The magical lecture by author and script consultant Dara Marks began, appropriately enough, with a blustery downpour. A unique co-production between New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) and Writers Guild of America East, “Engaging the Feminine Heroic” was an invitation to honor our mythological heritage and explore the archetypal structures of our stories and ourselves.
The following morsels are my takeaways and understanding of the ideas introduced during Marks’ central thesis, which had to do with the necessity of integrating both the masculine and feminine realms into our narratives and recognizing that every hero(ine) must journey through both.
Seven concepts that struck my soul:
- Narrative has a higher function. It carries information on how to live. It is “not simply a thing, but the very air we breathe, the very thing we swim in.” The moment it passes, it becomes memory.
- The very fact that certain myths have survived through the ages indicates there is a timeless truth to those narratives. We can look to them for inspiration for our writing and our lives.
- When we’re young, we make decisions about who we are going to become. Eventually, the other aspects of ourselves go to war to get us back.
- The masculine side of our nature strives for ascension; the feminine, for connection.
- Embedded in the masculine pull towards ascension is the desire to reach inherently unattainable heights. With every benchmark achieved in art and life, it is never enough. Goalposts shift. There is always a crisis of faith.
- The crisis of faith inspires and requires a descent into the feminine underworld. We emerge “more ourselves” at the other end. Creativity grows out of the “compost [of the] debris of life.“
- “In the young feminine, [as in the Persephone myth] there is an abduction… The mature feminine hears the call.”
By the time I was ready to go home, the deluge had subsided—and I’d found a friend with an umbrella.
Let’s give a warm NYWIFT welcome to Mariluz Guerra! Originally from Colombia, she is a proud indigenous Kankuaman filmmaker with experience directing, scriptwriting, producing, and editing. Her commitment to helping others heal through art is channeled in her films Body Stories: Suraj & Julieta and Body Stories: Together. Learn more about Mariluz as we discuss how her cultural roots are an ongoing influence on her projects, the innovative filmic style of Body Stories: Together, and the significant role that smartphones contributed towards helping her create an original and cost-efficient film!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Ruthie Marantz! Born and raised in NYC, Ruthie has been making films on public access TV since she was 13 years old. Since then, her works has been shown at BAMcinemaFest, SeriesFest and Seattle International Film Festival. She has her M.F.A. from NYU’s Graduate Film Program, where she was recipient of the Leo Rosner, Maurice Kanbar, and the Academy of Arts and Sciences Scholarships. Ruthie has directed and produced commercial work for clients including Netflix, LG, Samsung, Vice and Hearst. Her autobiographical pilot Rainbow Ruthie, which received funding from director Spike Lee, was accepted to the IFP Episodic Lab and premiered at SXSW, becoming Oscar eligible in 2019. More recently, she co-wrote the pilot to Southfield Supernovas, which won the 2020 SXSW Seriesfest Pitch-A-Thon. Read more about Ruthie’s amazing stories from set and upcoming adventures here!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, China L. Colston! China is a SAG-AFTRA actress and award-winning filmmaker. As an actress, she has embodied emotional women, from the guilt-ridden mother in Strings Attached to the dealer in Sweet Thang. China’s unwavering dedication as the star, writer, director, and producer of Dark Seed led the film to acclaim from the Validate Yourself Film Festival, African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, and the Dramatist’s Guild Success In The Arts Award aka SITA. She is the recipient of a 2021 NYFA grant for her script To Cook or Not to Cook, which follows a chef in Harlem repairing his relationship with his family through food. She is the recipient of a 2021 NYFA grant for her script To Cook or Not to Cook, which follows a chef in Harlem repairing his relationship with his family through food. China brings us through her incredible journey as a creator here!READ MORE