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Entries in Women In Film (9)

Thursday
Nov022017

3 Reasons Women in Film Must Take Part in the Open Night of Competition at Franky Bradley's this Weekend 

Is your Film best served with roasted Nordic Cod over risotto with melted leeks & lump crabmeat, finished with a lobster bordelaise at Franky Bradley's?Filmmakers are invited to show their films made for, by or about women, during a special night of competition Friday, November 3rd at Franky Bradley's restaurant in Philadelphia.

Films with a running time of 10 minutes or less will be selected (and screened) at random from those in attendance. It's like an open-mic night but for filmmakers, which sounds like fun. When I found out about the competition, I thought of the one-minute romantic comedy flick I wrote and directed a while ago.

It would be perfect for this event, except for the fact that I accidently sat on the DVD and the sole remaining copy of that short film is only compatible for mobile devices. For everyone else -- the producers, directors and actresses out there who have a film that is still intact and will play well in front of attendees at Franky Bradley's this weekend -- your chance to win the competition remains.

The winner will be featured in the upcoming Women's Film Festival (in March 2018). While that is the main reason to participate in this open night of competition, here are additional benefits that filmmakers may gain by taking part in this event:

(l-r): Robin McDonald and Blaire Baron star in the comedy film 'The Candidate,' an official selection at the 2017 Women's Film Festival screening series, presented in partnership with qFLIX.Participating Filmmakers Face Less Competition 

On average, The Women's Film Festival receives several hundred submissions each year, from filmmakers hoping their work gets accepted to screen in one of the programs. Bringing your film this Friday means you may only have to compete with whoever shows up that evening.

So, local filmmakers have a better shot at solidifying a place for their work in the 2018 Women's Film Festival program. The chance to get accepted into any festival without having to put your film through the selection process -- an anxiety-inducing waiting game that could take up to a few months to complete -- is one worth taking.

Proceeds from a Cash Bar Benefit the Women's Film Festival

Aside from after-parties, the festival hosts a Filmmaker's Brunch that provides opportunities for filmmakers in attendance to network and get new projects off of the ground. Fundraisers such as the one at Franky Bradley's on Friday help offset the costs involved in putting these events on. You might be surprised at what great things can happen while chatting about film over food and cocktails. The festival itself was born out of a conversation between two women at a restaurant, so there's that to consider.

(l-r): Mela Hudson and Tori Hall star in the road trip film 'Split Costs,' an official selection in the 2017 Women's Film Festival screening series.Filmmakers Can Leverage their Franky Bradley's Screening and Make It Count

Are you're in the post-production stage? Use this special night of competition as an opportunity to test the latest version of your film in front of an audience.

Even if you don't win a spot to screen your film at the Women's Film Festival in 2018, the feedback alone can be worth your participation in the lottery-style event at Franky Bradley's. Did you recently finish the final sound mix, color correction, etc. on a short that is now ready for its close-up? Use the open night of competition as an opportunity to host a cast & crew screening of your film.

The Women's Film Festival presents "Who's Got Short Shorts?" -- a program of short films selected randomly from those in attendance on Friday, November 3, 2017 at Franky Bradley's 1320 Chancellor Street in Philly. Show runs 6pm-9pm. Films must be submitted on a flash drive in .mov or .mp4 formats.

What are YOUR plans for this Friday night?

Monday
Oct132014

Monday Movie Meme - The Ladykillers

Amila Terzimehic stars in Relativity Media´s November Man. © 2014 No Spies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.The theme for this week’s Monday Movie Meme is focused on the most dangerous women in film: The Ladykillers.  

Share on your blog or in the comments section, movies featuring female characters who are cold blooded murderers. These women take no prisoners regardless of whether their targets are the result of personal vendettas or professional duties.

Here are my selections for this week’s The Ladykillers

The November Man 

A female assassin goes after the sole witness to war crimes committed by a Russian president-elect; killing anyone involved or associated with the target including CIA operatives, in this spy thriller starring Amila Terzimehic and Pierce Brosnan.

