Reel Sisters Becomes the First Qualifying Film Festival for Women of Color

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series has officially made history this year by becoming the first Academy Qualifying Film Festival for narrative shorts devoted to women of color! The festival’s new status is a game changer for women’s access to Oscar consideration in the Live Action Shorts category.

“Reel Sisters’ new designation will give women of color a path to getting on the Oscar consideration list and open the doors for all women directors. It is a milestone for women directors who rarely get nominated by the Academy Awards for Oscar worthy films,” said Carolyn A. Butts, Reel Sisters Founder. “We’re proud to kick off our film submissions season with this amazing news and opportunity for women filmmakers.”

In the Academy Awards 90-year history, only five women directors have been nominated for Best Director. Kathryn Bigelow was the only woman to win for Best Director in 2010 for The Hurt Locker.

The list for women of color represented in Live Action Shorts is just as short. Dianne Houston was the first African-American woman to receive a nomination in 1996 for Tuesday Morning Ride and Yuki Yoshida, an Asian-Canadian director, won an Oscar in 1978 for I’ll Find A Way.

Reel Sisters has presented over 3,000 films produced, directed and written by women of color, and has awarded more than $25,000 in scholarship money since 1997. The festival has set the agenda for creating opportunities for women in the film industry through advocacy and supporting other organizations with similar missions.

The organiation is currently seeking films for its 2018 season. Shorts, web series, animation, works-in-progress, narratives, features, documentaries and experimental works are eligible. Filmmakers will have their films screened in Reel Sisters Film Festival at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Brooklyn from October 20-21, 2018 and other venues in New York City.

If you have a film that you would like to submit to the festival please submit using this link HERE.

The early bird deadline is May 7, 2018 with an extended deadline of June 22, 2018.

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At Sundance, The Films Took A Hard Look At Race In America

Storytellers behind seven major movies are working through the themes that haunt our national headlines.

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
Clockwise from left: “Monster,” “Tyrel,” “Sorry to Bother You.”

“Representation” has become a buzzword over the past few years, often used to excoriate the limited diversity that Hollywood brings to our big screens. But, with the Sundance Film Festival come and gone, and a new year of movies revving up, it’s clear that when it comes to matters of race, popular culture has taken note of our national talking points.

No fewer than seven major Sundance movies tackled race relations in America and the issues related to them ― and that’s not counting documentaries. Storytellers had police brutality (“Blindspotting,” “Monsters and Men”), wrongful imprisonment (“Monster”), the Ku Klux Klan (“Burden”), microaggressions (“Tyrel”), code-switching (“Sorry to Bother You”) and the foster care system (“Night Comes On”) on their minds.

We’re witnessing a phenomenon in which socially-minded artists are processing the topics that make headlines almost daily. More than any other Sundance lineup before it, 2018′s was a heady and searing crop, aptly reflecting our national mood.

One year after Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” raised the bar for veiled social commentary, “Tyrel” presents a similar premise, sending a young black man (Jason Mitchell) into the woods for a weekend getaway with a batch of white dudes. Meanwhile, “Monsters and Men” evokes the real-life killing of Eric Garner and the persecution of NFL iconoclast Colin Kaepernick, and “Burden” (which won the festival’s audience award) portrays tensions among neighbors sharing turf in the South.

“Blindspotting,” a passion project co-written by “Hamilton” breakout Daveed Diggs and performance poet Rafael Casal, is a hip-hop-inflected tour through Oakland, California, where gentrification has tarnished the area’s working-class restaurants, and black residents watch white cops shoot their black neighbors at traffic lights. In “Monster,” racial profiling lands even a college-bound teenager (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) with a bright future behind bars. These movies portray a world, not unlike our own, in which only whiteness gets ahead; just ask the telemarketer Lakeith Stanfield plays in the surreal comedy “Sorry to Bother You,” who is advised to use his “white voice” if we wants to get sales.

For Hollywood, indie filmmaking is a platonic ideal, painting a progressive image that puts Sundance and its ilk one step ahead of the wider industry, in terms of style, content and representation. Still, that hip image doesn’t always prioritize women and filmmakers of color. (Women helmed 37 percent of this year’s lineup ― an above-average figure that still lacks parity.) But with 2018′s movies, the festival claimed a newfound sense of topicality. The conversations unfolding on Twitter, in the media and in many Americans’ homes are resurfacing right before our eyes. Artists are doing their best to sort out the issues plaguing the country.

