First-time filmmaker Amanda Kernell takes on daunting ‘Sami’ history

First-time filmmaker Amanda Kernell takes on daunting ‘Sami’ history

Sami Blood -- the first film from Sweden made partially in the south Sami language and depicting the sad history of the Sami people - was a daunting responsibility for first-time filmmaker Amanda Kernell to take on. In the 1930s, the indigenous Sami people were restricted by the Swedish government, educated in boarding schools (where they…

DocAviv '17:  Sneak Peeks from Israel's world-renown documentary film festival
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DocAviv '17: Sneak Peeks from Israel's world-renown documentary film festival

FF2 Media is proud to introduce Eti Or -- our new Israeli contributor -- with her report on Israeli women filmmaker screenings at this year's DocAviv (Israel's world-renown documentary film festival). Here are sneak peaks of Eti's Top Picks from DocAviv '17. Hopefully some of these films will make their way to festivals and theaters worldwide…

Does the future of films by women lie in shorts?
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Does the future of films by women lie in shorts?

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival marvelously demonstrated new platforms for women filmmakers outside of conventional feature films, particularly those eligible for the Nora Ephron Prize. The continuously blurring the lines of shorts, web series, apps, sponsors and “television” could mean more opportunities for women directors. Since the inaugural collection in 2014, the women-directed N.O.W. (New…

Swiss filmmaker Petra Volpe wins prestigious Nora Ephron Prize at 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
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Swiss filmmaker Petra Volpe wins prestigious Nora Ephron Prize at 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

Petra Biondina Volpe from Switzerland is the winner of the 5th annual Nora Ephron Prize at this year's Tribeca Film Festival! Volpe is the writer/director of The Divine Order (Die Göttliche Ordnung), which also received the Audience Award in the “Narrative” category, as well as a nomination for the Jury Award for Best International Narrative Feature. In addition, Marie Leuenberger…

First-time screenwriter finds comedy, closure in ‘The Women’s Balcony’
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First-time screenwriter finds comedy, closure in ‘The Women’s Balcony’

​When first-time screenwriter Shlomit Nehama wrote The Women’s Balcony, she anticipated that making a universal film would be a losing battle. In order to capture the emotions of the characters and daily lives of a close knit Mizrahi community, she needed to use detail and specificity. The approach worked and Balcony become the number one…

TFF's Nora Ephron Prize Winners: Where are they now?
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TFF's Nora Ephron Prize Winners: Where are they now?

The Tribeca Film Festival just gave its 5th annual Nora Ephron Prize to Petra Biondina Volpe from Switzerland. Volpe is the writer/director of The Divine Order (Die Göttliche Ordnung), which also received two additional awards at TFF: Audience Award--Narrative and Best Actress (Marie Leuenberger) in an International Narrative Feature. The Divine Order was also nominated for…

'The Drowning' director talks dark, ambiguous psychological thriller
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'The Drowning' director talks dark, ambiguous psychological thriller

After a private screening of The Drowning, Peter Travers, from Rolling Stone, gives a brief Q&A with director Bette Gordon. ***********Warning! Spoilers!*********** Bette Gordon, best known for her film Variety (1983), is a film director and professor at Columbia. In her new film, The Drowning, she goes deep into the psyche of a middle-aged psychiatrist as…

Salima Koroma's hip-hop documentary 'Bad Rap' promotes cultural inclusivity
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Salima Koroma's hip-hop documentary 'Bad Rap' promotes cultural inclusivity

Despite hip-hop’s history of increasing the visibility of black and Latino urban youth culture in America, it’s also struggled to include all minorities in the movement. Asian-American artists have struggled to find acceptance, even as hip-hop music found mainstream, commercial success on the global stage. Director Salima Koroma’s interest in this excluded minority group motivated…

Feminist Media Critic Jennifer Pozner wins 2017 Women's Choice Award
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Feminist Media Critic Jennifer Pozner wins 2017 Women's Choice Award

Congratulations to Feminist Media Critic Jennifer Pozner (author of "Reality Bites Back") for winning the 2017 Women's Choice Award in the "Voice of Women" category last night in LA! From Jennifer's Amazon Page: Jennifer L. Pozner is founder and executive director of Women In Media & News (WIMN), a media justice group that amplifies women's…

Athena film festival alums win Peabody awards
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Athena film festival alums win Peabody awards

Three of the twelve documentaries honored in April with the prestigious Peabody Award are Athena Film Festival Alums. Congratulations to:  Mavis! by Jessica Edwards Excerpt from FF2 Media review: Jubilant new BioDoc about Chicago singer Mavis Staples. Her phenomenal career began in Gospel but her unique voice finds a home in multiple settings and her upbeat personality…

