Polley, McDormand, Gardener and Toews Talk WOMEN TALKING – Leslie Combemale reports

Writer/director Sarah Polley’s new film Women Talking has received nearly universal acclaim from critics. It’s pretty remarkable that a film based on such horrible abuse can have moments of joy and humor, but that was baked into the novel by Miriam Toews, on which the screenplay is based. In advance of the film’s release, Toews, writer/director Sarah Polley, Frances McDormand (co-star of the movie and one of its producers), and Dede Gardner, president of Plan B, got together for a spirited discussion and virtual Q&A about Women Talking. Those taking part were asked about the process of interpreting the true story and how it took shape.

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Jeff Malmberg and Disney Animators on MICKEY: THE STORY OF A MOUSE – Emma Badame interviews

Immediately recognizable to both the young and young-at-heart the world over, Mickey Mouse has been an icon of joy and delight for almost 100 years. From his humble beginnings as a replacement black and white cartoon hero to his role as the beating heart of the entertainment monolith he helped to build, the road hasn’t always been smooth for Mickey–or indeed, for his creator. But despite those ups and downs, despite the passage of time and endless societal shifts and upheavals, Mickey has managed to remain one of the most beloved, most recognizable icons of all time.

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Sherenté Harris and Stephanie Lamorre on BEING THUNDER – Leslie Combemale interviews

There’s a great new documentary out called Being Thunder that profiles and centers on what the indigenous people call a Two Spirit, a gender queer teenager, named Sherenté Harris. French filmmaker Stephanie Lamorre spent time living with Sherenté and their family at a crucial point in their teen years, between 14-17 years of age. Sherenté is a dancer who dances the Fancy Shawl dance at intertribal powwows, and the film is a witness to the discrimination and erasure they experienced in the course of their performances at these powwows.

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Tallgrass Film Festival Filmmaker Sarah Moshman on UNBOUND – Jennifer Merin interviews

Sarah Moshman won AWFJ’s EDA Award @ Tallgrass Film Festival for Best Female-Directed Short for Unbound, a character-driven drama inspired by a true story. Unbound is set in the 1980’s and follows the NASA Mission Specialist who paved the way as the first mother in space. Weeks before giving birth to her first child, Dr. Anna Fisher is chosen for a mission to space. Although the decision to go is easy, Anna is faced with the difficult intersection of motherhood and ambition on the way to her dream. AWFJ spoke with Sarah Moshman about her film, her creative process and her plans for the future.

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AWFJ Zoom Interview with Nina Menkes and Maria Giese on BRAINWASHED: SEX-CAMERA-POWER (Exclusive)

Compiling nearly 200 clips since 1896 from popular, classic, and indie films, Brainwashed analyzes certain filmmaking techniques that continually view women as objects. Producer and cinema activist Maria Giese joins Nina to discuss the documentary and its implications with members of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

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Tearepa Kahi and Cliff Curtis on MURU (TIFF 2022) – Ulkar Alakbarova interviews

Racism, corruption, discrimination, greed and power. They all go hand-in-hand. We hope that at some point the world we live in will change for the better. But it does not happen. Are we just naïve to hope and still believe in miracles? The story told in Muru, directed by Tearepa Kahi happened not too long ago. But when you look at it, you begin to ask yourself – how is it even possible for something like this to occur in our modern times? Not revealing much, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with director Tearepa Kahi and actor Cliff Curtis, who provided insights into the film much better than I could.

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Gina Prince-Bythewood on Cast, Action and Camera in THE WOMAN KING – Leslie Combemale interviews

With the new historical epic The Woman King, Gina Prince-Bythewood has added yet another winner to her impressive filmography. Based on historical events, the film is centered on a cast of Black women portraying members of the Agojie, a legion of female warriors who protected the Kingdom of Dahomey (now part of Benin) in 1800s Africa. Full of action, the performers in The Woman King do nearly all their own stunts, and every actor portraying a member of the Agojie plays a powerful, fully-formed, three dimensional character. Prince-Bythewood chats about her cast, her collaborators above and below the line, and how The Woman King has changed her as a director.

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Terilyn Shropshire on Gina Prince-Bythewood, Evolutional Editing and THE WOMAN KING – Leslie Combemale interviews

Terilyn Shropshire has been building a career as a film and television editor in Hollywood for over 30 years, working with some of the best directors in the business. Her ongoing collaboration with Gina Prince-Bythewood began in 2000 with the director’s now classic Love and Basketball. Now Shropshire is in the spotlight for her work with Prince-Bythewood on the new and critically acclaimed release The Woman King. AWFJ.org’s Leslie Combems;le spoke with Shropshire about her process, and the joy of a project that highlights powerful Black women in a positive and dynamic way never done before onscreen.

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Cameron Bailey on TIFF 2022, Curation and Share Her Journey – Liz Braun interviews

For the first time in two years, The Toronto International Film Festival will be fully in-person. After falling back on drive-ins, streaming and limited screenings during the pandemic, CEO Cameron Bailey and his team were determined that TIFF 2022 would be extra special. “We knew we wanted to come back strong,” said Bailey in a recent interview. Mission accomplished.

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Sabrina Jaglom, Chloe Yu & Nina Bloomgarden on JANE – Jeanne Wolf interviews

In Jane, Sabrina Jaglom’s psychological thriller, Madelaine Petsch stars as a teen struggling to cope with the tragic suicide of her friend Jane, portrayed by Chloe Yu. She’s also feeling the pressure of the college admission process. After getting deferred from her dream school, she spirals out of control and launches a social media rampage against those who stand in the way of her success. She gets some help from her buddy Izzy, (Chloe Bailey). One of her targets is Camille (Nina Bloomgarden), a pushy new arrival at school, who ends up being forced to leave. Meanwhile, the ghostly presence of Jane and her still functioning website lurks in the background. At a recent screening, the audience was shook up but fascinated and the filmmakers were pleased and intrigued by their response.

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