DIRECTOR ROHENA GERA Chats SIR – Mythily Ramachandran interviews

DIRECTOR ROHENA GERA Chats SIR – Mythily Ramachandran interviews

Director Rohena Gera’s debut feature film, Sir broke all stereotypes of Indian cinema with a story that explored the changing dynamics of a relationship between Ashwin-a affluent young man and Ratna-his live-in domestic help. In India where caste and position in society determines relationships, Sir was much appreciated for its sincerity and honest narration. Sir premiered in the Critics Week at Cannes (2017) winning acclaim. Gera became the first woman filmmaker to receive the Gan Foundation award as well as a prize at the Cannes Critics Week.

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Indian directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh won two Sundance awards for WRITING WITH FIRE – Mythily Ramachandran interviews

Indian directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh won two Sundance awards for WRITING WITH FIRE – Mythily Ramachandran interviews

Debutant directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh received two awards-Audience award and Special Jury award at Sundance Film Festival 2021 for their documentary Writing With Fire, chronicling the rise of ‘Khabar Lahariya’ (Waves of news), India’s only newspaper run by Dalit (considered untouchables) women and which recently went digital. WWF is produced by Black Ticket Films, a production company cofounded by Thomas and Ghosh and recognized for its award winning shorts including Timbaktu that received the Indian national award in 2012 as Best Environmental film. Mythily Ramachandran talks to the duo on the making of this documentary.

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IS LOVE ENOUGH SIR? – Review by Mythily Ramachandran

IS LOVE ENOUGH SIR? – Review by Mythily Ramachandran

Is Love Enough Sir? is a tale of forbidden love. Rohena Gera marks her debut with a heart- warming and poignant story that holds a mirror to the class divide in India. This is Rohena Gera’s debut feature film in Hindi. The film won a Cannes Critic Week award in 2018 and is now streaming on Netflix.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ashley Eakin on SINGLE

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ashley Eakin on SINGLE

Single confronts the complexities of being disabled and dating. Kim, who was born with one arm, gets set-up to go on a blind date. When she finally meets Jake, to her horror – he only has one hand. Unable to get over the apparent ignorance of the matchmaker, as well as her own insecurities about being different, Kim tries to bail on the date.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Janice Mingas on WHEN THE NIGHT HAS COME

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Janice Mingas on WHEN THE NIGHT HAS COME

When The Night Has Come sheds light on the dangerous reality of systemic racism and police brutality. It tells the story of Matt, a young Black man whose life is forever changed after he is stopped by the police for an identity check.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ali Liebert on THE QUIETING

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ali Liebert on THE QUIETING

The Quieting tells the story of Maggie, an anxious and newly queer woman on the eve of her first date with a woman. She is thrown into the throes of self-doubt and fear is confronted by an unexpected guest. Sara Canning and Julia Sarah Stone star in this psychological thriller by Ali Liebert that snaps the struggle of identity sharply into focus.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ariane Louis-Seize on SHOOTING STAR

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ariane Louis-Seize on SHOOTING STAR

On a family trip to observe the shooting stars, Chloé, a withdrawn teenager, discovers a dazzling attraction for her mother’s new boyfriend. Ariane Louis-Seize likes to write and film unconventional characters who break down barriers by acting as we would never dare to do ourselves.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Alex Anna on SCARS

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Alex Anna on SCARS

Alex Anna’s body is a canvas: her scars come to life to tell a new story of self-harming. Live action and animation intertwine in this short and poetic documentary, both intimate and universal.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Wendy Morgan on SUGAR DADDY

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Wendy Morgan on SUGAR DADDY

Some films jump off the screen to announce the arrival of vital new talent. Such is the case with Wendy Morgan’s Sugar Daddy, starring Kelly McCormack in a tour de force performance as Darren, a new age music composer and performer who is trying to break into the record industry. Sugar Daddy is the opening film for Whistler Film Festival 2020.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Elinor Nechemya on OUR HEARTS BEAT LIKE WAR

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Elinor Nechemya on OUR HEARTS BEAT LIKE WAR

With his eyes in a fantasy book and his ears to the horrific testimony of an Eritrean refugee, nine-year-old Sinai falls asleep at his mother’s workplace, and his mind drifts away. In his sleep his mother tells him a surrealistic fairytale about a Syrian refugee family living in Sweden. This “fairytale” is about a young Syrian boy who falls into a coma-like situation after the family receives a deportation letter from the government.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Aimee Long on A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Aimee Long on A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL

