Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pietra Brettkelly & 'Maori Boy Genius' (podcast)

Pietra Brettkelly
Pietra Brettkelly's feature documentary Maori Boy Genius will premiere today, in the Berlinale's Generation programme. Many congratulations to her! It's always exciting when a New Zealand film is accepted to a major film festival and in competition and this year there are two: the feature Two Little Boys opens in the same section tomorrow.  I invited Pietra to talk and was thrilled when she agreed.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Global Treasures: Debra Zimmerman & Women Make Movies (podcast)


Women Make Movies (WMM) is unique, as a film distributor, as a supporter of women filmmakers and as an activist institution. Forty years old this year, founded in New York around the same time as Ms magazine and Heresies, a women's art collective which produced an influential magazine. Although WMM has changed over the years, feminists have always retained ownership. Unlike Heresies, it's kept going as an organisation.

WMM is central to many discussions of women's filmmaking around the globe. And during a conversation with an Asia-based filmmaker trying to find distribution for her feature, I realised that there were things I didn't know about WMM. So I asked Debra Zimmerman, the Executive Director, if I could interview her.

Click here to download (MP3)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Zealand update & a warm welcome to Mexican filmmaker Dana Rotberg

Dana Rotberg shooting Otilia Rauda (2001) 
In New Zealand, we're used to the mobility of our women filmmakers. Some of them have lived out of New Zealand for years. Jane Campion is in Queenstown shooting Top of the Lake, a six-part television series she wrote with Gerard Lee, her co-writer on Sweetie, a film I love. I think it's the first project she's shot here since The Piano. Niki Caro is to write and direct a film about opera legend Maria Callas. Last year, Simone Horrocks became the first New Zealand film maker to work with a full Chinese crew and a Mandarin script, when she joined China's Wang Lin as co-director on the film Unforgettable Love.  Alison Maclean was last year one of three directors of the Canadian sitcom Tuesdays and Thursdays. Miro Bilbrough's Venice is in post-production in Australia. Some recent announcements provide other examples of our mobility and one of them made me think afresh about it.