Melbourne International Film Fest: Agnieszka Holland, Penelope Spheeris Retrospectives – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

As the first iteration of the Melbourne International Film Festival helmed by incoming artistic director Al Cossar, the 68th year of the Australian festival continues its impressive recent commitment to showcasing the works of both emerging and pioneering women filmmakers. In terms of the latter, two of this year’s three “Directors in Focus” retrospectives are dedicated to the extraordinary careers of two very different but equally influential filmmakers, Agnieszka Holland and Penelope Spheeris.

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WOMEN FILMMAKERS AT MONTREAL’S INTERNATIONAL FANTASIA FILM FEST – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

Breaking with past bad habits, the presence of women-made movies at genre film festivals around the world is now becoming an assumed norm rather than a curious anomaly. The 2019 iteration of Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival is a case in point, a fiercely independent and originally programmed festival that defines ‘outside the box’ curatorial thinking to the point that it has earned a strong international reputation for taste-making and trend-setting on the global film genre scene.

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Sydney FF 2019: A DOG CALLED MONEY – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Weaving together a range of different threads and textures in his revealing documentary about cult British rock icon PJ Harvey and her 2016 album The Hope Six Demolition Project, Irish filmmaker and photojournalist Seamus Murphy‘s A Dog Called Money crosses the globe with the musician to meet the people and places that inspired her.

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Sydney FF 2019: SCHOOL’S OUT – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

It would at first be far too easy to dismiss School’s Out as representative of generational anxieties about an increasingly vocal, empowered youth, whose voices around the world we see manifest on the daily news in everything from climate change protests to gun restriction rallies in the United States. But the film is far from this simplistic; rather, there is something much opaquer and consequently disturbing about the vision these young people have that the adults and even other students around them are simply not privy to.

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Sydney FF 2019: QUEEN OF HEARTS – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Women directors exploring romantic relationships between grown women and boys is hardly new. While unarguably a part of this tradition, Danish filmmaker May el-Toukhy’s Queen of Hearts is a gut-wrenching and ethically confronting film that hinges on a woman lawyer called Anne whose job is to fight for the rights for abused children and young people. As we discover, this profession lies in uneasy proximity to her status as a sexual predator who has seduced her teenage stepson

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Melbourne FF Premiere’s Kim Farrant’s ANGEL OF MINE – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Reports

The Melbourne International Film Festival has just released first glance highlights from this year’s forthcoming festival that will run from 1 – 18 August. Amongst the many local and international premieres is the announcement that the festival will screen the world premiere of Australian filmmaker Kim Farrant’s sophomore feature Angel of Mine.

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Bentonville FF – Ani Simon-Kennedy and Kishori Rajan on THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD – Betsy Bozdech interviews

Director Ani Simon-Kennedy — a veteran of commercial shoots and socially conscious projects — screened her second narrative feature, The Short History of the Long Road, at this year’s Bentonville Film Festival after premiering it at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. She has received support from the Sundance Institute, The Tribeca Film Institute, IFP, Film Independent, Chanel and AT&T. Accompanied by producer Kishori Rajan, Simon-Kennedy — who’s based in New York, where she and her producing partner Caitlin Yatsko run Bicephaly Pictures — talked to AWFJ about her film, a road movie starring Sabrina Carpenter and Danny Trejo, and female filmmakers.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Julianne Moore Advocates for Gender Parity at Cannes FF – Brandy McDonnell reports

Julianne Moore advocated for greater efforts for the movie industry to reach gender parity, including quotas, last week at France’s Cannes Film Festival. “In order to restore the balance, I do think that there will be, that we will need some measures to change our culture.”

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Bentonville FF: Amy Goldstein and Anouchka van Riel on KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL- Betsy Bozdech interviews

Since graduating from NYU film school, Amy Goldstein has directed everything from music videos to critically acclaimed shorts , award-winning features, a hip-hop musical and more. After making 2014’s The Hooping Life, she began documenting the life of British rocker Kate Nash, who shot to fame in the MySpace era and now co-stars on Netflix’s GLOW. Joined by producer Anouchka van Riel, Goldstein sat down to talk about the frank, endearing, music-filled documentary, Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl Read more