By AFI | Women and Hollywood May 8, 2012 at 10:45AM
Tonight, AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women will have its 2012 showcase at the DGA. Each year this highly selective program offers eight talented women a tuition-free training program and the opportunity to direct a short. This year’s lineup includes women with previous successful careers in acting and playwriting, fashion, stop-motion animation, film editing and commercial producing.
The American Film Institute established the Directing Workshop for Women in 1974. The workshop is designed to provide talented women who have established themselves within film, television, and theater with the opportunity to direct narrative projects. Since its inception, such talented women as Lesli Linka Glatter, Randa Haines, and Maya Angelou have directed Workshop projects.
With original score by Grammy Award winner Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, and cinematography by D.P. Nancy Schreiber, director Denise Plumb’s dark comedy PAST DUE examines a quiet life turned upside-down by the relentless harassment of a debt collector. "I’m inspired to tell thoughtful, relatable stories that don't take the audience for granted but take them on a ride" - Denise Plumb,
Daughter of Sidney Poitier and director in her own right, Anika Poitier unveils her recent project, BLACK IRISH, a story where a young man struggling to get a much-needed promotion must confront his true identity. "I made this film because I was drawn to the idea that we show different parts of ourselves to different people, and that the parts we keep in the shadows are usually the most interesting" - Anika Poitier.
Film professor and director of Graduate Study at Columbia College Chicago, director Wenhwa Ts’ao examines post traumatic stress disorder in war veterans. TOWING follows a female soldier who is yet again forced to confront a meaningless death. “I’m drawn to the story of TOWING because the main character is complex and dynamic as all human beings are. She is a fighter in battlefield and in life” - Wenhwa Ts’ao.
Editor of indie feature PARIAH and writer-director in her own right, Mako Kamitsuna follows a woman vying to become the first female astronaut in her historic drama, SHE, WHO EXCELS IN SOLITUDE - inspired by the true story of Mercury 13. "The topic of women in aviation has always been my personal interest and fascination. Years ago I started reading about female civilian pilots' role in WW2. That research led me to discover Russian's female-only combat fighters during the Great Patriotic War (for which I now have a feature-length screenplay). Along the same tangent, I have come to learn about NASA's covert program to recruit female astronaut in the shadow of Mercury 7, American's first seven astronauts. In many ways, these women are true pioneers who aspired to go where no one dared. By making this film, I wanted to recognize their unparalleled courage and grace that not only inspired but empowered me personally" - Mako Kamitsuna.