51Fest Celebrating the Female Majority on screen. Our inaugural festival takes place July 18th - 21st, 2019 at the SVA Theater and IFC Center.
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Chicken & Egg Pictures
09/12/2019
Chicken & Egg Pictures

Chicken & Egg Pictures

🗞️🐣 Read all about it! We're proud to have Chicken & Egg Pictures and our Executive Director Jenni Wolfson featured in this Screen International article about the organizations funding women filmmakers and the financial barriers that still exist, despite industry interest in gender parity.

Also featured are our Nest-friends at Gamechanger Films, Tangerine Entertainment, Women Make Movies, and more.

Tanji
08/23/2019
Tanji

Tanji

Awesome leadership by Saskia Schuster of ITV —> “The goal is inclusivity. The current number of female writers in comedy is woefully low and before I started Comedy 50:50, I was being pitched very few scripts by women.” Determined to change the culture, she rewrote her contracts, asking comedy shows to aim for equal representation and scripted commissions to demonstrate their best endeavours to include female voices. She also created a database of more than 500 women writers to help producers find new collaborators.” #Comedy5050 #parity #writersroom #womenwrite

Sneak Preview. Longtime friends Carol (Angela Bassett), Gillian (Patricia Arquette), and Helen (Felicity Huffman) are fe...
07/22/2019

Sneak Preview. Longtime friends Carol (Angela Bassett), Gillian (Patricia Arquette), and Helen (Felicity Huffman) are fed up with being left out of the lives of their adult sons and forgotten on Mother’s Day. Over brunch cocktails, they decide to head from Poughkeepsie down to NYC and surprise each of their sons by moving in with them until they reconcile their relationships. Of course, the plan doesn’t go exactly as expected—there’s drinking, dancing, cooking, cleaning, crying, laughing, breaking and entering, spying, judging and forgiving.

Over the course of a few days each woman learns to see her son, her friends and, ultimately, herself a little differently. Veteran television writer/director Cindy Chupack (Sex and the City) infuses her first narrative feature with heartfelt humor. OTHERHOOD is produced by Academy Award® winning producer Cathy Schulman (Crash) and by Jason Michael Berman (Juanita). Bassett, Arquette and Huffman shine in this refreshing, endearing story of female friendship and middle-aged self-discovery.

Post-screening discussion with director Cindy Chupack and producers Cathy Schulman and Jason Michael Berman, moderated by actor and comedian Mario Cantone.

Sneak Preview. Longtime friends Carol (Angela Bassett), Gillian (Patricia Arquette), and Helen (Felicity Huffman) are fed up with being left out of the lives of their adult sons and forgotten on Mother’s Day. Over brunch cocktails, they decide to head from Poughkeepsie down to NYC and surprise each of their sons by moving in with them until they reconcile their relationships. Of course, the plan doesn’t go exactly as expected—there’s drinking, dancing, cooking, cleaning, crying, laughing, breaking and entering, spying, judging and forgiving.

Over the course of a few days each woman learns to see her son, her friends and, ultimately, herself a little differently. Veteran television writer/director Cindy Chupack (Sex and the City) infuses her first narrative feature with heartfelt humor. OTHERHOOD is produced by Academy Award® winning producer Cathy Schulman (Crash) and by Jason Michael Berman (Juanita). Bassett, Arquette and Huffman shine in this refreshing, endearing story of female friendship and middle-aged self-discovery.

Post-screening discussion with director Cindy Chupack and producers Cathy Schulman and Jason Michael Berman, moderated by actor and comedian Mario Cantone.

Tina Brown, Julianne Moore & Anne Hubbell
07/22/2019

Tina Brown, Julianne Moore & Anne Hubbell

North American  Premiere. You might not think that the taboo topic of Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM) would lend itself...
07/22/2019

North American Premiere. You might not think that the taboo topic of Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM) would lend itself to the traditional narrative of a heroine’s journey, but Ifrah Ahmed is no traditional heroine. A true story, based on the testimony of multi-award-winning Irish-Somali FGM campaigner (played by Aja Naomi King/How To Get Away With Murder), the film opens with a harrowing escape, as 17-year-old Ifrah flees war-torn Somalia, evading smugglers and traffickers to seek asylum in Ireland.

