Posts

Cinefemme: 'Dinner With Dames' & Paul Feig

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Cinefemmewas founded by women filmmakers, for women filmmakers, back in 2002. It provides fiscal sponsorship to women filmmakers and artists, as well as peer-to-peer networking, mentorship, and strategy for project fundraising. By advancing women’s careers in film and the arts, the organisation empowers women’s voices to create gender parity in the arts and equal representation in the media.  Cinefemme goes from strength to strength. You can check out its many projects and partners here.

Its monthly Dinner With Dames is among Cinefemme's many thoughtful strategies for change. I love this initiative, because it aims to 'propel women to bigger & better career opportunities within studios & networks' and 'invites Hollywood to tackle the gender diversity issue by sitting down for dinner with up and coming female writers, directors, producers, and other skilled department heads. The hot topic of diversity in film has many people pointing fingers without offering many…

Announcing! 'Mothers of Invention: Parenting &/as Filmmaking Practice'

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Remember Corinn Columparand Sophie Mayer's book, There She Goes: Feminist Filmmaking & Beyond, back in 2009?  Corinn followed There She Goes with Unsettling Sights: The Fourth World on Film (2010) and Sophie wrote Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema (2015) (WW interview here) as well as The Cinema of Sally Potter: The Politics of Love.

I love their activist writing and editing work about #womeninfilm, with its emphasis on intersectionality and rigour and its love of women's onscreen stories.

Now Corinn and Sophie are back together for a new collection, Mothers of Invention: Parenting and/as Filmmaking Practice! And they're calling for contributions. This is how they explain the ideas behind Mothers of Invention and what they're looking for–

In 1983, E. Ann Kaplan famously called second-wave feminist film culture a movement created by daughters 'unwittingly…repeat[ing] the patriarchal omission of the Mother'. By way of what Charlotte Brunsdon has cal…

Moms-in-Film's Mathilde Dratwa & Christy Lamb – & Their #BudgetTheBaby Campaign

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Christy Lamb and Mathilde Dratwa are American filmmakers with a revolutionary idea: to #BudgetTheBaby. Their non-profit Moms-in-Film has a beautiful and highly informative website, and at this year's SXSW they trialled their Wee Wagon concept, a service for filmmakers on set and at festivals. And there's lots more! And lots more coming soon!

WW What gave you courage to propose that every shoot should #BudgetTheBaby and how does the Wee Wagon fit into this?

Mathilde We are both filmmakers and relatively new moms. When I had my baby, I wrote a blog post about how difficult it was to be both. The response to that blog post was really phenomenal, so I decided to meet in person with the other moms who were commenting on it – or at least, those that were in New York, which is where I'm based. That was exactly a year ago, during last year's Tribeca Film Festival.

Luckily for me, Christy came on board shortly afterwards – and as she lives in LA, we were able to really make pro…

NZ Update #5: Little Lovely Things

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The Aotearoa New Zealand film and television world is being transformed by awareness of, and increasing commitment to, gender equity. Here are some lovely little things I’ve cherished since my last update.


1 The Māoriland Film Festival in Ōtaki (a beautiful small-town-by-the sea, north of Wellington) has announced its first three awards and released its stats.

The awards are all People’s Choice awards and films directed by women won two of them.
Michelle Latimer’s RISE: Standing Rock was Best Documentary feature, from a docuseries that investigates the ongoing environmental rights struggles that continue to be faced by Native American and indigenous citizens. The episodes played at Māoriland, Sacred Water and Red Power, are situated at Standing Rock.

Amie Batalibasi won Best Short for Blackbird, which tells the story of Solomon Islander siblings, Rosa and Kiko, who were kidnapped from their island home to work on a sugar cane plantation in Queensland, Australia, in the late 1800s.


Mic…

Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, an interview with Nancy Wang Yuen

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by Kyna Morgan of the Her Film Project

Dr. Nancy Wang Yuen's new book, Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, represents a major breakthrough in research into barriers faced by actors of color in Hollywood. Informed by over 100 interviews and enlightening data-based research, her book provides an in-depth examination of racism within this creative industry as well as ways in which it may be opposed and the industry made to be more inclusive. Dr. Yuen's book is published by Rutgers University Press. ​HFP Your book might be the first ever to present in-depth sociological research into issues of racism in the Hollywood film industry. One issue that's being discussed with more and more frequency is the issue of 'whitewashing.' In chapter 1 ('Hollywood's Whitest') of your new book, you state that 'Hollywood creates a double standard by funneling actors of color into race-specific roles while casting white actors in every role regardless of race.…

Sue Clayton: Filmmaker Among the Vulnerable Young Refugees of Calais & Dunkerque

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This updates an earlier post about film activist Sue Clayton’s work with, and film about, unaccompanied children and young people who are refugees on the coast of France, trying to get to Britain. The film is partly for use as evidence in upcoming court cases and an inquiry.

Daniel, a 9-year old orphan from Eritrea, had the right to be in Britain, because he had close family there. But he was sleeping in a damp and dangerous lean-to in the Calais Jungle, regularly subject to tear-gas attacks and violence from the CRS (Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, the general reserve of the French national police force). And his his voice was not being heard.

Then, filmmaker Sue Clayton and her colleagues provided legal representation to protect his immediate future. Daniel is now safely with his older brother in Britain, in care.

But many others weren't so lucky.

Sue's film began with her exploration of whether the children of Calais had a legal case to be in Britain. She found tha…