Inspired by a true event, A Shot Through The Wall is about an Asian American police officer who accidentally discharges his weapon during an investigation, killing a black teenager through an apartment wall. The case spirals out of control as the incident is deemed police racial bias. His fellow cops and unions initially tell him there’s nothing to worry about, but politics erupt and he’s left standing alone. His fiancée is African American, but his reluctance to involve her as part of a PR defense unleashes a series of mishandled opportunities for him to defend himself.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Niav Conty on SMALL TIME

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Niav Conty on SMALL TIME

Naiv Conty’s Small Time is about childhood, family, and the role models around us. Stubborn patriotism, dogmatic faith, and the sexualization of young women are all themes that swirl around in this tragic story about a ten year old girl surrounded by addicted adults,

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Whistler Film Festival Interview: Susan Rodgers on STILL THE WATER

Whistler Film Festival Interview: Susan Rodgers on STILL THE WATER

A former museum curator, Susan Rodgers’ film career started with a wardrobe continuity gig on the television show Emily of New Moon. Soon a box of wartime letters discovered in an attic launched her first film, the half-hour period drama Bobby’s Peace. Rodgers’ inaugural feature film, Still The Water, was completed in the spring of 2020.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Emily Dickinson on MARCH

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Emily Dickinson on MARCH

First time director Emily Dickinson’s narrative short March takes place in 2024, and follows an American woman in her mid-twenties, as she travels to Canada to get a now-illegal abortion. A day in her life showcases abortion tourism, the current state of relations between the two neighbouring nations, the implications of a misogynist government, and the resilience of women. March is nominated for the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Short at Whistler Film Festival 2020.

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Uniqueness in the Age of Global Aesthetics – Katia Shannon

Uniqueness in the Age of Global Aesthetics – Katia Shannon

Filmmakers are encouraged to develop a distinguishable aesthetic to pierce through the clutter. But it might be harder than ever to achieve. Where you are from and what your films should look like, are not interdependant anymore. That’s exciting, but the globalization of aesthetics is both a brilliant opportunity and a trap. The challenge lies in embracing the opportunity of a cross-cultural digital dialogue while recognizing what makes your world view unique and inimitable. The good news is, that it’s already around you, beckoning for attention.

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On THE PUSHBACK, Purpose and Pushing Back – Emily Barclay Ford

On THE PUSHBACK, Purpose and Pushing Back – Emily Barclay Ford

We raced to finish The Pushback in time for our SXSW delivery deadline and then the festival was canceled the same day. Although we are sad that we did not get to premiere at the festival and in Texas, where the documentary was shot, we feel like we have to make lemonade out of lemons and find the opportunity in this moment. Due to the shutdown of other productions, there will likely be more appetite for finished content in the coming months. And with social distancing, cancellation of group events, and potentially the inability to canvas, we’re thinking that a film like ours can be a useful tool to reach people through their living rooms at a safe distance.

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A Filmmaker’s Musing: Passion vs Ambition – Katia Shannon

A Filmmaker’s Musing: Passion vs Ambition – Katia Shannon

Instead of asking myself, how do I find the ‘Right’ people/project/time, how about I ask, what does my current track record say about my passion and ambition? If I were a stranger looking at my work, would I be able to understand my unique and specific aspirations and the passion that fuels them?

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My Gen Z Perspective on Film Criticism – Riley Roberts comments

My Gen Z Perspective on Film Criticism – Riley Roberts comments

I’m 18. I’ve been a YouTube pioneer, the youngest movie critic in history, sold a company, and interviewed hundreds of A-list stars from Dwayne Johnson to Selena Gomez – all before my first period. With high school graduation behind me, I’m looking at a bright future of…what? Closed doors? Despite acquiring a decade’s worth of experience in the field, I’m learning that everyone wants me to knock on the door clutching a very expensive piece of paper – one that comes from the “right” place accompanied by some stunning numbers with decimal points.

