Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pratibha Parmar's 'My Name is Andrea'


My Name Is Andrea: fury & tenderness is now

Pratibha Parmar’s My Name is Andrea, about the radical feminist and writer Andrea Dworkin (1946–2005), explores who Andrea was. It also exposes the ongoing violence inflicted on women’s bodies and spirits across the globe, through featuring five diverse actresses — each one evoking a different aspect, experience and decade of Andrea Dworkin’s life.

Pratibha on set with actress and activist Amandla Stenberg who plays young Andrea.

In the spirit of contemporary independent women’s film making, the film’s being made in parts and the first twelve minutes of the film is shot and edited.

And it’s an impressive twelve minutes. This is what Gloria Steinem said after viewing it–
…I can see that this is going to be a film like no other — lyrical, poetic, referential, journalistic, placed in time, deep, complicated…. And it was so moving to me to see what I assume truly is Andrea as a little girl. Nobody but you could take her on as a human being, thinker, rebel and writer and unique force in the world — and I’m proud to be there with Andrea as a raging prophet.


She has now joined the project as an Executive Producer.

Julie Parker Benelux (co-founder of the legendary Chicken & Egg Pictures) has also joined the team as an Executive Producer.

The British Film Institute — one of the project’s funders) — was ‘deeply moved’ by the 12-minute clip and also continues its support.

We can contribute, too, with cheques made out to Kali8 Productions and posted to–

Pratibha Parmar
1563 Solano Avenue #340
Berkeley
California 94707

OR PAYPAL via Kali Films’ Donate Page

OR Contact Kali Films directly at info@kalifilms.com to make a tax deductible gift by midnight December 31, 2016.

.......
And P.S. I can’t resist adding Leonard Cohen’s view of Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse. I was surprised to read it, in a Hot Press interview with Joe Jackson (1988). But not surprised by the reach of Andrea’s influence–

…the whole range of arguments in that book is quite radical and complex and beautiful. It’s the first book I’ve read by an author, masculine or feminine, that has a defiance of the situation, which is deeply subversive in the holy sense — it’s other-worldly. She says that this world is stained by human misconception, that men and women have wrong ideas — even if they are ten million years old and come from the mouth of god, they are still wrong! The position in that book is so defiant and passionate that she creates another reality and just might be able to manifest it. It’s from that kind of appetite, with the way things are that new worlds arise, so I have deep admiration for Andrea Dworkin.



I imagine that My Name is Andrea will have a similar reach. We don’t have enough films by and about activist women artists and writers and the combination of Pratibha Parmar and Andrea Dworkin feels irresistible.
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Monday, December 26, 2016

#WomeninFilm Activists Speak: Voices From A Revolution


This year #WomenInFilm ‘how-to’ talks have flourished. The speakers aren’t the first to share, nourish and inform, of course. But until this year, there was just one standout for me: Ava DuVernay’s Film Independent Forum keynote in 2013. She brilliantly argued that filmmakers should abandon despair about not having access to what we need and move on from depression about what makes our work difficult: a ‘wrong’ gender, a ‘wrong’ race or culture, no film school training, no money, no mentors, no advocates, no time. Instead, ‘Create work’, she said. ‘Look at what you have and work with that’.

She’s also argued that ‘It’s not about knocking on closed doors. It’s about building our own house and having our own door’, and that has resonated for many women filmmakers.

installation, National Museum of African American History & Culture (Smithsonian)

In the three years since, lots of women have followed her advice — or come to a similar conclusion independently — and now some of us have articulated how ‘doing it’ is inspired and played out. Here are some of the best I’ve watched and heard. Let me know of any more that you’ve loved?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Catherine Eaton's 'The Sounding'

Catherine Eaton and The Sounding illustrate all that excites me about the 'new' women's filmmaking– sophisticated and engaging concepts; the rise of the actor/writer/director; writer/director/producer associations with #womeninfilm support groups; crowd-funding; a beautiful, thoughtful, confidence; principled choices; visual pleasures. Catherine has Native-American heritage, so for me her project also celebrates the rise and wonderful diversity of indigenous women’s filmmaking.

Catherine has performed on Broadway and on screen and written two television projects (both finalists for the Sundance Episodic Labs), and is a 2016 Tribeca & Channel Women’s Filmmaker Award winner.

The Sounding's immaculate crowdfunding campaign for finishing funds gives us two days left to get behind a winner!

I'm delighted to share this engaging Danielle Winston interview, with warm thanks to Agnès Films, where it was first published.

Catherine Eaton and team. Photo by Asya Danilova

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Megan Riakos – Writer, Director and Inspiration


This is Megan Riakos, writer/director/producer of Crushed (a thriller, 2015, available on iTunes and Google Play in Australia, New Zealand and North America).

Megan also inspired WIFT New South Wales’ red carpet demonstration at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards in Sydney, after she had ‘a terrible experience with the AACTA Award selection process’ and approached WIFT NSW, where she’s a committee member.

She got a very supportive hearing: WIFT NSW says it’s ‘fed up with the Sausage Party that is the Australian film industry and calls on AACTA to make Australia’s night of nights truly representative of our diverse screen culture’. It’s also produced a Charter for Gender Equity at the AACTAs.
The demo was called the Roast the AACTAs (#AACTASausageParty).

Here are The Activist Sausages.


The protest attracted lots of attention.


You can read about it in more detail here (WIFT NSW) and here (Junkee)and here (Guardian).

And here’s one of my favorite images from the demo, with a necessary glimpse to remind us of the key issue within any discussion of Australian diversity.


Megan’s story is useful for any filmmaker who finds herself in a similar situation, in or outside Australia. I’m deeply impressed by her courage. I’m super-impressed that she’s challenged AACTA’s decision making and taken direct action, with her WIFT NSW allies.