NYWIFT Announces 2023 Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) Grant Recipients

NYWIFT Announces 2023 Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) Grant Recipients

The 10 selected projects reflect women’s achievements throughout film history

Still from WFPF grant recipients clockwise from top left: Mississippi Triangle, Hothouse Flower, Demon Lover Diary, and Chicago in Black and White


The Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) of New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) – a world leader in reinstating the cultural legacy of women in the film industry – announces 10 films selected for the 2023 Women’s Film Preservation Fund Award:

  • A Feminist Film (1988), Anne Chamberlain
  • Chicago in Black and White (1939), Helen Morrison
  • Coalmining Women (1981), Elizabeth Barret
  • Demon Lover Diary (1980), Joel DeMott
  • The Heart of the Matter (1994), Gini Reticker and Amber Hollibaugh 
  • Hothouse Flower (1978), Susan Brockman
  • In the Best Interests of the Children (1977), Frances Reid, Elizabeth Stevens, Cathay Zheutlin
  • Mississippi Triangle (1984), Christine Choy, Worth Long, Allan Siegel
  • Pre-Menstrual (1992), Anne Chamberlain
  • Two Lies (1990), Pamela Tom


These films represent a creative and historic range of the significant work women have given to the field. The WFPF preservation awards will ensure that these at-risk films will be preserved and archived at museums and libraries, so film scholars, programmers, educators, and movie lovers can continue to study and enjoy these rare and important films.

“We at NYWIFT are so proud of the legacy of the Women’s Film Preservation Fund, the only program of its kind dedicated to preserving the legacy of women’s work in our industry,” said NYWIFT CEO Cynthia Lopez. “This unique roster of 10 films speaks to the talent of women filmmakers, as well as the depth and breadth of women’s cultural experience, and we are so glad they will be saved for generations to come.”

The WFPF is the only program in the world dedicated to preserving the cultural legacy of women in the industry through preserving films made by women. It was founded in 1995 by NYWIFT in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art. The WFPF’s goal is to ensure that the contributions of women to film history are not forgotten. To date the Fund has preserved a remarkable spectrum of more than one hundred American films in which women play key creative roles.

“The 10 films selected for the 2023 award capture an exciting spectrum of histories, topics, and disciplines. The resurrection of these works will inform and inspire future women makers for generations to come, providing a greater sense of our heritage that is critical to the artform,” said WFPF Co-Chairs Kirsten Larvick and Erika Yeomans.

The WFPF’s biennial grant provides funding for the preservation of work that originated on film and is open to individuals and institutions. Awards are made possible by the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation, partner archives, post-production facilities and individual donors. The WFPF is rewriting the film history books, one moving picture at a time.

Learn more about the NYWIFT Women’s Film Preservation Fund at www.womensfilmpreservationfund.org .




A Feminist Film (1988) — Grant Recipient: Jennifer Maher, Indiana University
An experimental cinematic “Rorschach Test” examining the relationships between feminism and film.


Chicago in Black and White (1939/1940) — Grant Recipient: Chicago Film Archives
Chicago in Black and White and Color is a three-part series (3 reels) of Chicago city life circa 1939.


Coalmining Women (1981) — Grant Recipient: Appalshop
Interviewed at home and on the job, female coal miners tell of the conditions that led them to seek employment in this traditionally male-dominated industry — and the problems they encountered once hired. 


Demon Lover Diary (1980) — Grant Recipient: Chicago Film Society
A documentary by filmmakers Joel DeMott, Jeff Kreines and Mark Rance chronicling their adventures as they head to Michigan to make an ultra-low budget horror film.


The Heart of the Matter (1994) — Grant Recipient: Gini Reticker
Shattering widespread denial surrounding women and AIDS, this groundbreaking documentary follows Janice Jirau’s deeply moving journey while she reckons with events in her life. A chorus of HIV+ women masterfully weaves a collective narrative illuminating how race, gender, class and religious prejudice play critical roles in putting women at risk.


Hothouse Flower (1978) — Grant Recipient: Richard Brockman
Hothouse Flower is an experimental film by New York artist Susan Brockman. Hothouse Flower uses exquisite photography and skillful editing to create a dream-like, visual narrative including five female performers. The film shows women at work: making images, writing, or using their bodies in contrast with visualizations of their subconscious, suggesting imagination and dreaming as part of their process.


In the Best Interests of the Children (1977) — Grant Recipient: Frances Reid
In the mid 1970’s a diverse group eight lesbian mothers and their children were profiled in this pioneering documentary. The film explores the legal, moral, and human factors involved in child custody battles that many lesbian mothers faced, and the children weigh in with wisdom and humor.


Mississippi Triangle (1984) — Grant Recipient: Third World Newsreel
This is an intimate portrait of life in the Mississippi Delta, where Chinese, African Americans and Whites live in a complex world of cotton, work, and racial conflict. The history of the Chinese community is framed against the harsh realities of civil  religion, politics, and class in the South. Rare historical footage and interviews of Delta residents are combined to create this unprecedented document of inter-ethnic relations in the American South.


Pre-Menstrual (1992) — Grant Recipient: Jennifer Maher, Indiana University
An experimental ‘camera-less’ examination of a menstrual cycle.


Two Lies (1990) — Grant Recipient: Pamela Tom
Combining elements of a road movie, film noir, and family drama, the film was described as having the “resonances of American independent filmmaking…offering alternative ways to approach questions of racial, sexual, and cultural difference.”



Learn more about the NYWIFT Women’s Film Preservation Fund at www.womensfilmpreservationfund.org .