Currently Browsing: Features

‘Sophie and the Rising Sun’ is a waterfall of emotion

Sophie and the Rising Sun (written/directed by filmmaker Maggie Greenwald who based her screenplay on a novel by Augusta Trobaugh) is the beautiful story of one couple’s determination to defy the odds and build a life together. Although it is set in the 1940s, it has a timely plot, gripping performances, and stunning scenery. My focus is on the […]

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European Union Film Festival sets record for number of female directors

The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago began in 1972 and since that time, it has been home to several cutting edge “film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures…”  One of those innovative festivals includes the upcoming Chicago European Union Film Festival (CEUFF), now celebrating its […]

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Ann Marie Fleming on ‘Window Horses,’ diversity in animation

The annual New York International Children’s Film Festival is one of the premiere events to highlight “alternative” animation and family programming. Not only have they regularly highlighted Academy Award contenders in animation, but discovered new talents in independent cinema. Ann Marie Fleming was one of those filmmakers a few years ago when she premiered a […]

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Hidden Figures: girls and pearls

Hidden Figures, written by Allison Shroeder and Theodore Melfi based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly and directed by Theodore Melfi, has been receiving a lot of press. The film highlights the work that women of color have done for NASA, and how they have been nearly erased from history despite their importance. From […]

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Hidden Figures and the music of the spheres

The music in every movie must always support the story. It connects and immerses the audience into the world of the characters. In Hidden Figures, the music pushes the audience beyond sympathy from mere observation, engaging us in the experience through an almost personal connection. In a way that no movie about the human exploration […]

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Hidden Figures a hidden ‘white-wash’?

Hidden Figures, based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction book, has grossed more than $145 million at the box office, becoming this year’s highest-grossing Best Picture nominee. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Oscar-nominated Octavia Spencer, the film tells the story of three Black NASA workers in segregated Hampton, Virginia in the early 1960s. Given the […]

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Siskel Panelists Predict Diverse Oscar Wins

FF2 Media Contributor Stephanie A. Taylor attended the Gene Siskel Film Center Oscars Panel last month, a five-panelist discussion on nominations, snubs and film recommendations. Following up with Pamela Powell of The Daily Journal and Sergio Mims of Shadow and Act, the two panelists reflected on #OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsSoBlue campaigns, as well as the diversity […]

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‘United Kingdom’ director talks onscreen racial divide, offscreen leadership

Amma Asante is a UK director on the rise with three highly-praised feature film to her name. The former child actress left acting to pursue filmmaking, and got her start producing for TV, including the BBC drama, Brothers and Sisters. Her first feature, A Way of Life, starring Stephanie James and Brenda Blethyn, earned several […]

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Female filmmakers leave lasting ‘romcom’ impact, memorable scenes

Don’t cry, Shopgirl. FF2 Media celebrates the work of female writers and directors, including their successful box office returns and critical acclaim for romantic comedies. From Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers to Anne Fletcher and Bonnie Hunt, below is a ranking and attached script of memorable romantic comedy film scenes. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Runaway Bride Written by Josann […]

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Feminism is funny: Writing team inspires a generation with female-led comedies

It has come to my attention that the maintenance staff is switching our toilet paper from Charmin to generic. All those opposed to chafing, please say ‘Aye.’ – Legally Blonde Feminism is funny. In researching our favorite funny films from the early 2000s, we found a surprising common thread – writing team Karen McCullah and Kirsten […]

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A Woman’s Place…

In May of 1977, Star Wars, written and directed by George Lucas was released. It was the first film of the many-part space-opera that takes place in the past (despite the vast technological advantages). It starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinnes, and of course, the beloved late Carrie Fisher as “Princess Leia.” […]

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FF2 Media Reacts: The Director’s Chair

USC Annenberg has just released a new comprehensive study examining 1,000 top-grossing films over the past nine years. How many of the directors of these blockbuster marvels were male? How many were female? The numbers are jaw to the ground shocking, only further proving how important it is to support and advocate for women and […]

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Siskel Center panelists talk Oscar noms, gender disparity

The Gene Siskel Film Center held the 89th Academy Awards Nominations Panel on January 24, 2017 in Chicago. The hour-long event included J.R. Jones of the Chicago Reader, Pamela Powell of The Daily Journal, Sergio Mims of Shadow & Act, Ray Pride of New City and Dean Richards of WGN-Radio. Moderator Alison Cuddy began the […]

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Robinson & Howell talk ‘Claire in Motion’

The second feature film collaboration between the directing team of Lisa Robinson and Annie J. Howell Claire in Motion is a mash-up of styles. Structured around a mystery, the disappearance of Claire’s husband in the woods, the film is ultimately a meditative examination of her own identity. Forced to confront how her sense of self […]

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Allstate increases grant for Siskel Film Center

The Allstate Corporation has given the Gene Siskel Film Center a $10,000 grant for their annual Black Harvest Film Festival, a $5,000 increase from last year. This is the third year that Allstate has given the film center and 2017 marks the BHFF’s 23rd year. The grant will focus on the festival’s Youth Filmmaker Program, […]

