‘Landline’ creators talk family dynamics, fidelity and all things '90s
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‘Landline’ creators talk family dynamics, fidelity and all things '90s

The sophomore feature film, Landline, from writers Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm, created quite a buzz at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and continues to make quite a stir.  Starring Jenny Slate, Abby Quinn, John Turturro, and Edie Falco, Robespierre also directed the film, set in New York City in the 1990s.   The film…

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…

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…

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…

'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…

'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…

‘Divine Order' director takes lighthearted approach to suffrage
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‘Divine Order' director 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…

Behind the mask and mirror: an interview with Deborah Kampmeier, director of SPLit
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Behind the mask and mirror: an interview with Deborah Kampmeier, director of SPLit

Lindsy Bissonnette (FF2 Media): Deborah, where did the idea for your new film SPLit come from? Kampmeier: It was about 25 years ago, I took a workshop called “Voices of the Earth,” which was based on the ancient Sumarian myth “The Descent of Inanna.” In the workshop we were creating a space that was a... supportive…

'Cézanne' director calls out ‘strong, new generation’ of female filmmakers
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'Cézanne' director calls out ‘strong, new generation’ of female filmmakers

Hosted by the Gene Siskel Film Center, the month-long Chicago European Union Film Festival (CEUFF) featured 15 films directed by women (15 out of 62 = ~ 25% = a record high for this event). Danièle Thompson, French director of Cézanne and I (Cézanne et Moi), recently sat down with FF2 Media Senior Contributor Stephanie A. Taylor…