Tag Archives: CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival

Honoring the ‘Women Among Us’

Talking To Crows Women_Among_Us Campaign

Talking to Crows annual campaign.

As a female business-owner and artist, International Women’s Day and their 2017 theme, Be Bold for Change, means a lot to me. Just a few decades ago, I might not have been able to be a female sole proprietor. Its funny how quickly we can forget the flaws of our past culture…and how those flaws still linger in pockets of our world.

I am so thankful for the women who have paved the way before me. The powerful female writers, business-owners, mothers, scientists, actors, filmmakers, and directors, activists, and thinkers have earned my gratitude and made my life and work easier, more successful, and just. This month, during Women’s History Month, I am reminded of their sacrifice that has provided my privilege.

Whenever I can, I try to pay that privilege forward to other women (and deserving men as well). I recently found a few women doing great things for our community who are also paying it forward.

talking to crows ella higginson writer pacific northwest

Pacific Northwest writer and suffragette, Ella Higginson

Stacy Reynolds and Cassidy Young of female-majority owned, Bellingham-based video production company Talking to Crows has launched a new annual campaign: Women Among Us. Each day in March, they recognize one woman from our community that is making history right now. I was delighted to write two articles about this campaign, one for the print publication, Southside Living, and another shared at WhatcomTalk.com. The Southside Living article focused on Magdelena Theisen of Magdalena’s Creperie in Fairhaven, WA and the WhatcomTalk.com article highlighted Western Washington University Professor of English, Dr. Laura Laffrado.

I am delighted to be one of the amazing, powerful women being recognized in this year’s campaign. You can honor the women who’ve come before us and support ‘Women Among Us’ by taking a look and following their Facebook page, Instagram account, and Website posts and sharing their campaign with others.cascadia international women's film festival
I’m also honored to be working with CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival. Their event on April 20-23 showcases films by women directors from around the world. They also present workshops, networking events, and panel discussions that aim to promote women’s education and the Bellingham, Whatcom County, WA area as a filmmaking and viewing destination that supports the local economy.

Supporting incredible women through my writing, work, and actions are so very important to me. Thank you for helping me honor the incredible women in our community and world.

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A Soft Spot in my Heart for Independent Film

14766111811_1b259a3065_zFor better or worse, I grew up on television. We had all the cable TV channels and little supervision or limits. So I spent a lot of my younger days watching a whole lot of independent film. Many I watched over and over because they aired 3 times-a-day.

As I’ve gotten older, and now that I’ve actually tried to make some films myself, I have grown a more discerning eye for quality and a much greater respect for the artists that make film.

It seems everyone is a critic these days and not afraid to say how great or terrible a movie is. But once you try to make one yourself, you learn how much hard work, follow-through, and attention to detail it requires just to make an absolutely awful film, let alone a great one worth showing to anyone.

Being a film director is hard work. Being a successful one is considered a long-shot. Trying to become a successful female filmmaker, or female filmmaker of color, might feel even more impossible when you discover the statistics.

  • Most female filmmakers made only one film in the last decade.
  • Female directors face an age limit—they work from 30s-60s. Males work from 20s-80s.
  • 83.3% of women of color made 1 top film from 2007-2016 vs 54.3% of non-Black/non-Asian males.
  • Of 1,114 directors of 1,000 top films in the last decade, 4% were female.
  • The first African-American female directors backed by major film studios didn’t occur until as late as 1989-1991!

From: Inclusion in the Director’s Chair? Gender, Race, & Age of Film Directors Across 1,000 Films from 2007-2016 by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Dr. Katherine Pieper, & Marc Choueiti. The Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative. February 2017. Annenburg Foundation.

lucy-morgan-c-1985-florida-hall-of-fame

Florida Hall of Fame filmmaker Lucy Morgan, c 1985.

When I was asked to work with a new 4-day film festival in my area of the Pacific Northwest, specifically sharing the films of female directors, I couldn’t have been more honored. CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival launches this April 20-23. Check them out and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They’re also mentioned in my most recent WhatcomTalk.com article about the upcoming independent-film-viewing opportunities in my area.

This festival and the others like it will be helping to tip the scales and make the stats above a more distant part of our history.