By Leah Curney
On May 7th, New York Women in Film & Television hosted a virtual panel discussion with filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, creators of the hilarious new documentary, Call Your Mother, which explores the relationship between comedians and their mothers. The panel also included two of the comedians featured in the film, Judy Gold and Bridget Everett, and was produced and moderated by NYWIFT board member Terry Greenberg.
A comedic writer and performer myself, I was thrilled to attend the event. To be expected, you get this many funny ladies in a room (even a virtual one), and you’re bound to have plenty of laughs. However, there were many poignant and surprising moments throughout the conversation as well.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes and top takeaways from the event:
- Both performers in the panel described the empowering nature of comedy and being on stage. Judy Gold shared, “I was very bullied as a kid and I think having control of the laughter was big for me. I wasn’t being laughed at, I was making them laugh… this was my space, this was my home.”
- Both performers also addressed how much they miss performing for a live audience, now that COVID-19 has brought public gatherings to a halt. Technology may allow us to stay connected, but nothing comes close to the real-time energy and feedback of performing live stand-up comedy, they lamented.
- Both the performers and the filmmakers spoke about how their moms, born just a few generations earlier, had far fewer life and career options than they did. They spoke with appreciation of the sacrifices their mothers made, and the ways their moms inspired and influenced their senses of humor.
- Filmmakers Heidi and Rachel pointed out that at some point in the film each of the mothers expressed a similar sentiment about their comic daughters, “She’s doing what I wish I could do.”
- When asked whether the filmmakers thought to include comedians who didn’t have good relationships with their mothers, Heidi and Rachel were quick to respond, “Of course!” Seeking to capture depth and diversity in their film, they approached a number of comedians who had challenging or strained relationships with their mothers… but all of them declined to participate. Apparently it was just too painful.
These are a few of the highlights from the panel, but you can watch the full recording, and hear these talented women in their own words, on the NYWIFT Facebook page:
You can also hear an interview with Judy Gold on a recent episode of NYWIFT’s Women Crush Wednesdays podcast. Click below to listen and subscribe:
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Katrina Montgomery
Please join us in welcoming new NYWIFT member Katrina Montgomery! Katrina is an NYC filmmaker with an affinity for the Bronx, the neighborhood where she grew up and still considers home. Katrina served as both Director and Director of Photography for Get Away For A Day with Allyshia Renay, which aired on BRIC, MNN, and BronxNet. Currently, she is studying film directing at Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema and will be receiving her diploma shortly. Katrina spoke to us about her inspirations, using comedy to tackle tough topics, and lessons learned from a successful fundraising campaign.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Derya Celikkol
Welcome to NYWIFT, Derya Celikkol! A proud graduate of the Experimental Theatre Wing at Tisch Schools of the Arts, Derya Celikkol is a Turkish filmmaker who lives in New York City and has contributed her extraordinary artistry to numerous projects. In addition to acting and production designing, Celikkol has directed and produced films, some of which have been showcased and won awards at film festivals worldwide.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Kate Walker
With a knack for merging film with her passion for science and journalism, Kate Walker has triumphed as an environmental and science producer, director, writer, and editor. Her projects, which have aired on networks such as PBS, Vice, HBO, IFC, and MSNBC, among other media platforms, typically raise awareness of prevalent social and environmental issues such as marginalized identities and climate change. Read more about this former high school science teacher’s remarkable career journey as we discuss some must-see documentaries and Kate’s approach to developing a captivating filmic style that simultaneously educates and entertains audiences.READ MORE
Meet the New NYWIFT Member: LaKisa Renee
Welcome to NYWIFT, LaKisa Renee! LaKisa is a multitalented media/film industry professional, journalist, host, actress, videographer, voice artist, and award-winning makeup artist. She is the owner and Founder of LaKisa Renee Entertainment, a media, fashion and events company. As a media professional, she is a contributing journalist for Cultured Focus Magazine, In Black Magazine, and Steller Magazine. LaKisa spoke to us about her wide range of roles in media, fashion, and entertainment.READ MORE
Comments are closed