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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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 28, 2020: PREMATURE

Sensitive and soulful, Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Premature is a poignant portrait of first love, from the thrill of the early days to the agony of conflict and parting. Set in Harlem, it centers on 17-year-old Ayanna (Zora Howard, who also co-wrote the script with Green), who falls for older music producer Isaiah (Joshua Boone) the summer before she’s planning to leave NYC for Bucknell University.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 21, 2020: THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Help comes from unexpected places when needed the most in The Kindness of Strangers, Lone Scherfig’s heartfelt drama about a handful of people whose lives intersect amid the bustling anonymity of New York City. Centering on the plight of a woman who flees an abusive marriage with her two young sons, the narrative shows how circumstances — and life itself — can turn on a dime.

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For Valentine’s Day 2020: Men We Love

To celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020, AWFJ is posting this virtual Valentine to express our love for and to honor our male colleagues who’ve embraced the causes of gender parity and inclusively, and whose work has and is leveling the playing field for women working in film. For many of them, advocacy and activism for better representation of women on camera and behind the lens dates back to before #MeToo became an iconic hashtag and the feminist movement marched into the spotlight.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 14, 2020: ORDINARY LOVE

There’s a reason why more movies are about weddings than marriages. It’s easier to tie up a story with bells ringing and happy “I do”s than to accurately depict the beautifully complicated thing that is a long-term committed relationship — especially the kind of real, relatable, warts-and-all relationship many people actually live out. But Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s Ordinary Love accomplishes that feat with intimate grace, thanks to honest storytelling and heartbreaking performances by Liam Neeson and Leslie Manville.

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Khodorkovsky (2011) – Documentary Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is an icon in Russia, and throughout the rest of the world, too. He’s young, attractive, smart and extremely rich. And he’s in jail. German filmmaker Cyril Tuschi profiles the fascinating Khodorkovsky, tracing his life and career from the time his early childhood, through his standout student career in Soviet Russia and his rise to prominence in post-Soviet Russia’s growing capitalist economy.

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Black History Month 2020 One-A-Day Movie Watch List

Listed in alphabetical order, we present the titles of 29 watch-worthy movies, a one-a-day selection of films to view during February 2020. Our compendium of titles was selected from hundreds of the beautifully crafted, relevant and relatable films that elucidate Black experiences, tell stories of Black lives and illuminate Black history. We chose films that represent a variety of diverse perspectives as expressed in both obscure titles and blockbusters, covering genres ranging from romcom to horror, from scifi fantasy to biopic and documentary, with release dates ranging from 1934 to the present.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK February 7, 2020: A SIMPLE WEDDING

If you were to blend My Big Fat Greek Wedding with The Big Sick — and add a dash of Crazy Rich Asians — you might end up with something close to A Simple Wedding, Sara Zandieh‘s entertaining romcom about a thirtysomething Iranian American woman who wants to find love on her own terms.

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THE END OF AMERICA — Documentary Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Released in 2008, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundburg’s compelling documentary is a still timely analysis and report about the ten step blueprint to establishing a dictatorship that Hitler and other dictators used to subvert democratic process and put an end to personal freedoms. The film compares, step by step, events leading up to establishment of the Third Reich with what has happened in the United States in recent years. Very convincing. Very scary. And, before it’s absolutely too late to take action, it should be required viewing for anyone old enough to vote, pay taxes or join the army.

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My Gen Z Perspective on Film Criticism – Riley Roberts comments (Guest Post)

I’m 18. I’ve been a YouTube pioneer, the youngest movie critic in history, sold a company, and interviewed hundreds of A-list stars from Dwayne Johnson to Selena Gomez – all before my first period. With high school graduation behind me, I’m looking at a bright future of…what? Closed doors?

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