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Showing posts from August, 2012

New Zealand Update 2: State Funding

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I agreed to write 4000 words about New Zealand women directors, for a book. And I delayed researching the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC)  statistics, although I needed to know whether it practises gender equity in its investments. And I delayed comparing its investment in women writers and directors with New Zealand On Air's funding of women who write and direct feature-length television drama (there's some crossover). I knew I had to do the stats, to compare them with those I researched for my PhD (2009, link in sidebar), for a report for Women in Film & Television (late 2010), and intermittently for some of these blog posts, like the one where I celebrated gender balance in the NZFC's short film programme. But I'm a bit dysnumeric and counting's a chore, like hanging out the laundry.

Now I've done some of the work. I didn't go in to the NZFC to search its files and analyse the genders of people attached to funding applications, as I used to. I hav…

Toronto & Women Directors

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I'm an optimist and I'm easily enthused. Show me good news about women who make movies and I'm there. So when I saw that women directed six of the twenty features in the prestigious Gala Presentations (Galas) at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF, or #TIFF12 on Twitter) I thought "YAY". I was delighted that Sally Potter's Ginger and Rosa, Margarethe von Trotta's Hannah Arendt and Susanne Bier's Love is All You Need were selected for the Special Presentations programme. And I was thrilled that Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere, Yuki Tanada's The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky and Aida Bejic's Children of Sarajevo were included in Contemporary World Cinema programme.

In the past–because I don't go to TIFF–I'd have moved on feeling happy.  But after I signed the petitions associated with this year's protests about the Cannes Film Festival, where there were no women-directed films in competition, I decided to complement m…

A Golden Age for Women Who Make Movies? (4)

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1. I'm a writer. When I get excited my default activity is to write. And I'm a social media girl. So unless something's confidential, I rejoice in my freedom to speak out and to share what I write.

And sometimes that's a mistake.

A Golden Age for Women Who Make Movies (3) will return in due course.

2. In other news, the sun came out this morning. And stayed out. After all that rain, the sun's steamed a powerful scent from our violets.

The second load of washing is drying. The winter-thin bees are busy in the borage.

3. And the best news: I have a buddy writer. It's ace.

It makes it so easy to start. I email her.

Yesterday: "Hard to get up. Am going blind. Have a pimply thing on right leg that looks like melanoma. Yes, I *don't* want to do this. But a quick squiz through FB etc and some breakfast and then GO." And then I went for it. Into a conflict I was scared I couldn't write. Today: "I'm here with the washing out and the window ope…

A Golden Age for Women Who Make Movies? (3) A New International Women's Film Festival Network (IWFFN)

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August 3 2013: I wrote this a year ago and was asked to take it down until the IWFFN was ready for publicity. I re-found it today, as I prepare a new post about You Cannot Be Serious, an international meeting about women's film-making, held at the Berlinale earlier this year. I'm still excited about the potential of the IWFFN!

Wonderful news! There is now an International Women's Film Festival Network (IWFFN), conceived this year at Germany's Internationales Frauen Film Festival (in Dortmund and Koln alternate years) and housed at the Athena Film Festival in New York. Another sign of a golden age for women who make movies? I hope so!

There's already the Network of Asian Women's Film Festivals. And European women's film festivals have networked for years (I remember taking part in their meetings at Festival de Femmes in Creteil in 2004 and they'd been established long before that). So it's very exciting that the movement is crossing more borders and…

Niam Itani (1) - Before the Venice Film Festival

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Niam Itani (also Etany) is the only woman director among the ten finalists in YouTube’s short film competition, Your Film Festival, with her Super.Full. I followed her Your Film Festival campaign for votes, admired its focus and intensity and was delighted when she reached the final. I’m always curious when just one woman filmmaker is successful within a group of successful men, so I wondered what factors affected Niam's achievement, asked her for an interview, and was thrilled when she said yes.  And then, like Super.Full., Niam's generous responses to my questions made me think. And touched my heart.

A Golden Age for Women Who Make Movies? (2)

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In A Golden Age for Women Who Make Movies (1)  I included an article where Kurt Andersen claimed that thanks to "commercial and critical breakthroughs among independent films, a shift seems to be happening"  for women filmmakers. Thanks to this new model, which I call the 'quilting bee' model, there may be a revolution-in-progress in the United States that will result in lots more films by and about women. A golden age. Is the golden age well-established? What role do festival curators have? What role for all-women teams? Does where we live make a difference and what can we offer and learn through making cross-border connections? Does 'film' matter so much now we have multiple platforms?