WonderCon: Women Rocking Hollywood Panel – Jennifer Merin reports

AWFJ member and senior contributor Leslie Combemale recently brought her 10th Women Rocking Hollywood panel to WonderCon in Los Angeles, on Saturday, March 30th, just in time to celebrate Women’s History Month. Hundreds of convention attendees who are fans of cinema and women in film were present to hear this year’s cohort of female filmmakers discuss their careers and latest projects. The panel included Anna Halberg, Amy Greene, Anna Biller, Erica Tremblay, and Andria Wilson Mirza, with Leslie Combemale moderating. Leslie is premiering the video from the panel here on AWFJ.org. Read on to learn more about each panelist and their contributions to the conversation. There is a link to the video of the panel at the end of this overview.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: FANCY DANCE Filmmaker Erica Tremblay to receive inaugural Jaya Award – Brandy McDonnell reports

Erica Tremblay, an Indigenous writer, producer and director from the Seneca-Cayuga Nation, is set to be honored with the inaugural Jaya Award at the 14th annual Athena Film Festival for her critically acclaimed narrative feature directorial debut, Fancy Dance. The 2024 Athena Film Festival is set for Feb. 29 to March 3 at Barnard College in New York City. The festival was founded in 2011 to champion and promote diverse, nuanced, complex and underrepresented stories of women’s leadership on screen.

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Sundance Institute’s 2024 Momentum Fellowship Recipients – Jennifer Merin reports

Sundance Institute has announced eight storytellers selected for the 2024 Momentum Fellowship. Now in its sixth year, Momentum continues its mission of fostering professional growth for mid-career artists, emphasizing professional development opportunities during a critical juncture in their creative journey. The fellowship specifically targets mid-career artists hailing from historically marginalized backgrounds, offering them tailored support and resources. It is led by the Institute’s Women at Sundance and Artist Accelerator programs. Momentum supports creators working in fiction or nonfiction who have recently achieved a noteworthy accomplishment, providing participants with a full-year of customized support around current goals they identify for themselves to level up in their craft and career.

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FANCY DANCE (Sundance FF2023) – Review by Leslie Combemale

Indigeneous filmmaker Erica Tremblay’s Fancy Dance, still seeking distribution, is so good it has me checking the Sundance Film Festival acquisition news every few hours like a mom of someone hoping to get drafted into the NFL. It has everything an award-winning movie needs: a plot with high stakes, strong performances, good character development and interaction, deeper cultural significance, and solid entertainment value. Fancy Dance also features BIPOC female creatives both in front and behind the camera, including the use of music by Choctaw composer Samantha Crain, and cinematography by Latinx filmmaker Carolina Costa.

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