Run, don’t walk, to The Future of Film Is Female – which should be everyone’s mantra – an event at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) that runs July 26 through August 2.
The Future of Film Is Female began as a funding program by Caryn Coleman for women developing short films and has expanded its mission, partnering with MoMA and Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, to champion contemporary films directed by women early in their careers. It also provides an opportunity for these filmmakers to have equal footing with their male counterparts.
Coleman, Director of Programming and Special Projects at Williamsburg's dine-in movie theater Nitehawk Cinema, said she felt compelled to help women filmmakers after the 2016 election. “I was in shock, but I was also impressed and grateful to have this community of filmmakers around me,” she said. “I don’t make films that have messages, but I have the opportunity to show films that have messages. Once the election was over, I pushed helping the women to the forefront with money, screen time, promotional support or whatever they needed.”
Roy, calling Coleman an “exciting voice in the field” wanted to see MoMA have a relationship with Nitehawk Cinema and augment what she was doing. “It responds to an urgent need in the field,” he said. “I’m thrilled to be able to work together.”
Coleman said she chose films for this event that debuted in the last year and were significant in a number of ways. “I wanted to show the unique relationship in Erin Lee Carr’s Mommy Dead and Dearest, and Shirin Neshat’s Looking for Oum Kulthum, an amazing film about a woman filmmaker,” she said.
Other films that she chose for the event include Gillian Robespierre’s Landline, Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge, Maysaloun Hamoud’s Bar Bahar (In Between).
Coleman said that combating gender parity – a statistical measure that compares a particular indicator among women, like salary, to men – is done by actually showing women’s films in the theater. “People attending this event should discover that there are really incredible films being made by women and you will want to tell family and friends to come see them,” she said. “The movie industry is a numbers industry and if you see there’s interest in a film, everyone else will get on board and spread the word. Plus, you’ll just really enjoy the films.”
Roy agrees. “These are awesome movies,” he said. “This is about pure pleasure. I hope they think, ‘I never knew that a woman could make a revenge/slasher movie,’ and that their eyes are open. Then there will be others who seek out films by women.”
For more information, visit https://www.moma.org/calendar/film/4991?locale=en.
Featured Screenings (among others):
Gillian Robespierre’s LANDLINE
Erin Lee Carr’s MOMMY DEAD AND DEAREST
Coralie Fargeat’s REVENGE
Shirin Neshat’s LOOKING FOR OUM KULTHUM
Maysaloun Hamoud’s BAR BAHAR (IN BETWEEN)
NOBUDGE Shorts Program
© Lisa Iannucci (7/26/18) FF2 Media
Photos: Maysaloun Hamoud directs BAR BAHAR (IN BETWEEN) (Channel 10, DBG / deux beaux garçons, En Compagnie Des Lamas) Gillian Robespierre’s LANDLINE ( MWM (MadisonWellsMedia), Route One Entertainment)