Traumatized by the revelation of her FGM during a routine medical examination, she vows to dedicate her life to ending the practice. Learning English at record speed, she quickly emerges as a powerful speaker determined to legislate against it in Ireland and beyond. Her campaign takes her back to Somalia where she finally confronts her family for condoning the cultural practice of ‘cutting’. Invoking the power of testimony to strengthen, heal and channel change underpins this hopeful film about one woman’s determination to save all young girls at risk of FGM.

Post-screening discussion with writer-director Mary McGuckian, actor Barkhad Abdi, and real-life subject Ifrah Ahmed, moderated by journalist Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani of Verizon Media

North American Premiere. You might not think that the taboo topic of Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM) would lend itself to the traditional narrative of a heroine’s journey, but Ifrah Ahmed is no traditional heroine. A true story, based on the testimony of multi-award-winning Irish-Somali FGM campaigner (played by Aja Naomi King/How To Get Away With Murder), the film opens with a harrowing escape, as 17-year-old Ifrah flees war-torn Somalia, evading smugglers and traffickers to seek asylum in Ireland.

Traumatized by the revelation of her FGM during a routine medical examination, she vows to dedicate her life to ending the practice. Learning English at record speed, she quickly emerges as a powerful speaker determined to legislate against it in Ireland and beyond. Her campaign takes her back to Somalia where she finally confronts her family for condoning the cultural practice of ‘cutting’. Invoking the power of testimony to strengthen, heal and channel change underpins this hopeful film about one woman’s determination to save all young girls at risk of FGM.

Post-screening discussion with writer-director Mary McGuckian, actor Barkhad Abdi, and real-life subject Ifrah Ahmed, moderated by journalist Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani of Verizon Media

New York Premiere. Framed as a love letter from a young mother to her newborn daughter, For Sama is a personal, epic jou...
07/22/2019

New York Premiere. Framed as a love letter from a young mother to her newborn daughter, For Sama is a personal, epic journey into a woman’s experience of war. It tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life, love, family and work through five years of violent uprising in Syria. As a journalist who has been active in the struggle against the regime, al-Kateab is faced with the heart-wrenching choice of leaving the rebel-held city of Aleppo to protect her baby or staying to continue to fight for freedom.

The documentary matter-of-factly presents the toll that the harsh realities and chaos of war take on the day-to-day lives of ordinary men, women and children. Intense sequences vividly capture the determination and heartbreak of resistance fighters and medical professionals, including al-Kateab’s husband, Hamza.

Brave and bold storytelling choices and first hand access make this a war doc like you’ve never seen before, up close and through a female lens. For Sama has been recognized with numerous awards, including the L’Oeil D’Or for Best Documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

Directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts. A PBS Distribution/Frontline release.

After the screening filmmakers Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts and subject Dr. Hamza al-Kateab will be interviewed by Anne Barnard who led coverage of the war in Syria for the New York Times from 2012 to 2018, as Beirut bureau chief.

New York Premiere. Framed as a love letter from a young mother to her newborn daughter, For Sama is a personal, epic journey into a woman’s experience of war. It tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life, love, family and work through five years of violent uprising in Syria. As a journalist who has been active in the struggle against the regime, al-Kateab is faced with the heart-wrenching choice of leaving the rebel-held city of Aleppo to protect her baby or staying to continue to fight for freedom.

The documentary matter-of-factly presents the toll that the harsh realities and chaos of war take on the day-to-day lives of ordinary men, women and children. Intense sequences vividly capture the determination and heartbreak of resistance fighters and medical professionals, including al-Kateab’s husband, Hamza.

Brave and bold storytelling choices and first hand access make this a war doc like you’ve never seen before, up close and through a female lens. For Sama has been recognized with numerous awards, including the L’Oeil D’Or for Best Documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

Directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts. A PBS Distribution/Frontline release.

After the screening filmmakers Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts and subject Dr. Hamza al-Kateab will be interviewed by Anne Barnard who led coverage of the war in Syria for the New York Times from 2012 to 2018, as Beirut bureau chief.

