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#directedbywomen #aotearoa - Getting With the Suffrage125 programme

125 years ago today, women in Aotearoa New Zealand got the vote. And my mate’s in town, for a posh Suffrage125 dinner. Writing Buddy 1B. You might remember her, from our conversation a couple of years back.

Play with me, she begs, from the airport. He rā mīharo tēnei. We can garden. I’ll shout you lunch. You can help me pick a dinner-time frock.

I can’t, I say. Gotta write about the #directedbywomen #aotearoa screening programme.

Do it tomorrow, she says. Celebrate with me...

I can’t, I say again. It’s the first screening tonight. The Bookshop, and Isabel Coixet is beaming in, live from Barcelona, for a Q&A. I think it’s the first screening in this country that's followed by a live Skype with the film’s director. I’m nervous as.

1B – So? Haven’t you prepared?

ME – Of course I have. And people have given me some lovely questions. But I haven’t had time to write about it all before it starts.

1B – It ‘all’?

ME – The screenings. The ideas behind them.

Ah, she says. She gets it. …

#DirectedByWomen month in Aotearoa New Zealand

September marks the fourth global #DirectedByWomen celebration. All round the world, people choose to watch films that women direct. In bed late at night on their phones. On the couch with mates and wine and popcorn and tea and biscuits. In cinemas with friends and strangers.

And in lots of other places, like this outdoor cinema in Spain, where #DirectedByWomen has grown and grown.

You can find events near you on the very full #DirectedByWomen catalogue.

This year, by a wonderful coincidence, September is also the month where here in Aotearoa New Zealand we celebrate 125 years since Parliament passed the law that gave women the vote: Suffrage125. So there are films #directedbywomen all over the place! Starting in the north... and aware that I haven't included anything from Te Wai Pounamu/ the South Island (yet!) AUCKLAND

In Auckland, at ACADEMY CINEMAS, there's There She Goes: Women's Countercinema in the 20th Century. It starts with Mauri,on Women's Suffrage Day, nex…

Emerging Women Filmmakers Network

Thanks to Lucy Holyoake and Lorraine Hughes, Wellington has a new and shiny Emerging Women Filmmaker’s Network. It began with a meet-up late last month, attended by about 50 women.

Lucy majored in Film at Victoria, where she did the practical courses, directed her first short documentary and fell in love with writing and directing. She’s now completing her Graduate Diploma in Media Studies where she’s researched and written about gender in film and media and she was happy to answer a few questions.

What inspired your initiative? How did you establish the parameters of who the group is for?

The idea of this group combines my passions for film and gender studies. Initially we opened it up to all woman of any skill level, but we quickly realised the gap we wanted to fill was for young or emerging women lacking experience. Being recent graduates ourselves, we both found it very hard to know what to do next and how to actually get work in the film industry. And this is something a lot of t…

NZ Update #16: Celebrations & Problems

In Aotearoa New Zealand we're keen on movies with women protagonists, in a variety of genres. At the box office last time I looked, seven out of the top ten had women at their centre. But women wrote and directed only two of them. Just two more had women as co-writers–

*1. Ocean’s 8 $746,780 (dir Gary Ross, wr *Olivia Milch, Gary Ross; distr Roadshow)
2. Solo: A Star Wars Story $220,207 (dir Ron Howard, wr Jon Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan; distr Walt Disney)
3. Deadpool 2 $207,067 (dir David Leitch, wr Drew Goddard, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick; distr Fox)
*4. Hereditary $130,750 (dir/wr Ari Aster; distr Studiocanal)
*5. Tea With The Dames $106,154 (dir Roger Michell; distr Transmission)
6. Avengers: Infinity War $75,320 (dir Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, wr Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeeley; distr Walt Disney)
*7. The Bookshop $62,748 (wr/dir *Isabel Coixet from novel by Penelope Mortimer; distr Transmission)
*8. Veere Di Wedding $47,967 (dir Shashanka Ghosh wr *Nidhi Mehra, Mehul Suri; …

Agnès Varda & Cate Blanchett Speak at Cannes2018, Among 82 Amazing Women

Look at them! The five women on the Palme d'Or jury lead the way: Kristen Stewart, Léa Seydoux, Khadja Nin, Ava DuVernay and Cate Blanchett, with Agnès Varda and others.

In the clip below (from 9:02: the red carpet is also for Eva Husson's new film, Girls of the Sun, 'a suspenseful all-women war movie'; could there have been a better choice for this protest?), there are too many amazing #womeninfilm to identify.

The list of the 82 women on the steps, from Paris Match , includes Jane Fonda, though I can't see her. But I did see Claudia Cardinale. I may have seen Patti Jenkins. I couldn't find Iris Brey, from Le Deuxième Regard, the activist organisation that instigated the 5050 by 2020 initiative which resulted in this protest.

Women & Hollywood's Women & Hollywood's Melissa Silverstein was there. It must have been a grand moment for her; she's protested about Cannes since at least 2010. But you get just a glimpse of her enthusiasm now and th…

Wanuri Kahiu's RAFIKI: Accepted for #Cannes2018 & Banned At Home

The Kenyan Classification Board has banned RAFIKI ('Friend' in Swahili), the first Kenyan feature to be accepted for Cannes. It is a love story between two young women, directed by Wanuri Kahiu and co-written with Jenna Cato Bass.

Wanuri tried to have the film classified for viewers 18 and above. But in Kenya, gay sex faces up to 14 years in prison and according to the Hollywood Reporter, President Uhuru Kenyatta told CNN in an interview earlier this month that 'gay rights are not of any major importance' in Kenya. The Classification Board accused RAFIKI of being made with 'clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya, contrary to the law'.

The Kenyan Film Commission is obviously very proud of RAFIKI.
Another major #handshake in the film industry.We're proud to support @wanuri for being invited to screen first ever Kenyan film at @Festival_Cannes@amulwa2@ckfoot@RashidEchesa@KenyanMusik@EzekielMutua@Izhow@moscakenya@NikiMags#FilmKenyaCaptureAfricapic.twitter…

#directedbywomen in Aotearoa's cinemas this week

It's a big week here in Aotearoa New Zealand! A rare event, release of a brand new local and #directedbywomen narrative feature, The Breakerupperers. Written and directed byMadeline Sami and Jackie Van Beek, it premiered to enthusiastic audiences at SXSW and has had lots of equally enthusiastic press in the run up to opening here on Thursday. Like this: I expect to be enchanted.

But that's not all. Thanks to the excellent, I've found 14 features #directedby women among the 82 listed in total, 17% –  within that magic 16-20 percentage that's associated with gender all over the place.

Two of the films, Kobi and WARU, are directed by local women. Go to the site for reviews and to find out what's screening at cinemas near you. A whole lot I didn't know about.

As well as on Netflix (etc) in all its glory, there there are also women-directed features on the telly: the other week, I caught up with Deniz Gamze Ergüven's extraordinary Must…