NYWIFT Blog

Truth Be Told: Women In Film at Sundance 2014

//embed.gettyimages.com/embed/463843119?et=2xk9yBaac0yq_pCTEB5low&sig=rShcoqZvqIZGmKY8BTX_9fGdw-9KzxoEhLhK_rEOQkA=
“Truth Be Told” panelists (L-R) Valerie Veatch, Effie Brown, Rory Kennedy, Lucy Webb (moderator), Lori Cheatie, Tracy Droz Tragos, and Hilla Medlia. 

 
Women In Film (WIF) hosted its 8th annual filmmakers’ panel discussion at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It’s one of the most anticipated events of the festival, with women from all over the country coming together to network and celebrate their accomplishments.

WIF, which is the Los Angeles chapter of Women In Film and Television International, presented four grants at the event, totaling $32,000 made up of cash and in-kind donations.

Frances Bodomo, director of Afronauts, received the WIF/CalmDown Productions Grant, awarded to a woman director in the Sundance short program. Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, the co-directors of Rich Hill, were awarded the WIF Documentary Grant. Two additional grants were presented to Cynthia Hill for her documentary Private Violence, and to the documentary short One Billion Rising, produced by Eve Ensler and directed by Tony Stroebel.

Immediately following the awards presentation, a panel was held, titled “Truth Be Told.” Moderator Lucy Webb encouraged the panelists to share stories of seeking truth in their filmmaking and the particular challenges of women in this industry.

Panelists included filmmakers with narrative or documentaries films in the festival: The Last Days of Vietnam director/producer Rory Kennedy, producer of HBO’s Captivated: The Trial of Pamela Smart Lori Cheatie, Dear White People producer Effie T Brown, Rich Hill co-director/producer Tracy Droz Tragos, Web Junkie co-director/producer Hilla Medlia, and Love Child director/producer/editor Valerie Veatch

“We live in a sexist world and Hollywood is at the heart of it,” Kennedy said when asked about the challenges that face women filmmakers. “Hollywood is a sexist world.” 

Tragos agreed, adding that it’s a myth that Hollywood is an equal playing field. Her documentary, Rich Hill, which turns an eye on poverty, won the 2014 Sundance US Grand Jury Prize for Documentary. Cheatie discussed the role the mainstream media played in the conviction of Pamela Smart, currently serving life in prison after being convicted in 1991 of being an accomplice to the first-degree murder of her husband.

Brown’s film, Dear White People, is a satirical look at being a black student in a predominately white institution. To level the playing field for female filmmakers, she recommends leveraging social media outlets such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. “These are the tools that laypeople can use, that can’t get blocked,” said Brown.

It was a true pleasure and inspiration to hear the filmmakers share their passion and discuss their projects. 

ROZ MURPHY

PUBLISHED BY

nywift

nywift New York Women in Film & Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media.

View all posts by nywift

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

*

Related Posts

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Willette Murphy Klausner

If you’ve seen a great Broadway show recently, chances are Willette Murphy Klausner had something to do with it. As the founder and owner of WMK Productions in Los Angeles she has produced or co-produced dozens of award-winning theatrical and film projects, including MJ the Musical, Hadestown, Stereophonic, The Wiz. Porgy and Bess, Three Mo’ Tenors, Caroline or Change and Cabaret, just to name a few. For film, she’s co-producing the documentary Liza, which just premiered at the Tribeca Festival. Previous films include Radium Girls and Wakefield with several film and TV projects in development. In 2022 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Drama League. She has served on the Boards of Directors of the Los Angeles Music Center and the Women in Film Foundation, is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, the National Women’s Forum, and NYWIFT. She is currently on the board of Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts.

READ MORE

NYWIFT Talks Tribeca 2024: Remember Your Joy

Sometimes it’s necessary to be reminded why you do what you love to do the most. We don’t stop to do this enough, and I realize this is often what happens at a NYWIFT community event. Whether it’s virtual or in-person, NYWIFT Talks have the same impact. On Zoom, roughly 200 viewers gathered to catch board member Okema T. Moore’s chat with three current Tribeca filmmakers this year. The filmmakers were director/producer/screenwriter Geneva Peschka of The Solace of Sisterhood, archival producer Lauren Wimbush of The Debutantes, and production designer Kristi Zea of Daddio. Stephanie Okun offers and insightful recap of their conversation.

READ MORE

Witnessing the Excellence of Jennifer Esposito: Fresh Kills 

Stephanie Okun offers a recap of the entertaining and inspirational NYWIFT Member Screening of Fresh Kills and talkback with filmmaker Jennifer Esposito, who discussed overcoming hurdles in Hollywood and finding distribution for her passion project.

READ MORE

NYWIFT @ Tribeca: In Conversation with Dawn Porter

Dawn Porter, a distinguished member of NYWIFT, continues to make waves in the film industry with her dynamic storytelling and impactful documentaries. Known for her acclaimed works such as Gideon’s Army, Trapped, The Way I See It, and John Lewis: Good Trouble, Porter has captivated audiences across HBO, Netflix, CNN, PBS, and more. Her latest documentary, The Lady Bird Diaries, won the Lone Star Prize at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival and is now streaming on Hulu. This year, Dawn takes the 2024 Tribeca Festival by storm as an Executive Producer of Rebel Nun, the director of Luther: Never Too Much, and the director of Power of the Dream. Tammy Reese checks in with her as the festival gets under way.

READ MORE
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
css.php