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.

*

*

*

Related Posts

Meet the New NYWIFT Board Member: Kia Brooks

NYWIFT is thrilled to welcome new board members to our leadership team for the 2022-2023 season! We sat down with new NYWIFT Board Member Kia Brooks who, as Deputy Director of longtime NYWIFT partner The Gotham Film and Media Institute (formerly IFP), is no stranger to the NYWIFT community! Brooks created The Gotham’s Owning It program that supports women and non-binary media makers and entrepreneurs who break boundaries in the media and entertainment industry, and developed the Expanding Communities program, which provides resources, community space, and industry access to individuals with Disabilities and BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ creators.

READ MORE

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Isi Laborde

We are thrilled to welcome new NYWIFT member Isi Laborde! Isi is a Brooklyn-based actor (AEA, SAG/AFTRA). Her film roles include Return to Montauk, directed by Academy Award-winner Volker Schlöndorff, and Jay-Z’s music video “Smile,” directed by Grammy-winner Miles Jay. She has had TV appearances in Facebook TV's Strangers and Paramount's Younger. Theater credits include The Bacchae at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and Skip to My Lou at Theater for the New City. Isi spoke to us about her craft, how she kept up her creativity during COVID, and her dream role!

READ MORE

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Ekaterina Korshunova

Let’s welcome new NYWIFT member Ekaterina Korshunova! Ekaterina (or Kate for short) attended Moscow’s RUDN University where she graduated with a degree in journalism. Kate currently works as a freelance social media coordinator and producer. She has filmed and produced promotional videos for many local businesses as well as major brands. She spoke to us about her move to the US, her teaching philosophy, and her dreams for the future.

READ MORE

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Ching Juhl

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
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
css.php