Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tour De Force

Women In Cinema Tours Troublemaker Studio

The lucky "field-trippers" and Kurt.
Thursday. The sun was out and spring was in full swing. With smiles and unconcealed excitement, a group of Women In Cinema members began an exciting tour of Troublemaker Studios, the production company founded and owned by Robert Rodriguez and producer Elizabeth Avellán. We were led by the gracious and knowledgeable Kurt, resident graphic designer, who does all the studio's posters, typeface objects, and logos, like the fake branding on cigarettes in a film. 


Building 1: Production, Editing, and Visual Effects 

"This used to be an airplane hanger," Kurt said when we entered the expansive sound stage complete with large green screen. Indeed the studio is housed in the former Robert Mueller Municipal Airport building. It's precisely this re-purposed Roger Corman-esque sensibility that seems to pervade Troublemaker, from the recycled set pieces and materials to the fact that the companies' small staff members wear many hats. Outside the stage, old props, movie posters, and mementos decorate the rooms, and we even saw a life size wax figure of Mikey Rourke as Marv in Sin City. We could only glimpse into Robert Rodriguez's office but from what I could see, it was a colorful medley with paint splattered walls and furniture that would look at home in a Doctor Seuss book. The perfect sanctuary for a child-at-heart director.


The Back Lot 

From the sound stage we made our way toward the back lot, during which we got a special treat in the form of large acrylics painted by Rodriguez himself! We saw the self-made Helicopter used in Planet Terror made from the front part of a helicopter, Plexiglas, and wood. "This thing is really light," exclaimed Kurt. He proceeded to make admirable attempts to pull the light vehicle. It did not budge. Oh, and it is for sale by the way if anyone wants such a large conversation piece for their yard. As we left the building, we stepped onto the asphalt of the back parking lot a.k.a the studio's dumping spot. Immense set pieces from old films and various discarded materials littered this space. Kurt explained the creation of some of the pieces. Notables included massive Styrofoam trees from Predators and Terror trucks. 


Building 2: Art Department, Wardrobe, and Plasma

Finally, Kurt led us into the second building, the home of the art department. We saw sketches, tools, photo references,  and 3D miniature models of actual sets. We met the master of the space, Steve. As the lead Production Designer, he dispensed much information and many wise words. He explained the processes of prop creation, plasma laser guns and laser cutting, 3D printing, and tool fabrication. We learned how materials like wax, silicone, and wood are used and why the in-house people can help finance the film, generate preliminary excitement, and make the director's concept and vision into a concrete, explainable model. Steve also regaled us with anecdotes about how he came to work in film from a background in electrical engineering. For example, when he found out he had gotten a meeting with Rodriguez, Steve brought his resume as well as a hand-crafted jazzed up guitar case (a la Desperado), and effectively turned a 10-minute interview into an hour long discussion. He got the job and the rest is history. Finally we met a University of Texas College of Fine Arts alumnus, Toni. A Jill-of-all-trades, she explained the ins and outs of the plasma gun, welding, sculpting, and how much fun it was to combine her lifelong loves of art and biology.



We came. We saw. We basked in the sheer bad-ass-ery that was Troublemaker Studios. The place exudes a feeling of fun, of youthful energy, of Austin independence. And most notably, at least for this homesick girl, the entire place felt like the crazy cove of a close-nit creative family. Along the walls, "photo albums" of the cast and crew from each production, from El Mariachi and Desperado, to Sin City and Spy Kids, are framed and can attest to the pride and passion of the Troublemaker family.

We were so thankful that Women in Cinema was fortunate enough to be given an insider glimpse of the company! Thanks Kat and Troublemaker for making it possible!

Silly time.


Staff Advice for WIC:


1. To stand out in an interview BRING SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

2. Read two NECESSARY magazines: Cinefex and American Cinematographer

3. COMMUNICATION between directors, producers, art department, visual effects, props department is tantamount and can save time and money later on in the production if adequately addressed early on.

4. WORK HARD to cultivate a GOOD TEAM, be a great listener,  and reconnect with like minded and like-skilled peers even after college.

5.  Be nice to EVERY Production Assistant because today's PA is tomorrow's producer.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Austin Film Organizations Panel

Have you ever wondered about Austin Film Organizations in town - what goes on and who's running the show? Join Women In Cinema for our presentation of the ladies behind the Austin film scene. If you're interested in obtaining summer internships that will project your career forward, filmmaking grants, how to become a reader for the Austin Film Festival or just curious about what goes on in the Austin film scene, come to this panel. Leaders from the Texas Film Commission, the Austin Film Festival, the Austin Film Society, Femme Film Texas, and the Austin Film Meet will be in attendance!