SOURCE

Queer Women of Color Film Festival 2016

QWOCMAP’s 12th annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival conjures up a spellbinding combination of 38 films, with a Festival Focus “Wages of Injustice: Queer & Trans Dollars and Sense” that reveals the sleight of hand we use to make a living, as well as a remarkable international program of queer & trans films from Latin America.

Schedule

Opening Screening

Magical Fantastical

Friday, June 10, 7:30pm

Opening Night “Magical Fantastical” bestows the night with sparkling delight, from the sorcery of stereotypes that threaten a bisexual Chicana and the loving allure of femme friends to the rites of queer community through Cumbia, these charming films summon the fanstastic.
filmmaker roundtable

Filmmaker Roundtable

Exponential Hustle

Satuday, June 11, 3pm

Film builds power. It can either reinforce bias, or amplify the voices of the unheard and the forcibly silenced. It is also the most expensive art form in the world. Costs for Hollywood films are at $1 million per finished minute, and rising. The high costs of filmmaking equate to de facto censorship. Join independent queer women of color and transgender people of color filmmakers as they talk about the impact of money and the magic they invoke to create authentic images of our vulnerable communities.
featured screening

Featured Screening

Wages of Injustice

Saturday, June 11, 7pm

“Wages of Injustice” reveals the sleight of hand it takes to live and love amidst poverty and income inequality. From a young man without money to honor his imprisoned father’s death, to the toxic harbingers of maqulidoras, from the sparkle of nail salons to queer & trans sex workers, these films reveal the smoke and mirrors of work, and wages.
Sunday centerpiece screening

Centerpiece Screening

Encuentros Con Amor

Sunday, June 12, 2pm

“Encuentros Con Amor” is a remarkable international program of queer & trans films from Latin America that includes QWOCMAP Films from Tijuana, Mexico. From a Trans Latina’s promising dream to a chance encounter with an inner child, from the summoning of liberation from gender roles, to powerful incantations of self, these films manifest encounters with love.
closing night screening

Closing Night Screening

Haven Bound

Sunday, June 12, 6pm

“Haven Bound,” summons the blessings of family from an Asian mother and daughter facing loss to safe havens for Black women, from the grace of Lebanese-Palestinian families to the adoption of all kinds of kids, these films invoke the blessing of wholeness.
Source Qwocmap

SXSW Keynote 2016

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Announced as SXSW Keynotes

Written by Hugh Forrest |
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Announced as SXSW Keynotes | Photos courtesy of The White House

SXSW is honored to announce President Barack Obama will appear as part of a Keynote Conversation at SXSW Interactive on Friday, March 11 and First Lady Michelle Obama will be the opening Keynote at SXSW Music on Wednesday, March 16. This marks the first time in the 30-year history of SXSW that a sitting President and the First Lady have participated in the event.

On Friday, March 11, President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, CEO / Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives. The President will call on the audience to apply their ideas and talents to make technology work for us – especially when it comes to tackling big challenges like increasing participation in the political process and fighting climate change. President Obama’s appearance is open to all SXSW Interactive, Gold, and Platinum registrants.

On Wednesday, March 16, First Lady Michelle Obama comes to SXSW Music to discuss the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to break barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today, more than half of whom are adolescent. The SXSW Music Conference brings the global music industry together and offers the perfect platform to celebrate Women’s History Month, as the First Lady provides her call to action to support girls’ education. First Lady Michelle Obama’s event is open to all SXSW Music, Film, Gold, and Platinum registrants.

“I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our event’s 30th year than to welcome both the President and First Lady to SXSW,” said Co-founder Roland Swenson. “As each new generation comes up at SXSW they look for ways they can be of service, and it’s important to reflect and support that message. President and Mrs. Obama’s visit here will inspire attendees to that purpose.”

More details regarding location, time, streaming, and access to both events will be announced via the SXSW website in the coming days.

Discover more 2016 SXSW Keynotes for Interactive and Music, and browse our full slate of online programming.

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