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)
In a time when women’s reproductive rights are at the forefront of the political and cultural conversation, a group of teenage girls gather to assert their power, prepare for their futures, and determine the best way forward together. Following the smash hit success of their documentary Boys State at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss returned to Park City in 2024 with the companion piece Girls State. NYWIFT Member Laela Kilbourn was one of seven cinematographers on Girls State, assigned to follow one of the protagonist’s throughout her week-long journey. She spoke to us about her experience working on the documentary.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Sara Robin! Sara is a German filmmaker bringing her stories of humane futures to New York. She directed and wrote the award-winning short coming-of-age film Cranberry Nights starring Inde Navarrette (13 Reasons Why, Superman & Louis). Her script Switch explores virtual relationships and won the 2023 HollyShorts screenwriting contest. She is in production on feature documentary Your Attention Please, investigating how to overcome the addictive pull of the attention economy. She has also brought her talents into commercial work, directing and producing for clients including Netflix, Jordan Brand, and Dunkin’ Donuts. Sara tells us about her exciting works in progress here!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Toby Perl Freilich! Toby is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and writer, focusing on cultural reporting. Her work explores all sorts of perspectives, from senators to artists, spanning across the world. She co-produced and co-directed Moynihan, a film about the late New York senator, policy expert, and public intellectual. She also directed, produced, and wrote Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, about one of the world's longest running and most successful experiments in radical, secular communal living. Right now, she is producing and directing I Make Maintenance Art: The Work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles about the pioneering ecofeminist and the first Artist in Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation. Read about Toby’s inspiring past and future projects here!READ MORE
Finding your tribe is one of life’s greatest pleasures—and losing it is one of the greatest sorrows. In NYWIFT Member Amy Nicholson’s beautifully observed film Happy Campers, working-class Americans gather every summer at a seaside trailer park in Chincoteague, Virginia, to enjoy the simple pleasures of a scrappy, no-frills vacationland, and each other’s company. When a developer buys the land and reimagines the property, the inhabitants of this shabby Shangri-La wistfully eke out the joys of one last summer together as a melancholic twilight hangs in the air. Happy Campers just made its world premiere at DOC NYC, where it received a Special Mention for the Grand Jury Prize. Amy spoke to us about her unique process making this film, biggest challenges and triumphs, and the commodification of some of life’s simplest pleasures.READ MORE