Women’s Stories Weekly: Nora Ephron, Rwanda’s “Sweet Dreams” and more

The Death of Nora Ephron

It’s difficult for me to put words to how Ephron impacted my life as a writer and developing filmmaker, but this week I was gratified to read three lovely pieces on her legacy that articulated her global and industry impact.  She will be missed.

“Nora Ephron Dies at 71”
at Women and Hollywood

“In Memoriam: Nora Ephron, AKA Nora and Me”
at Movieline

“Nora Ephron, how I’ll miss her”
at The Guardian

International Images Film Festival for Women (Zimbabwe) Call for Submissions
at Screen Africa

‘Take This Waltz’ filmmaker Sarah Polley says acting less a priority now
at Winnipeg Free Press

(Polley’s second feature film as writer/director (“Take This Waltz”) rolled out in theatres across Canada yesterday.)

Rwandan Women Thrive on ‘Sweet Dreams’
at VOA News

Book Chronicles Women’s Role in Hindi Film World
at Outlook India

Zimbabwe: Dangarembga’s Film for India Festival
at All Africa

Women’s stories this week

Magnolia Pictures picked up writer-director Sarah Polley’s latest film, Take This  Waltz, for U.S. distribution beginning summer 2012.  Polley’s film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.  Read Katherine Monk’s article here, an interview with Polley in the Toronto Star, and a video of her at The Globe and Mail talking about the film.  Visit the film’s website for more information.

Finnish director Zaida Bergroth wins the Gold Hugo in the New Directors competition at the Chicago International Film Festival for her feature film The Good Son.  The fest states that Bergroth’s film provides “real psychological insight.” Read my review of it here (third film listed) that I wrote after seeing a screening at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.  Visit the film’s website here and click on “English” at the bottom to get a translation.

Mohamed Diab’s film Cairo 678 about the sexual harassment of women in Egypt received the Silver Hugo in the festival’s International Feature Film competition.  I wrote about this movie in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of Anita Hill’s testimony on Monday of this week.  Read the piece here and watch a trailer for the film.  Visit the film’s website here.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s documentary Miss Representation on media misrepresentation of women and the dearth of women in positions of influence and power screens tonight on OWN at 9:00 PM (EST).  It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

The second film in the Women, War & Peace series on PBS, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” aired on Tuesday night.  This film shows the power of Liberian women to band together to demand an end to war and the creation of peace.  The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Leymah Gbowee, was prominently featured through both interviews and video footage shot during the war in Liberia.

Watch “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” online at PBS.

The next film in the series will be “Peace Unveiled” about women in Afghanistan (airing Tuesday, October 25 on PBS affiliate stations in the U.S.)  Check your local listings.