By Heidi Philipsen
Why is it that when men make poignant films about a male’s coming-of-age, they are allowed to explore the pain, heartache, betrayal, danger, and the need for getting even or choosing a lesser evil to right a wrong—while women-centric films are expected to carry out a fairy tale romance?
Though I’ve been acting ever since the school musical Twelve Dancing Princesses gave me something to do with my pre-pubescent angst, it wasn’t until after I had established myself as a freelance cultural journalist abroad and had an out-of-body experience interviewing Shirley MacClaine at the Berlin International Film Festival that I decided to follow my dreams to act, write, produce and direct.
So, it’s a pretty big deal that my debut feature film, Darcy, as co-director and producer, will have its world premiere at the Twin Cities Film Fest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 24th.
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
NYWIFT member Panayiota Pagoulatos returned to Cannes a second time this year to attend MIPCOM, where she was pleased to find celebrations of women and diversity in entertainment, and to preview several exciting new TV series.READ MORE