Currently Browsing: 2018

Netflix adds films by women to November roster

While you’re getting your Thanksgiving pants ready for the holiday season, be sure to check out these films (written and directed by women) streaming on Netflix this November.

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‘Distant Constellation’ captures essence of disappearing community

Filmed over a six-year period, Shevaun Mizrahl’s debut film Distant Constellation required a slow and steady approach. The meditative film focuses on the final years of several seniors living in a Istanbul retirement home, all while the neighborhood they live in is being torn down and redeveloped.

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Alicia Malone’s ‘The Female Gaze’ highlights essential movies from female filmmakers

Film reporter and author Alicia Malone highlights 52 female-directed films in her new book, “The Female Gaze.” She argues that the male lens and perspective is objectifying women in film rather than showing women as they are.

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DOC NYC ‘is all the stronger for acknowledging’ women directors

Out of the 135 features, 62 of them — or 46 percent — have female directors or co-directors, an increase at the festival compared to both 2016 and 2017. “We have typically had representation of female filmmakers at 40 percent or more over the past several years,” said Basil Tsiokos, director of programming.

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Hulu streams the year’s best from female filmmakers

Streaming service Hulu isn’t just for rewatching every new episode of The Good Place for the third time (although I highly recommend doing that). In addition to its same-day streaming of network and cable shows, premium original content like the Stephen King-inspired series Castle Rock and the award-winning phenomenon The Handmaid’s Tale, a Hulu subscription […]

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Normalizing the conversation around medical marijuana in ‘Weed the People’

Abby Epstein brings to our attention a documentary about a subject few know to think twice about: cannabis as a life-saving drug. Having been marked as a schedule I level drug, it has had a bad reputation for the past 100 years. Blinded by this, we are turned away from any possible benefits that this drug could have. “Weed the People” follows a number of families who desperately look to cannabis as an alternative treatment to save their children from cancer. With her film, Epstein asks the vital question: why has the government put a ban on medical marijuana if it truly helps treat illnesses?

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This week in WIF: recapping the week for women in film

There’s a lot to catch up on from the world of women in film. Recapping October’s biggest moments for female directors and characters: #IfAWomanDirected: The Twitter account for the streaming service FilmStruck prompted its followers with this tweet Oct. 22: “#ifawomandirected _______, then ________.” The hashtag quickly took off, with Twitter users looking at films […]

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A political firebrand gets his closeup in Toby Perl Freilich’s ‘Moynihan’

15 years after Moynihan’s death, directors Toby Perl Freilich and Joseph Dorman released Moynihan, a comprehensive and incisive documentary chronicling the life and career of the Washington fixture. Here, Freilich talks to FF2 about digging into Moynihan’s past, revisiting his polemic work, and fighting to preserve his legacy.

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‘On Her Shoulders’ captures the struggle after survival

Just a few weeks ago Nadia Murad made headlines when she became the first Iraqi to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her work helping victims of genocide and human trafficking. Her advocacy comes from her own devastating experience as a victim of Yazidi genocide and being taken into slavery by members of ISIS for […]

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Films by women directors are few, but memorable at NYFF

The New York Film Festival of the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) sets the standard for the best arthouse films in the U.S.  The 56th annual festival opened September 28, 2018, and ran through October 14.  This year’s included a modest number of women directors, but, as Ruth Gordon wrote in the classic Pat and Mike, they were “cherce:”

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Nia DaCosta’s ‘Little Woods’ the heart of Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival wraps up today after featuring an excellent 12-day lineup, 30 percent of which was directed by women. Female characters and their creators played a central role in this year’s festival, from documentaries to foreign language features, but it was the following films directed by women that made the most impact. […]

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‘What They Had’ resonates on deeply personal level

What They Had, starring Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner and Robert Forster premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and has continued on the festival circuit over the last year.

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Maryam Keshavarz’s ‘Viper Club’ vividly captures mother’s nightmare

Susan Sarandon stars as Helen, the mother of an adult son (Julian Morris) and journalist whose been kidnapped by a terrorist group. Forced by government to remain silent in the face of ransom demands, she turns to her son’s internet community of journalists for support.

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‘What They Had’ tells a story of family with an undercurrent of feminism

It may not be past Halloween yet, but we probably already have the holiday family tearjerker of the year. In January of this year, writer-director Elizabeth Chomko (a playwright and actress) premiered her family drama What They Had to Sundance Film Festival audiences.

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Chicago International Film Festival screens best from Vietnam, Dominican Republic

Continue to support more female filmmakers by attending Ash Mayfair’s The Third Wife (Vietnam), Natalia Cabral’s film Miriam Lies (Dominican Republic, Spain), Laura Bispuri’s film Daughter of Mine (Italy) and Sudabeh Mortezai’s film Joy (Austria). For more information on the CIFF, please visit their site.

