Aaron Sorkin on THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, Story Power and Musical Dialogue – Jennifer Merin interviews

In The Trial of the Chicago 7, writer/director Aaron Sorkin dramatizes the US Justice Department’s prosecution of political activists Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellenger, John Froines and Lee Weiner, all of whom were arrested while leading peaceful anti-Vietnam War demonstrations during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Sorkin chats about balancing entertainment and educational value in his truth based and how he develops story and composes dialogue.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 5, 2021: THE ORPHANAGE

Filmed with an intimate realism that feels as authentic as any documentary, Shahrbanoo Sadat’s The Orphanage is a compelling drama about life in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, near the end of the country’s Soviet era. Like Sadat’s first feature, Wolf and Sheep, it’s based on the unpublished diaries of Anwar Hashimi, and it offers a closely observed portrait of real teen life in this specific time and place.

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SPOTLGHT March 2021: Alice Guy-Blaché, Pioneering Filmmaker, Studio Founder and Iconic Cinema Influencer

Women’s History Month is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on Alice Guy-Blaché, the French pioneer filmmaker whose work introduced narrative fiction films to early cinema. She is credited for being first woman to direct a film. And, from 1896 to 1906, while she was most likely the only female filmmaker at work worldwide, she most certainly pushed the envelope on cinema aesthetics, technology and social relevance by working with color tinting and special effects, utilizing Gaumont’s Chronophone sync-sound system, casting women as leading characters and casting interracially.

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Women’s History Month Watch List: REAL REEL WOMEN

Throughout cinema history, films by and about women have enthralled audiences, accrued awards and honors worldwide and scored at the box office while influencing out social social mores and enriching our cultural conversation. Although some Hollywood honchos and haters assert that female-centric movies are less likely to be commercial successes, our list proves them wrong. Movies that tell women’s stories have legs. Released to celebrate Women’s History Month, AWFJ’s REAL REEL WOMEN List is an annotated roster of 50 fascinating real women whose remarkable true stories have been told in narrative features since the earliest days of moviemaking.

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THE ORPHANAGE – Review by Jennifer Merin

Set in Afghanistan in 1989, The Orphanage centers on a thoroughly engaging Kabul street boy, a teenager named Qodrat (Qodratollah Qadiri), who’s on his own, in survival mode, eking out a living by selling trinkets and committing petty crimes. His form of relief — and it’s his passion — is going to the movies, particularly Bollywood flicks. His life changes dramatically when he’s picked up for scalping cinema tickets and is sent to a Soviet-run juvenile detention center — known as the orphanage.

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Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh on Making WRITING WITH FIRE – Mythily Ramachandran interviews (Exclusive Guest Post)

Debutant directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh received two awards-Audience award and Special Jury award at Sundance Film Festival 2021 for their documentary Writing With Fire, chronicling the rise of ‘Khabar Lahariya’ (Waves of news), India’s only newspaper run by Dalit (considered untouchables) women and which recently went digital. em>WWF is produced by Black Ticket Films, a production company cofounded by Thomas and Ghosh and recognized for its award winning shorts including Timbaktu that received the Indian national award in 2012 as Best Environmental film. Mythily Ramachandran talks to the duo on the making of this documentary.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 26, 2021: MY ZOE

Like Kramer vs. Kramer by way of The Twilight Zone, Julie Delpy’s compelling drama My Zoe examines the depth and fierceness of maternal love. It centers on Isabelle (Delpy), a woman who will take every risk and push every envelope in the name of her beloved daughter, Zoe (Sophia Ally). But is she acting in Zoe’s interests or her own?

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 25, 2021: TEST PATTERN

Heartbreaking and infuriating in its authentic portrayal of a woman left reeling after being raped, Shatara Michelle Ford’s Test Pattern makes it crystal clear just how stacked the system often is against the victims of sexual assault. Between endless bureaucracy and condescending skepticism, it’s no wonder so many women don’t even bother pursuing justice for these horrible crimes.

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IS LOVE ENOUGH SIR? – Review by Mythilly Ramachandran (Guest Post)

Is Love Enough Sir? is a tale of forbidden love. Rohena Gera marks her debut with a heart- warming and poignant story that holds a mirror to the class divide in India. “People will make fun of us,” Ratna says while acknowledging her feelings for Ashwin. “I don’t care,” he tells her. But she cares. In Hindi. Streaming on Netflix

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