Thursday, January 10, 2008

See what the girls have been filming lately

Los Angeles Times

See what the girls have been filming lately
The American Cinematheque's Focus on Female Directors
aims for a celebratory dynamic.
By Susan King

January 10, 2008

THE American Cinematheque's third annual Focus on
Female Directors tonight is more than just a screening
of shorts. It's a chance to empower women, especially
young women, to make movies.

"From the get-go, our idea was to create an event that
wasn't just a screening," says Andrea Richards, author
of "Girl Director," who organized the evening with Kim
Adelman (author of "The Ultimate Guide to Chick
Flicks") and the Cinematheque's Andrew Crane. "We
wanted to have some sort of celebratory dynamic -- to
get people in who had never made a film before and
say, 'Here is the process; it's not rocket science.' "

"So much of our perspective is overlooked in the media
and commercial films," says Mariam Jobrani, whose "The
Fighting Cholitas" -- an award-winning 2006 short
about female wrestlers in Bolivia -- will be shown. "I
think it's about time we got out there and just told
our own stories and put out the way we feel."
Richards, Adelman and Crane have balanced the evening,
alternating shorts by well-known filmmakers and
newcomers. "We are looking for name filmmakers that
people are excited to see their films, even if they
don't want to support female filmmakers," says
Adelman. " The first year we had a Sofia Coppola short,
and this year we have a Mira Nair short ["Migration"].

"The program also features Jennifer Aniston and Andrea
Buchanan's "Room 10," based on a true story made for
Glamour magazine's Reel Moments short film series;
Sophie Barthes' "Happiness," about a lonely woman
working in a condom factory who buys a box of
happiness; "Little Miss Sunshine" directors Valerie
Faris and Jonathan Dayton's 2001 music video "Sexual
Revolution"; Hilary Goldberg's twist on film noir, "In
the Spotlight"; Michelle Hung's exploration of
sisterhood, "Chinese Dumplings"; and Sarah Wickliffe's
animated "Art's Desire," which won a 2007 Student
Academy Award and is about a character in a painting
who decides to redraw his environment.

"The inspiration for this was wanting to do something
about a character having the power to change," says
Wickliffe. "You don't like what your surroundings are,
so go out and change it and make a new one foryourself."

Rounding out the evening is 1913's "How Men Propose,"
directed by Lois Weber, who was a head of production
at Universal nearly a century ago. "We were so excited
about the Lois Weber short [because] it makes a kind
of historical link in terms of community," says

"And that it didn't all start with Sofia Coppola,"
echoes Adelman.

WHERE: Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd.,Hollywood
WHEN: 7:30 tonight
PRICE: $7 to $10
INFO: (323) 466-3456,

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