Women directed only 9 percent of the top 250 domestic grossing films in 2015. However, as an ongoing count managed by #DirectedbyWomen catalyst Barbara Ann O’Leary proves, close to 10,000 women have directed films since the inception of the moving image. The agnès films video team, comprising MSU alumnae Savannah Smith, Sarah Shaw, Lindsey Spitzley, Jenna Ange, and Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) faculty Alexandra Hidalgo created a video that provides insight into the public perception of women directors:
The College of Arts & Letters, along with WRAC, the Film Studies Program, and agnès films, will be hosting two screenings this month as part of a global initiative to increase viewership of women-directed films. The #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party runs during the month of September. Now in its second year, this event strives to bring audiences and some much-needed attention to the thousands of films directed by women.
The MSU screenings feature films that explore women through their thoughts, emotions, and motivations, showcasing perspectives from different cultures and sexual orientations. The screenings are open to the public. Attendees not only will have the opportunity to view exclusive, intriguing films, but also can engage in an insightful discussion with the directors.
Four Short Films #DirectedbyWomen
Monday, Sept. 12, 7:30–9:30 p.m., B122 Wells Hall
Everything in Between (2000), directed by Fatimah Tobing Rony, is a fiction film in which a struggling fashion designer of mixed Asian descent protects herself from the vulnerability of falling in love by having a string of dead-end relationships.
Covered Girls (2003), directed by Janet McIntyre and Amy Wendel, is a documentary that opens a window into the lives of a colorful and startling group of Muslim-American teenage girls in New York and challenges the stereotypes many Americans may have about this culture.
Freckles (2016), directed by Denise Papas Meechan, is a short psychological drama that follows a 30-year-old woman’s descent into a dark, depressive, lethal insanity.
A still from Freckles, by Denise Papas Meechan, featuring Jen Halweil.
Behind the Wall (2015), directed by Bat-Sheva Guez, is a magical realism tale about an injured young dancer with a view into a world that moves to its own rhythm. Audience members will be able to converse with Guez, via skype, following the screening of her film.
#DirectedbyWomen Screening of Sunshine
Monday, Sept. 26, 7:30–9:30 p.m., B122 Wells Hall
Sunshine (2009), directed by Karen Skloss, is an award-winning feature documentary where Skloss explores the meaning of family as she reconnects with her biological mother and reflects on the relationship with her own daughter. Audience members will be able to converse with Skloss, via skype, following the screening of her film.
These screenings give attendees the opportunity to watch original and provocative films that can’t be accessed through theaters or at home, made by an underrepresented group in filmmaking. All members of the MSU and greater Lansing community are encouraged to attend and converse with these extraordinary filmmakers after watching their work.
Written by Elena Cronick