August 28 & 29, 2019
The Whitefire Theatre is being taken over by the City of Angels Women’s Film Festival!
On August 28 and 29 from 10:45am through 10pm, the Whitefire Theatre will be filled with filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, producers and all manner of filmmaking folk all eager to see the carefully curated, female-oriented work. All the films have women playing substantial creative roles, either in front of or behind the camera.
At the helm of this event, the first of many annual festivals, are Lisa Crosato and Carol Metcalf. Both are filmmakers and producers and have used their gifts for good to create a space for fellow filmmakers with a penchant for innovative, inspiring and bold work.
Lisa K. Crosato on set of “From the Midst of Pain.”
We asked Lisa to explain a little about the festival and what inspired her to create it.
“I was inspired to launch a women’s film festival because I feel that female filmmakers need more opportunity to showcase their work and network and collaborate with each other. City of Angels Women’s Film Festival was also conceived equally with my long time friend Carol Metcalf (co-director of the festival) who is an amazing person and performer. One memory that stands out was years ago, when a male writer/director friend showed me his script and asked me for advice. He told me he was having trouble getting interest from top actresses. I read the script and I told him respectfully that his female characters were basically one dimensional. I made some specific suggestions and he implemented the changes and suddenly the script generated considerably more interest from women. He thanked me, and I remember thinking we really need change in the portrayal of women in scripts. We need change throughout the entire creative process to be inclusive of authentic female voices and perspective.”
The selection of films is fascinating. From comedy to documentary to SciFi to Westerns and love stories.
Michelle Muldoon – Director and writer on set of “Last Stand to Nowhere.”
The festival also hosts a series of talk back panels. And I wondered how Lisa and Carol selected these particularly impressive group of women.
“Most of our panelists were chosen because they either directed, wrote or produced the films we have chosen to screen. In some cases all of the above. I believe it’s important for audience members and aspiring female filmmakers to watch a film and be able to ask the filmmaker specific questions about that film. It opens up important dialogue that encourages others to produce their projects.”
Aina Dumlao – actress, director and producer on set of “DIWA.”
These days is hard to turn a page or click a link without encountering yet another story about discrimination in the entertainment industry. We asked Lisa how she felt about it and what she thinks could be done to keep the changes moving.
“In order to create a more even playing field in the film industry, diverse women’s voices need to be amplified. We need to create a climate that encourages and empowers their voices in order to hear them. Thankfully more female directors are helming more movies on both the studio and independent level, but we have a way to go.
Of course this has been expressed many times but creating a climate that is more encouraging of these endeavors matters.”
As a producer and clearly a big supporter of independent and female film, we wondered what Lisa would say to a female filmmaker trying to make her way.
“I’m not sure if I’m qualified to offer guidance to female filmmakers because if you’ve made a film (whether you are a male or a female) you’ve accomplished a herculean task. I don’t think there is an easy formula for it. I think great story telling is everything and we often undervalue the script and the writer in the process of filmmaking. However, I have noticed that those that are successful in the film business usually have an abundance of passion and a high level of focus and that is what we want to honor with the City of Angels Women’s Film Festival.”
It is a little chaotic out there in film land. With so much content and so many stories needing to be told and so much information online about how to do that, it’s hard to tell what’s what!! Festivals like City of Angels Women’s Film Festival are a really important source of guidance, inspiration and means of connection. Resources and information on the world of the web are all well and good, but nothing beats a good chin wag with some actual humans and the passing on of experience and the power of real connection just cant be found anywhere other than a festival like this. A space where creative people, burning with ideas and yearning to share them can work together to make positive and real changes in the film industry…while showing their brilliant, compelling work.
I’m definitely going! If you are interested you can find all the information you will ever need on the City of Angels Women’s Film Festival website, https://coawomensfilmfestival.space
There’s also a rather lovely red carpet and champagne reception awards night Thursday, August 29 at the Bella Blanca Event Center in NoHo.
Bella Blanca Event Center in NoHo
See you at the Festival!
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