New York Premiere. Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore and Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams anchor this moving dr...
07/21/2019

New York Premiere. Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore and Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams anchor this moving drama of secrets and connections. Williams plays Isabel, an American running a struggling orphanage in Calcutta. She is summoned to New York by Theresa (Moore), a wealthy donor who demands to meet her personally before committing any funds. But when they meet, a long-hidden truth is exposed, a secret that will forever alter the course of their lives. Adapting an Academy Award-nominated Danish-language drama, this new version changes the lead roles from male to female, crafting a rich, emotionally complex story about strong women, motherhood and second chances.

Directed by Bart Freundlich. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Post-screening conversation with producer and star Julianne Moore and Tina Brown

New York Premiere. Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore and Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams anchor this moving drama of secrets and connections. Williams plays Isabel, an American running a struggling orphanage in Calcutta. She is summoned to New York by Theresa (Moore), a wealthy donor who demands to meet her personally before committing any funds. But when they meet, a long-hidden truth is exposed, a secret that will forever alter the course of their lives. Adapting an Academy Award-nominated Danish-language drama, this new version changes the lead roles from male to female, crafting a rich, emotionally complex story about strong women, motherhood and second chances.

Directed by Bart Freundlich. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Post-screening conversation with producer and star Julianne Moore and Tina Brown

New York Premiere. Based on actual events, Official Secrets tells the remarkable story of Katharine Gun and her effort t...
07/21/2019

New York Premiere. Based on actual events, Official Secrets tells the remarkable story of Katharine Gun and her effort to stop an illegal war. In 2003 at her job as a British intelligence specialist, Gun (Keira Knightley) comes across a disturbing email from the US National Security Agency division chief: a request for UK assistance in blackmailing members of the United Nations Security Council into endorsing an invasion of Iraq.

Shocked, she makes a decision that will change her life and put her family in danger. Gun leaks the email to the press, setting off a chain of events that exposes an international conspiracy and lands her in custody, charged under Britain’s Official Secrets Act. The movie is part political thriller and part personal journey as Gun navigates and endures the consequences faced by an ordinary person committing an extraordinary act.

Knightley beautifully captures the moral complexity and vulnerability of a high-stakes whistleblower whose fight against government misinformation remains unnervingly relevant. The powerhouse cast includes Matt Smith as journalist Martin Bright and Ralph Fiennes as a human rights lawyer who steps in to defend Gun.

An IFC Films release.

Post-screening conversation with real-life subject Katharine Gun and Democracy Now! Host Amy Goodman, moderated by Huffpost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen.

New York Premiere. Based on actual events, Official Secrets tells the remarkable story of Katharine Gun and her effort to stop an illegal war. In 2003 at her job as a British intelligence specialist, Gun (Keira Knightley) comes across a disturbing email from the US National Security Agency division chief: a request for UK assistance in blackmailing members of the United Nations Security Council into endorsing an invasion of Iraq.

Shocked, she makes a decision that will change her life and put her family in danger. Gun leaks the email to the press, setting off a chain of events that exposes an international conspiracy and lands her in custody, charged under Britain’s Official Secrets Act. The movie is part political thriller and part personal journey as Gun navigates and endures the consequences faced by an ordinary person committing an extraordinary act.

Knightley beautifully captures the moral complexity and vulnerability of a high-stakes whistleblower whose fight against government misinformation remains unnervingly relevant. The powerhouse cast includes Matt Smith as journalist Martin Bright and Ralph Fiennes as a human rights lawyer who steps in to defend Gun.

An IFC Films release.

Post-screening conversation with real-life subject Katharine Gun and Democracy Now! Host Amy Goodman, moderated by Huffpost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen.

New York Premiere. Hilarious, outgoing and always up for a good time, New Yorker Brittany Forgler is everybody’s best fr...
07/21/2019

New York Premiere. Hilarious, outgoing and always up for a good time, New Yorker Brittany Forgler is everybody’s best friend ― except maybe her own. At 27, her hard-partying ways, chronic underemployment and toxic relationships are catching up with her, but when she stops by a doctor’s office to score some Adderall, she gets slapped with a prescription she never wanted: Get healthy.

