the opportunity to take on more serious material.

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SPOTLIGHT October 2018: Shauna Hardy Mishaw, Executive Director Whistler Film Festival

Shauna Hardy Mishaw is a movie mogul who neither produces nor directs movies. Nor does she write, work crew or appear in them. Her extraordinary industry impact comes from her work as Executive Director of Canada’s Whistler Film Festival, where she has consistently opened the doors of opportunity for emerging cinema artists, especially women.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 28, 2018: JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS

“Trying to be perfect is a toxic journey,” says Jane Fonda in Susan Lacy’s revealing, deeply personal documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, and — after hearing stories she’s told for the previous two hours — it’s impossible to disagree. Fonda’s revelatory reflections on her life as actress and activist make it clear that giving herself permission to be imperfect let her become her happiest self.

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Margaret Mead Film Festival 2018 – Jennifer Merin reports

Celebrating its 42nd edition, the Margaret Mead Film Festival (October18-21) focuses on the theme “Resilience in Motion,” documenting stories that celebrate individuals who are breaking new ground or breaking free despite challenging circumstances and sparking provocative conversations about the most pressing social and political situations worldwide.

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