What is most notable as a trend in the films of Sundance is corporate patronage and investment as well as product placement enabling the 7th Art to go forward. From Morgan Spurlock’s outright The Greatest Movie Ever Sold which examines the world of product placement, marketing, and advertising by making a film financed entirely by product placement, marketing, and advertising to Miss Representation directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom is showing in U.S. Documentary Competition screened today for the first time. The support it has received from Levis Strauss, whose Shape What’s To Come is admirable in that it is built on a large idea for The Millenia Generation Women (born 1980-1995), creating peer-to-peer Mentorships in a global online community based on its own global study that independence trumps marriage, wealth and professional success for women today. The mentor program will operate in India, U.K., U.S., Japan and later France, Brazil and China and focuses on music, film, fashion and social change. Levi Strauss is also creating more in the Transmedia space with its endowment of USC’s Annenberg Communications Lab, headed by one of the pioneering indie producers, Jonathan Taplin, but more about that later. For now, Lech L’echa!
Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. It’s clear the mainstream media objectifies women, but what most people don’t realize is the magnitude of that phenomenon and the way objectification gets internalized—a symbolic annihilation of self-worth—and impedes girls and women from realizing their full potential. While women have made strides in leadership over the past few decades, trivializing and damaging images continue to proliferate. In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that a woman’s value and power lie only in her youth, beauty, and sexuality is pervasive.
Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, academics, and activists like Condoleeza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, and Gloria Steinem build momentum as the film accumulates startling facts and statistics that leave the audience shaken