Directing, in particularly, is associated with men; the image we have of a male director with a megaphone, jodhpurs and a monocle. A director deals with three things that are generally thought to be the province of men: enormous amounts of money; advanced technology; and leading large groups of people (often male). It is not dissimilar to leading an army into battle, and we still think of our military leaders as male. But there is another way to look at it: directors are also storytellers and nurturers, qualities sometimes thought of as being in the province of women. The truth is that the skills required to be a great director are not the province of either men or women; they do not divide across gender lines. A director needs to be a leader and a nurturer, both decisive and communicative. These are qualities that can come in both male and female packages.
We could write a book about all the sentences that we have been told: “Nobody wants to see this film. Nobody will pay to see this film. Nobody worldwide will pay to go see this film.” Well, one of my favorite stories is from Berlin when we had more than 2,000 kids there at a screening. And I had a moment [watching the audience] when that sentence ran through me, “Nobody wants to see this movie.” There was this girl that kept watching me and staring at me and following me after the screening. So I said to her, “Are you OK?” And she stares at me right in the eye and says, “How did you know?” And I said, “Excuse me?” And she says, “How did you know all that about me?” And we just stood there, and I hugged her. She believed with all her being that I had followed her and that my film had told her story. This is something that no number counter or pencil pusher in Hollywood can ever understand.
The Girls on Film is a project that remakes scenes featuring only men into scenes featuring only women. Above: Fight Club.
Women Making Moves!: Interview with Nuala Cabral
Women Making Moves! is a monthly series that highlights women and girls of color making a name for themselves (and impacting others) in the areas of sexual/reproductive health, overall health and wellness, feminism, activism, entrepreneurship, the arts and sciences, and all-around pro-woman goodness.
Meet Nuala Cabral, educator, activist and award-winning filmmaker. A native of Rhode Island, Nuala teaches media production and media literacy in high schools, colleges and community centers. While earning a Master’s degree in Broadcast, Telecommunications, and Mass Media from Temple University, Nuala founded FAAN Mail (Fostering Activism and Alternatives Now!), a media literacy/activist project in Philadelphia. Obtaining an Art and Change Grant from the Leeway Foundation in 2011 enabled her to launch Sisters Action Media, FAAN Mail’s first youth media initiative. In addition to her media interests, Nuala is an advocate for social justice and women’s rights. She is a founding member of the Black Feminist Working Group, and an organizer in the movement to end street harassment.
I’ve been following Nuala on Twitter for some time (and you can follow her too!), and her passion, drive, and enthusiasm for using media as a form of advocacy for women and girls of color is awe inspiring. Check out her blog, read more about FAAN Mail, and check out her interview after the jump.
Nuala is totally amazing and you should definitely read this!
After years of seeking out empowering and inspirational books for our four young nieces, we decided to create A Mighty Girl as a resource site to help others equally interested in supporting and celebrating girls. The site was founded on the belief that all girls should have the opportunity to readbooksand watchmoviesthat offer positive messages about girls and honor their diverse capabilities.
Girls do not have to be relegated to the role of sidekick or damsel in distress; they can be the leaders, the heroes, the champions that save the day, find the cure, and go on the adventure. It is our hope that these high-quality children’s products will help a new generation of girls to grow and pursue whatever dreams they choose — to truly be Mighty Girls!
This website is brand news & hella cool. They’re looking for suggestions for books & films to add to the collection, especially books about sexuality. Check it out and send them your suggestions—this could be an amazing resource!
NYC-area college students, this is an awesome internship opportunity!
“The Invisible War” is a groundbreaking investigative documentary film about one of our country’s most shameful secrets: the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military. The film won the 2012 Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and is directed by Kirby Dick (“This Film is Not Yet Rated”, “Outrage”) and Amy Ziering (“Derrida”).www.invisiblewarmovie.com.
We are seeking a motivated and detail-oriented intern to help us connect with audiences, build buzz, and fill seats at film festival screenings of “The Invisible War” in April and May 2012. Interns will work from the offices of the film’s grassroots and community outreach firm, Film Sprout (www.filmsprout.org), located in the Flatiron/Gramercy neighborhood.
Tasks will include:
- Outreach to and correspondence with nonprofit, advocacy and activist organizations in the areas of sexual violence prevention and awareness; women’s and reproductive rights; and veterans’ issues.
- Ongoing research and database management
- Social media promotion and management of online social media platforms
- Weekly mailings of promotional film materials
There’s a (small) stipend & it’s a great chance to work one-on-one with some amazing people, like our partner Nancy Schwartzman of The Line Campaign. Click the link for a full description and instructions on how to apply!
A recent article from the Los Angeles Times shocked no one when it revealed that Academy Voters are 94% white and 77% male, with a median age of 62. This explains why the Academy keeps nominating the same sorts of films and performances over and over again. It explains why — as the latest installment of Feminist Frequency points out — only two of this year’s ten Best Picture nominees pass the Bechdel test for women in film. It explains why The Help was nominated, why Elizabeth Olsen was snubbed, why, back in 2008, Hollywood showered patronizing love on the British made Slumdog Millionaire while ignoring India’s deserving submission, a movie that actually came from the film industry that the Best Picture winner was referencing. In short, these numbers explain a lot. And they make me wonder why we continue to allow the Oscars to hold so much sway?
The problem is that the demographics that make up the Academy are really the demographics that make up the film industry. Voter membership is gained after establishing oneself in a sphere of filmmaking, and the LA times found that the largest concentrations of women voters were in fields, like screenwriting, where women in Hollywood tend to work. Mainstream filmmaking continues to be a relatively immobile institution dominated by old white men. Women are making films, and that’s fantastic. But some serious change has to take place before we start seeing true equality behind and in front of the camera.
Call for writers!
Bitch Flicks and Shameless Magazine are both seeking writers/submissions! Check out the brief descriptions below & go to their websites for more info:
Are you a teen with something to say?Shameless wants to hear from you!
We are looking for opinionated female- and trans- identified youth to write for our magazine’s She Said/She Said column. No experience necessary!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
from Bitch Flicks:
For the past several years leading up to the Academy Awards ceremony, we’ve published reviews of all the nominees for best picture. (Go here for roundups of each series: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.) However, we’ve decided this year to also include nominees for the Independent Spirit Awards. Why? Because the Oscars are basically a fucking joke. The main reason we give any credence at all to an awards show that recognizes the film contributions of heterosexual white men is because, as we’ve said many times in the past, studying and analyzing pop culture means studying and analyzing what our society currently values as “important.” And let’s face it: the Academy Awards are The Biggest Deal in the movie industry.
All submissions must be received no later than Friday, February 10th. Email us at btchflcks(at)gmail(dot)com if you’d like to contribute a review. We accept original pieces or cross-posts.
Click through for the list of available films/topics!