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Toronto 2019: Recapping the Best of Women in Film

Hermione Corfield in Sea Fever

The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival may have come to an end but women in film had many achievements to celebrate. The Gala and Special Presentation programs were certainly the big headliners with the likes of Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to get emotional as […]

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Chicago International Film Festival celebrates women in cinema

The 55th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) announced its full lineup Sept. 18, featuring 40 films directed by women. About 30 percent of the 136 films being screened at the AMC River East from Oct. 16-27 are from female filmmakers (on par with last year’s numbers). From gala presentations like Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet to festival-circuit […]

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TIFF directors honored at female filmmakers dinner

Women filmmakers were celebrated at IndieWire Female Filmmakers Dinner at Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, September 8 at The Purman (presented by Canada Goose). This year, TIFF (which runs through September 15) is presenting more than 330 films: 36 percent are directed, co-directed, and/or created by women; a slight increase from last year’s representation […]

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New book draws attention to independent female filmmakers 

Dr. Michele Meek is the author of the new book Independent Female Filmmakers: A Chronicle Through Interviews, Profiles and Manifestos. The writer, professor and director features the work of multiple directors from Martha Coolidge to Jennifer Fox in the hope of raising awareness for film-going audiences about the impact of women in film. FF2 Media […]

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‘Before You Know It’ collaborators on making a small movie seem big

Hannah Pearl Utt and Jen Tullock have been professional actresses for years. But with their new film Before You Know It, they step into the spotlight as two very different sisters stunned to learn their long-dead mother…isn’t. This project isn’t their first time acting opposite one another, having co-starred in the series Disengaged which Utt […]

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Chanya Button spotlights revolutionary women in ‘Vita and Virginia’

Almost a century ago, Virginia Woolf skyrocketed to fame with her iconic novel Orlando, and has remained one of the key figures in English literature ever since. Her contributions as one of the premiere modernist authors of her time has made her novels vital classics still studied and enjoyed today. But her name was relatively […]

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TIFF inches closer to gender parity

The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will take place September 5-15, presenting more than 330 films: 36 percent are directed, co-directed, and/or created by women; a slight increase from last year’s representation of 35 percent. TIFF will showcase world premieres and festival favorites alike at this year’s event comprising 84 feature films directed by […]

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CNN’s ‘The Movies’ highlights history of women in cinema

CNN aired a six-part series on the history of American cinema throughout July and August. Produced by Tom Hanks and Werner Herzog as an extension of their successful “Decades” series, the 12-hour docu-style series The Movies is an informative tribute to the cultural impact of cinema – and culture’s influence on the everchanging film landscape. […]

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Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang focus on life in ‘One Child Nation’

Three years ago, Nanfu Wang emerged as a documentarian to watch with her highly praised Hooligan Sparrow, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival and ultimately winning the top documentary prize from the Independent Spirit Award. Hooligan Sparrow told the story of how the Chinese government targeted activists, and telling that story made Wang a target […]

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51fest helps women tell ‘remarkable and often untold’ stories

51fest’s first-ever run took place July 18-21 at the IFC Center. The festival aligned with a heatwave, but nonetheless people lined up enthusiastically in anticipation. Partnering with Women in the World and IFC Center, 51fest is a festival centered on women filmmakers. According to their mission statement, “Women make up more than half of [the] […]

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NYFF to feature only six films by women

The 57th Annual New York Film Festival will feature 29 films on their main slate – six from female directors, making up 20 percent of the lineup. Running from September 27 through October 13 at Film at Lincoln Center, the festival’s lineup includes films from directors Kelly Reichardt, Agnes Varda, Celine Sciamma, Mati Diop, Justine […]

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‘Otherhood’ director Cindy Chupack makes the leap from TV to film

Cindy Chupack already has two Emmy awards in her pocket (and eight nominations) as proof of her accomplishments as a writer. But after working for the last 25 years on shows like Everybody Loves Raymond, Sex and the City, Modern Family, I’m Dying Up Here, Divorce and Better Things, she’s finally making the jump to […]

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51fest at IFC Center screens 'A Girl from Mogadishu', a film of female resilience

On Sunday, July 21, IFC Center screened A Girl from Mogadishu as a part of 51fest’s inaugural run. It is a narrative feature based on the life of Ifrah Omar, directed by Mary McGuckian. Born into a refugee-camp in Somalia, Ifrah (portrayed by Aja Naomi King) treks a tumultuous journey to seek asylum in Ireland […]

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Black Harvest Film Festival raises number of female directors 

The 25th annual Black Harvest Film Festival will run from August 3-29 with 60 films, including 27 directed by women (an increase from last year’s festival when there were only 17 female filmmakers). Two years ago, I interviewed Nancy Buirski, director of The Rape of Recy Taylor. The documentary was about a Black woman who […]

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Venice Film Festival doubles female directors – to two

