Sandrene Mathews, director of THE AMERICAN MISTAKE

#FF Fri Fundraisers for Sept. 1, 2017

Sarah is once again off to work at the Telluride Film Festival, so you know what that means– I’m here to sub in and share my thoughts. AND, it means it’s Fall Festival Seasonnnnnnn!

This time of year, we have the Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival all within a few weeks of each other, and all are launching grounds for Oscar contenders and/or the buzziest films of the year. Unfortunately, I’m not going to make it to TIFF this year, but Sarah will hopefully give us her thoughts next week on what she sees at Telluride.

Mimi Chakarova and Fiona Gordon, Telluride 2016

A couple of the filmmakers Sarah met at Telluride last year.

When it comes to diversity and representation at these film festivals, it’s a mixed bag. Since they are prestige, mostly mainstream, film festivals, there’s the pressure to have a lot of big names to tout. And since female directors and directors from other underrepresented groups often don’t have the name recognition of the old white dudes (who have more opportunities to make films; thus, more opportunities to build name recognition) there isn’t as much room for them.

Some festivals, of course, try harder than others to recognize this and make efforts to correct it, but as many of you already know, the Venice Film Festival isn’t having any of it. Festival director Alberto Barbera takes a common defensive egotistical stance that appears to cloud his ability to see how the festival can actively make a difference in balancing their programming:

‘I don’t think it’s our fault…I don’t like to think in terms of a quota when you make a selection process,’ he told THR. ‘I’m sorry that there are very few films from women this year, but we are not producing films.’

For the thousandth time: IT’S NOT ABOUT QUOTAS. It’s about recognizing that certain people (typically wealthy, typically white dude) will have an easier time getting the attention of fest programmers (and studio execs, and film writers, etc) and those who are not part of that population will have a harder time. To correct for this, it takes effort to find those filmmakers outside of privileged or “connected” populations in order to bring them to the fore. I went on a mini rant about this yesterday on Twitter  if you want to dig into this topic a little more.

At Telluride, female filmmakers are better represented, with 9 of the 30 competition films directed or co-directed by women. But beware, I’ve already noticed those writing about this year’s fall festivals leaning heavily on the two main celebrity female directors of the season; IF they even mention female filmmakers at all, as oftentimes I’m hard-pressed to find them.

You might want to check out Indiewire’s helpful primer “20 Female Directors Who Will Rule This Fall Festival Season, Including Agnes Varda, Greta Gerwig, Dee Rees, and More” to make sure you don’t miss the good stuff if you find yourself at a festival this fall.

And don’t forget, the women below will likely be the next batch of filmmakers trying to get the attention of these festivals, so please jump in and amplify their work however you can!

                                                                                 — Destri

Reminder: All of the projects listed below have female directors at the helm OR they are projects that benefit women directors (e.g., film festivals, funds, etc).  The campaigns at the top of the list are the ones ending soonest, so get in there and support ASAP (with $$ or an RT on Twitter). Click the titles to go directly to each project’s crowdfunding page, those in italics are new additions this week.

Thanks for visiting and thank you very much for helping us support and raise awareness about WOMEN DIRECTORS AT WORK!

Crowdfunding Projects for Friday, Sept. 1, 2017

THE FEMMEBOTS, directed by Melanie Feliciano – @91Broadway

PUZZLE, directed by Barbara Toschi – @puzzleshortfilm

LIKENESS, directed by Emily Diana Ruth – @emilydianaruth @likenessfilm

RICH KIDS, directed by Laura Somers – N/A

VIOLET’S NEW LIFE, directed by Kim Ray – @kimray @Everlasting_ENT

THE AMERICAN MISTAKE, directed by Sandrene Mathews – @iamsandrene

SIX YEAR OLD FEARS, directed by Lauren Anders Brown – @LABCollaborate

THE ALLNIGHTER, directed by Aimee Graham – @aimeegraham_ag @cineglitch

ITWIFF – Imagine This Women’s International Film Festival, led by Patrice Francois – @imagineprods


If you’d like your project included in our next #FF Fri Fundraiser post, please email us with the details listed HERE.


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