Currently Browsing: Interviews

Lily Zepeda doc ‘Mr. Toilet’ raises awareness for proper sanitation

“Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man”—the title itself is enough to catch your attention, but there’s so much more than meets the eye in this loaded documentary about one man’s endeavor to educate and find ways of providing safe, clean environments in which to do your daily duties.  Documentary filmmaker Lily Zepeda, over the course […]

CONTINUE READING

Jaye Fenderson talks working with husband on ‘Unlikely,’ electoral implications for the film

After seeing Unlikely, our contributing editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto sat down with co-director Jaye Fenderson to talk more about the film’s urgent message about college admissions. Unlikely follows five students through college, showing how the struggle to get into good schools is only the beginning for first generation students. If you haven’t yet, read our review […]

CONTINUE READING

Alma Har’el talks ‘overwhelming’ response to ‘Honey Boy,’ LaBeouf’s career-best performance

Alma Har’el recently spoke to FF2 Media over the phone about Honey Boy. Amazon Studios will release the film for limited theatrical release starting on November 8. Honey Boy is a very personal and cathartic film for Shia LaBeouf.  What drew you to take on the project? Alma Har’el: What drew me really is that […]

CONTINUE READING

Minhal Baig tells story of “hyphenate” teenager with Pakistani-American ‘Hala’

The coming-of-age story, “Hala,” written and directed by Chicago-born Minhal Baig, looks at teenage life through a “hyphenate’s” lens; a Pakistani-American.  Starring Geraldine Viswanathan (“Blockers”), a teen navigates life in two worlds; home and school, attempting to balance both as she sees her parents for who they are and attempts to grow and find her […]

CONTINUE READING

Midge Costin is teaching people to listen in ‘Making Waves’

Walter Murch re-recording mixing Apocalypse Now 1979.

First-time feature filmmaker Midge Costin spoke with FF2 Media about her upcoming film, Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound. The film opens in select NY/LA theaters on October 25 before expanding into other markets. When did you decide to make this documentary? Midge Costin: I first attempted in early 2000. I had switched from […]

CONTINUE READING

Ebert Symposium Keynote Speaker Dr. Stacy Smith predicts major increase of female filmmakers for 2020

The Second Annual Chaz and Roger Ebert Symposium took place on Friday, Sept. 27, where panelists discussed important issues and solutions for diversity in film, including Keynote Speaker Dr. Stacy Smith who gave a presentation on extensive film analysis research. Founder & Director of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative (AII), Dr. Smith’s  research showed that, […]

CONTINUE READING

Second annual Chaz & Roger Ebert Symposium celebrates diversity 

The Second Annual Chaz & Roger Ebert Symposium will take place this Friday, Sept. 27 at the iHotel and Conference Center in Champaign. The event is free and open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. This year’s symposium is titled “Creating an Inclusive Media and Cinema Ecosystem” and will feature speakers from […]

CONTINUE READING

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 […]

CONTINUE READING

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 […]

CONTINUE READING

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 […]

CONTINUE READING

‘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 […]

CONTINUE READING

‘For Sama’ director gives call to action at 51Fest

Last weekend, For Sama screened at the IFC Center in 51/Fest, a new film festival by and about women, celebrating the female majority in front of and behind the camera. The riveting documentary is about director Waad Al-Khateab’s journey through motherhood while living through the siege of Aleppo. The screening included a Q&A with Al-Khateab, […]

CONTINUE READING

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 […]

CONTINUE READING

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.

CONTINUE READING

‘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 […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Ophelia’ director Claire McCarthy talks contemporary take on Hamlet

Director Claire McCarthy who earlier this month was named as one of 10 “directors to watch” in Variety Magazine, sat down to talk with me at the Sundance Film Festival just days before the world premiere of her film Ophelia.  

CONTINUE READING

CherryPicks founder on new film, rating system for female critics

Being Frank traveled the film festival circuit for quite some time before getting its final edits and now a release across the country.  The film stars Jim Gaffigan, a favorite stand up comic whose acting career is bursting at the seems right now, as Frank, a man who attempts to balance life with two families; […]

CONTINUE READING

Miranda Bailey explores fractured father-son relationship with 'Being Frank'

Miranda Bailey is all about looking at the inner lives of liars. Her first film as director, the documentary The Pathological Optimist, focused on the discredited doctor Andrew Wakefield (who authored the infamous study linking vaccines to autism). Bailey followed that up with the award-winning short Another Happy Anniversary, and now her feature debut, Being […]

