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3 items from 2017

Shared Experience: Crowdfunding Picks

23 March 2017 1:02 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

The Last Partera

International Women’s Day gave women around the country an opportunity to unite for a common purpose and demonstrate their value. Similarly, this round of crowdfunding picks also explores what happens when women come together and share their experiences.

“Abby and Tabby Alone in the Desert” is a story about two women from wildly different traumatic backgrounds and how their newfound bond helps them cope. Co-writer and director Jessica Martin plays Tabby, who’s escaping a cult and meets up with Abby (Ashley Lenz, also a co-writer), who’s running from her abusive husband.

Documentarian Victoria Bouloubasis follows the last traditional midwife in a small Costa Rican village in “The Last Partera,” providing us a glimpse at the way the village women band together to ensure better healthcare for everyone. “Bleeding Audio,” another documentary, explores the rise of The Matches, a band who rose to prominence alongside the digital music industry. Director Chelsea Christer uses this parallel to explain how and why the band fell apart, and what the digital shift means for musicians.

In “Unspeakable,” a short film, a young woman on the run from the law hides by pretending to be a teenage girl who disappeared years ago as a child. Director Milena Govich uses the elements of a thriller to tell the story of a young woman desperate enough to co-opt someone else’s life to save her own.

Our final pick, “Tutu & Pointes,” is about a young girl who takes up ballet as an outlet from the stress of caring for her ill mother. The short film examines the role art plays in shaping a person’s identity, and how our personal relationships can help us discover ourselves.

Here are our women-created and women-centric crowdfunding picks for March 2017.

“Abby and Tabby Alone in the Desert” — Directed by Jessica Martin; Co-Written by Jessica Martin and Ashley Lenz

“Abby and Tabby Alone in the Desert” is a comedy, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in seriousness. The film follows Abby (Ashley Lenz), a woman fleeing from an abusive marriage, and Tabby (Jessica Martin), who was recently abducted by aliens and is now on the run from a cult. Expertly combining its comedic premise with portrayals of trauma and its effects, “Abby and Tabby Alone in the Desert” depicts female friendships frankly, and shows how two wildly different women can find solidarity.

You can help fund “Abby and Tabby Alone in the Desert” on Seed & Spark.

The Last Partera” (Documentary) — Co-Directed by Victoria Bouloubasis

In rural Costa Rica, midwives have delivered children for generations. “The Last Partera” gives audiences a look at the last traditional midwife in one small Costa Rican village, and examines the repercussions of her advancing age. Because her services are now limited, women in the village are forced to deliver their children in a hospital, which is considered a much colder, more frightening environment. Through its depiction of the heritage of midwives, “The Last Partera” makes the argument that women should have the right to choose their own healthcare, and depicts the beneficial bond between a pregnant woman and her midwife.

You can help fund “The Last Partera” on Seed & Spark.

Bleeding Audio” (Documentary)— Directed by Chelsea Christer

Bleeding Audio

Instead of depicting people coming together, “Bleeding Audio” examines what happens when an established group breaks apart. Chelsea Christer’s doc follows The Matches, a band that rose to prominence in the 2000s before they completely collapsed. Christer’s documentary tries to uncover what happened to the group, and the events that led to their unraveling. The film also examines the ways in which their story intersects and runs parallel with the larger move the music industry is making towards a digital market.

Support “Bleeding Audio” on Kickstarter.

“Unspeakable” (Short)— Directed by Milena Govich

Milena Govich’s second short film, “Unspeakable,” follows a young woman who assumes the identity of a missing girl in order to evade the authorities. The film explores the desperate lengths someone can go to, especially when they’re looking to begin a new life.

“Unspeakable” will be screened for top studio executives upon completion, which Govich hopes will bring in more funding and a bigger venue for future projects.

Contribute to “Unspeakable” on Indiegogo.

“Tutu & Pointes” (Short)— Directed by Iria Pizania; Written by Iria Pizania and Eirini Dermitzaki

The arts are often an escape, especially for children. “Tutu & Pointes” examines the way ballet offers an outlet for a young girl with a burden that outweighs her petite frame. Although the young girl at the center of this short film is forced to take care of her ailing mother, the film never undercuts the loving relationship between them. “Tutu & Pointes” tells the story of a lost childhood, and shows art as an avenue for expression, one that can bring both redemption and joy.

You can help fund “Tutu & Pointes” on Indiegogo.

To be considered for Women and Hollywood’s biweekly crowdfunding feature, please write to All formats (features, shorts, web series, etc.) are welcome. Projects must be by and/or about women.

Shared Experience: Crowdfunding Picks was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Joseph Allen

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AFI Selects Paul Feig as Distinguished Artist for Women’s Directing Workshop

7 February 2017 12:41 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paul Feig has been selected as the distinguished artist for the American Film Institute Conservatory’s directing workshop for women.

Feig has become one of Hollywood’s top directors of female-driven movie comedies with credits on “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat,” “Spy” and “Ghostbusters.” He created the show “Freaks and Geeks” and directed episodes of “The Office,”  “Arrested Development,” “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Mad Men.”

AFI’s filmmaker training program is committed to increasing the number of women working as directors and showrunners in film and television. Class of 2018 filmmakers are Beth de Araújo, Georgia Fu, Milena Govich, Tiffany Johnson, Katrelle Kindred, Nancy Mejía, Gandja Monteiro and Lorraine Nicholson.

The group will spend the year of mentorship, collaboration and creation to make a short film or series.

“To meet with this amazingly impassioned group of diverse, talented filmmakers is a dream come true,” said Feig. “I salute the AFI for their strong support of female storytellers. »

- Dave McNary

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AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop For Women Announces Eight New Participants

7 February 2017 12:00 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women (Dww), AFI’s long-running filmmaker training program committed to increasing the number of women working as directors and showrunners in film and television, has today announced its eight participants for 2017–2018.

The Dww Class of 2018 filmmakers are: Beth de Araújo, Georgia Fu, Milena Govich, Tiffany Johnson, Katrelle Kindred, Nancy Mejía, Gandja Monteiro and Lorraine Nicholson. You can find out more about each filmmaker, thanks to their official biographies, right here.

The workshop was founded in 1974 and is billed as AFI’s “hands-on training program committed to increasing the number of women working professionally in screen directing. The workshop is tuition-free and is open to women with three years or more of professional experience in the arts. It provides all participants with an immersive opportunity to learn by doing, and each participant required to complete a short film or series by the end of the program. »

- Kate Erbland

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