Steppes in Sync

by Andy Kozlov

About two weeks ago, I was invited by Sanele Njini to participate in a conversation with Priscilla Sithole.

A former Amakhosi cultural theatre film production trainee, Priscilla Sithole, has set up a film production training project in Bulawayo called iBhayiskopo Film Academy that targets female youths. The idea of empowering women through film was transformed into reality this year in March.

IBhayiskopo means Film/Movie. The word is township lingo for Bioscope. The word was popular during the 60’s and early 90’s in Zimbabwe.

“The technical production aspects of many films, such as shooting, editing and lighting are currently dominated by men, as women are thought not to be strong to take up such a challenging job. As for Bulawayo, there are no known female filmmakers,” Sithole told a Zimbabwean daily Newsday in an interview back in March.

“We teach them so that after finishing their training they may…

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Please share this graphic widely

In honor of Shirley Chisholm Day, WORD is circulating the above graphic on social media. We celebrate Chisholm’s contributions to the struggle for women’s reproductive rights, health and justice, and honor her pioneering role as a woman of color in U.S. politics. Please continue to share this image widely.

WORD – Women Organized to Resist and Defend – was formed by longtime activists from a number of struggles. Our commitment to those struggles continues as we move forward in the struggle to defend women’s rights.

We are dedicated to fighting racism, sexism and anti-LGBT bigotry. We believe strongly that an injury to one is an injury to all, and our involvement in the continuing struggles of oppressed people across the United States continues.

The most recent WORD statement addresses the consequences of denying abortions to women who need them:

The life of a child is…

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Seen & Heard Film Festival

A big congratulations to Michelle Lia, whose film Grandma was screened at the recent Bondi Short Film Festival!

Sean is walking home to his grandmothers after seeing his friend at the park. In the meantime, Sean’s grandmother receives a letter that will potentially change her grandson’s life. She positively can’t wait until he gets home to tell him the good news. Now…when is he coming home?

Grandma was screened at this year’s Seen & Heard and since has continued on to great things! Michelle reflects on her experiences as a young producer.

For you, as producer, what was the process getting Grandma off the ground?

Back when Grandma was shot I had just graduated from film school. I was producing another short as well as working as an AD on a low budget feature. Grandma was essentially a film made among friends, so it was pretty easy to get…

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Interview with I Too Have a Name director Suba Sivakumaran

London Feminist Film Festival

Suba Sivakumaran is an emerging Sri Lankan director. Suba grew up in five different countries and currently resides in the USA. Her directorial debut I Too Have a Name (Enakkum Oru Per) will celebrate its UK PREMIERE at the London Feminist Film Festival on Sunday 2 December 2012 at 4.00 pm as part of the MEMORIES screening.

We have just heard that one of the film’s leads, Nimmi Harasgama, will be able to join Jill Daniels, director of The Border Crossing, for a panel discussion following the screening. Suba however will not be able to join us for the festival, so we spoke to her in the run up to the festival to discuss her film and its premiere at this year’s Berlinale.

I Too Have a Name is your first film as a writer and director. What
is your background and how did you get into the film industry?

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Review: “Bag It” (2010)

A film by Suzan Beraza

Bag It is a documentary that follows Jeb into the world of the omnipresent single-use plastic bag.  Plastic bags are the number one consumer item in the world.  Americans consume about one million plastic bags per minute.  He finds out they are expecting their first child and this gets him more concerned about plastic bags and chemicals that could harm his child.

Plastic bags are being banned in countries across the world.  With any luck, the US will take their lead and get rid of them once and for all.  The American Chemistry Council would like to see their plastic in rotation for as long as possible.  Unfortunately, they have the money to back them and can easily win legal battles.  They also duped Americans into thinking that most plastic is recyclable because of the revolving arrow recycle symbol.  In reality, only a few of these (HDPE and PETE) are actually recyclable.  There are no regulations for recycling and vary from state to state.  I was appalled when I moved to Montana and found out that recycling wasn’t even mandatory.

The oceans and marine life are at great risk due to plastics.  Sea turtles will see plastic bags and eat them mistaking them for jellyfish.  So many species are ingesting and continually exposed to plastic.  Sadly, plastic kills about 100,000 marine animals per year.  All the plastic in the seas comes from land sources.

They also talk in length about phthalates and BPA’s (endocrine disruptors) and how they are affecting us, especially infants.  Boys are becoming more feminized and girls are becoming masculinized.  There is also a direct correlation with exposure to BPA’s and ADHD and autism as well as low sperm count and type II diabetes.  We need to deal with these chemicals now to protect our children and their children.

 Within minutes of finishing the film I had my kids scouring the house for plastic bags.  We loaded them up and recycled them at our local grocery store.  We decided to take all the plastic milk jug tops and clean them to make an art project.  I checked our toiletry products and made note of the ones that probably contain phthalates (contain Parfum/fragrance) so I wouldn’t purchase them again.  The BPA’s are a little trickier, but we are trying to purchase less canned goods.  They stress in the film that everyone can do a little bit to pitch in, and it will end up making a big difference.  Three easy things you can do are bring your own bag, bring your own coffee cup, and bring your own water bottle.  And buy less stuff! Hopefully, after watching Bag It, you will also feel moved to do whatever you can to curb your use of plastic and steer clear of phthalates and BPA’s.  Check out www.bagitmovie.com to learn how to get more involved.

Watch the trailer:

 

You can follow Bag It on twitter @BagItMovie and on facebook at fb.com/BagItMovie.

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Lotus Wollschlager is the official Her Film movie reviewer.  Find her bio on the HF.Reviews page.

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London Feminist Film Festival

Nadia Benedicto is an up-and-coming director from Argentina. Her directorial debut As A Warrior will celebrate its EUROPEAN PREMIERE at the London Feminist Film Festival on Saturday 1 December 2012 at 1.00 pm as part of the HERSTORIES short films session.

We are pleased that Nadia will be joining us along with the directors of the other HERSTORIES films for the post-screening panel discussion. In the run-up to the festival we managed to catch up with Nadia for a short interview to discuss As a Warrior, her latest film The Last Stop (La Ultima Parada), and her future projects.

As a Warrior (Como una Guerrera) was your first film as a writer and director. What is your background and how did you get into the film industry?

At the age of 18 I finished high school and moved to Buenos Aires to study there. From…

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