TIFF honors Agnes Varda – Liz Braun reports

The Toronto International Film Festival has unveiled a beautiful new space that honors filmmaker Agnes Varda who was a TIFF regular, bringing new films to the festival some years, while having her best-known movies feted and re-examined in others. Her last movie, Varda By Agnes, was at TIFF 2019, six months after her death. Named Varda, the new space is a sleek cafe-bar on the third floor of the Bell Lightbox building — TIFF headquarters —and it will open officially in the fall. During TIFF, which runs September 7 – 17 this year, it will be open exclusively to filmmakers and top-tier patrons of the festival, but after the annual celebration of cinema wraps up, all TIFF members will be invited to a special preview of Varda before the cafe-bar opens to the public.

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MIU MIU WOMEN’S TALES – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

For roughly the past decade, Italian high-fashion brand Miu Miu, a subsidiary of Prada, has been commissioning and releasing short films from some of the world’s most renowned women directors. As long as the films include Miu Miu fashions and accessories, the directors have been free to express their own creative impulses and personalities. Within the series, film fans will recognize signature flourishes along with great invention.

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DuVernay and Jenks get Funko Pops, per AWFJ’s Suggestion! Yes!!! – Jennifer Merin reports

There’s no way to know how much, if any, Funko’s introduction of Female Film Director Pops was influenced by Leslie Combemale’s essay for AWFJ.org in 2018, but in March, 2020, Funko introduced it’s Ava DuVernay Pop. The Patty Jenkins Pop followed in April.

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NEW YORK FILM FEST ’19: Great (but too few) Female Filmmakers – Jennifer Merin reports

Programming for this year’s 57th New York Film Festival, held from September 15 to October 23, suggests that this highly regarded cinema showcase has little regard for the 5050×2020 gender parity initiative. Of the 66 feature films presented in this year’s 26-day schedule, just 11 were directed by women. That’s a mere 16.666666666667%, and a very long short fall from the 50/50 by 2020 goal. That said, the female-directed films that were showcased in this year’s NYFF program are absolutely brilliant. Here’s a run down.

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SERENDIPITY – Review by Loren King

If you don’t know French artist Prune Nourry — and I didn’t before watching her documentary If you don’t know French artist Prune Nourry — and I didn’t before watching her documentary Serendipity — this personal and profound film is a great introduction to a singular creative force and fascinating person.

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SERENDIPITY – Review by Sheila Roberts

French-born artist Prune Nourry’s autobiographical documentary, Serendipity, is a stunning first feature that explores in her own words her impassioned yet contemplative response to a potentially devastating breast cancer diagnosis she received in 2016 at age 31.

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Sydney FF 2019: VARDA BY AGNÈS – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Varda By Agnès is a sprawling, wandering film that reveals how the seemingly different strands of our lives can diverge, intersect, vanish and return. At the heart of this is simply the experience of having lived a full life, where Varda was influenced by the people she met and worked with as much as she influenced them. “Real people are the heart of my work”, she says simply at one point, noting elsewhere “nothing is trite if you film people with empathy and love”.

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What’s Up Down Under? “Viva Varda” at Sydney Film Fest – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas Reports

Marking the legacy of influential French filmmaker Agnès Varda whose recent passing triggered a torrent of both deep grief and loving memorials from cinephiles across the globe, the upcoming Sydney Film Festival celebrates her unparalleled career with a near-exhaustive program of her most significant films.

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For Agnes Varda: A Memorial Tribute and Celebration

RIP Agnes Varda. You have left the mortal realm of moviemakers, but your films, curiosity, love of life and feminism are still guiding lights for audiences who believe that movies matter. The Alliance of Women Film Critics honors your memory with this collective tribute of articles and reviews by members of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

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