All posts tagged: Women in Film

Giving for Thanksgiving

Usually my Thanksgiving posts involve writing about what I’m thankful for or highlighting the hypocrisy of the holiday, but this year (oh what a year it’s been…) I decided to create a list of charities and groups worth donating to. Because what’s better than giving on Thanksgiving? Like any list I’ve made on Catch-all, this post is wholly incomplete. There are so many wonderful charities that have either slipped my mind, or I’m not aware of yet, so please be sure to share some of your favorites that aren’t listed in the comment section below. And whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope you enjoy the holiday season and spending time with loved ones. ❤ Farm Sanctuary The ACLU EMILY’s List The Downtown Women’s Center of Los Angeles National Park Foundation NARAL The Trevor Project Habitat for Humanity The Children’s Defense Fund Best Friends Animal Society National Center for Transgender Equality Amnesty International National Lawyers Guild Women in Film “Unidos” Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief – The Hispanic Federation Stand Up To Cancer NAACP Legal Defense …

LUNAFEST: Supporting Women in Film

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to attend LUNAFEST in Los Angeles, an evening celebrating films made by, for, and about women. The traveling short film festival, which was started by LUNA in 2000, has been championing women filmmakers for 16 years while also raising money for the Breast Cancer Fund. Last night’s screening, which included four short films by Lara Everly, Dr. Patricia Beckmann-Wells, Joey Ally, and Eva Vives, was exciting, invigorating, and super fun. Not only was each short exceptionally well made, but more impressively, they were all bursting with distinct and captivating authorial voices. Following the screening was a Q&A with the filmmakers, moderated by Janelle Riley of Variety. The center of attention for most of the Q&A was the status of women in film, focusing in particular on how each filmmaker has dealt with issues of inequality and what hopes they have for the future. While it was an honest night that could have ended on a bleak note, the commitment that these women have to telling stories that matter and building strong communities of women in the …

“Under The Gun” – Examining the Gun Debate

Last week I had the chance to attend the Los Angeles premiere of Under the Gun, directed by Stephanie Soechtig and executive produced by Katie Couric. The film examines America’s complex gun problem, from Sandy Hook to the streets of Chicago, and takes aim at the gun show loophole and the country’s most powerful lobby, the National Rifle Association. Although the documentary certainly leans left, the film also gives a voice to gun advocates who hold their right to bear arms dearly. Under the Gun concludes with a positive outlook and a common thread: though we may disagree about guns, we’re (mostly) in agreement that they should stay out of the wrong hands. On January 8th, 2011 my Congressional Representative, Gabby Giffords, and 18 others were shot at a grocery store in Tucson, AZ. Six people died. Every Tucsonan was devastated, and the memory of that day will always remain with me. Under the Gun begins in Tucson with Gabby, who is alive, but dealing with the effects of her brain injury every day. She is a fighter and an …

Suggested Reading: ‘How Hollywood Keeps Women Out’

This week’s Suggested Reading comes from L.A. Weekly’s Jessica P. Ogilvie. In her article, How Hollywood Keeps Women Out, Ogilvie discusses Hollywood’s palpable gender bias and how it fits into an industry that is dominated by charitable liberals and Democrats. It’s an eye-opener for both men and women alike, and as a young woman hoping to find a career in the film industry, what I read put a lot of things into perspective. “The repercussions for women and girls across the world, who are seeing primarily the stories of men on-screen, are profound.” “If you don’t see yourself or people like you represented, what kind of an impression are you going to get?”

Recommended Reading: Ava DuVernay On How to Stay in Control

From Indiewire’s Shipra Harbola Gupta → Tribeca: Ava DuVernay’s 8 Tips to Filmmakers On How to Stay in Control. Ava DuVernay is quickly becoming one of my favorite people to listen to give advice on just about anything – but in particular, filmmaking and living a creative and fulfilling life. Her SXSW Keynote Speech was beautiful and truly informative, and her talk with Q-Tip at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival was no different. It’s so refreshing to read about a woman who is a filmmaker, is making things she believes in, and is doing things her way. Shapira Harbola Gupta breaks down DuVernay’s talk with Q-Tip into 8 tips for filmmakers on staying in control of your work. Check it out here.

The Bechdel Test

The Bechdel Test (also known as the Bechdel-Wallace test) was created by Allison Bechdel and Liz Wallace as a way to evaluate the presence of women in Hollywood films, and is featured in Bechdel’s 1985 comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. The test has three requirements for a film to pass: (1) It has to have at least two named women in it (2) who talk to each other (3) about something besides a man. At first that sounds pretty simple; the act of two women talking to each other about something other than a man certainly reflects reality. But the truth is, substantially more films fail the Bechdel test than pass it – and that needs to change. Now, I’m not saying you should avoid films that don’t pass the Bechdel test. Very few Oscar nominated films did, including my favorite of the year, 12 Years a Slave (which  is disputed whether or not it passes). But it is important for movie goers (and creators) to be aware that many films that strive to be genuine and real …