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

Dear Cinephiles: It’s time to think about short lists for the 89th annual OscarBowl on February 26, 2017. Backlash from the 2016 Oscar snubs sparked our merit-based Make Oscars Gold campaign, a combination of #OscarsSoWhite (lack of minorities) and #StopBlueOscar (lack of women). If Oscar wants to be “gold” = merit-based, then everyone should have […]

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FILMMAKER Q&A: MELINDA JANKO

By FF2 Contributor Lindsy M. Bissonnette Filmmaker Melinda Janko has always been attracted to stories about “the triumph of the human spirit” and her work on 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight For Justice is no exception. Ms. Janko’s dedication and passion is evident in the deeply moving and disturbing story of Elouise Cobell’s fearlessness while […]

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FEMALE-LED DOCUMENTARIES ADVANCE IN OSCAR RACE

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 15 films (out of the 145 films submitted) in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 89th Academy Awards®. Our FF2 Media has screened and reviewed each documentary by a female filmmaker. Congratulations to Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson, Big Mouth Productions), […]

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FILMMAKER Q&A: ANNA BILLER

By Senior Contributor Lesley Coffin One of the best-reviewed indie films of 2016, The Love Witch, marks a breakthrough for filmmaker Anna Biller. Besides receiving credit as both writer and director, Biller also produced, edited, designed costumes and sets, and composed music for the film. It results in a finely crafted, beautifully layered feature film […]

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Woodstock Film Festival ’16: Melissa Finell

By: Senior Contributor Lisa Iannucci Every time I go to a film festival, I try to find that one film that I absolutely love and would see again. I also hope to find a director that I feel is on the verge of making it “big.” Meet director Melissa Finell, who wrote and directed “Sensitivity […]

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The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem (Part One)

The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem, directed by , features six, five-minute short films on the gender gap in Hollywood. The title derives from Dr. Stacy Smith’s research, which finds that only 4.4% of approximately 1,100 top-grossing films (2002-2012) are made by women directors. The film contains shocking facts that forces us to think about gender […]

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The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem (Part Two)

The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem, directed by Caroline Suh, features six, five-minute short films on the gender gap in Hollywood. The title derives from Dr. Stacy Smith’s research, which finds that only 4.4% of approximately 1,100 top-grossing films (2002-2012) are made by women directors. Let’s debunk the myth that film is a dream factory, that […]

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The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem (Part Three)

The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem, directed by Caroline Suh, features six, five-minute short films on the gender gap in Hollywood. The title derives from Dr. Stacy Smith’s research, which finds that only 4.4% of approximately 1,100 top-grossing films (2002-2012) are made by women directors. Among the many intriguing answers that were given, three of them […]

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THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (2016)

Based on the New York Times bestseller by Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train  (adapted by screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson) follows “Rachel” (Emily Blunt), a self-pitying alcoholic who is the victim of a failed marriage. Her only reprieve is living vicariously through the “perfect” couple whose lives she spies on from her seat on the […]

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Kickass Women Panel

The CBS Kickass Women Showrunner Panel Special Report by Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky “It all comes back to Felicity,” Joan Rater joked into her clip-on microphone. The showrunner of new CBS drama Doubt relayed her journey of breaking into television with a spec script, much like the other four panelists at Ben Blacker’s CBS […]

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Filmmaker Q&A: Leyla Bouzid

By Senior Contributor Lesley Coffin Leyla Bouzid’s new film As I Open My Eyes, was made just as Bouzid now lives. Raised in Tunis, she immigrated to Paris to study in France, earning a degree at the Sorbonne University and film school at the Femis School. Just a few months before the Jasmine Revolution she […]

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Filmmaker Q&A: Rosemary Myers

By Senior Contributor Lesley Coffin The new coming of age comedy Girl Asleep is being described as if Wes Anderson met Louis Carroll. The connection to both make perfect sense with fantastical moments within this 70s era comedy, and visual comedy which utilizes cinema’s ability to create visual depth and texture. The film, however, has […]

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Filmmaker Q&A: Sue Maslin

Interview: Producer Sue Maslin on The Dressmaker By Senior Contributor Lesley Coffin While just hitting US theaters now, the team behind the Australian film The Dressmaker already had reason to celebrate when the film hit theaters last year (after premiering at Toronto). The film was nominated for eight Australian Film Critics Association Awards (winning four) […]

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NYFF: PREVIEW GUIDE TO FEMALE-DIRECTED SHORTS

Preview Guide to Female-Directed Feature Films at the 2016 New York Film Festival By Nora Lee Mandel The 54th Annual New York Film Festival (NYFF) of the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) opens September 30, with a new documentary The 13th by Ava DuVernay, renowned for Selma. (2014).  Running through October 16, the full […]

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Filmmaker Q&A: Kate Lyn Sheil

By FF2 Senior Contributor Lesley Coffin Interview: Kate Lyn Sheil At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, one of the most talked-about young actresses,Kate Lyn Sheil,  arrived with the narrative Kate Plays Christine, a docudrama about the making of a movie about Christine Chubbuck, the Florida newswoman who shot herself live on television during a report. The […]

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