When my daughter begged me to rent Katy Perry: Part of Me, I was skeptical; but she was insistent, and I like Katy Perry’s music. I was expecting a slick, packaged, overly long concert flick. I was pleasantly surprised. The movie is loosely structured around the arc of Perry’s marriage to and subsequent break-up from comedian Russell Brand during her California Dream tour. Directors Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz capture some very raw emotions backstage and I found myself drawn into her story.
Perry is a terrific performer with an innate sense of her fans and how to please them; she’s also a strong young woman with an incredible sense of self. The documentary skillfully provided glimpses of Perry’s strong work ethic and insight into the personal sacrifices she’s had to make. Watching Katy Perry: Part of Me, I found myself with a new respect for Katy Perry and I was pleased to see qualities in her that I’d want my daughter to emulate.
Katy Perry: Part of Me is available to watch streaming on Netflix as well as on DVD with Redbox and for purchase.
– KIM CUMMINGS (@kimcummings)
NYWIFT member Sascha Just directed and produced Ellis, the first feature-length documentary about the late legendary New Orleans pianist and educator, Ellis Marsalis, Jr. Marsalis composed and performed major works of modern jazz infused with a uniquely New Orleans touch. Just spoke to us about all the ways in which jazz has influenced her work, getting to know a creative legend, and her DOC NYC premiere.READ MORE
In the documentary short The House of LaBeija, directed and produced by NYWIFT member Fredgy Noël, we meet the eponymous prominent ballroom family and safe haven for transgender women, queer people, and those in need of community. Over the course of 10 minutes, several members of the house dance, vogue, and celebrate their identities across a strikingly glamorous mansion that seems to be an embodiment of their safe harbor. Fredgy Noël spoke to us about ballroom culture, creative inspirations, and what’s next on her horizon.READ MORE
NYWIFT member Jill Woodward edited the documentary 1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted a Culture, which won the Audience Award at DOC NYC 2022. In this deeply personal tale, a gay seminary scholar and a straight activist, seeking to uncover the origins of the rabid homophobia of the conservative church, make a shocking discovery: an erroneous translation of the term “homosexual” in the Bible in 1946 that has been weaponized against the LGBTQIA+ community ever since. Woodward spoke to us about the editing process, what she learned along the way, and which types of projects excite her the most.READ MORE
Welcome, new NYWIFT member Ching Juhl! Ching is a Chinese American filmmaker, video journalist, and music educator who has directed, filmed, edited, and produced three feature films, promotional videos, and hundreds of shorts. Her feature documentary My Yang Gang Diary, which she shot entirely on an iPhone 11, won Best Feature Film Award at Toronto Documentary Film Festival in 2021. Ching spoke to us about the benefits of shooting on iPhone, the intersection of music and filmmaking, and the friends who brought her to NYWIFT.READ MORE