Her.Stories: Top doc filmmakers, Japan’s female directors, Women in Zimbabwean film, Rape on screen, and more…

WFTV’s top 5 women in documentary filmmaking to look out for in 2013
at Doc Geeks

With More Women in Film, Has Anything Changed?
at Huffington Post

Women filmmakers to call the shots at IFFK 2012
at Manorama Online

A filmmaker’s angle on Africa (Filmmaker Amanda Sibanda)
at The Zimbabwean

Japan’s female directors make a strong showing
at Japan Times

‘Wadjda’ named DIFF’s best Arabic film
at Saudi Gazette

Don’t blame films for rapes, says director Bela Sehgal
at Times of India

Hitting the big league: Bangladesh and its women filmmakers
at The Daily Star

A woman for all seasons (Filmmaker Agnes Jaoui)
at Global Times

DCAA launches Emirati filmmaker project
at Screen Daily

2013 opens with women-centric multi starrers
at Times of India

Three-part series at Shoot Online:

A Look At Women In Production: Numbers, Personal Observations, Reflections (pt. I)

Minorities In Production, Part II: Reflections, Observations

Creating Opportunities for Women & Minorities In Production, Part III

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Review: “One Day” (2011)

“One Day” (2011)

A Film by Lone Scherfig

Ah, the month of love.  Chocolate candies, roses, and of course, love stories.  Last week, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought it fitting to review a film that features a love story.  “One Day” is based on the best-selling book by David Nicholls.

Can a woman’s love make a man a better person?  This age old question envelops the film and follows Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess).  Their love story starts out on the day of their college graduation on July 15, 1988.   The film follows their relationship by checking in with them every year on the anniversary of their graduation.  They are not always together but manage to keep some type of connection throughout the years.

Emma is determined to become a writer but ends up working at a Mexican restaurant after her move to London.  She takes a few detours in her professional life and eventually finds her way back to writing.  Dex, on the other hand, is all about living it up and squeezing every last bit of fun out of life.  He starts a career in television production and quickly starts partying too hard and becomes a drug addict.  His life seems glamorous when compared with Emma’s steady progression, but Dexter’s party boy life puts him on the fast track to self-destruction.

They stay a constant in each other’s lives even after Dexter gets married and Emma starts dating Ian (Rafe Spall).  They keep getting brought back together, sometimes by chance and sometimes by choice.  I know some would say that Emma should just give up on Dex because he should take care of himself, but I can’t help but think that they bring out the best in each other.  Although, yes—there were times when Dex got a bit whiny and just needed to grow up and stop calling Emma every time he was in a jam.

While some love stories can be predictable and cliché, I appreciated that “One Day” wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows.  Some critics have said that Lone Scherfig’s films have light humor, though a pervasive sense of tragic prevails.  I believe this to be right on point with “One Day.”  She dives deeper into the characters and keeps the story flowing with twists and turns.  She brings the ordinary to life and makes you want to invest in the characters and their fates.  This might not be a typical love story, but it is definitely one worth watching.

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

DVD Releases

Looking for some flicks to watch, especially over the holidays?  Me, too!  I’ve amassed a list below of several new and upcoming DVD releases.  Did you miss a lot of these on the festival circuit or in the theatre like I did?  Included in the list are also some foreign films (like Happy, Happy, from Norway) and documentaries (like Bag It and The Other F Word, looking forward to seeing this one) as well as some TV films (like Toast).  These are all films either directed by a woman or featuring female protagonists (or written/co-written by a woman), so get your movie on this holiday season by supporting these new films!

DVDs out now:

THE TEMPEST (directed by Julie Taymor, starring Helen Mirren)

TANNER HALL (directed by Tatiana von Furstenburg and Francesca Gregorini, starring Rooney Mara)

January 2012:

HIGHER GROUND (directed by Vera Farmiga)

TOAST (directed by SJ Clarkson)

DIRTY GIRL (directed by Abe Sylvia, starring Juno Temple and Milla Jovovich)

ROMEOS (directed by Sabine Bernardi)

ANOTHER HAPPY DAY (directed by Sam Levinson, starring Ellen Barkin (who also produces), Kate Bosworth, Demi Moore, Ellen Burstyn)

HAPPY, HAPPY (directed by Anne Sewitsky, written by Ragnhild Tronvoll, starring Agnes Kittelsen)

THE OTHER F WORD (directed by Andrea Blaugrund) Currently playing & opening in cities across the U.S.

SPORK (directed by J.B. Ghuman Jr., starring Savannah Stein)

CHALET GIRL (directed by Phil Traill, starring Felicity Jones and Brooke Shields)

ELEVATE (directed by Anne Buford)

February:

SEDUCING CHARLIE BARKER (directed by Amy Glazer, starring Daphne Zuniga and Heather Gordon)

TINY FURNITURE (directed by and starring Lena Dunham)

BUTTERFLY CRUSH (directed by Alan Clay, starring Hayley Fielding and Courtney Hale)

HEART OF NOW (directed by Zak Forsman, starring Marion Kerr)

HONEY 2 (directed by Bille Woodruff, co-written by Alyson Fouse, starring Katerina Graham)

THE SPACE BETWEEN (directed by Travis Fine, starring Melissa Leo and AnnaSophia Robb)

MIGHTY MACS (directed by Tim Chambers, starring Carla Gugino and Ellen Burstyn)

INSIGHT (directed by Richard Gabai, starring Natalie Zea)

 

March:

BAG IT (directed by Suzan Beraza, written by Michelle Curry Wright)

FRESH (directed by Ana Sofia Joanes)

Shattering the glass ceiling (on Danish television)

 

“Borgen” is a Danish television series that is currently being broadcast on LinkTV in the United States (found on DirecTV channel 375 and Dish Network channel 9410). It had its east coast premiere on Saturday, October 29 and west coast premiere the following day.  The series is about a woman politician who through a series of scandals (of other politicans) as well as through her own tenacity and clarity of vision she displays at a huge debate a couple of days before the election, becomes Prime Minister of Denmark!  The character is “Birgitte Nyborg Christensen” and is played by Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen.  “Borgen” runs for 10 episodes in season one, four of which were directed by Annette K. Olesen and two by Louise Friedberg.

Its intrigue is certainly as high as the smash hit “West Wing” which ran on NBC in the States for several years, and gives you a good insight into the behind the scenes dealings within Danish politics. It’s also the first series I’ve heard of with a woman leader of the government since Geena Davis’ “Commander in Chief” series in which she played “President MacKenzie Allen.”  It ran on ABC during the 2005-2006 television season.  “Borgen” (“Castle” in Danish) also sold at MIPCOM in Cannes recently to South America (including Brazil, specifically), Europe, Asia and Australia, plus, the show is being turned into a board game!

Check out LinkTV (the best channel in existence, if you ask me, and I’m a six+ year faithful viewer!) to catch the next episodes of “Borgen” which will air on Saturdays at 9:30pm (Eastern) and Sundays at 9:30pm (Pacific), or you can watch online at www.linktv.com/borgen.  I tweeted about the show a few times last week in the run-up to its Saturday premiere since I’ve seen it advertised on LinkTV since September and couldn’t wait to watch.  The American media seems to not be paying much attention to the show — yet, and I hope this changes, but there are a handful of reviews out there if you’re the kind of person who wants to read about it before seeing it!

TV Review: Borgen – “Decency in the Middle” (Blogcritics Video)

Politics at Play in ‘Borgen’ (Community Voices blog of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Borgen Premieres Saturday Night on LinkTV (Women and Hollywood)