Too broke for a gym and too proud to ask for help, Brit’s at a loss, until her neighbor pushes her to lace up her sneakers and run one block. The next day, she runs two. And after finishing her first mile, she sets an almost unthinkable goal: running in the New York City Marathon. Winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this uproarious, irreverent and surprisingly emotional comedy was inspired by real events. The irresistible cast, led by Jillian Bell, lends heart and soul to an inspirational story of a party girl who finally finds real friends — and dignity — by taking control of her future, one city block at a time.

103 minutes. Directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo. An Amazon Studios release.

Post-screening conversation with real-life subject Brittany O’Neill and Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR’s “Ask Me Another”.

New York Premiere. Hilarious, outgoing and always up for a good time, New Yorker Brittany Forgler is everybody’s best friend ― except maybe her own. At 27, her hard-partying ways, chronic underemployment and toxic relationships are catching up with her, but when she stops by a doctor’s office to score some Adderall, she gets slapped with a prescription she never wanted: Get healthy.

Too broke for a gym and too proud to ask for help, Brit’s at a loss, until her neighbor pushes her to lace up her sneakers and run one block. The next day, she runs two. And after finishing her first mile, she sets an almost unthinkable goal: running in the New York City Marathon. Winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this uproarious, irreverent and surprisingly emotional comedy was inspired by real events. The irresistible cast, led by Jillian Bell, lends heart and soul to an inspirational story of a party girl who finally finds real friends — and dignity — by taking control of her future, one city block at a time.

103 minutes. Directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo. An Amazon Studios release.

Post-screening conversation with real-life subject Brittany O’Neill and Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR’s “Ask Me Another”.

New York Premiere. Media firebrand Molly Ivins was six feet of Texas trouble who, despite her Houston pedigree, took on ...
07/20/2019

New York Premiere. Media firebrand Molly Ivins was six feet of Texas trouble who, despite her Houston pedigree, took on Good Old Boy corruption wherever she found it. Best-selling author, Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist, and a popular TV pundit, Molly had a nation of “fans” and “frenemies.”

She courageously spoke truth to power, but always served up her reportage with a heaping dollop of humor. Her razor-sharp wit left both sides of the aisle laughing and craving her coverage. At the height of her popularity, 400 newspapers carried her column. When she died of breast cancer in 2007, the nation lost a true champion and a woman who seemed to be afraid of nothing. Director Janice Engel’s vibrant portrait combines fascinating archival footage with interviews with many of the notable figures Ivins influenced, from Rachel Maddow to Dan Rather and Cecile Richards. Who today could fill Molly Ivins’ size-12 shoes? Why all of us, of course, as she herself would be the first to insist. And in times like these, a little Molly Ivins-style hell-raising might be exactly what we need.

Post-screening conversation with director Janice Engel and actor Kathleen Turner, who played Ivins in the one-woman show Red Hot Patriot, moderated by Rachel Dry, a deputy politics editor at The New York Times.

New York Premiere. Media firebrand Molly Ivins was six feet of Texas trouble who, despite her Houston pedigree, took on Good Old Boy corruption wherever she found it. Best-selling author, Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist, and a popular TV pundit, Molly had a nation of “fans” and “frenemies.”

She courageously spoke truth to power, but always served up her reportage with a heaping dollop of humor. Her razor-sharp wit left both sides of the aisle laughing and craving her coverage. At the height of her popularity, 400 newspapers carried her column. When she died of breast cancer in 2007, the nation lost a true champion and a woman who seemed to be afraid of nothing. Director Janice Engel’s vibrant portrait combines fascinating archival footage with interviews with many of the notable figures Ivins influenced, from Rachel Maddow to Dan Rather and Cecile Richards. Who today could fill Molly Ivins’ size-12 shoes? Why all of us, of course, as she herself would be the first to insist. And in times like these, a little Molly Ivins-style hell-raising might be exactly what we need.

Post-screening conversation with director Janice Engel and actor Kathleen Turner, who played Ivins in the one-woman show Red Hot Patriot, moderated by Rachel Dry, a deputy politics editor at The New York Times.

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