WEEK IN WOMEN: Woman-directed films win big at Sundance 2021 – Brandy McDonnell reports

Director and screenwriter Siân Heder’s family drama Coda won four awards in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category: the grand jury prize, the directing prize, the audience award and a special jury prize for best ensemble. Coda is the first film in the history of the Sundance Film Festival to earn all three U.S. Dramatic top prizes.

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Sundance FF 2021: Supporting Women Above and Below the Line – Leslie Combemale reports

Sundance has been progressive enough to commit to inclusive programming, with 50% of programmed films directed by one or more women, as well as 50% directed by one or more artists of color. Beyond that, though, how are these productions supporting parity? Are they telling stories centered on subjects that haven’t seen themselves enough onscreen? Do they have women working on the crew? In order to effect change, that’s what filmmakers and film fans need to support. Here’s what’s happening at Sundance 2021.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Nia DaCosta to helm CAPTAIN MARVEL 2 – Brandy McDonnell reports

Nia DaCosta will become the first Black woman director in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as she has been tapped to direct “Captain Marvel 2” for Marvel Studios. She becomes the fourth woman to direct a Marvel Studios blockbuster, following Boden, Cate Shortland (Black Widow, currently due out Nov. 6), and Chloé Zhao (Eternals. currently slated for Feb. 12), as Marvel continues to broaden the horizons of the director it hires for its superheroic films,

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Filmmaker Anu Menon chats SHAKUNTALA DEVI – Mythily Ramachandran interviews (Guest Post)

Indian filmmaker Anu Menon busts Bollywood stereotypes, Known for films with stories about strong female characters, her latest feature is Shakuntala Devi, a biopic that chronicles the life of the legendary female mathematician known alternatively as the ‘wizard of India’ and the ‘human computer.’ Menon chats with Mythily Ramachandran about the titular character and making the film.

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Sundance 2020: Black Women Directors Prevail – Kathia Woods reports

Sundance Film Festival featured many films directed by black women. Each film had a different theme and inspiration. Each of the filmmakers had a different point of entry into filmmaking. Some went to film school others went out on a whim, but each brought a strong personal vision and compelling story to the screen, showing that the black experience is not monolithic, but very global. That’s the beauty of filmmaking.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: New Stats show drop in WoC-directed films – Brandy McDonnell reports

Female director representation may be the highest it’s been in 13 years, but the number of women of color is still low. The percentage of underrepresented directors reached 16.8% in 2019, a drop from 2018’s high watermark of 21.4%. Just four women of color directed a top 100 movie in 2019.

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Jennifer Kent on THE NIGHTINGALE and Witnessing Violence -Jessica Zack interviews

Sexual violence is excruciating to watch. So is any violence motivated by racism. And with her new film The Nightingale, an elemental, near-mythic 19th century revenge tale told from a woman’s perspective, Jennifer Kent wants to remind us that they absolutely should be.

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Bentonville FF: Dawn Valadez on THE PUSHOUTS – Betsy Bozdech interviews

As both a filmmaker and a social worker, Dawn Valadez has spent her career focusing on the experiences of young people of color. Those experiences are front and center in The Pushouts, which looks at how the system fails so many at-risk kids — but celebrates the mentors and decisions that can help disrupt the cycle. Valadez, who co-directed and produced the film was at the 5th annual Bentonville Film Festival to screen The Pushouts and talk about its mission of social justice.

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RUST CREEK – Review by Leslie Combemale

Female moviegoers have had to learn to accept that they aren’t going to be represented three-dimensionally in a large percentage of films released. This is particularly true in thrillers, which are often made inside the studio system. Watching Rust Creek, a realization dawns about how rare it is to see a capable, strong everywoman work her way through a dangerous situation that has put her very life at risk.

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