Thursday April 12, 2012

Women In Cinema Meeting - 7pm

Austin Film Organizations Panel - 7:30pm - 9pm

at the UT Campus, CMA 3.124

Kimberly LeBlanc Location Scout for the Texas Film Commission – Since 2009, Kim LeBlanc has been on staff at the Texas Film Commission helping to spread the good word about all of the wonderful resources available for creative industries in Texas. As a Location Scout, she works closely with Writers, Directors, Producers, Production Designers and Studio Executives, promoting Texas as a great destination for filmmaking, television production, commercials, music videos and still photography. Her travels have taken her to the far corners of the state and her efforts have been put forth on projects such as TOP CHEF TEXAS (2011), BERNIE (2010), NATURAL SELECTION (2010) and TRUE GRIT (2010), among many others. Prior to working at the Texas Film Commission, she has had the incredibly good fortune to work for the Austin Film Society, the Austin Film Festival and Troublemaker Studios, where she was on board as an Executive Office Assistant, Operations Assistant and Assistant to Director, Robert Rodriguez. She has donated her time and energy as a volunteer for SXSW Film Festival since 2009. Kim is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, where she double majored in Urban Studies and History and co-founded the university’s Film Studies minor program.

The Texas Film Commission is a state agency of Texas, under the oversight of the Governor of Texas. Its headquarters are in Suite 3.410 in the Texas Insurance Building in Downtown Austin.

Maya Perez - Conference Director of Austin Film Festival - Maya Perez is the Conference Director at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to joining the Festival in 2002, she was a literary agent with Trident Media Group and before that, with William Morris Agency, Inc., in New York. Perez received her Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in 1993. She has just been accepted into the Michener Center for Writers’ MFA program at the University of Texas at Austin for Fall 2012.

The Austin Film Festival was started in 1994 in Austin, Texas and is claimed to be "the first organization of its kind to focus on the writer’s unique creative contribution to the film and television industries" It has a number of events and services for emerging and professional writers and filmmakers.

Agnes Varnum - Director of Marketing of the Austin Film Society - Agnes Varnum came to Austin from the New York City-area where she served as a marketing and publicity associate for Icarus Films, a 30-year-old documentary distribution company. Prior to that, she worked as the associate director for the Center for Social Media at American University, managing research, producing events and building the growing organization. Other projects include contributing to a variety of publications such as Tribeca Film Insitute’s Resources blog, indieWIRE, Sudance Intitute's DocSource, Doc It Out and IDA's Documentary magazine. She has served on programming committees for SILVERDOCS, Newport International Film Festival, IFP's Spotlight on Documentaries, AOL True Stories (now Snag Films) and most recently SXSW.

The Austin Film Society (AFS) is a non-profit film society based in Austin, Texas. Founded in 1985 to exhibit independent, experimental, foreign and various other non-mainstream art films, the film society has grown from just film exhibition to fostering independent filmmaking in Texas and has served as a cornerstone in building the film industry in Austin. The film society also owns and maintains Austin Studios, hosts the annual Texas Film Hall of Fame gala, and oversees the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund grant program. The film society was founded by film director Richard Linklater, who currently serves on the board as artistic director. Other notable members on the board and advisory board include Tim McCanlies, Robert Rodriguez, Charles Burnett, Guillermo del Toro, Jonathan Demme, Mike Judge, John Sayles, Steven Soderbergh, Paul Stekler and Quentin Tarantino.

Michelle Voss - Executive Director of Femme Film Texas - As the founder and Executive Director of Moving Image Arts & Education, Michelle is the architect of the Femme Film Texas programs. A graduate of the Radio, Television, Film department at the University of Texas, Michelle won Best Documentary at EarthVision Film Festival for her short film, Velocity. Michelle received numerous funding awards to complete the film, including the Sustainable

Development Fund Film Grant. In addition to stewarding the Femme Film Texas programs, Michelle is currently working as a Development Associate at the University of Texas.