CONTINUE READING

Animator Nina Paley Confronts the Copyright Quandary

In addition to talking with animator Nina Paley about her newest film, Seder Masochism, FF2 talked with her about her views on copyright. Paley describes herself as a copyright abolitionist and has written for QuestionCopyright.org and did a series called Mimi & Eunice about copyright. Paley also did a great Ted Talk called “Copyright is […]

CONTINUE READING

Examining existence in the emptiness of space with philosophical sci-fi ‘Aniara’

As we enter the summer months, it’s not unusual to find science-fiction films hitting theaters. From the light and fun to the more serious, they can often have the epic scope you expect to find in blockbusters. But it’s rare to find a science fiction film hit theaters as bleak and philosophically expansive as the […]

CONTINUE READING

Ash Mayfair’s ‘The Third Wife’ a beautiful look at Vietnam’s dark past

Ash Mayfair understands the world of her new film The Third Wife well. It isn’t simply a documentary of one of the darker parts of Vietnam’s past with underage marriage and patriarchy, but the story of her own family. Despite controversy for casting 13-year-old actress Nguyen Phuong Tra My in the role of May (the […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Charlie Says’ offers feminist light on notorious Manson murders

For more than 20 years, the team of Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner have been collaborating on some of the daring and original independent films of the past two decades; I Shot Andy Warhol, American Psycho, and The Notorious Bettie Page. Their feminist and explicate approach to material makes them a fearless team and part […]

CONTINUE READING

Seder Masochism: Nina Paley’s irreverent take on Passover/Easter Rituals

Nina Paley released her new animated film Seder Masochism on the internet in January 2019, Like her stellar Sita Sings the Blues (released in 2008), Seder Masochism uses numerous animation styles including ancient Egyptian stylizations, and even embroidery. Seder Masochism is a satirical retelling of the Jewish Haggadah (traditionally recited every Passover at a meal […]

CONTINUE READING

Eva Husson rewrites history of war women in ‘Girls of the Sun’

Eva Husson has been a major talent to watch for since beginning her directorial career 15 years ago. After producing two short films her debut narrative, Bang Gang (a modern love story) guaranteed high praise when it premiered at the Toronto International film Festival. Three years later, she returned to the festival with her film […]

CONTINUE READING

Alison Klayman documents disturbing world of Steve Bannon in ‘The Brink’

In our current political climate, Steve Bannon has become a symbol of the conservative party. Since become a major player in Donald Trump’s presidential win and political strategist in the White House (until his public leave), he’s become a spokesperson for an ideology he defines as populism … and taken the message to global stages. […]

CONTINUE READING

Michal Aviad exposes sexual harassment in ‘Working Woman’

Michal Aviad has been focusing on spotlighting women’s issues in contemporary society since the beginning of her career in the 1980s. She graduated from Tel Aviv University and San Francisco State University and eventually returned to Israel to teach at Tel Aviv University. Since beginning her career as a writer and director, she has produced […]

CONTINUE READING

Nancy Schwartzman exposes bubble of privilege in ‘Roll Red Roll’

The rape and assault of a teenage girl by member of a Steubenville, Ohio football team made national headlines after the events were exposed via social media. While the public outcry led to a criminal trial and opened a conversation of teenage sexual assault, it also exposed the role privilege has when it comes to […]

CONTINUE READING

Director Clermont-Tonnerre makes room for second chances in ‘The Mustang’

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre creates “The Mustang,” a revelatory film about a hopeless, isolated incarcerated man (Mattias Shoenaerts) who enters into a horse training rehabilitation program.  Gorgeously shot, this evocative and soulful film delves into our penal system as it draws parallel lines between all creatures. Premiering at Sundance Film Festival, “The Mustang” is now playing […]

CONTINUE READING

‘I’m Not Here’ director Michelle Schumacher defines own success

Broadway actress Michelle Schumacher’s been busy building her multi-hyphenated resume. Starting her career on the stage as an actress-dancer-singer, she began perusing filmmaking after marrying and starting a family with fellow actor J.K. Simmons. She studied writing, editing, producing, and directing at UCLA, and now has a second feature film in release, I’m Not Here. […]

CONTINUE READING

SXSW Grand Jury winner ‘Alice’ questions concepts of marriage, motherhood

*Updated for March 12, 2019: “Alice” wins SXSW Narrative Feature Competition Award-winning writer and director Josephine Mackerras’ first feature film, “Alice,” premiered at the SXSW Film Festival recently. Living around the world, this NYU educated filmmaker delves deeply into how one woman, a wife and mother, reacts to her husband’s double life, leaving them in debt […]

CONTINUE READING