Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Directing Workshop for Women 2013 Showcase

Filmmaker Toolkit
by Melissa Silverstein
May 8, 2013 11:00 AM
1 Comment
  • |
Courtesy of AFI/Seth Pierson

On Monday night I stepped into the Directors Guild Building for the first time to attend the annual showcase for the AFI's Directing Workshop for Women  My feelings about that place are pretty negative.  My general perception is that the people who run the show over there don't give a shit about women and their careers.  I wished the people who run that place could have seen what I saw that night -- a whole program of women directed films.  Probably happens there rarely.  There was such joy in that place, and personally, it is exciting to see a whole program celebrating women directors instead of always talking about how hard things are for women directors.

The AFI's Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) is the preeminent training program for female directors.  It has been around since 1974.  I have learned a lot about the DWW over the last year.  We are partnering with them at the Athena Film Festival to being a mini training day to NY next February for the second year in a row.  The program is three intensive weeks of all different classes including writing and pitching, how to make a short and how to read a budget.  It prepares women (and in order to apply you need to have a reel, this is not for people who are just deciding to be a director, you need to have done something) to take the next step in their careers.

The event started off with a inspirational keynote from Ava DuVernay who continues to push the envelope on the importance of representation.  She asked: Why Not Me? and brought the terrific video below.  She talked about how women answer the question with their work.

The films screened included:

Alaska is a Drag - Shaz Bennett

Burn Brightly - Lauren Ludwig

Learning to Fly - Juliana Penaranda-Loftus

Sequin Raze- Sarah Gertrude Sharpiro

She Comes in Spring - Antoneta kastrati

Silk- Catherine Dent

Six Letter Word - Lisanne Sartor

Wild Horses - Stephanie Martin

The films were just terrific.  They were just so interesting.  Lots of stories about women.  Stories about war, about abuse, about sexuality, about resilience.  About everything.  Because that's what women can do.  They can tell stories about all facets of life.  You will recognize some the stars in these films.  The production level is just tremendous and they have to do it all on a budget of $25,000.  

Click on the links on the films above to get more information.  Some of the film sites have individual trailers, but here is an overall trailer.  (I can't embed it but it is worth your minute and a half.)

Look for these short films at festivals near you.  They are all worth a look.



Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

1 Comment

  • Lawanda Wollenman | May 8, 2013 5:58 PMReply

    The more that we are told, male or female, that we cannot do what we choose to do, the more we believe it and accept it as so....The truth is, unless we are 'brain damaged or brain dead'.we can do whatever we choose to do, as long as we are willing to give it our 'all' and work for it !! If you can dream it, you can be it...Just Believe in yourself....and go to 'work'.

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • Trailer Watch: Director Cherien Dabis ...
  • Nina Jacobson Signs First-Look Agreement ...
  • Only 16% of Locarno Film Fest Lineup ...
  • The Shifting Hollywood Audience - Women ...
  • Weekly Update for July 18: Women Centric, ...
  • Quote of the Day: Viola Davis on Her ...
  • New Line to Co-Produce Thea Sharrock's ...
  • Asian American Festival to Feature Asian ...
  • The Resurrection of Don’t Trust the ...
  • Trailer Watch: Keira Knightley As You've ...