Femme Film Texas teaches filmmaking and media literacy to young women and girls, with a focus on serving economically disadvantaged youth. Each girl participating in the program receives hands-on instruction in the art of filmmaking, including screenwriting, cinematography, acting, directing and editing. Since 2007, more than five hundred girls have participated in the Femme Film Texas programs. Current program offerings include The Film Camp for Girls, The After School Film School and the Media Technology program at the Ann Richards School. Femme Film Texas is a project of Moving Image Arts & Education, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

H.Cherdon Bedford – Executive Director of the Austin Film Meet and Creative Superhero at Humblebee Media – For as long as she’s been, Creative Superhero H.Cherdon has demonstrated an exceptional aptitude for the creative arts. Her art and literature, stories and poems, have won her numerous awards and gained her national attention, especially for the children’s picture books she both writes and illustrates. Also a talented stage performer, she has appeared in more than 40 stage productions, two performing arts touring troupes, several short films and a few PSAs. Her producer powers include organization, presentation, big-picture perspective, unforgettable memory and maybe even a little obsessive-compulsive behavior sometimes. Driven and self-motivated, Cherdon excels as as artist, director, photographer, web designer, writer, actress, illustrator, producer, bookmaker, entrepreneur… and creative superhero. As the Executive Director for the Austin Film Meet, Cherdon reaches out to fellow filmmakers and artists. She thrives as a “handyman” for creative challenges, a real-life Creative Superhero for hire, using love and creativity to touch lives and projects. Cherdon is based in East Austin where she lives with her fish, four kitties and her partner Brandon Boggs.

Originally started as a Meetup.com group called Austin Filmmakers Meetup, and then Austin Film Meet, the Association of Independent filMedia has had several past lives. The group was first started by a man named simply “E” but when he had to move out of state due to a family emergency, Mike Rembis stepped up to the plate. He continued the group as a small social mixer. A little later, Mike also moved away from Austin leaving the group’s leadership to H.Cherdon Bedford, who immediately began making changes for the better. In just a few short months, she grew the mixer from a drinking social with a handful of people to a large community of power networkers. Since assuming the leadership role, our group has played host to a wide range of events servicing the local Austin film, video and new media community. For more than two years, we hosted weekly events on a wide variety of topics from Actors Showcases to Equipment Show and Tells to Guest Presentations to Reels Showcases and much more. Most recently, a new organization has grown out of the Austin Film Meet. The Association of Independent filMedia.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Summer Production Script Workshop!

The results are in from the voting and there were ties for first and second, so we will actually be works hopping 4 scripts at this next meeting and voting again to pick one of those.

These scripts are:

Alex Thomas's "Chicken & Frittata"

Iris Blackburn's "Untitled / MockTrial"

Malina Panovich's "Cream Dreams"

Sarah Gonzalez's "Saturday Afternoon"

We will be reading and workshopping these four scripts and then have a live voting to pick the winning script. If you'd like to have vote and be apart of picking the script, come to this meeting.

Enjoy screenwriting?

Want to make a fully funded short film with us this summer?

Want to hear some humorously bad attempts at Spanish accents?

Either way, come to our Final Four Script Workshop this Thursday at 7pm, so you can watch your fellow members read aloud 4 awesome scripts, throw around some feedback and ultimately vote on which of these super scripts we will turn into a short film this summer!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

7:00pm until 10:00pm

Location: CMA 3.124

Screenwriter/Producer Suzanne Weinert will be in attendance to give her expert advice.

At the end of the meeting, all those in attendance will vote via ballot on their favorite script. to pick the winning script.

You have to be a member to vote...and to work on the summer production.

Facebook Invite

SUZANNE WEINERT is a screenwriter/producer who previously served as Vice President of Julia Roberts’ New York film production company, Shoelace Productions, where she participated in the development and production of more than 25 projects, including Erin Brockovich by Susannah Grant and Gigi LeVange’s Step Mom, and produced the award-winning wildlife documentaries, Nature Series: Wild Horses of Mongolia for the Nature Channel and Orangutans of Borneo for PBS, as well as the award- winning short film The Call Back starring Sam Rockwell. Prior to that, she interned with director Ron Howard during the production of The Paper starring Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Robert Duvall and Marisa Tomei. Recent screenplays include rewriting Shrinking Violet for Revolution Studios; Road Stories, directed by Steven Seebring and starring Johnny Messner; and Good to the Last Drop, a finalist for Best Comedy at the Austin Film Festival. Her most recent writing/producing project is the dark comedy Ex-terminators, starring Heather Graham, Jennifer Coolidge and Amber Heard, which had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in 2009. It is currently available on DVD and Video on Demand. She also recently completed producing a Western, The Legends of Hell’s Gate, starring Eric Balfour, Henry Thomas, Jenna Dewan, Summer Glau, Robert Buckley and Lou Taylor Pucci. In Spring 2011 she will produce One in A Million Hero, a drama set in the world of NASCAR. Ms. Weinert holds an M.F.A. from the School of the Arts, Columbia University; a Graduate Certificate from The Writing Program, Columbia University and a B.A. in Writing from Columbia University. She is a Professor of Advanced Screenwriting at the School of Visual Arts and Fordham University, both in NYC.

