Thursday, February 28, 2013

2013 Women In Cinema SXSW Panel

With SXSW less than two weeks away, we know you're in a frenzy planning your schedule....and we're here to add another must-see event!  We had such a stellar time last year at our SX panel, we couldn't resist doing another one this year.  This year's SXSW Panel features five ladies who are kicking ass and taking names at film festivals this year and we can't wait to here them talk!


Lola Bessis, Director/Screenwriter
Swim Little Fish Swim, Narrative Feature
SXSW Screening Times: March 11 @ 11:00am, March 12 @ 1:45pm, March 13 @ 9:00pm
Lola Bessis, 23, is a French screenwriter, director, producer and actress. After attending some of the most prestigious film schools – UCL (London), The New School and NYU (New York) – and working on several documentaries and TV shows, Lola co-wrote a multi-awarded short film, "Checkpoint", which was selected at more than 100 renowned festivals around the world. She has also directed several fiction and experimental short films. At only 21, Lola co-directed, produced, wrote and starred in her first feature film, "Swim Little Fish Swim", which will premiere at SXSW ‘13. In 2012, along with Ruben Amar, she founded her production company, Les Films de la Fusée. She’s currently developing two new feature scripts and a TV series. She lives between Paris and New York. 

Frances Bodomo, Director/Screenwriter
Boneshaker, Narrative Short
SXSW Screening Times: March 9 @ 11:15am, March 11 @ 2pm, March 13 @ 4:30pm
Frances Bodomo is a Ghanaian filmmaker based in New York City. She grew up in Ghana, Norway, California, and Hong Kong before moving to New York to study filmmaking. "Boneshaker" is her first film.

Lauren Wolkstein, Director/Screenwriter
Social Butterfly, Narrative Short
SXSW Screening Times: March 9 @ 1:45pm, March 11 @ 4:30pm, March 13 @ 1:45pm
Lauren Wolkstein received her MFA in directing from Columbia University. She was named one of the top emerging filmmakers by The Film Society of Lincoln Center. Her film, "Cigarette Candy", won Best Narrative Short at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival. Her last short film, "The Strange Ones", co-directed with Chris Radcliff, screened at SXSW in 2011.

Celia Rowlson-Hall, Director/Screenwriter
The Audition, Narrative Short
SXSW Screening Times: March 9 @ 11:15am, March 11 @ 2pm, March 13 @ 4:30pm
Si Nos Dejan, Narrative Short
SXSW Screening Times: March 9 @ 1:45pm, March 11 @ 4:30pm, March 13 @ 1:45pm
Celia Rowlson-Hall is a filmmaker, choreographer and Bessie Award winning performer.

Jillian Schlesinger, Director
Maidentrip, Documentary Feature
SXSW Screening Times: March 10 @ 1:45pm, March 12 @ 11:00am, March 13 @ 2:00pm, March 14 @ 1:30pm
Jillian Schlesinger is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker making her directorial debut with "Maidentrip" (World Premiere SXSW 2013). She has worked in various capacities on documentaries, including writing, story development, and archival research. She has also written, directed, and edited numerous on-air promotions for television networks, including AMC, Sundance Channel, and BBC America. Her work on Sundance Channel's Dysfunctional Family Thanksgiving earned a 2010 Promax BDA Award in the "Something for Nothing" category. Jillian grew up in Santa Cruz, CA and graduated from Brown University, where she studied dramatic writing and linguistic anthropology.

Julia Pott, Director, Animator
The Event, Animated Short
SXSW Screening Times: March 9 @ 11:00am, March 12 @ 4:15pm, March 13 @ 9:30pm
Julia Pott is a British animator and illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. Following a BA in Animation and Illustration at Kingston University in 2007, Julia completed an MA in Animation at the Royal College of Art in 2011, where she completed ‘Howard’ and her award winning film ‘Belly’ which was officially selected for the Sundance Film Festival 2012 and over 60 other festivals worldwide. She has been named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine, one of the Indie Film Breakouts of 2012 by Indiewire and is an an ADC Young Gun. Her clients include Bat for Lashes, Channel Four, Etsy, Hermes, J.Crew, MTV, and Toyota. She is represented globally by Hornet Inc.

