November E-News from Women Make Movies


WMM Films and Filmmakers Premiering and Participating in DOC NYC 2022!

Last week, we announced that seven WMM filmmakers are premiering new films at DOC NYC 2022! We are excited to announce this week that eight films from our Production Assistance Program will participate in DOC NYC's Industry RoundtableProjects taking meetings include BARBARA HAMMER PROJECT (dir. Brydie O'Connor), #WHILEBLACK (dir. Sidney Fussel, Samantha Knowles), DOWNWINDERS: FIRST WE BOMBED NEW MEXICO (dir. Lois Lipman), IMPOSSIBLE TOWN (dir. Meg Griffiths), QATAR STARS (dir. Danielle Beverly), and BREAK THE GAME (dir. Jane M. Wagner).

We are also thrilled to share that filmmakers Marta Effinger-Crichlow and Sara Khaki have been selected for the DOC NYC x VIDEO CONSORTIUM STORYTELLING INCUBATOR for WMM-sponsored projects LITTLE SALLIE WALKER and MOTORCYCLE MIDWIFE, respectively. Read more about the projects mentioned above on our blog.

And WMM filmmakers Paula Eiselt (dir. 93QUEEN), Willow O'Feral (dir. SISTERS RISING), Nicole Docta (prod. BELLY OF THE BEAST), and Elizabeth Unger (dir. WMM-Sponsored TIGRE GENTE) have been selected for DOC NYC's 40 UNDER 40 list! WMM's Manager of Filmmaker Services Emily Abi-Kheirs and Program alum Ann Bennett were also selected for DOC NYC's Documentary New Leaders cohort. Congratulations to all! Read the announcement on our blog.

WMM Goes to IDFA

Catch WMM at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)! ALIS (dir. Clare Weiskopf & Nicolas van Hemelryck) and WISDOM GONE WILD (dir. Rea Tajiri), both of which were made with the support of our Production Assistance Program, will be screening at this year's festival. WMM-sponsored projects THE PHANTOM PAIN OF ROJAVA (dir. Maryam Ebrahimi) and WOMAN OF MY LIFE (dir. Zahraa Ghandour), as well as a new project from DYING TO DIVORCE director Chloe Fairweather, RABBIT, will pitch at the IDFA Pitch Forum. WMM's Executive Director, Debra Zimmerman, will be participating in the Forum as a Decision Maker, presenting projects with our filmmakers, and taking meetings with filmmakers at Docs for Sale. Zimmerman will also be giving a talk about WMM at the IDFAcademy, a year-round training program for emerging filmmakers to stimulate new talent and high-level documentary production, and has been invited to take part in the Consultancies Program, where industry experts provide advice on various topics of interest.

Germany's First Solo Exhibition of Trinh T. Minh-ha's Work Opens at the W├╝rttembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart

The W├╝rttembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart is currently showing THE OCEAN IN A DROP, Germany's first comprehensive solo exhibition of Trinh T. Minh-ha's work. The exhibit includes six of her feature films, all of which are distributed by WMM: FORGETTING VIETNAM, NIGHT PASSAGE, SURNAME VIET GIVEN NAME NAM, SHOOT FOR THE CONTENTS, NAKED SPACES, and new release WHAT ABOUT CHINA?, which recently received a Special Commendation at the BFI London Film Festival. Each film is presented in individual, color-coded rooms. The exhibit allows visitors to meander between words and lines from the films and incorporates an area for reading books she has authored. The exhibit opened on October 22 and runs through January 22, 2023. Learn more here.

25% of the Projects Selected for IDA's Enterprise Documentary Fund are Sponsored by WMM!

Three of the eleven projects selected for the IDA's 2022 Enterprise Documentary Fund are from WMM-sponsored filmmakers! These three projects were selected from a pool of 248 applicants to receive a total of $600,000 in production grants. The films include:

  • MADE IN ETHIOPIA (dir. Xinyan Yu and Max Duncan)
  • MY MIDWIFE (dir. Elaine Epstein)
  • SUGARCANE (dir. Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie)

8 WMM Filmmakers Receive Documentary Grants from the Sundance Institute

The Sundance Institute has announced this year's grantees for the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, and we are thrilled to share that more than 20% of the films selected are from WMM filmmakers and alum! This year, a total of 35 projects in various stages were selected to receive a collective $1,396,500 in unrestricted grant support. 

WMM-sponsored projects include: 

  • FIRE THROUGH DRY GRASS (dir. Alexis Neophytides) 
  • RAZING LIBERTY SQUARE (dir. Director: Katja Esson) 
  • TIGRE GENTE (dir. Elizabeth Unger) 
  • SUGARCANE (dir. Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie) 
  • UNTITLED KENYAN POLITICS PROJECT (dir. Christopher King and Maia Lekow)

Welcome to Nicole Collins, our new Marketing & Engagement Coordinator!

We are so excited to welcome Nicole Collins to our staff as the Marketing and Engagement Coordinator. (Don't worry -- Emily Abi-Kheirs is still at WMM! She is just now the Manager of Filmmaker Services!)

An award-winning filmmaker, actor, and creative marketing director, Nicole joins us remotely from Louisiana. A Mass Communications graduate of Dillard University, she began her career as a radio personality for iHeartMedia's WQUE-FM (Q93) and as a host for the New Orleans Pelicans. Nicole's marketing interest peaked with an internship with BET. Since then, her marketing and production talents have shaped the scope for clients in the film and television, philanthropy, politics, and entertainment fields. Nicole is no stranger to the film community, whether in front of the camera as an actress (12 Years a Slave, Carry On) or behind the camera as a director or producer's assistant. Nicole has written, directed, and/or produced over 20 film projects. In addition, she is the mother of the 11-year-old actress Aadyn Encalarde and serves as a New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC) board member. READ HER FULL BIO HERE.

Collins says, "I am thrilled to assist women filmmakers on the distribution journey of their thought-provoking work through Women Make Movies." Please join us in welcoming her to our team. 
More Films in the News

Election Day is today, and participation from ALL is vital in this high-stakes election. WMM film RUNNING WITH  MY GIRLS (dir. Rebekah Henderson) follows five women's quest to take government under their control in Denver and ensure their communities aren't left behind or abused. Let this film inspire you to be a voice in your communities as you cast your ballot! 

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in Brackeen v. Haaland, which could overturn the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and have far-reaching impacts on federal protections for Native American tribes. WMM release DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD (dir. Brooke Pepion Sweeney) tells a closely related story of Kendra Mylnechuk Potter, a Native woman adopted into a white family who reconnects with her Native identity and begins to view herself as a living legacy of U.S. assimilationist policy.
With the recent detection of high levels of radioactive contamination at a St. Louis elementary school, WMM release ATOMIC HOMEFRONT (dir. Rebecca Cammisa), which explored the topic of radioactive waste in the region several years ago, is, unfortunately, once again highly relevant. The film examines how some residents around toxic waste sites had rare cancers, birth defects, and various autoimmune disorders. Learn more.
AMERICA'S WAR ON ABORTION screened at the American Public Health Association conference in Boston on November 6. Managing Director Kendra Hodgson and WMM filmmaker Therese Shechter (dir. HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY) were in attendance and participated in a panel on reproductive justice and healthcare.
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For more than 45 years, Women Make Movies has helped elevate diverse women directors and producers and improved equity in the film industry. The largest distributor of films by and about women in the world, WMM also supports hundreds of independent filmmakers each year with our highly successful Production Assistance Program. 
Women Make Movies gratefully acknowledges the support of our funders:

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