Chicken and Frittata: A divorced couple introduce their new significant others at their 'multi-ethnic' dinner party.

Cream Dreams: A man and woman meet for a first date at a yogurt shop but can only keep thinking of what the other is like sexually based on their yogurt selections.

Sunday Afternoon: As a couple gets lost on their way to a wedding in a lower middle-class neighbor, they accidentally run over a family's dog, in front of the children who were playing. As the family and the couple fight over who's to blame, it becomes clear that there are no innocent parties in this situation.

Untitled : In a world where personal property is not respected, one girl/woman/whatever you want them to be, will stand against tyranny to bring forth justice! Little does she know, her actions will destroy life as she and her roommates know it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Online Fundraiser!

We're doing an online fundraiser through Indiegogo (which is similar to Kickstarter, only better) and we're looking for support. Please check out our campaign http://www.indiegogo.com/womenincinema/ or at least watch the video, read the description and help spread the word.

In the first day of launching our campaign we reached a little over 10% of our whole goal which is awesome. We're on our way to having a successful campaign but we need help. We're in need of help to fund our programs and our summer production. Anything helps, $10, $25, $100. If you want to see more female voices in film, here's how you can help.


Women in Cinema is a student organization Kat Candler started in early 2011 after witnessing class after class where she would only have 2-3 female students in a film class of 20-24. She wanted to figure out a way to nurture and support the females in the film program at the University of Texas. The organization provides basic camera, sound and lighting workshops at the start of each semester. We offer monthly panels with guest speakers such as Sandra Adair, Amy Seimetz, Beth Sepko, Susan Kirr, Suzanne Weinert, Alma Kuttruff, Rakeda Lashae and so many more ... We provide mentorships with all of the members to create a bigger community and personal support throughout the semester. And lastly we do a summer production with an all female crew. Last summer Women in Cinema did a scene for the 2011 Slacker remake and this summer we're in the midst of developing a short narrative.

If you don't know, online fundraisers like Indiegogo are all about allowing anybody to raise money for any idea. No more car washes and bake sales. The sites structure allows users to create a page for their funding campaign, set up an account with PayPal, make a list of "perks" for different levels of donation, then create a social media-based publicity effort. Users publicize the projects themselves through Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms. The site levies a 4% fee for successful campaigns, and 9% for campaigns that fail to reach their target amount. Online fundraisers are a great way for filmmakers, like us, to get some start up cash while we wait for grants and people to pay their membership dues.

We know times are hard and no one has a ton of money but really, anything will help. You can write in whatever amount of money you'd like. Even if you can't give right now and plan to give later, let your friends, co-workers and family know about what I'm doing and see if they can help. This is a really important organization that aims to encourage more female filmmakers. We have 44 days to raise this $2,000 and we know we can do it, we just need everyone's help, not only to donate if they can, but also to spread the word. Recently Women in Cinema was named one of the 2012 Texas Parents Students Enrichment Award Recipient.

Here is our organization's site http://womenincinema.blogspot.com/ please "follow it" because it helps the online visibility and feel free to bookmark it in your browser.

Make sure to join us on facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/Reelwomenstudents/, if you'd like to stay connected with the group.

The video was shot and edited by Women In Cinema officers.

We'd love to hear from you. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sarah's SXSW Review: Women Filmmakers

I am a big fan of movies, but that should go without saying. I have been attending the SXSW Film Festival for the last five years. In my younger days, I would average about 4-5 movies a day plus parties. This year, having to juggle work and SXSW, I decided to take it easy and just watch no less the one movie a day, no more than three. But what to watch. Last last Friday I sat with my SXSW guide book in my lap completely overwhelmed. "They all look good," I thought to myself. Then I remembered that Women In Cinema had a wonderful list of all the females in the festival that directed movies and I thought, "what the hell, I'll just try and see as many as these movies as possible."