Hanna

A ruthless female intelligence agents pulls out all the stops in her quest to eliminate a sixteen year-old girl, to keep some horrific secrets hidden, in this action thriller starring Cate Blanchett.

Belly 

If you’ve seen this crime drama starring Nas, DMX, then chances are you already know that the machete chick with the wild hair who swooped down out of thin air to kill a drug kingpin is the reason why I added it to my list of ladykillers.

Colombiana

Working as an assassin provides one woman with the skills to carry out a grudge against her most sought after target – the mobster who killed her parents. Actress Zoe Saldana stars in this crime drama that also made a previous Monday Movie Meme list for our Sniper on the Roof theme.

 

What movies have YOU watched featuring female assassins?

Friday
Sep262014

Urbanworld’s Best Feature Documentary of 2014 is a ‘Lucky’ Win for Laura Checkoway 

Lucky Torres stars in "LUCKY" directed by Laura Checkoway.When the 18th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by BET Networks with founding sponsor HBO, announced the 2014 festival winners this week, I was glad to find out that “Lucky” directed by Laura Checkoway won an award for Best Feature Documentary.

Having recently sat in a packed theater watching “Lucky” amidst a bunch of strangers, I must say it is one of the most unforgettable films to come out of Urbanworld this year. Forget what you know about wearing your heart on your sleeve. This movie is about a woman who, after growing up in foster homes, wears her pain on her face and body.

The documentary serves up a clear reminder of the fact that regardless of our surroundings, we know very little about what the person next to us is going through. Life is a struggle – for some more-so than others, so it helps to keep that in mind when facing people or circumstances that make us uncomfortable. Chances are that many of us know nothing about what it’s like to live on the streets. Some of us are unfamiliar with the experiences of child abuse, rape or gang life. We do, however, know what it’s like to experience struggle, at least in one capacity or another.

(l-r): Fantasy with her children, director Laura Checkoway and Lucky's fiancé at the 2014 Urbanworld Film Festival.Checkoway, a career journalist who spent five years and her own money making “Lucky,” does a great job making this heart wrenching story relatable to the average viewer who may not know someone like Waleska Torres Ruiz – a Hispanic runaway from the Bronx, NY whose parents died when she was a child. A well-known figure in New York’s LGBT community, Ruiz was nicknamed Lucky after having survived being hit by a yellow cab when she was thirteen.

I honestly didn’t know what I was expecting when going in to watch this film but it certainly made me more aware of the hardships that children of the foster care system face when our country’s social services fail them. The long-term effects that these failures have on one person’s life have a trickle effect on those around him or her and that extends outward to our nation’s communities.

Despite not having any formal film training, Checkoway forged ahead, learning about the process as she embarked on what has become her first feature length documentary. Lucky for us, she came out of the corner swinging with a bold movie that could easily make some viewers want to look away and run back to their secure (and convenient) bubbles. No matter how hard you try, however, you can’t bear to turn from such an intimate view of one woman whose days are filled with the kind of uncertainties that most of us hope to never have to encounter. That’s just the thing about movies; when you’re in the theater and the lights go down, all you’re left with are the images on the screen.

Lucky Torres with her son in the documentary "LUCKY, directed by Laura Checkoway.Checkoway forces viewers to look beyond Lucky’s tattoos, stylish outfits and ever-changing hairstyles to understand the inner turmoil of the person underneath all that armor; a homeless mother who wants to provide a sense of stability for her son while working on her own personal growth, including self-love.

It’s raw and sometimes even wicked, but it’s real. This is somebody’s life and I wouldn’t be surprised that if, by watching it, you take a closer look at your own – particularly the areas that you take for granted, because I know they exist. We all have them.

“Lucky” is one of those movies that have you thinking “this person has it worse….so what’s MY excuse???” and you would be right. If there is one thing to learn from this movie, it’s to live out loud while remaining conscious of what, if anything, you want to leave behind. My congratulations go out to Laura Checkoway (and Lucky Torres) for winning Best Feature Documentary at the Urbanworld Film Festival 2014!