The 76th Venice Film Festival, which runs from August 28 through September 7, has doubled the amount of women directors from last year’s slate – with a total of two out of 21 films directed by women. Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour’s The Perfect Candidate and Australian director Shannon Murphy’s Babyteeth are the only two […]

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42nd Asian American International Film Festival celebrates women filmmakers

Human rights, poverty, gangs, political revolution and LGBT issues are just some of the topics that will be covered at the Asian American International Film Festival (July 25-August 3) this year. The festival (also known as AAIFF) will screen 27 films and documentaries, along with workshops, shorts by local college students, Q&As, and panels discussing […]

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Meet Marvel’s newest directors

Marvel is notorious for hiring male directors for its big-budget blockbuster hits, from the Russo Brothers’ Avengers series to franchises like Thor and Spider-Man.  The studio announced release dates for two new feature films from female directors at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend – Black Widow and Eternals. Though the directors were announced as attached […]

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Marielle Heller previews 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Can You Ever Forgive Me? director Marielle Heller previews her upcoming Fred Rogers biopic (although she insists it isn’t) A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.  With Tom Hanks portraying another American hero (see: Captain Phillips, Saving Mr. Banks, Sully) and Matthew Rhys as the hard-hearted reporter who profiles […]

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Director Ritu Sarin on challenges and triumphs of representing Tibet in Cinema

Director Ritu Sarin discusses her latest effort, The Sweet Requiem, which chronicles one young woman’s experience as she processes the aftermath of escaping Chinese-occupied Tibet.

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Watch at Home: ‘Little Woods’ & more from female filmmakers

FF2 Media’s new “Watch at Home” columns list the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers that are newly available each week on DVD, Video On Demand &/or streaming services. Here are the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers now available at home as of 7/19/2019 (with links to FF2 Media reviews […]

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World Malala Day—remembering the fight for equality in education

In celebration of World Malala Day, China Women’s Film Festival organizes a screening of “Gul Makai”, a film based on Malala Yousafzai’s life.

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‘The Farewell’ director hopes demand for diverse storytelling isn’t temporary

The Farewell stars Awkwafina as Billi, a young adult struggling with life’s goals when she learns that her grandmother is dying of cancer. The family travels back to their homeland of China under false pretenses of a family wedding so they can gather to say goodbye to Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao).  Based on writer/director Lulu […]

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Watch at Home: ‘The Most Dangerous Year’ & more from female filmmakers

FF2 Media’s new “Watch at Home” columns list the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers that are newly available each week on DVD, Video On Demand &/or streaming services. Here are the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers now available at home as of 1/25/2019 (with links to FF2 Media reviews […]

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Siskel Center presents documentary ‘Cooked: Survival by Zip Code’

Peabody award-winning director Judith Helfand’s documentary Cooked: Survival by Zip Code is now screening for a two week-run at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago through July 25.  Detailing the city’s deadliest summer heat wave in 1995, Cooked delves into the politics of the disaster – the […]

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AMPAS invites record number of women to 2019 class

Eight hundred forty-two new members were invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences July 1. According to Variety, 50 percent of the invitees are women, up one percent from last year.  Many female screenwriters, editors, documentarians, actors and other categories were invited, along with 22 feature film directors who identify as […]

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Women direct intensely personal autobiographies, portraits at HRWF

Women directed/co-directed more than half the films (seven of 13) in the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, at New York City’s Lincoln Center and IFC Center, June 14–20.  They were intensely personal autobiographies and portraits.  In 30th Anniversary trailer, past participating director Pamela Yates admires that the Fest “is not just about denunciation and exposure, […]

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Daisy Ridley talks ‘Ophelia’ and upcoming Virginia Hall biopic

Members of the FF2 Media team were able to attend a screening of Ophelia at the IFC Center on June 26, along with a Q&A with star, Daisy Ridley. Based on Lisa Klein’s novel of the same name, the film is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from Ophelia’s point of view. Claire McCarthy directs the […]

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Watch at Home: ‘Euphoria’ & more from female filmmakers

FF2 Media’s “Watch at Home” columns list the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers that are newly available each week on DVD, Video On Demand &/or streaming services. Here are the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers now available at home as of 6/28/2019 (with links to FF2 Media reviews posted […]

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Ann Sarnoff, ‘Ophelia’ lead female filmmaker moments of the week

Warner Bros. has tapped BBC Studios Americas president Ann Sarnoff as its new CEO, the first time a woman has held the post in the studio’s 100-year history. She’s set to join the studio later this summer. Read more at Variety. FF2 Media’s Pamela Powell interviewed Director Claire McCarthy on what Daisy Ridley brought to […]

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New Toni Morrison doc brings Huttner back to ‘Beloved’

I saw the film adaptation of Toni Morrison’s magnificent novel Beloved way back when it first opened in 1998–before there was a Films42.com let alone an FF2 Media–and I was thunderstruck. I am ashamed to admit now that I didn’t know much about Toni Morrison back then. I went to college before there were any […]

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