Tuesday, October 07, 2008

19th Annual St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival

In my humble opinion the best time to go to Newfoundland is autumn and if you live in Canada, what better excuse can you have to visit that amazing beautiful region but this festival that will take place from October 14 to 18 at St John?

There are many films in this fest that you can check here and I’ll list one that I’m “dying” to watch and others that called my attention and definitively if I was still living around there I had to watch.

Paginas De Menina, Monica Palazzo, Brazil
Isabel Allende, Paula Rodriguez Sickert, Germany
The Rise and Fall of a Long Distance Relationship, Claudie Lévesque, Canada (lol!)

As I find it quite interesting I’m reproducing here some little known facts about women filmmakers.

-Women's E-News reports that Lisa Wertmuller, Jane Campion, and Sophia Coppola are the only women to have ever been nominated for a Best Director award at the Academy Awards. No woman has ever won the award.

-In her report "The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women in the Top 250 Films of 2004," Martha Lauzon discovered a decline in the percentage of women working as directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors on the top 250 domestic grossing films from 19% in 2001 to 16% in 2004. In her update of that report, she found that there has been a further decline. In 2006, women comprised only 15% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors.

-Also, Lauzon reports that 21% of the films released in 2004 employed no women directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, or editors. In 2006, the number of films without women in those positions increased to 22%.

-Women documentary filmmakers have traditionally been much luckier than their Hollywood dramatic feature counterparts when it comes to the Oscars. Eleven women have won awards in the documentary category.

-Women directed only 7% of the top 200 films in 2005. In 2006, women accounted for only 7% of directors again. This is less than the recent historical high of 11% recorded in 2000.

-Jane Campion is the only woman director to have won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.

-35 international directors were asked to submit a 3-minute film to Chacun Son Cinema/ To Each His Own Cinema this year to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Cannes Film Festival. Even though it was conceived as a way to celebrate cinema rather than Cannes per se, only one of the 35 directors invited to participate was a woman.

Facts and statistics are always interesting to me, but these really make me think about the huge disparity of women and men filmmakers.

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