Female Filmmakers Initiative – Exploring the Careers of Female Directors: Phase III

Lulu Keating directs Lucille's Ball. Photo by Ros Norbury

Lulu Keating directs Lucille’s Ball. Photo by Ros Norbury

“Industry decision-makers perceive that there is a scarcity of female directors and a small pool to choose from in top-grossing films. Those interviewed named, on average, three female directors who might be included on consideration lists.” (From Phase III of the ongoing Female Filmmakers Initiative, sponsored by Women in Film Los Angeles and the Sundance Institute.)

The truth belies that perception. Continue reading

Journalist Heidi Honeycutt about women directing genre and programming the Etheria Film Night Showcase

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Etheria Film Night is an annual one-night showcase of the best new short genre films (horror, sci-fi, fantasy, action, comedy, thriller) directed by women. The festival’s goal is to connect industry professionals with untapped female directing talent for genre film and TV series. Continue reading

#VIWIFF2015 Award Winners

Pauline Egan with the Legacy Awards trophy

Pauline Egan with the Legacy Awards trophy

The 2015 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival is a wrap! It was a wonderful, five-day event filled with film screenings, workshops, parties and an award show.

Congratulations to all participating festival filmmakers for their magnificent work, many thanks to all sponsors, community partners, media partners, volunteers and organizers for the hard work and the social media shoutouts, which made all the difference!

The following awards were announced on Closing Night, March 8, at the Vancity Theatre. Continue reading

Into every nook and crevice – Audrey Estrougo’s Behind Closed Doors opens up a debate on sexism, injustice and violence

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Behind Closed Doors (Une Histoire Banale, France 2014) is precisely what its original French title describes – an ordinary story.

Nathalie, a 30-year-old living in Paris, leads a simple and pleasant life. She gets along with her colleagues, often goes out with friends, and plans to move in with her loving fiancé. With a happy and prosperous future ahead of her, she could not ask for more in her small, quaint life. However, a night out with a co-worker changes Nathalie’s life as she knows it, and she is forced to face a new self she did not know could exist.

The film follows Nathalie through the aftermath of the violence done to her. Continue reading

Out of the comfort zone: Atsuko Hirayanagi about her award-winning short Oh Lucy! #VIWIFF2015

Kaori Momoi as Setsuko in Oh Lucy!

Kaori Momoi as Setsuko in Oh Lucy!

I believe everybody fantasizes about becoming somebody else and exploring a new world. Oh Lucy! depicts Setsuko’s secret and personal dream.

Setsuko is a reserved 55-year-old office employee in Tokyo, who doesn’t make friends easily. Her life is a repetitive routine without romance. One day, she attends an English conversation class with an unconventional young English teacher who gives her a new identity, Lucy. She meets Tom, a middle-aged Japanese businessman, who attends to the same class.

Oh Lucy! is a film about Setsuko’s self-discovery, which reflects modern chaotic Tokyo culture.  Continue reading

#VIWFF2015 screening of Kay D. Ray’s Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz marks Canadian premiere of jazz doc

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Women instrumentalists have made major contributions to American jazz, and this film captures many of the lost stories, from the early 1920s to the 1970s, including the development of numerous all-female jazz ensembles. Join Peggy Gilbert, Marian McPartland, Carline Ray, Quincy Jones, Jane Sager and many others in this important remembering of our musical past.

Using historical photos, provocative and often wildly humorous interviews with musicians, big band leaders, jazz authors and historians, this textured film by documentarian Kay D. Ray from Seattle is balanced with rare recordings and forgotten footage, both television and film. Like the stories of those who made it, the music is always engaging, often uplifting, and sometimes heartrending.

Kay recently drove all the way from Seattle to drop off her film copy. We took the chance to ask her a few burning questions: Continue reading

Seguir Viviendo (Go on Living) fuses fact and fiction – North American Premiere at #VIWIFF2015

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Film still of Seguir Viviendo

Chihuahua, Mexico-born director Alejandra Sánchez fuses fact and fiction in her first narrative feature, Seguir Viviendo (Go On Living), screening March 7 at #VIWIFF2015.

Striking monochromatic scenes and a changing geographical landscape that parallels the mood of the three characters, make for a haunting and thrilling road-movie. Continue reading

Iranian film A 5-Star to premiere in North America at #VIWIFF2015

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The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival is pleased to present the North American premiere of Iranian filmmaker Mashid Afsharzadeh’s sophomore feature film, A 5-Star on Saturday, March 7 at 9:30 PM.  Continue reading