The Heroes We Deserve | Rachel Chung (SEAS ‘15)
"I need strong women in film because I’d rather rescue myself."
The Heroes We Deserve | Alice Griffin (Barnard College ‘15)
"I need strong women in film because I see strong women all around me. Why shouldn’t I see them in the movies?"
Why do you need strong women in film? What does “strong” mean to you?
“My name is Paikea Apirana, and I come from a long line of chiefs stretching all the way back to the whale rider. I’m not a prophet, but I know that our people will keep going forward, all together, with all of our strength.” - Paikea
SHEROES | Paikea “Pai” Apirana - Whale Rider (2002)
Reasons why she is a shero:
She fights to learn the “qualities of a chief”, even if that means upsetting the grandfather she adores.
Risks her life in order to save a beached whale.
Despite her tribe’s strict traditions, she believes in herself, her destiny, and the future of her people.
[picture source: Cine Virgilio]
“You can’t be what you can’t see.” - Marian Wright Edelman
Miss Representation (2011) (Dir. Jennifer Siebel Newsom)
This documentary dissects how the media’s portrayal of women, and men, affects our society. The film looks at commercials, television, and billboards to understand our culture’s conception of gender. The film advocates for women to take an active role, and for everyone to look at media with a more critical eye. The 2012 Athena Film Festival screened the documentary and held a discussion with director Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Carol Jenkins (former President of the Women’s Media Center), and Pat Mitchell (President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media). Since then, Newsom has founded The Representation Project in order to “expose injustices created by gender stereotypes.” (http://ow.ly/pUXur)
“Filmmakers need to realize that their job isn’t done when they lock picture. We must see our films through.”
PEOPLE OF INFLUENCE | Ava DuVernay
Director, Marketer, Distributor
First African-American woman to win the Best Director prize at Sundance for Middle of Nowhere
Founded the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM)
Founded The DuVernay Agency Media + Marketing in 1999 which executes campaigns for some of the biggest tv and film studios (NBC, CBS, Disney, etc.)
Writes and directs all of her films
“These young women are yearning for the same thing I did and do: they want to see themselves as protagonists in their own stories; they want to go into a theater and see themselves on screen. That interaction gave me the courage and confidence to keep going.” - Head First Into the Deep End
WOMEN IN PRODUCTION | Writer, Director, Producer | Joyce Wu
A current MFA candidate in Film Production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Joyce Wu is working on her very first feature film, The Real Mikado, a coming-of-age story about a young woman who goes home to Detroit and is tasked with saving the local theatre. In a recent HuffPo article, Kia Makarechi reminds us how, while Actors of Color are receiving acclaim for their roles in film and television, these roles “literally could not have been given to white actors,” because all of the projects were based on true, heavily racialized experiences. Wu is one of many filmmakers who are determined to create stories for People of Color that are not defined by their race. She sees how diverse these stories can be and how narrow a view Hollywood takes when it comes to telling them. Sponsored by the non-profit arts organization, Fracture Atlas, Wu is finishing up production on her film and will soon be taking the festival circuits by storm.
[photo source: joycewu.com]
“I played the best ever. And I was happy because I wasn’t sneaking off and lying to you. I didn’t ask to be good at football, Gura Nanak must have blessed me.” - Jess
SHEROES | Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra - Bend it Like Beckham (2002)
Reasons why she is a shero:
She follows her dream, no matter what stands in her way. Even if that includes the family she honors and adores.
She’s not afraid to be different.
Even if it’s as simple as showing a scar, she faces her fears.
She supports those she loves.
She stands firm in her beliefs, such as not lying, even if that means risking her dreams.
And we all shipped Jess and Jules. Let’s be real.
[picture source: Radio Times]
Wish Me Away (2011), a documentary feature film from Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf, was screened at the 2012 Athena Film Festival.
| x | This documentary is a personal and intimate look at Chely Wright who, after a lifetime of hiding, becomes the first commercially successful country music singer to come out as a lesbian. With unprecedented access over a two-year period, including her private video diaries, the film chronicles Chely’s rise to fame to the moment she steps into the media glare and shatters the cultural and religious stereotypes of Nashville. Wish Me Away shows both the devastation caused by Chely’s internalized homophobia and the transformational power of living an authentic life.
This past January, Chely Wright was a nominee at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. In August, Wish Me Away was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy Award. The documentary is currently available on iTunes and Netflix.