WEEK IN WOMEN: Maryam Keshavarz’s THE PERSIAN VERSION opens theatrically – Brandy McDonnell reports

Maryam Keshavarz’s Sundance Film Festival hit The Persian Version will be released in theaters this autumn. Sony Pictures Classics landed North American rights to the mother-daughter story following its award-winning world premiere at the prestigious Utah film fest. Written, directed, and produced by Keshavarz, the film received a rousing standing ovation and glowing reviews, along with the Audience Award (U.S. Dramatic Competition) and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award (U.S. Dramatic Competition), at Sundance.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Sophie Barthes’ POD GENERATION set for Theatrical Release – Brandy McDonnell reports

Marking their sixth collaboration, Roadside Attractions and Vertical have acquired North American rights to Sophie Barthes’ futuristic fable The Pod Generation, which won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize winner at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Barthes’ third feature film is set in the near future world where AI is all the rage and technology has trumped nature in nearly every aspect of life,

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 21, 2023: JUDY BLUME FOREVER

In a time when right-wing politicians’ and parents’ efforts to ban kids from reading “controversial” books are leading to terrified teachers and empty school library shelves, Judy Blume’s story couldn’t be more timely or relevant. Blume shares her experiences as a frequently challenged – but even more frequently celebrated — children’s author in Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchuk’s engrossing documentary Judy Blume Forever, which sheds light on both Blume’s career and her personal life.

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JUDY BLUME FOREVER – Review by Loren King

Even if you’ve never cracked open one of Judy Blume’s dozens of novels, this candid, engaging look at the author’s life and work is an enjoyable and enlightening way to spend 90 minutes. Blume — forthright, gracious, down to earth — is great company over the course of the film. She recounts how she willed her transformation from 1960s housewife to the defining author of YA fiction in the ‘70s and ‘80s. She made the transition to adult fiction and survived the first wave of right wing censorship in the 1980s when the Moral Majority found an ally in President Ronald Reagan.

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JUDY BLUME FOREVER – Review by Nikki Fowler

Filmmakers Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok bring the absolute magic of the real-life journey of influential author Judy Blume to life in an intimate look at how she brought pure love, joy, and inspiration to readers worldwide. The biodoc shares details on how Blume got her start in writing. She was a young college graduate, newly married to her already established lawyer husband at the time, with him stating that he didn’t mind her hobby “as long as it didn’t interfere with raising their kids.”

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WEEK IN WOMEN: JUDY BLUME FOREVER is coming to Prime Video – Brandy McDonnell reports

Directed by Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok, Judy Blume Forever chronicles the life and legacy of trailblazing author Judy Blume, the literary giant known for her novels for children, young adults and adults, including the beloved books Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Known for her radical honesty, Blume, who turned 85 in February, revolutionized the way millions of readers understood themselves, their adolescence and their sexuality through her books. Her fearless mission to openly discuss taboo subjects paved the way to real debate and conversation around book banning, censorship and teen sexual discovery.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Sophie Barthes wins Sundance’s Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize – Brandy McDonnell reports

Writer-director Sophie Barthes’ The Pod Generation has been named the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. The Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize is an annual award given to an artist for the most outstanding depiction of science and technology in a feature film. “The Pod Generation” is an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

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SPOTLIGHT July, 2021: Heidi Ewing on Nonfiction, Partnership and I CARRY YOU WITH ME

Kudos to Heidi Ewing who has built her laudable career and cinema catalogue by helping fascinating people to tell their stories with authenticity and grace. Whether she’s focusing on a strict religious community, the physical and financial impact of manufacturing shutdowns on an industrial city, or two men risking everything to seek the freedom to love each other, Ewing’s empathetic lens captures the humanity of her subjects, while she is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop her own unique talents and skills.

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SUMMER OF SOUL (OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED (Sundance2021) – Review by Leslie Combemale

It seems like the opening documentary at Sundance is always meant to bring joy and inspiration. Last year it was Crip Camp, and this year it’s Harlem Cultural Festival’s directorial debut, Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could not Be Televised). The film is made up of a lot of concert footage that’s been sitting somewhere for over 50 years, and that alone makes its release a celebration.

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LAND (Sundance2021) – Review by Rachel West

Robin Wright sets out into the wilderness in her directorial debut feature, Land.in which she also stars as stars as a woman grappling with the aftermath of a tragedy. Though her grief is not explicitly explained at the outset, one gathers she’s been deeply traumatized by the unexpected death of her husband and young son. Packing up mementos of her life into a cardboard box, Edee loads a U-Haul with supplies and heads into the mountains in search of a solitude in a remote cabin.

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