Unfortunately I didn't get to see everything I wanted but that's the nature of the beast. It seems like SXSW tries to have like 10 awesome things going on at the same time so that you always have options. What I did get to see, was awesome. Before we go any further, I should just say that I'm not a film critic. I actually have mixed feelings about people who hold that profession. I am a film lover and a filmmaker. I'm very sympathetic to all things on the screen because I understand the blood, sweat and tears that go into it. I completely respect movies that get made. So if you're here to see some bitch-fest of a review, go some place else. I also subscribe to the if-you-can't-say-anything-nice-don't-say-anything-at-all. So there.

After reading the description of the film, I didn't really know what to expect but Electrick Children completely caught me off guard. It was a wonderful film about a young Mormon girl from a fundamentalist Utah community, discovers a forbidden cassette tape with rock music on it. Having never heard anything like it, she has a miraculous experience and three months later, claims to have had an immaculate conception from listening to the music. Her parents arrange a marriage, but Rachel runs away to the closest city, LAS VEGAS, to search for the man who sings on the tape, thinking he has something to do with her mysterious pregnancy. (Description from site, http://www.electrickchildren.com)

Writer/Director Rebecca Thomas did an amazing job creating a heartfelt film with moments of truth and joy. Julia Garner, Rachel, and Rory Culkin, Clyde, carried this movie for me. Their performances were spot-on and their friendship/relationship in the film kept me wanting more. It's been days since I've seen the movie, but I keep thinking about the part in the movie where they are in his bed. Just beautiful. Julia Garner is a serious actress and I look forward to more from her. Even though I walked into this film thinking that an immaculate conception story wouldn't be able to be done well, I walked out thinking that this film nailed it. Thank you Rebecca Thomas for making a unique film with a terrific story.


Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions. GIRL MODEL follows two protagonists involved in this industry: Ashley, a deeply ambivalent model scout who scours the Siberian countryside looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a thirteen year-old plucked from the Siberian countryside and dropped into the center of Tokyo with promises of a profitable career. After Ashley's initial discovery of Nadya, the two rarely meet again, but their stories are inextricably bound. As Nadya's optimism about rescuing her family from their financial difficulties grows, her dreams contrast against Ashley's more jaded outlook about the industry's corrosive influence.

GIRL MODEL is a lyrical exploration of a world defined by glass surfaces and camera lenses, reflecting back differing versions of reality to the young women caught in their scope. As we enter further into this world, it more and more resembles a hall of mirrors, where appearances can't be trusted, perception become distorted, and there is no clear way out. Will Nadya, and the other girls like her, be able to find anyone to help them navigate this maze, or will they follow a path like Ashley's, having learned the tricks of the labyrinth but unable to escape its lure? (Written by Kristina Aikens on www.girlmodelthemovie.com)

GIRL MODEL blew me away. It is a powerful documentary that is beautiful and a little alarming. This isn't Tyra Banks' modeling world. At first I had a hard time eating fries while watching these very thin girls but as the film went on, I ate almost every fry in the Alamo Drafthouse basket. The film balances the story of the 13 year old model, Nadyia and the ex-model/model scout, Ashley. The juxtaposition between Ashley, who hated being a model as a budding woman and struggles to be happy and Nadyia, who is struggling to just get by is shocking and be a model. The moment that sticks with me is when Ashley is showing off the home she bought with her modeling money and introduces the world to her "real life" dolls that can wet themselves. Shortly after that we are back with Nadyia who is crying to her mother on the phone.

The whole time I watched it I was surprised how these young girls were being treated. It made me feel pretty uncomfortable. I left the theater feeling a little hopeless, wishing there was something more that could be done. Filmmaking duo, David Redmon & Ashley Sabin, did a great job telling the story of Nadya and Ashley while also putting heart and pushing a social issue in the face of the viewers.


Seeking escape from his stalled relationship and unhappy place in the world, a recently pink-slipped music teacher sets out to hike Kentucky's Sheltowee Trace Trail. Among the verdant hills of Appalachia, he encounters various strange characters and becomes the reluctant companion of a gregarious father and son who ultimately help him rediscover what he's been missing. (SXSW Short Synposis)

This film was a terrific breath of fresh air. It was beautiful and melodic. The writing and characters were sincere and felt tangible. Director, Martha Stephens did a great job putting her unique touch on a very common coming-of-age/quarter-life-crisis story. One of the best parts of the film that made it relatable, was the people James met on his journey. Like life, even if you only meet someone once, he/she can still have a lasting impact on your story and perspective at that moment. I loved the ending but because of my love for movies, I won't say what it was. Understandably some people didn't like it because it is (questionably) not a happy ending, depending on your person preference. Martha, if you ever read this, just know, I think your ending was great. I agreed with your comment during the Q & A.

