NYWIFT Talks at The Sundance Film Festival: ‘Brainwashed’ with Director Nina Menkes

Welcome to NYWIFT Talks, a weekly series to bring updated news and vital information about the impact of COVID-19 and current events on the media and entertainment industry. Industry professionals will be in conversation discussing what you need to know about theatrical releases, digital advances, virtual tools, festival opportunities, production updates and more. 

NYWIFT Talks are free for all to attend.

On this week’s NYWIFT Talks, we’re headed to the 2022 Sundance Film Festival…virtually! We will be covering some highlights and updating you on new releases coming your way. 

We’re sitting down with director Nina Menkes to chat about her new documentary, Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power.

Building on her influential cinematic talk, Sex and Power: The Visual Language of Cinema, film director Nina Menkes takes us on an eye-opening journey through the gendered politics of shot design. Using more than 175 film clips from canonical Hollywood favorites and cult classics as well as interviews with filmmakers and scholars, Brainwashed reveals a sinister framework of misogyny and paternalism that, from early cinema to the present day, infiltrates some of our favorite movies.

Brainwashed is a mesmerizing journey that compels the casual moviegoer and cinephile alike to confront how the visual language of cinema is used to disempower women at the most fundamental level, with real-life, tangible consequences including sexual assault and employment discrimination. Renowned for her extraordinary independent film career, Menkes returns to the Sundance Film Festival on a mission to turn the camera around on her own industry and confront the inequalities embedded within each film frame. Featuring powerful interviews with Joey Soloway, Julie Dash, Eliza Hittman, and many more.

Date: Friday, January 28th, 2021
Time: 4:00PM EST / 1:00PM PT PT / 3:00PM CT
Cost: Free Q&A





Considered a cinematic feminist pioneer and one of America’s foremost independent filmmakers, Nina Menkes has shown widely in major film festivals including AFI Fest, Rotterdam, and Locarno. Her honors include a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital Award, and a Berlinale FIPRESCI Prize for the feature documentary Massaker. Brainwashed is her fourth feature premiere at Sundance.




Yvonne Russo (moderator) is an award-winning producer, director and writer of film and television specializing in inspirational Indigenous and cross-cultural stories. As an independent producer, Russo has worked on a diverse range of productions in over 16 countries from Rajasthan, India, to the East African Nation of Rwanda. Recent credits include Woman Walks Ahead; the HBO mini-series Lewis and ClarkViva Verdi!; and Rescuers: Heroes of the Holocaust. She’s a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and Co-Chair of the Producers Guild of America Diversity Committee. She is also a Sundance Institute Lab Fellow and Tribeca All Access Program Fellow, and is on the board of The Language Conservancy, which works to revitalize endangered languages. She’s a contributing author for The Huffington Post and Produced By Magazine. Yvonne Russo is a member of the Sicangu Lakota Tribal Nation.

January 28 @ 4:00pm
4:00 pm — 4:30 pm (30′)

This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.

We encourage you to download and create a Zoom account in advance.




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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.