New York native film critic and film critic Pamela Powell now resides near Chicago, interviewing screenwriters and directors of big blockbusters and independent gems as a Senior Contributor for FF2 Media. With a graduate degree from Northwestern in Speech-Language Pathology, she has tailored her writing, observational, and evaluative skills to encompass all aspects of film. With a focus on women in film, Pamela also gravitates toward films that are eye-opening, educational, and entertaining with the hopes of making this world a better place. 

Currently Browsing: Pamela Powell

Stream Now: ‘Puzzle’ an authentic portrayal of a woman’s need for self-worth

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the all-female team of film critics at FF2 Media were assigned to write about their favorite female artists – and where to watch their work. “Puzzle” (2018) is available on Amazon Prime or on Prime Video Channels such as Starz and Hulu. (Be sure to click on film titles […]

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Director Kitty Green breaks down moral complexities of ‘The Assistant’: “We know what’s going on behind that door”

The Assistant, written and directed by Kitty Green, portrays Jane (Julia Garner) as a young assistant to a powerful entertainment executive who witnesses the abuse from within the company.  This introspective and personal story allows us to walk in her shoes as Jane attempts to wrestle with her stressful job filled with moral and ethical […]

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Sundance 2020: ‘The Assistant,’ ‘Save Yourselves!’ top Best of the Fest

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival has wrapped, announced its winners, and has once again, stayed ahead of the industry curve by getting close to, achieving, and/or surpassing gender parity in filmmaking.  Statistics for this year show that 42 percent of the feature films are from women (directors and/or writers), 48 percent are features in competition, […]

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Sundance 2020: Olivia Wilde talks directing with newfound creative freedom

Gotham and Indie Spirit nominated director Olivia Wilde (Booksmart) debuts her new short film Wake Up at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. From Anonymous Content: Wake Up comes off the heels of Olivia Wilde’s critically-acclaimed, award-winning, directorial debut, Booksmart. Wilde will next direct and star in the psychological thriller for the Time’s Up era Don’t Worry Darling for New Line. You can […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Female filmmakers making overall ‘Best’ lists

The winners of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have been announced and as the dust is now settled, we can sift through the hype and clearly see the outcome at this year’s fest.  Yes, the stars were shining bright along the red carpet and there’s certainly a bit of Oscar buzz already, but […]

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TIFF inches closer to gender parity

The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will take place September 5-15, presenting more than 330 films: 36 percent are directed, co-directed, and/or created by women; a slight increase from last year’s representation of 35 percent. TIFF will showcase world premieres and festival favorites alike at this year’s event comprising 84 feature films directed by […]

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‘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 […]

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‘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.  

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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; […]

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Chicago Critics Film Festival celebrates women directors

The 2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival raises the curtain on 24 highly-anticipated new films running May 17-23 at the Music Box Theatre. Nine of these 24 feature films are written and/or directed by women, holding steady at 37.5 percent from last year’s representation of female filmmakers.   It’s a strong group of films, many of […]

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Female filmmakers best of the fest at Tribeca

It wasn’t difficult to find female-written and/or directed films this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.  In fact, my time to attend the fest was limited to three days, so I just went to the films that fit my schedule and lo and behold, 45 percent of these films were either written and/or directed by […]

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Female filmmakers best of the fest at Tribeca

It wasn’t difficult to find female-written and/or directed films this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.  In fact, my time to attend the fest was limited to three days, so I just went to the films that fit my schedule and lo and behold, 45 percent of these films were either written and/or directed by […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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New romantic comedy festival to debut in LA

Nothing says romance more than Valentine’s Day…except for maybe a good romantic comedy!  Thanks to the efforts of Miraya Berke, the first ever Rom Com Fest will be taking place on June 20-23 in Los Angeles at the Downtown Independent (251 S. Main St.) to not only celebrate rom-coms, but to shed a new light […]

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Miranda Tapsell gets the rom-com right with ‘Top End Wedding’

The Rom-Com genre is certainly an entity unto itself, but to do it right is no easy task. Top End Wedding, co-written by Miranda Tapsell and Joshua Tyler, is a prime example of how to do it right.  This exceptionally well-balanced, funny, dramatic and heartfelt film takes place in the Tiwi Islands in the Northern […]

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Penny Lane pushes boundaries, finds humor in ‘Hail Satan?’

Boldly daring filmmaker Penny Lane returns to Sundance with her third feature-length documentary Hail Satan? The title itself is certainly eye-catching.  And quite surprisingly, after seeing this film, I was shocked by my changed perspective about the topic.  In fact, I dare you not to have a different outlook, too. Lane, a self-proclaimed rebel herself, delves […]

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Sundance shines on women

The Sundance Film Festival continues to be a frontrunner in paving a path for new voices and the 2019 festival is no exception to this observation.  With nearly half of the director seats occupied by women (45 percent) and more than 70 percent of the awards presented to women, it’s obvious that women are finally […]

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DOC NYC: Sarah Teale & Lisa F. Jackson talk ‘Patrimonio’

Each and every year at DOC NYC Film Festival, the films are extraordinary, providing insight and knowledge about topics, many of which were previously unknown. This year, we have a classic David versus Goliath tale in Baja Sur, Mexico thanks to the dedicated talent and determination of filmmakers Sarah Teale and Lisa F. Jackson with […]

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DOC NYC: ‘Care to Laugh’ shows humor, hope of caregivers

In Care to Laugh, comic Jesus Trejo balances his life each and every day as he cares for his elderly parents and perfects his art as a comedian in Los Angeles. Care to Laugh will play at the DOC NYC Film Festival on Wednesday, Nov. 14 and Thursday, Nov. 15.

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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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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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‘Pick of the Litter’ team talks journey of making guide dog documentary

The documentarian team of Dana Nachman and Don Hardy have collaborated for their fourth time with Pick of the Litter to give viewers an inside look at how a litter of pups vie for the opportunity to become a guide dog for the blind.

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Chicago International Film Festival increases list of female directors

With more than 6,000 film entries, 36 out of 123 chosen feature films are directed by women, just under 30 percent. In the shorts category, it’s an equal representation of 50 percent.  

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Inclusive Middle Coast Film Festival finds new home in Chicago

The Middle Coast Film Festival, now in its fifth year, has new surroundings. Moving from Bloomington, Indiana to Chicago’s Davis Theater, the MCFF will screen approximately 60 films, including five feature films September 21- 23, 2018.

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McKenzie Chinn to debut ‘Olympia’ at Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival just announced its “sneak peek” for the 2019 lineup and Chicago area filmmaker McKenzie Chinn’s debut feature film Olympia will be featured in the “City & State” category.  Chinn creates an undeniably compelling story inspired by her own question of what it means to make the transition into true adulthood.  

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‘Skate Kitchen’ director Crystal Moselle is part of the shift for women filmmakers

Crystal Moselle, whose 2015 documentary film The Wolfpack, stunned viewers around the world, has taken her keen sense of people, drama and observation to create a new, fictional narrative film, Skate Kitchen, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

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‘Puzzle’ director Turtletaub talks female-centric film, collaborating genders

 Academy-Award-nominated director and producer Marc Turtletaub (Loving, Little Miss Sunshine) takes the director’s chair for this film as he deeply connected with this female-centric character-driven piece.

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