What a treat. Created by and starring Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”), the new HBO series GIRLS takes a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s. The cast also includes: Allison Williams, Jemima Kirk, Zosia Mamet, and Adam Driver. Dunham, Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner Executive Produce the series, which debuts in April, on HBO. (SXSW Short Synposis)

I love love love love loved this. I'm so happy I got to see GIRLS during SXSW. I'm considering making friends with someone who has HBO just so I can watch the rest of this series. While I wasn't sure what to think about writer, director, Lena Dunham after seeing Tiny Furniture, I am now a huge fan of all things that she does. I also feel like we should be friends. Lena, next time you're in Austin, let's get a drink.

GIRLS is an honest and funny look at the quarter-life-crisis that 20-somethings feel in the post-college, recession world. I can at least relate to it. I wasn't sure what to think about the title at first because I thought it was a little mean to refer to these adults as just "Girls" but after watching the first 3 episodes I understand it's comic and well, pretty accurate name. This is a show about learning to grow up and understand what that really means.

I predict great success for this show. It offers the honestly witty voice of Lena Dunham with some of the comic flavor of Judd Apatow. People keep comparing it to Sex in the City which I guess I see but these are two separate shows people! I mean both shows follow women who live, work and date in the city. One show is in Manhattan and the other is in Brooklyn. One show follows women in their 30's and 40's and the other follows women, sorry "Girls", in their 20's. Don't take my word for it, just watch the show. You won't be disappointed.

Surprisingly not what I expected. DOLLHOUSE explores a night in the life of a group of street teens from Dublin's inner city who break into a house in an upper class suburb. The break-in quickly moves into a night of frenzy, driven by a series of revelations that will leave lasting marks on each of them, and resulting in an emotional conclusion that they will carry with them. (SXSW Short Synposis)

This film was strangely intriguing. I kept asking myself why was I routing for this group of teenagers to destroy more. Something about the destruction was beautiful. At one moment in the movie, the whole group comes together to glue all of the furniture and stuff on the girl's room to the ceiling. I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. It has definitely stuck with me, like the short synopsis says. Writer/Director Kirsten Sheridan definitely seems to have something to say about the nature of youth and class, destruction and creation but I'm not sure what that is but I'm excited to talk about it with others.

My favorite thing I saw at SXSW was this movie. WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, WONDER WOMEN! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation. "WONDER WOMEN!" goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists, and real life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Shelby Knox and others who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male dominated superhero genre. (SXSW Short Synposis)

I loved this movie for so many reasons. I felt like I learned something and had a great time doing it. This was a very well polished documentary by director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan. This film touched my inner Wonder Woman struggling in a male dominated world. This is a film people, men, women, need to see.

I did veer off from my female filmmakers schedule and did see some other stuff. I am not going to list and review everything but here are the four that stuck out to me.

Additional Festival Favorites:

I have a special connection to Trash Dance since Andy Garrison is a friend and one of the men in the film, Lee, is a colleague of mine at Travis High School. Sometimes inspiration is found in unexpected places. Choreographer Allison Orr finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks -- and in the men and women who pick up our trash. She joins city sanitation workers on their daily routes to listen, learn, and ultimately to try to convince them to collaborate in a unique dance performance. Hard working, often carrying a second job, their lives are already full with work, family and dreams of their own. But some step forward, and after months of rehearsal, two dozen trash collectors and their trucks perform an extraordinary spectacle. On an abandoned airport runway, thousands of people show up to see how in the world a garbage truck can "dance." (SXSW Short Synposis)

This was jaw-dropping enjoyable. I found myself smiling the whole time I was watching this movie. It seriously gave me a whole new perspective to what the Waste Disposal industry does on top of opening my eyes to the beauty in the ordinary. I laughed and was on the verge of tears. Just see this movie and then you'll know what I'm talking about.


