Filmmaker Magazine has released its annual list identifying the “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” and nearly half of the featured up-and-comers are women.
The magazine stresses, however, that “listing just the people who’ve blown up… does the ’25’ a disservice. It’s not primarily designed to be a success predictor… [but] a kind of geological survey, a dig into the new impulses, ideas and forces that will bring both new stories and new forms of storytelling to the surface in the years ahead.”
So, who is shaping the cinematic landscape in 2015 and beyond according to Filmmaker? Pippa Bianco might be the most well-known of the bunch. Bianco’s short film “Share” snabbed an award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, took home the Jury Award for Best Student Short Film at the Provincetown Film Fest and received Special Jury Recognition at SXSW. The 11-minute short, starring Taissa Farmiga, documents a girl’s first day back at school after an explicit video of her is uploaded and shared on the internet without her consent. Bianco is working towards adapting “Share” into a feature. A profile of the emerging director on Filmmaker’s site reveals that Bianco also has a writing credit on an upcoming boxing-centric movie exec-produced by Martin Scorsese.
Reading these profiles of the “25” is an excellent way to find out about new projects. We’re now looking forward to seeing the debut feature of writer-director-photographer Tayarisha Poe. “Selah, and the Spades” will focus on a girl who runs a gang. “I like stories about people who do something that everyone agrees is wrong, but no one thinks they are wrong in doing it,” Poe told Filmmaker. “And because I like these stories, I’m watching stories about men, and usually white men, because they’re the ones who can get away with it. But that’s not me and my experience.” She explained that “Selah, and the Spades” was an opportunity to “tell a story about a girl who knew what she wanted and told everyone and did it. She’s a girl who runs a gang and is totally okay with doing whatever she needs to do to make that gang successful.” “Selah” is already the subject of an online story told via text, film, music and web design.
In total, 11 women appear on the list. Joining Bianco and Poe are Elizabeth Lo, Megan Brooks (with Andrew Hasse), Pia Borg (with Edward Lawrenson), Cecilia Aldarondo, Anna Rose Holmer, Britni West, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Shevaun Mizrahi and Zia Anger.
While the indie world is known to be more hospitable territory for female directors than the studio system, do recall that a recent survey Women and Hollywood conducted revealed that women helmed only 10 percent of independent features between 2009 and 2013 — just 90 movies out of 879. So make no mistake: independent filmmaking is far from being a bastion of gender equality. Still, it’s nice to see women so well-represented on a list like the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and recognized as key contributors to the cinema of tomorrow.
[via Filmmaker Magazine]