Panel Moderator:
Kat Candler, Director/Screenwriter
Black Metal, Narrative Short
SXSW Screening Times: March 9 @ 11:15am, March 11 @ 2pm, March 13 @ 4:30pm
Kat Candler's award winning films have screened at Sundance, SXSW, Slamdance, San Francisco International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival and on PBS. She’s in development on two features, "Nikki is a Punk Rocker" and "Hellion". Candler is a film Lecturer at the University of Texas.

Wednesday, March 13
7:30 - 9:30 pm
CMB Studio 4D, UT Campus (Corner of Dean Keaton & Guadalupe)
Free admission and open to the public
Facebook Event

Monday, February 25, 2013

SXSW 2013 Female Directors & Screenwriters

It's crazy to think about, but SXSW is less than two weeks away!  As the whole world prepares to descend on the city we call home, we know it may be difficult to keep up with all the SX news.  So, if you haven't compiled your list of must-see films at the festival, we're here to help.  Below is a list of all the films playing at the festival that have either a female director or screenwriter credit (or sometimes both!).  Check it out and tweet us (@womenincinema) which films you're most excited to see this year!  

Narrative Features
Improvement Club (Dayna Hanson)
Swim Little Fish Swim (Lola Bessis)

Documentary Features
Los Wild Ones (Elise Saloman)
Touba (E. Chai Vasarhelyi)

Narrative Spotlight
Grow Up, Tony Phillips (Emily Hagins)
Gus (Jessie McCormack)
Loves Her Gun (Lauren Modery)
Some Girl(s) (Daisy Von Scherler Mayer)
Zero Charisma (Katie Graham)

Documentary Spotlight
The Network (Eva Orner)
Spark: A Burning Man Story (Jessie Deeter)
TINY: A Story About Living Small (Merete Mueller)
Xmas Without China (Alicia Dwyer)

Elena (Petra Costa)
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (Sophie Huber)
Maidentrip (Jillian Schlesinger)
Our Nixon (Penny Lane)
Yellow (Heather Wahlquist)

24 Beats per Second
Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker (Lily Keber)
The Great Hip Hop Hoax (Jeanie Finlay)
Good Vibrations (Lisa Barros D'sa)
The Punk Singer (Sini Anderson)
This Ain’t No Mouse Music! (Maureen Gosling)

And Who Taught You To Drive? (Andrea Thiele)
Diario a Tres Voces / Three Voices (Otilia Portillo Padua)
The Fifth Season (Jessica Woodworth)

The East (Brit Marling)

Festival Favorites
At Any Price (Hallie Elizabeth Newton)
A Teacher (Hannah Fidell)
Before Midnight (Julie Delpy)
The Crash Reel (Lucy Walker)

Special Events
Burning Love (Erica Oyama)
Mabon “Teenie” Hodges- A Portrait of a Memphis Soul Original (Susanna Vapnek)

Narrative Shorts
The Audition (Celia Rowlson-Hall)
Black Metal (Kat Candler)
Boneshaker (Frances Bodomo)
Ellen Is Leaving (Michelle Savill)
#PostModem (Jillian Mayer)
SEQUIN RAZE (Sarah Gertrude Shapiro)
Si Nos Dejan (Celia Rowlson-Hall)
SKIN (Jordana Spiro)
Social Butterfly (Lauren Wolkstein)
Weighting (Brie Larson)
When We Lived in Miami (Amy Seimetz)

Documentary Shorts
Endless Day (Anna Frances Ewert)
Flutter (Dara Bratt)
The Roper (Anna Sandilands)
The Village (Liliana Sulzbach)

Animated Shorts
The Event (Julia Pott)
Oh Willy… (Emma De Swaef)
Old Man (Leah Shore)