I felt a special connection with GAYBY because writer/director Jonathan Lisecki came to the Women In Cinema panel first to attend but then ended up joining the panelists for a great discussion. I'm so glad I happen to see Gayby earlier during SXSW. I had another special connection with this movie because I am friends with actress, Anna Margaret Hollyman, who was also in the SXSW bumpers. She's just a lovely bad ass. I digress. Jenn and Matt are best friends from college who are now in their thirties. Single by choice, Jenn spends her days teaching hot yoga and running errands for her boss. Matt suffers from comic-book writer’s block and can’t get over his ex-boyfriend. They decide to fulfill a youthful promise to have a child together… the old-fashioned way. Can they navigate the serious and unexpected snags they hit as they attempt to get their careers and dating lives back on track in preparation for parenthood? "Gayby" is an irreverent comedy about friendship, growing older, sex, loneliness, and the family you chose. (SXSW Short Synposis)

GAYBY was just delightful and fun. I was relieved that I didn't do a lot of the film festival cliches. It was beautifully shot, was well made, well acted, well written and most of all, it was funny. Jonathan Lisecki did an amazing job with this film.


My favorite fiction film that I saw at SXSW. “WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. "Safety Not Guaranteed". I have only done this once before.”

When an unusual classified ad inspires three cynical Seattle magazine employees to look for the story behind it, they discover a mysterious eccentric named Kenneth, a likable but paranoid supermarket clerk, who believes he’s solved the riddle of time travel and intends to depart again soon. Together, they embark on a hilarious, smart, and unexpectedly heartfelt journey that reveals how far believing can take you. (SXSW Short Synposis)

This was such a fantastic movie. I can't begin to tell you. I am such a fan of everything about this movie. I loved the characters, the writing, and the story. I just had such a great time watching this movie. I love everyone in it. I know this isn't the best review. Sorry. I just want to gush that I love this movie.


3 bands, 6 cities, 1 train, and thousands of miles of track…BIG EASY EXPRESS captures a musical journey. Harkening back to the days of jubilant railroad revivals, three bands set out in April 2011 to tour America by vintage train. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Mumford & Sons climbed aboard amid the rail yards of Oakland and set out for New Orleans on a “tour of dreams.” BIG EASY EXPRESS documents the bands’ railway adventures; the high canyons, joyous crowds, blasted skies, late-night laughter, endless music…and a train that was bound for glory. (SXSW Short Synposis)

I had a special connection with this movie because I went to the Railroad Rival Tour in Marfa, TX last year. The concert was such a magical experience that I was thrilled to relive it on the silver screen. As far as music docs go, this one nails it. It truly captured the spirit of folk music on a train. I was a little disappointed this didn't mention the fact that the whole part of west Texas was on FIRE during the during of their time spent in Texas but, it wasn't about that, it was about the music.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Script Reading Review

Last night we had our script reading for the summer production. We got 10 wonderful scripts by Women In Cinema members, Brittany Reeber, Alex Thomas, Malina Panovich, Katy Poulter, Catherine Jackson, Jing Yang, Carlyn Hudson, Megan Cardwell, Sarah Gonzalez, and Iris Blackbur. Unfortunately because of time, all we did was read each script. All the people who submitted scripts and the Women in Cinema officers will now vote on their favorites and the top three scripts will get workshopped on March 29th. After the workshop, Women In Cinema Officers will pick the best script for the summer production.

It's all very exciting. Please join Women In Cinema for the script workshop on March 29th. Be a part of the pre-production process.

Loglines for the scripts:

Blackout Arm Wrestling tells the tale of one man's missed opportunity to escape his bar-fly life on a night filled with debauchery, violence and taxidermy.

Chicken and Frittata: A divorced couple introduce their new significant others at their 'multi-ethnic' dinner party.

Cream Dreams: A man and woman meet for a first date at a yogurt shop but can only keep thinking of what the other is like sexually based on their yogurt selections.

Fallout: Though a few strangers have ended up together in a bomb shelter during nuclear warfare, they remained determined to stay alive, with or without each other.

Kiss of Death: A woman is seduced by Death and Time in a rundown carnival. When faced with the immediacy of her own death she must decide how to live with the time she has left.

Mother's Day: A night of debauchery leads to a morning of unfortunate desperation.

Mother's Photo Album: A lonely woman suffering from Alzheimer's only remaining memories are of her beloved son's childhood.

Smiley: The new girl at a high school, Sam, learns that people are not always predictable by hearing about the troubled past of a popular boy, Julian and his dad unintentionally involved with drug trafficking in Mexico.

