BPL’s 2021 Virtual ‘LitFilm Series’ Showcases Women Writers

Starting Monday, September 20, and running through Saturday, September 26, the Brooklyn Public Library will be hosting LitFilm: A BPL Film Festival About Writers. Like many of the BPL’s events, the series is rich with women artists, on and off-screen. The BPL’s website touts “an exciting lineup of documentaries and films, highlighting some of the most influential and iconoclastic literary minds, jostling for their places in the ever-shifting canon.” The event is fully virtual, so come one, come all, wherever you’re located.

Here’s a SWAN Schedule of the festival’s speeches and films by women:

Monday at 7 pm:

Keynote speech by Lynn Novick

From the BPL: “Renowned filmmaker Lynn Novick delivers the LitFilm 2021 keynote talk on making literary subjects literary, on filmmaking partnerships and more.”

FF2’s Georgi Presecky remarked on Novick’s “knack for presenting historical context” and “compelling” take on “complicated, painful” subject matter in her career of documentary filmmaking.

Tuesday at 6:30 pm:

Return to Rainy Mountain, a documentary short by Jill Scott Momaday with an introduction by the filmmaker

From the BPL: “Presented with an exclusive introduction for LitFilm by Jill Scott Momaday, Return to Rainy Mountain celebrates living legend N. Scott Momaday, recipient of the first Pulitzer Prize for Fiction awarded to a Native American writer. With daughter, filmmaker Jill Scott Momaday, the novelist takes viewers on a modern-day road trip loosely based on his Kiowa nation’s ancestral myths and legends.”

Wednesday at 6:30 pm:

Hysterical Girl, a documentary short by Kate Novack

From the BPL: “Written and directed by Novack, the short depicts Sigmund Freud’s sole case study of a female patient re-examined from a modern feminist perspective.”

Wednesday at 7 pm:

Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt, a documentary directed by Ada Ushpiz

FF2’s Jan Lisa Huttner called this film “an audacious attempt to completely reframe the legacy of Hannah Arendt.”

From the BPL: “Winner for Best Documentary at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, this thought-provoking film captures the spirit of an intellectual determined to use the tools of rationality to comprehend historical events that seem to defy all reason.”

Thursday at 7 pm:

Flannery, a documentary directed by Elizabeth Coffman

From the BPL: “Winner of the first-ever Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film, Flannery explores the life and legacy of American literary icon Flannery O’Connor, whose distinctive Southern Gothic fiction influenced a generation of artists and activists.” In my FF2 coverage of the film, I described it as “playful, intimate, and appreciative of the unique challenges and joys of O’Connor’s life.”

In her interview with FF2, Elizabeth Coffman said, “The number one goal of our film I think has been accomplished, which was to talk about her, and to get people to read her work more, and get her more in the national discussion, just like Faulkner, just like Eudora Welty. She’s really up there, as she should be, in terms of the pantheon of great American writers. That’s been deeply satisfying.”

Other films in the series feature women writers Isabel Allende and Molly Crabapple.

Attendance is free but requires registration. Prior to the event, you’ll receive a streaming link. See the full schedule and register for individual events here.


© Amelie Lasker (9/13/21)–Special for FF2 Media.



Featured Photo: “File:2014-08 Graffiti Patrik Wolters alias BeneR1 im Team mit Kevin Lasner alias koarts, Hannah Arendt Niemand hat das Recht zu gehorchen, Geburtshaus Lindener Marktplatz 2 Ecke Falkenstraße in Hannover-Linden-Mitte.jpg” by Bernd Schwabe in Hannover is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Middle Photo: Lynn Novick. “DIG13878dhk_007” by LBJLibraryNow is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Bottom Photo: “Flannery O’Connor and peacock 2” by 50 Watts is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tags: Ada Ushpiz, Elizabeth Coffman, FF2 Media, Flannery O'Connor, Hannah Arendt, Hysterical Girl, International SWANs, iswans, Jill Scott Momaday, Kate Novack, Lynn Novick, Return to Rainy Mountain, Support Women Artists Now, Vita Activa

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Amelie Lasker joined FF2 Media in early 2016 while studying English and history at Columbia University. She received her Master's in English Literature at the University of Cambridge in 2019 and became a Contributing Editor at FF2. Her work with FF2 has earned her Rotten Tomatoes accreditation. Now, she is FF2's Brand Coordinator, developing iSWANs campaigns. Amelie is an artist herself; she is a produced playwright and fiction writer.
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