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Takeaways from the Sundance 'Women Who Dare' Film Panel

Thompson on Hollywood By Valentina Valentini | Thompson on Hollywood January 21, 2013 at 2:36PM

“There are men involved in some of these films,” said producer Lucy Webb, chair of Women in Film’s 7th Annual Sundance Filmmakers Panel, called "Women Who Dare," which was held Sunday morning. “We just don’t talk about them too much.”
Women Who Dare Panel
Women Who Dare Panel

“There are men involved in some of these films,” said producer Lucy Webb, chair of Women in Film’s 7th Annual Sundance Filmmakers Panel. This Sunday panel was called "Women Who Dare." “We just don’t talk about them too much.”

With this global panel, including Freida Mock ("Anita") and Michèle Stephenson ("American Promise"), WIF and its sponsors were doing what they do best – making sure female voices are part of the discussion--which isn't such an issue this year at Sundance, as an unprecedented 50 percent of the filmmakers in the program are women.

The discussion focused on empowerment – making it, finding it, keeping it, nurturing it.

Kalyanee Mam shot and directed the Cambodian documentary "A River Changes Course":

“I don’t think of myself as courageous, I just know I have a passion that I have to fulfill. And if I’m in a boat and I can’t swim, but I know I need that shot, I’m going to get that shot. Really It’s not us that have the courage, it’s the ones we’re telling the stories about.”

"Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes"’ writer-director Francesca Gregorini:

"I think that making fiction films comes from the subconscious, and mine is obviously female. Most of the scripts being written by men have dialogue written and are seen through a lens that are male. Right now, it’s the legacy that we as women leave behind. It’s important that young girls see women in positions of power. We all have final cut in our movies – it’s important for them to see us here."

Jehane Noujaim directed "The Square," about the Tahrir Square uprising in 2011:

"I would have been completely useless without my incredible team of women filmmakers, but what was incredible about that square in the beginning is that it was secure and there was no harassment. It was an incredible moment to be a part of. But being chased and shot at and run down and arrested…it just propels you further."

Tia Lessin co-wrote and co-directed "Citizen Koch" with her partner Carl Deal:

"It’s interesting, because this panel is called ‘Women who dare’ and [in our documentary] we’re looking at men and saying ‘How dare they?’ While [the Koch’s] super enfranchise the billionaires, they’re taking away our voices and democracy at the same time.”

This article is related to: Sundance Film Festival, Festivals, Festivals, Women in Film, Citizen Koch

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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.