Sunday Afternoon: As a couple gets lost on their way to a wedding in a lower middle-class neighbor, they accidentally run over a family's dog, in front of the children who were playing in the front yard. As the family and the couple fight over who's to blame, it becomes clear that there are no innocent parties in this situation.

Untitled: In a world where personal property is not respected, one girl/woman/whatever you want them to be, will stand against tyranny to bring forth justice! Little does she know, her actions will destroy life as she and her roommates know it. Based on the true story of my imagination, or something that I dreamed and thought was real. Inspired by Stephen Hawkings and endorsed by Oprah.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Women in Cinema's SXSW Panel

Mark your calendar and come to Women in Cinema's SXSW 2012 panel. We will be joined by several talented women filmmakers to discuss their work, their views on filmmaking, and any other questions you may have. This is the non-official SXSW event of SXSW women filmmakers that you won't want to miss.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We will be meeting:
at the CMB Building Studio 4D from 7:00-9:00pm
Facebook Event

Kelly Sears is an animator and filmmaker living in Galveston, TX. Her work has been shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Anthology Film Archives, Sundance and in galleries and film festivals internationally. Her collage films are created from discarded periodicals, books, archives, and orphan films. They harness images of the past to reflect on the present.
Her films draw on experimental, documentary and narrative practices and feature both analog and digital animation techniques. http://www.kellysears.com/

Megan Griffiths joins SXSW for her third feature "Eden." Her film "The Off Hours" premiered at Sundance in 2011 and went on to screen at festivals around the globe. The film received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for cinematography and Megan was awarded the prize for Best Director at Spain’s Ourense Film Festival. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0341722/

Amy Seimetz is a writer/director/actor/producer. Previous acting credits include "The Off Hours", "Tiny Furniture", "Myth of the American Sleepover", "A Horrible Way to Die", and "Alexander the Last". As a producer, Amy has worked on "Medicine for Melancholy", "Dish & the Spoon", "Silver Bullets", and "No Matter What". http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1541272/

Annie Silverstein is currently earning her MFA in Film at University of Texas-Austin. Most recently she produced/directed the short documentary "Noc na Tanecku" (Night at the Dance) (SXSW, Silverdocs 2011). Her documentary work has aired on PBS’ Independent Lens and at festivals internationally. “Spark” is Annie’s first fiction film.

Hannah Fidell recently moved to Austin, Texas from Brooklyn, NY where she worked as the event coordinator for The New School University's Media Studies department. Her first feature film, We're Glad You're Here, premiered at the Indianapolis International Film Festival in 2011. She has worked on "The Gathering Squall" and "Man & Gun" wich are screening at SXSW.

Kim Sherman is a filmmaker and musician, currently based in Missouri. Most recently, Sherman produced the feature A Horrible Way To Die which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Sherman has won numerous advertising awards for her directorial commercial work and produced a handful of daring and groundbreaking narrative shorts, including the experimental drama, A Face Fixed, by director Andrew Droz Palermo. Kim was selected to be one of the 2011 Sundance Creative Producer Fellows, and is currently working with Palermo on his debut feature film, One & Two.

Anna Margaret Hollyman's film credits include, "Gayby" (2012 SXSW Narraive Feature Competition), "White Reindeer", "Small Beautifully Moving Parts" (2011 SXSW Narrative Feature and recipient of the 2011 Hamptons Film Festival Alfred P. Sloan Award), "Somebody Up There Likes Me" (2012 SXSW Narrative Spotlight), "Slacker 2011", "The Romance of Loneliess", "The Color Wheel", "The Brave One", "Adelaide", "Samantha" and "Anna". TV: "My Generation" (ABC). She studied Theater and Art History at Sarah Lawrence College, trained with Suzanne Esper at the Esper Studio in New York, and studied improv with the P.I.T. and Upright Citizens Brigade in New York and Los Angeles. annamargarethollyman.tumblr.com

The Panel will be moderated by Kat Candler who also has her film, Hellion, in the festival.

Kat Candler's award winning films screened at Sundance, SXSW, Slamdance, Florida Film Festival, Houston Museum of Modern Art, National Institutes of Health and on PBS. Her latest screenplay Love Me was produced by Dolphin Entertainment and Anchor Bay. Candler is a Lecturer at the University of Texas and the leader of the student organization Women in Cinema.

... JOIN US!!! Free and open to all. Bring your friends, Invite them on facebook!