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Filmmaker Katia Shannon on “How I Watch Films as a Film Director”

Filmmaker Katia Shannon on “How I Watch Films as a Film Director”

A few years ago, during an undergraduate film studies class viewing of Michael Snow’s Wavelength, I was struggling to find anything positive about the 40-minute imperceptibly slow zoom we were watching unfold. After reconsidering the value of my student loan, and whether or not people would notice if I took a quick nap, something great happened. I dove into a contemplation of the nuances between entertainment, appreciation, and enjoyment.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Cate Smierciak on MUDPOTS

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Cate Smierciak on MUDPOTS

Cate Smierxiak’s Mudpots is about two inseparable friends who are, due to forces beyond their control, about to be separated. The film is a coming of age tale about being a teenager who is old enough to be aware of changes in life but not able to control or even influence the most impactful events that form the future. Mudpots is among the short films nominated for an AWFJ EDA Award at Whistler Film Festival 2019. Here’s what Cate Smierciak has to say about the making and meaning of the film.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Katharine O’Brien on LOST TRANSMISSIONS

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Katharine O’Brien on LOST TRANSMISSIONS

Lost Transmissions is about mental illness. It’s also about the mental wavelengths we’re on, trying to connect to with one another, and missing. On one hand the film is grounded in realism. It shows someone trying to help their friend with psychiatric care. On the other hand, the film looks at how bizarre the real world is if we take a moment to consider it in depth. Lost ransmissions is the opening film at Whistler Film Festival 2019, where it is among the films nominated for an AWFJ EDA Award. Here’s what directior Katharine O’Briien has to say about making the film.

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Nia Long Accepts Award at Critics Choice Association Celebration of Black Cinema

Nia Long Accepts Award at Critics Choice Association Celebration of Black Cinema

Marking the the 100th anniversary of the release of legendary black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux’s The Homesteader, the Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Black Cinema Awards, held in LA on December 2, 2019, honored actress and activist Nia Long, along with Kasi Lemmons, Chewitel Eijofor and Eddie Murphy for their extraordinary career achievements. Introduced by Chaz Ebert, Long’s affecting acceptance speech acknowledged her sources of inspiration and some of the hardships she’s faced. was particularly affecting. Here it is:

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Sonia K Hadad on EXAM

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Sonia K Hadad on EXAM

Iranian filmmaker Sonia K. Hadad’s short film, Exam, is a compact, well-crated truth-based crime drama that delves into how familial pressures impact the life of an Iranian teenage girl. On the days of an important exam that will determine her future at school, the girl reluctantly agrees to her father’s behest that she deliver a packet of cocaine. Exam is among the films nominated for an AWFJ EDA Award at Whistler Film Festival 2019.

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Whistler Film Festival interview: Lydia Dean Pilcher on LIBERTÉ: A CALL TO SPY

Whistler Film Festival interview: Lydia Dean Pilcher on LIBERTÉ: A CALL TO SPY

Financed and shot independently, filmmaker Lydia Dean Pilcher’s thrilling truth-based narrative is about female spies of the Allied resistance during WWII. Forced to consider new avenues for espionage after the Nazis invade France, Sir Winston Churchill resolved to create a covert brigade of female spies within his Special Operations Executive. Spy-mistress Vera Atkins (Stana Katic) was tasked with overseeing this unit, and the bulk of the narrative focuses on the efforts of two of her most effective recruits: American expatriate Virginia Hall (played by Sarah Megan Thomas, who also wrote the script and produced) and Muslim pacifist Noor Inayat Khan (Radhike Aote). Together, these women form a sisterhood while entangled in dangerous missions to build a new type of spy network and help stop Hitler. The film presents powerful female characters and reveals an aspect of women’s herstory that has too long been neglected. Liberte: A Call to Spy is among the female-directed films nominated for an AWFJ EDA Award at Whistler Film Festival 2019. Here are Lydia Dean Pilcher’s insightful comments about the making and meaning of the film.

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Whistler Film Festival interview: Rebecca Snow on PANDORA’S BOX: LIFTING THE LID ON MEMSTRUATION

Whistler Film Festival interview: Rebecca Snow on PANDORA’S BOX: LIFTING THE LID ON MEMSTRUATION

In Pandora’s Box, filmmaker Rebecca Snow deals with a central issue in women’s struggle for gender equality by revealing how for generations women have been shamed, ostracized, and silenced, because they menstruate. Pandora’s Box unmasks the global pandemic of menstrual inequity and period poverty. The powerful stories that emerge raise public consciousness of #Menstrual Equity, a global movement that is going mainstream. Pandora’s Box is among the female-directed films nominated for an AWFJ EDA Award at Whistler Film Festival 2019. Her insightful comments on the making and meaning of Pandora’s Box are fascinating.

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