SPOTLIGHT July 2019: Andrea Arnold, Feminist Film Director, BIG LITTLE LIES

Andrea Arnold’s career shows what a woman filmmaker’s ‘can do spirit’ can do. The career path she’s created for herself has brought her from the difficult circumstances of a child raised in a single parent home in the environs of a working class ‘estate’ in suburban London to the coveted and exalted position of series director for a highly acclaimed and high ranking television series. Along the way, she’s won an Oscar and become an OBE, and accrued numerous other awards and honors for her femme-centric films. Arnold’s filmography is stunning in its inventiveness and variety, but it is her exceptional leadership as director of HBO’S Big Little Lies Season Two, which began airing in June that puts her in AWFJ’s July SPOTLIGHT.

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Bentonville FF: Karen Day on BAMBOO AND BARBED WIRE -Betsy Bozdech interviews

Karen Day has done everything from war-zone reporting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda, and more to co-authoring a book (Seal: The Unspoken Sacrifice) to raising four children. She turned her attention to feature filmmaking with 2014’s Girl from God’s Country — a documentary about pioneering female filmmaker Nell Shipman. Now, with Bamboo and Barbed Wire, she explores the parallels between Japanese American internment during World War II and our current political climate and attitude toward refugees

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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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Bentonville FF: Linda Goldstein Knowlton on WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS – Betsy Bozdech interviews

An experienced, Emmy-nominated director and producer Linda Goldstein Knowlton attended the 5th annual Bentonville Film Festival this year for her latest documentary, We Are the Radical Monarchs. The uplifting, fist-pumping story of a new kind of scouting troop for young girls, the film underlines the importance of inclusion, representation, and activism in today’s world.

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Bentonville FF: Amber McGinnis on INTERNATIONAL FALLS – Betsy Bozdech interviews

Amber McGinnis’ feature film directing debut is International Falls, which stars Rachael Harris as a dissatisfied Minnesota woman who finds her way to stand-up comedy. The film is part of the line-up at this year’s Bentonville Film Festival, which McGinnis is attending with her 3-month-old daughter.

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SPOTLIGHT January 2019: Karyn Kusama, Feminist Filmmaker, DESTROYER

A vocal advocate for women filmmakers, Kusama has consistently spoken passionately about the importance of diversity in the film industry. The success of Destroyer will no doubt continue to raise the visibility of the platform from which Kusama speaks, not only as an artist, but as a woman whose voice has been stifled so many times by a male-dominated industry who in the past have been so shamefully dismissive of the important things she has to tell us and of her extraordinarily skillful and creative way of telling them.

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