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‘Private Life’ explores a couple’s mutual mid-life crisis in the face in infertility

Private Life focuses on the painful, sometimes absurd, experience of trying to have children later in life, starring Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn as a couple hoping to become parents and Kayli Carter as their step-niece and potential egg donor.

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‘After Everything’ looks at love before, during and after illness

If the romantic comedy is a dying genre, Hannah Marks (best known as an actress) and Joey Power are hoping to revive it with their fresh new film, After Everything.

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CIFF this week: ‘Olympia’ and ‘Core of the World’ part of Women in Cinema

In part one of FF2 Media’s “Best of the Fest” coverage for the 54th Annual Chicago International Film Festival, we covered several interesting films directed by women. CIFF will run through October 21 at the AMC River East Theater. Support female filmmakers by attending the festival and screening McKenzie Chinn’s Olympia (United States) and Natalya Meshchaninova’s Core of the World (Russia,Lithuania).

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Complex parental relationships a dominant theme at Chicago International Film Festival

Though the festival is offering a variety of notable foreign films from female directors now through Oct. 21, FF2 has selected three of our favorites from France, Italy and Spain – all of which display the complex relationships between parents and their children, the past and the present.

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Art and obsession in Sara Colangelo’s ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’

In The Kindergarten Teacher, a remake of the 2014 Israeli film by Nadav Lapid, Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Lisa, a longtime kindergarten teacher longing to make a contribution to the arts. When her own desires to pursue poetry are met with apathy, she begins to see herself as a patron of a student (Parker Sevak) in her class she believes to be a prodigy.

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Director Lisa D’Apolito screens moving doc for Gilda’s Club

Love, Gilda, directed by Lisa D’Apolito, is now available to stream instantly on several digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, and Comcast. The film depicts the life of one of the most iconic and influential comedians to grace the television airways since Lucille Ball.  

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Director Polly Draper writes, casts sons in ‘Stella’s Last Weekend’

Nat and Alex Wolff, who’ve continued to work in Hollywood with prominent roles in films like Paper Towns and Patriot’s Day, respectively. But Draper brought them back together with her latest project, the film Stella’s Last Weekend (out October 12) about two brothers who realized they’ve both fallen for the same girl.

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Women directors screen compelling stories at CIFF

The 54th annual Chicago International Film Festival began October 10 and will run through October 21 at the AMC River East Theater. There are 5,596 films from 135 countries – 38 of those films are directed by women.

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Historic SWAN Day brings women and organizers together at Statera Conference

For the first time, the SWAN torch was passed on to StateraArts who will continue the movement under their umbrella. Many of the original SWAN organizers were there to witness this historical event – Christine Young from University of San Francisco, Sophie Doolan from Kenya, Jennifer Hill from Connecticut, Vanessa Gondron from Prague, and many others.

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Future bright for International ‘Support Women Artists Now’ Day

The historic International SWAN Day gathering took place in Milwaukee at the Statera Arts Conference (Oct. 4-7) where women from all over the world met to discuss the future of SWAN Day and witness “the swan” being passed on to Statera Arts (read more here).

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‘Support Women Artists Now’ Day charges toward March ‘19

International SWAN Day. What is it? International Support Women Artists Now Day, a holiday celebrating the vast work of female writers, directors and creatives around the world. Held on the last Saturday of March, women (and men) gather to support the work of their favorite female artist – past or present – in any event of their choosing.

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Nobel Peace Prize winners the focus of award-winning documentaries

Both winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize are the subject of recent documentaries from female filmmakers. Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad are recipients of the 2018 award, according to Thursday’s announcement from the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Mukwege is a gynecologist who co-founded a treatment center in the Congo to help women in post-rape […]

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In ‘Capernaum’ Nadine Labaki gives voice to Lebanon’s invisible children

When the film Capernaum begins, audiences are immediately struck by the dramatic stand the film takes on the nature of poverty and neglect of children. A 12-year-old named Zain, in juvenile prison for stabbing someone, has sued his parents for neglect, telling the judge he’s suing them because they “gave him life.” While hearing this […]

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“Spartacus Moments” Part III: What Happened?

Jeff Flake’s “Spartacus Moment” demanding that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford be heard was followed by a second attempt at wielding a Spartacus-worthy spine. Flake was the sole GOP to demand an FBI investigation. However, the call for utter justice was not emphatic enough. Lady Liberty has been suffocated. The US Senate has failed Ford, as […]

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Historic International SWAN Day gathering to be held at Statera Conference

WomenArts will sponsor a gathering of SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now Day) organizers as part of the Statera Foundation’s Third National Conference for women in theatre  on Thursday, October 4 in Milwaukee. As part of the three-day conference, the historic gathering will transition SWAN Day from WomenArts to the Statera Foundation.

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