Texas High School Shorts
Again (Jade Basinski & Pearl Basinski)
The Benefactress (Alina Vega)
CaNnibal (Sophia Haid)
Don’t Be Afraid Ashley (Makena Buchanan) 
Drop (Zenzele Ojore)
GBFF (Atheena Frizzell)
The Magic Lasso (Amy Harvie)
Outbreak (Maddison Lopez)
Zipper (Rachel Davis)

View the entire SXSW Film Festival lineup here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Night of Member Screenings

Women In Cinema is shaking things up this month.  Instead of having our usual (awesome) panel, we will be hosting A Night of Member Screenings.  We're very excited for our lineup and you should be, too!  A Night of Member Screenings will showcase the WIC Fall 2012 Film Festival Scholarship winning films, a fine cut of the WIC summer production, and more short films created by WIC members.  This is a great opportunity to see what your fellow classmates have been up to and to meet other members.

Wednesday, February 27
Starts at 7:30 pm
CMA 3.120, Free Admission
Facebook Event

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Screenwriting Panel Recap

We know it's already February and people are beginning to dream of sunny spring break plans (SXSW, anyone?) but we wanted to give a quick recap of our fantastic screenwriting panel. Is it just us, or do we need to find a larger room on campus?! THANK YOU to everyone who attended our screenwriting panel and for asking such great questions to our engaging and hilarious panelists.

We started off the evening with a very basic question for our panelists and received a variety of answers.  Don't ever think there's only path to get to where you want to go!

WIC - What did you go to school for and how did you get to today?  

  • Owen - Owen started studying in communications, but that only lasted for a semester.  He graduated with a degree in English then received a MFA in fiction writing.  Currently, he works at the Austin-famous Alamo Drafthouse.  
  • Matt - While studying at UT, Matt interned with Austin Film Festival and now runs the competition that he first interned for!
  • Michelle - As a young girl, Michelle always considered herself a writer by creating puppet stories.  As she grew older, she realized filmmaking was developed out of her love for writing.
  • Jill - Jill studied English at Columbia, but she really wanted to act (she admits that going to Columbia was to trick her parents into letting her live in New York City).  But she quickly found out that acting was a miserable experience.  She then became intrigued by what went on behind the camera.  She tried her hand at directing, but again, she found it miserable.  Her next adventure was in screenwriting and the rest is history.

As the evening progressed, the panelists talked about script rewrites, screenplay competitions, working in LA and with big studios, and how to break into the business.  Below are some of the key takeaways.

Advice for Rewrites

  • Owen - Throws around ideas with his two partners until they all catch on to one idea.  They also utilize a beat sheet and are always aware of the three act structure. His best advice? “Hold on loosely to everything you write, don’t put your heart into it.  It’s easier. Cut it and put it in another document for a different project.”
  • Jill - 99% of the scripts she reads fails to tell a story.  The scripts usually have a situation, not a story. She says “We get so attached to plot details we cannot see the greater picture and story.”

Common Mistakes

  • Scripts try to do much! They try to be the director, they put in camera angles, or the script is put in a binder with a head shot.
  • If you’re writing an original pilot, do not take forever to set up the story and situation.
  • People do not know what story they’re telling.  Something that was the subplot accidentally becomes the plot. 
  • If you don’t know what you’re ending is you won’t know where you’re going.
  • Make sure every character has it’s own distinct voice, to the point that if you scribble out their name on the script, you know who was talking.

How to Break into the Business
  • Owen - (on the Hollywood system) Make it your goddamn self.  It’s so much easier.  
  • Matt - Keep going, write as much as you can.
  • Michelle - Agrees with Owen.  She made Preacher's Daughter on her own and that was a risk that paid off. So don't be afraid to take risks.
  • Jill - You don’t have to win a competition to get a lot out of it.  Make a short list of screenwriting competitions to apply to, and get your work out there. Also, if you want to be a serious screenwrititer, you should be reading scripts all the time.  Jill reads 50 scripts a year. (You can find free scripts at
Owen, Matt, Michelle, and Jill, we can't thank you enough for sharing your time and thoughts with us!