QuARTSantine: OXFF and other FFs and the PandemONIUMic – Melanie Lynn Addington (Guest Post)

It feels like March 12 was years ago now. That was the day the Governor of Mississippi limited any events that assembled 250 people or more. It was 6 days before our 2020 Oxford Film Festival was supposed to happen. And then it wasn’t happening anymore. That felt like the end of the world at the time. But since then, the film festival community has worked nonstop to rally as more than 170 film festivals scheduled for the spring and summer have had to cancel, postpone or go online. On March 27, eighty-one film festivals joined the Film Festival Alliance conference call to talk best practices and strategy moving forward.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 3, 2020: RADIUM GIRLS

Lydia Dean Pilcher and Ginny Mohler’s fact-based drama Radium Girls may be set a century in the past, but certain aspects of the story feel as timely as today’s headlines — for instance, when Joey King’s character Bessie bemoans: “Why is there so much wrong in the world that no one knows about?” That feeling of helplessness in the face of events that feel completely out of your control is bound to strike a chord with today’s audiences.

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Amber McGinnis on INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Obstacles and Opportunities (Guest Post)

This is how we got through the loss of our premiere. This is how we got through last week. I’m not sure exactly how we get through the next one, but I feel like I’ve learned an important lesson: the real art behind the art we create is the human connection it makes. Whether that happens in a theater or online, it’s valuing and connecting to one another that’s most important.

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Entertaining, Informative, Inspiring Go-To Movies for Pandemic Shut-ins

During our current pandemic-spurred lifestyle adjustment, we may be shut in, but we’re not shut down. Even folk who don’t regularly watch movies are finding cinema culture to be an effective way to staving off the effects of social isolation and resist the onset of cabin fever. Movies move you. Here are AWFJ members’ personal recommendations for movies that entertain, inspire and inform…ENJOY!

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

We raced to finish The Pushback in time for our SXSW delivery deadline and then the festival was canceled the same day. Although we are sad that we did not get to premiere at the festival and in Texas, where the documentary was shot, we feel like we have to make lemonade out of lemons and find the opportunity in this moment. Due to the shutdown of other productions, there will likely be more appetite for finished content in the coming months. And with social distancing, cancellation of group events, and potentially the inability to canvas, we’re thinking that a film like ours can be a useful tool to reach people through their living rooms at a safe distance.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 20, 2020: BLOW THE MAN DOWN

A satisfying modern noir, with juicy twists, turns, and betrayals and compelling characters. The fact that almost all of those characters are female — and many of them senior citizens — sets Blow the Man Down apart. It’s not often that we get to see a group of actresses like this dig into such an original story; that they do it so well seems like a sign of great things to come from directors Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 13, 2020: LOST GIRLS

Featuring a fearless star performance from Amy Ryan, documentary veteran Liz Garbus’ first dramatic feature, Lost Girls, is a wrenching story about a mother’s search for truth — and justice. It’s based on the real-life story of Mari Gilbert, a New York woman whose dogged determination to find out what happened to her missing daughter led to the discovery of serial killings in Long Island.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 2, 2020: SWALLOW

Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ tense drama Swallow — about a repressed young wife who finds herself compelled to eat unusual and even dangerous things — gives new meaning to the phrase “eating your feelings.” Desperate to please her handsome husband and his wealthy parents, Hunter (Haley Bennett) tries to create the perfect life in their designer-ready home. But things are far from perfect under the surface.

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SPOTLIGHT March 2020: Cynthia Lopez, NYC Cinema Activist, Advocate and Administrator

Cynthia López combines her love of film with her commitment to public service. Consistently advocating for women and diversity, she puts progress in motion. She’s shaped NYC’s cinema landscape for two decades, serving as executive Vice President and co-Executive Producer for POV, as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and, currently as Executive Director of New York Women in Film and Television.

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