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…

Television Academy increases Emmy noms for women writers, directors

Television Academy increases Emmy noms for women writers, directors

The Television Academy announced its 2017 Emmy award nominees July 13, with a substantial number of female nominees in its writing and directing categories. Director Jamie Babbitt is nominated for the HBO comedy Silicon Valley, while Kate Dennis and Reed Morano are recognized for respective episodes of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Lesli Linka Glatter is…

White, male critics dominate field, face backlash from diverse community

White, male critics dominate field, face backlash from diverse community

“Becoming a White Man in the Theatre,” published by HowlRound’s director and co-founder P. Carl, describes a community that many of us don’t ever experience. A transgender theater critic, Carl shares his realizations and experiences of what it was like to gain the majority privilege. As a man, Carl found that being “one of the guys”…

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…

Great News! Peirce & Karaszewski elected to AMPAS Board of Governors!
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Great News! Peirce & Karaszewski elected to AMPAS Board of Governors!

More great news from AMPAS! Members newly elected 2017–18 Board of Governors include Kimberly Peirce (added to the Directors Branch) and FF2 Media FOJ Larry Karaszewski (added to the Writers Branch). When AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued her diversity declaration in January 2016, I was frankly skeptical. But now I see she has, in fact, exceeded…

AMPAS adds women directors, sets record number of new members
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AMPAS adds women directors, sets record number of new members

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 774 new members, including an increased number of women and minorities. Despite its effort to boost diversity in each of its seven branches, the invited directors remain predominantly male. Of the 64 directors invited this year, 17 (roughly 27 percent) are women, a decrease from…

Women document impact of war, labor and injustice at Human Rights Watch Film Fest
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Women document impact of war, labor and injustice at Human Rights Watch Film Fest

Ten out of the 21 documentaries at the 28th annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York City were directed by women, including a rare retrospective. Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center, most screenings were followed by Q&As with filmmakers, film subjects, Human Rights Watch researchers and other experts in…

Why Must Male Critics Muddy Feminist Conversations?
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Why Must Male Critics Muddy Feminist Conversations?

Why must male film critics muddy feminist conversations by holding women-driven movies to different standards? I’m looking right at you, Peter Rainer, of the Christian Science Monitor! Mr Rainer, you gave Manchester-by-the-Sea an A on Rotten Tomatoes, but called Hidden Figures “resistably unorginal.” You gave a C+ to Arrival, and a B to Moonlight, but…

‘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…

Drifter film ‘D-Love’ a balancing act for director Elena Beuca
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Drifter film ‘D-Love’ a balancing act for director Elena Beuca

D-Love, has received a lot of love lately with two Audience Awards from U.S. Film Festivals.  This news is no surprise as Elena Beuca’s directorial debut left me speechless after seeing it at Dances With Films. D-Love is a wonderfully heartfelt story, reminding us that people come into our lives for a reason.   Beuca, while…

Zoe Lister-Jones pulls triple duty for 'Band Aid,' enlists all-female crew
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Zoe Lister-Jones pulls triple duty for 'Band Aid,' enlists all-female crew

Zoe Lister-Jones not only stars alongside Adam Pally (Ben) and Fred Armisen (neighbor Dave) in Band Aid, she also dons her writer and directors’ hats with this film.  Lister-Jones tackles marriage through music as a young couple hits a dead end in their relationship.  In a last-ditch effort to reconnect, they turn their fights into…

UPDATE: Sly 'Foxes' wins well-deserved Tony Award for Cynthia Nixon
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UPDATE: Sly 'Foxes' wins well-deserved Tony Award for Cynthia Nixon

MONDAY UPDATE: Jan Lisa Huttner here, the morning after the 2017 Tony Awards. Congratulations to Cynthia Nixon, winner of the 2017 Tony Award for "Best Actress for a Featured Role in a Play" in the role of "Birdie" in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes. Kudos as well to Jane Greenwood who also won a Tony for…

2017 Human Rights Watch Film Festival to screen 'remarkable' films by women
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2017 Human Rights Watch Film Festival to screen 'remarkable' films by women

Sexual exploitation, domestic violence, civic duty, and the rights of indigenous people are just some of the resonant topics that will be tackled in the films to be shown at NYC's 2017 Human Rights Watch Film Festival (June 9-18). The festival will screen 21 topical and provocative feature documentaries, along with panel discussions that showcase courageous resilience…

Paint It Black and L’Attesa use male characters to drive female relationships

Paint It Black and L’Attesa use male characters to drive female relationships

A typical tactic to further a male character’s development, especially in the tidal wave of male superhero movies we’ve been getting for the past five years or so, is to take the guy’s girlfriend or daughter, and have her die. His resulting “manpain” is then milked at the dead female character’s expense to give an…

The Powder and The Glory: From PBS Doc to Tony-Nominated Broadway Musical!
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The Powder and The Glory: From PBS Doc to Tony-Nominated Broadway Musical!

The Powder & The Glory -- a PBS documentary now available on DVD -- depicts the feud between esteemed makeup icons Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubenstein. Why is this relevant now? Because War Paint -- the new Broadway musical that has been nominated for FOUR Tony Awards -- is based on this doc 🙂 The tale of these…

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…