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Showing posts from January, 2017

Amie Batalibasi — Winner of Sundance’s Merata Mita Fellowship

Amie at Sundance Sundance’s Merata Mita Fellowship is named in honour of the late, great, Māori filmmaker Merata Mita (1942–2010). It’s awarded to ‘a Native or Indigenous filmmaker from a global pool of nominees' and provides a cash grant and a year-long continuum of support.  This year, writer/director/producer Amie Batalibasi won the fellowship. I read her powerful acceptance speech, published in her blog , and asked to cross-post it. And Amie also agreed to answer some questions. Warm thanks to her.  – Marian Evans My Sundance Acceptance Speech — Merata Mita Fellowship by Amie Batalibasi Firstly I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Ute peoples. And pay my respects to elders past and present and also acknowledge other First Nations peoples in the room today. Being here with you all, the other indigenous fellows, is an absolute honor and a privilege. I am truly grateful for this life changing opportunity.

Solving the #WomenInFilm Problem: Naomi McDougall Jones

Those women's marches were amazing. And so is the #womeninfilm movement, where women filmmakers' strategies for change are becoming ever more diverse and sophisticated. Writer/actor/producer Naomi McDougall Jones is one of the most thoughtful and energetic change agents around and Danielle Winston and the women of  Agnès Films (named in honor of Agnès Varda)  continue their own significant contributions with this excellent interview with her, copy-edited by Elena Chronick.  Warm thanks to them all.  Naomi McDougall Jones DW On a frosty January afternoon, I met with with writer/actress/producer, Naomi McDougall Jones. Our hangout, a little pie shop called Four & Twenty Blackbirds, was quirky enough to have been the backdrop for a  Gilmore Girls  scene if not for being around the corner from the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus Brooklyn. As we shared slices of buttery lemon blackout pie, Naomi, a self-possessed woman with crimson hair and natural confidence, spo

Director Activist Maria Giese: Update on Women Directors, the ACLU & the Feds

Maria Giese Photo: Reggie Burrows Hodges for the  Bluestocking Series   About a year ago, I interviewed American director Maria Giese about her campaign to end discrimination against women directors in the United States. It's a collective human rights-based action that’s globally unique and significant for all of us who watch and are influenced by Hollywood entertainment.  Here’s the next chapter of Maria's story, in  two parts: a summary for everyone, followed by the deep nitty gritty for women directors and our allies. Summary WW What have you been up to? MG It’s been quite a year. After 20 years, I left LA and moved to Connecticut with my husband and two children to write a book, Troublemaker . It tells the story of my Hollywood insurgence and my battles in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) during the past 5 years, with a bold group of other women directors. It also describes my journey getting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to launch the campai

For the Artists, the Fighters, & the Dreamers: 'Or Die Trying' & Seed & Spark's Emily Best

OR DIE TRYING (ODT) is a series about women who live and work in Los Angeles as part of the entertainment industry, now in post production for season one. The ODT creators – and their characters – have set out to progress the narrative of women in film on-screen and are committed to hiring a team that is no less than 85% female. This is how ODT describes itself. I love it. OR DIE TRYING is a testament to the countless women in film. We, the creators, are active women in the film industry not just on screen, but in our real lives as well. We don't "ask for permission," we fight for our dreams daily. The struggles that we have faced as millennials in Hollywood have inspired us to create a story that is raw, real, and relatable for all of the young women who come out to California with a dream of making it in LA. OR DIE TRYING represents all of the resilient women who are judged not only by their talent, but also by their age, race, gender, "look," an