Julia Solomonoft's ‘Nobody’s Watching’ presents the immigrant experience
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Julia Solomonoft's ‘Nobody’s Watching’ presents the immigrant experience

As our culture continues the debate surrounding cultural identity, immigration and diversity, Julia Solomonoft's new film Nobody's Watching (aka Nadie nos mira) comes at a perfect time. The film tells the story of Nico (Guillermo Pfening, best actor at this year's Tribeca Film Festival), a famous actor who's just moved to New York City and…

‘Viceroy’s House’ views Indian Partition through British lens
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‘Viceroy’s House’ views Indian Partition through British lens

Gurinder Chadha, director of What's Cooking, Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice, defines herself as a female British-Indian filmmaker - that part of her identity impacting the films she chooses to make. A majority of her films, which she writes and directs, focus on the struggle Indian women finding their place in English…

Writer/director Katherine Dieckmann on ‘Strange Weather,’ surviving grief
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Writer/director Katherine Dieckmann on ‘Strange Weather,’ surviving grief

Strange Weather feels like a perfect title to be both evocative and descriptive of Katherine Dieckmann’s new feature. Focusing on parents of suicide victims and the suffering they experience in the aftermath, Dieckmann has also made a frequently funny and warm film about surviving grief. In the role of grieving mother Darcy, Dieckmann has written…

Murder, metaphors, and modernity in Ingrid Jungermann’s ‘Women Who Kill’
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Murder, metaphors, and modernity in Ingrid Jungermann’s ‘Women Who Kill’

Ingrid Jungermann is taking on the definition of “triple threat” with her debut feature Women Who Kill, as writer, director, and star of the wildly inventive dark comedy. After making a big impression with webseries The Slope (co-created with Desiree Akhavan), F to 7th and Drama, Jungermann made the leap to feature films with a satirical…

Civia Tamarkin’s ‘Birthright’ documentary fights for women’s rights
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Civia Tamarkin’s ‘Birthright’ documentary fights for women’s rights

The reaction from a title like Birthright: A War Story is undeniably intentional in Civia Tamarkin’s new documentary. The war against women’s rights because of reproductive laws passed in recent years are having a horrific and alarming impact on the rights of women; both infringing on what was outlined when Roe v. Wade was passed…

Laura Dunn’s ‘Look & See’ digs deeper into rural America
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Laura Dunn’s ‘Look & See’ digs deeper into rural America

Since she began her career, Laura Dunn has shown a passionate interest in using documentary to explore environmental issues, but the universal stories of those people directly affected. Her first film, Green, examined the high cancer rate of residences living along the Mississippi River. The Unforeseen examined the effects human interference has had on Austin’s Barton…

‘The Wedding Invitation’ director takes ownership of script, hires all-female crew
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‘The Wedding Invitation’ director takes ownership of script, hires all-female crew

Since Bridesmaids proved to be one of Hollywood’s megahits, audiences have heard of the growing need for “female-led comedies.” But despite all the talk in the press, getting a female lead comedy greenlit remains an uphill battle. Almost a decade ago, before Bridesmaids had become a launch-pad, Rainy Kerwin found herself frustrated by the roles…

Spoiler Alert: Director Cate Shortland talks twisty thriller ‘Berlin Syndrome’
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Spoiler Alert: Director Cate Shortland talks twisty thriller ‘Berlin Syndrome’

Sometimes it’s next to impossible to talk to a director about their movie without giving a few things away. And sometimes I just don’t care. Australian director Cate Shortland’s new film Berlin Syndrome falls into that category because 1) it’s a well-made thriller that I wanted to learn how it came together and 2) the…

From indies to studio: Stella Meghie on 'Everything, Everything'
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From indies to studio: Stella Meghie on 'Everything, Everything'

The summer movie’s already begun and it’s seems to be a great season for women behind the camera. Even before premiering Wonder Woman last week, Warner Brothers launched their summer schedule in May with another film helmed by female director, the adaption of the YA best seller Everything, Everything, based on the novel by Nicola…

Aisling Walsh’s ‘Maudie’ a fitting tribute to the art of Maud Lewis
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Aisling Walsh’s ‘Maudie’ a fitting tribute to the art of Maud Lewis

In the traditional artist-muse love stories, we’ve seen remarkably few focused on female artists and their male muse. And rarer still would be the on-screen relationship in the new Irish-Canadian film Maudie, starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Based on the cheerful, vibrant art of folk artist Maud Lewis (Sally Hawkins) plays a Nova Scotia…

Senior Contributor Lesley Coffin

Senior Contributor Lesley Coffin

Contributor Lesley Coffin is Editor-in-Chief of the online film journal Movies, Film, Cinema and host of the Chicago industry podcast "From Lakeshore Drive to Hollywood." A writer with a masters degree from NYU’s Gallatin School in biographical studies and star theory. She wrote the biography on Lew Ayres (Lew Ayres: Hollywood’s Conscientious Objector) and Hitchcock’s Casting (Hitchcock’s…

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…

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…

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…

'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…

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…

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…

Petra Volpe, director of ‘The Divine Order,' takes lighthearted approach to suffrage
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Petra Volpe, director of ‘The Divine Order,' takes lighthearted approach to suffrage

***Update*** The 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival Nora Ephron Prize winner. The Nora Ephron Prize: Petra Volpe, writer/director of The Divine Order (Switzerland). Jurors Dianna Agron, Joy Bryant, Diane Lane, Zoe Lister-Jones and Christina Ricci awarded the film for its “intrepid and compassionate storytelling, beautiful cinematography (by a woman), complex characterization of the female experience, seamless…

Shamim Sarif breaks the mold with anti-le Carré spy thriller
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Shamim Sarif breaks the mold with anti-le Carré spy thriller

Shamim Sarif is breaking the mold as a filmmaker, not only writing and directing her own projects, but adapting her own novels and producing with wife Hanan Kattan. Since 2007, she’s made three dramatically different romantic dramas. Her first two films (both starring Sheetal Sheth and Lisa Ray) were the period drama The World Unseen…

‘American Fable’ director talks Richard Schiff, politics and directing chickens
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‘American Fable’ director talks Richard Schiff, politics and directing chickens

American Fable, the new thriller from Anne Hamilton, is one of the most visually spectacular indie in years. Made with a big sense of scope, and small budget, she’s turned what could be an intimate family drama into a spectacular fantasy thriller about the end of girl’s childhood. Starring newcomer Peyton Kennedy, and familiar faces…

Nora Ephron and a Baking Bible: Celebrating SWAN Day

Nora Ephron and a Baking Bible: Celebrating SWAN Day

To celebrate the 10th Annual International SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day on Saturday, March 25, 2017, the FF2 Media team is highlighting their favorite female artists.The holiday, also observed throughout the months of March and April, highlights the creative feats of female artists and their audiences. Senior Contributor Lesley Coffin: To celebrating SWAN Day,…