Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Oscar Predictions 2016 Oscar Predictions 2016 Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) A Letter to Michael B. Jordan A Letter to Michael B. Jordan Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' Top 10 Takeaways:  'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million Top 10 Takeaways: 'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Inside the Directors Guild Awards Inside the Directors Guild Awards Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' Why George Miller Should Win DGA Award and Directing Oscar for 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Why George Miller Should Win DGA Award and Directing Oscar for 'Mad Max: Fury Road' WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' How Quentin Tarantino Resurrected Ultra Panavision 70 for 'The Hateful Eight' How Quentin Tarantino Resurrected Ultra Panavision 70 for 'The Hateful Eight' What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt? What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt?

Hawaii Int'l Film Festival, Part Two: Wisdom from Women Making Movies; Honorees Yue Sai-Kan and Koji Yakusho

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 18, 2012 at 4:52PM

Following Part One of our Hawaii International Film Festival coverage, we turn to the fest's China Night gala honoring Yue Sai-Kan, the Women Make Movies panel and Career Achievement Award recipient Koji Yakusho's take on the state of Japanese cinema. It's all below:
0
Hawaii
Photo: Sophia Savage

Following Part One of our Hawaii International Film Festival coverage, we turn to the fest's China Night gala honoring Yue Sai-Kan, the Women Make Movies panel and Career Achievement Award recipient Koji Yakusho's take on the state of Japanese cinema. It's all below:

Among HIFF's Creative Labs was Women Make Movies: The Future is Now, which in addition to celebrating Women Make Movies' 40th anniversary, had executive director Debra Zimmerman leading a panel with female filmmakers discussing their work and experiences, and offering advice to fellow women filmmakers.

Here's eight key points:

1. Lisette Marie Flanary's ("One Voice," "American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawaii") advice to filmmakers, "Be tenacious and passionate." She acknowledges it can take a long time to find confidence as a filmmaker, and stresses you must be in love with your idea and story (and prepared to spend many, many years with it).

2. Debbie Lum, whose film "Seeking Asian Female" is at HIFF, started out as a editor before falling into the doc field. She feels being obsessive compulsive can be a plus as a filmmaker, and believes that the documentary medium suits women well because of the long gestation period and their innate ability to nurture.

Women Make Movies panel at HIFF
Women Makes Movies panel at HIFF

3. Theresa Navarro (who acts and helped produce HIFF's "Daylight Savings" and "Yes, We're Open," and admits "all the films I've been in are about sex or food") advises that its supremely important to understand the relationships in this business, and to recognize that your reputation precedes you.

4. Navarro, as well as the others, hammered home the fact that being a filmmaker today involves fundraising and an outreach plan. Promoting is simply part of the job, and if you're looking to Kickstarter, you better have a game plan.

5. Ruth Bolan, producer and exec director of PIC (Pacific Islanders Communications; they give grants to films by and for Pacific Islander audiences) says her biggest advice to filmmakers is not to be afraid of 'No,' and expect to hear it several times before you hear yes.

6. Boland advises its wise to be collaborative and find the right team, "Work with people who are better than you and scare you" and you'll get better results.

7. Also, notes Boland, while some barriers to entry into the medium have fallen, all the things that make a great movie have stayed the same. Just because more people have access to the tools doesn't mean the quality has improved. Democratization is exciting, but it's collaborative and you need extremely skilled individuals to tell a strong story. Boland says "Standards shouldn't be exclusional, they should be aspirational."

8. Flanary enjoys the prevalence and ease of smaller format cameras, particularly for the documentary formart: "they make for more intimate filmmaking; big cameras freak people out."

Zimmerman admits that the 40th anniversary of Women Make Movies is "a little sad, because not much has changed." She shared some depressing statistics that highlight just how few women are directing documentaries, and far less still in the narrative field. She hopes in ten years they are back celebrating 50 years and have better statistics to report, but in the meantime she is encouraged by Sundance's Keri Putman who is committed to studies that will look at WHY the view for women filmmakers is still so grim. An organization called Women Moving Millions is also looking into extensive research that will dig deeper than the current measuring sticks out there.

Of course women aren't the only ones struggling to get their films made and recognized. And Hollywood trends extend far beyond mainland USA...


E-Mail Updates






Festivals on TOH



Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.