'The Wedding Plan' takes lighter approach to Orthodox Judaism
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'The Wedding Plan' takes lighter approach to Orthodox Judaism

During our interview at the Tribeca International Film Festival last month, Rama Burshtein made the comment that she doesn’t make films for her community, she makes movies about her community. A member of the Orthodox Jewish religion since the age of 25, she’s well aware that showing the universal side of their own unique lifestyle…

Pride, Determination & Resilience at the 24th Annual New York African Film Festival

Pride, Determination & Resilience at the 24th Annual New York African Film Festival

FROM THE FESTIVAL STATEMENT: The urge to reclaim stolen images and voices has been a motto for African filmmakers and artists since the 60s. Cinema has served as a megaphone for the African people to let the world know about their collective and individual struggles. As Frantz Fanon said: Each generation must, out of relative…

FF2 Media interns graduate, remember impactful films

FF2 Media interns graduate, remember impactful films

The FF2 Media team congratulations interns Katusha Jin and Peier Shen, as well as Social Media Manager Georgiana Presecky on their 2017 graduations from New York University, Columbia University and Lewis University, respectively. Now FF2 Media Associates, each took time to reflect on their experience writing for FF2 Media, their goals for the future and…

Rachel Israel earns praise, top honors for ‘Keep the Change’
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Rachel Israel earns praise, top honors for ‘Keep the Change’

At this year’s Tribeca International Film Festival, Rachel Israel took the top prize in the US Narrative Competition for her film Keep the Change. The film about adults on the autism spectrum looking for love in New York City debuted to high praise for its honest, funny and compassionate approach. Israel, a graduate of Columbia…

‘A Walk to Remember’ screenwriter reflects on adaptation, Hollywood's gender bias

‘A Walk to Remember’ screenwriter reflects on adaptation, Hollywood's gender bias

“But you are not funny,” they said. “You cannot even tell a joke.” Getting accepted into the Warner Bros. Writers Television Comedy Workshop floored Karen Janszen’s parents. Science studies from UC Santa Cruz, Harvard and MIT may not have spelled out “comedy,” but this was an exceptional case. “I am not a joke teller,” said Janszen,…

Women will complete in all writing/directing categories at the 2017 Tony Awards
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Women will complete in all writing/directing categories at the 2017 Tony Awards

When the 2017 Tony nominations were announced this morning, women's names appeared in every single writing and directing category. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe this has ever happened before. And if I am correct, this marks a new milestone for women in the arts! Here is the list of women…

Siskel Center showcases female directors, contemporary Palestinian life
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Siskel Center showcases female directors, contemporary Palestinian life

The 16th annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival, in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center, screened a variety of films focusing on contemporary Palestinian life. The festival, which runs through May 4th, was made possible by the Crossroads Fund and volunteers. Three of FF2 Media's Chicago team members (Stephanie A. Taylor, Brigid K. Presecky and…

Three women filmmakers featured at 2017 New York African Film Festival
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Three women filmmakers featured at 2017 New York African Film Festival

New York City is a hotbed for movie premieres and film festivals and, this week, there’s another film festival that deserves some attention. The 24th annual New York African Film Festival -- with the theme of “The People's’ Revolution” -- begins May 3rd and runs through May 9th at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The festival…

Laurie Simmons follows in daughter Lena Dunham’s footsteps
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Laurie Simmons follows in daughter Lena Dunham’s footsteps

We’ve seen plenty of film festivals introduce the next generation from an artistic family. But Laurie Simmons is that rare artist making her feature film debut as a writer-director (and star) after her daughter, Lena Dunham, set the path. Not that she’s been waiting. Simmons is one of America’s more successful contemporary artists with works…

Ten years later, Adrienne Shelly's 'Waitress' is still as sweet as the best cherry pie
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Ten years later, Adrienne Shelly's 'Waitress' is still as sweet as the best cherry pie

Jan Here: Ten years ago on this date, I posted a review of Adrienne Shelley's wonderful film Waitress on a site called The Digital Filmmaker (now defunct). My review ended as follows: "For her family and friends there can be no consolation, but those of us who will only know Adrienne Shelly by her work can still…

Female directors win top categories at Tribeca Film Festival
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Female directors win top categories at Tribeca Film Festival

The 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival announced the top winners in all five feature categories were presented to women-directed films, including Keep the Change (Best U.S. Narrative) Son of Sofia (Best International Narrative) and Bobbi Jene (Best Documentary). The festival, which runs through April 30, also awarded the 5th Annual Nora Ephron Prize to Petra…