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38th Mill Valley Film Fest to Close With ‘Suffragette,’ Feature Female-Focused Events

38th Mill Valley Film Fest to Close With 'Suffragette,' Feature Female-Focused Events

The gender gap and those attempting to bridge it will enjoy the spotlight this year at the Mill Valley Film Festival in Marin County, California.

The 38th iteration of the festival, which will run October 8-18, will close with Carey Mulligan’s “Suffragette” and host a series of events focusing on gender inequity in the film and tech worlds. The “Mind the Gap” events will include discussions with director Catherine Hardwicke, screenwriter Pamela Gray, actress Jena Malone, researcher Stacy L. Smith and “Suffragette” helmer Sarah Gavron, writer Abi Morgan and producer Faye Ward. Women & Hollywood founder and editor Melissa Silverstein will moderate/interview two of the discussions.

Here are the all “Mind the Gap” events: 

ROLE MODELS & HEROINES (Installation)
Drawing from her extensive collection of archival film posters and memorabilia, MVFF Director of Programming Zoë Elton explores the importance of role models and the ways that female characters are portrayed in cinema. Whether iconic (think the sword-wielding Uma Thurman in Kill Bill) or laconic (Barbie…as a film director?), a single image can speak volumes: What is sparked in our imagination can last a lifetime. Who was your onscreen role model when you were growing up? Visit this fun installation at the Seager Gray gallery, and let us know!
October 6-18 | Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley
Tues-Sat 11:00am – 5:30pm | Sun 12:00-5:00pm

GIVE US A BREAK! (Panel and Discussion)
How do you find opportunity in the film industry? Is there such a thing as a “lucky break”? These accomplished panelists will share their experiences and discuss the perennial question: How do we make and sustain viable careers in film?

Reception to follow at Tamalpie, Mill Valley

INVITED GUESTS:
Judy Becker, production designer (Carol, American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook)
Jena Malone, actor (Angelica, The Hunger Games, Into the Wild)
Stacy L. Smith, PhD, associate professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, director of a research-driven initiative on Media, Diversity, and Social Change
Valerie Weiss, director (A Light Beneath Their Feet, Losing Control, Dance by Design)
Moderator: Melissa Silverstein, writer; speaker; founder, Women and Hollywood

Saturday, October 10, 11:00am–12:30pm | Throckmorton Theatre

OPEN YOUR EYES (Film Screenings and Panel Discussion)
Join us for the world premiere of the short documentary Open Your Eyes, followed by a post-film discussion on what it takes to make films that rock the world. Can documentaries elevate the social agenda? Join a group of game-changers whose commitment to the power of storytelling in film is helping to open hearts and minds and raise awareness on the compelling issues of our time.

INVITED GUESTS:
Sara Bernstein, senior vice president, HBO documentary films
Sandy Herz, director of global partnerships, Skoll Foundation
Irene Taylor-Brodsky, director (Open Your Eyes, The Final Inch)
Moderator: Larry Brilliant, MD, MPH; chairman, Skoll Global Threats Fund; co-founder Seva Foundation; producer (Open Your Eyes)

Saturday, October 10, 5:30–7:15pm | CinéArts Sequoia

A CONVERSATION WITH CATHERINE HARDWICKE (Master Class)
What do Twilight, Thirteen, and Tank Girl have in common? MVFF38 Tributee Catherine Hardwicke. The director with production designer roots has proven over and over that it is possible to sustain a viable creative life in the film industry: inspiring!  More than that, her work spans from insightful, independent, original works like Thirteen to the blockbuster adaptation Twilight—the latter making her the most commercially successful woman director. Hear more about her remarkable career in what promises to be a highlight of MVFF38’s MIND THE GAP program.

Catherine Hardwicke, director (Miss You Already, Twilight, Lords of Dogtown, Thirteen), screenwriter (Thirteen), production designer (Laurel Canyon, Three Kings, Vanilla Sky)

Interviewer: Melissa Silverstein, writer; speaker; founder, Women and Hollywood

Sunday, October 11, 12:30–2:00pm | Smith Rafael Film Center

THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY: WRITING AND SELLING THE FEMALE-DRIVEN SCREENPLAY (Master Class)
How do you write authentic female characters? What is the difference between the character arcs of female and male protagonists? Through discussion and film clips, screenwriter Pamela Gray  (A Walk on the Moon, Music of the Heart, Conviction) and story consultant Tom Schlesinger (Prom Night in Mississippi, Nowhere in Africa, A Small Act) will guide you through the stages of the Heroine’s Journey as a template for writing screenplays that will attract top actresses. You will also see how your inner journey when writing helps you connect with your audience on a deep, universal level.
Saturday, October 17, 11:00am–12:30pm | Smith Rafael Film Center

THE MAKERS OF SUFFRAGETTE (Variety Contenders Conversation)
The powerhouse trio behind our Closing Night film, Suffragette, discusses its genesis, creation, and journey to the screen. One of the fall season’s most anticipated films, Suffragette is notable as that rare production that is driven by women in key positions, as well as a story driven by female characters. This Variety Contenders’ Conversation is a case study where the director, screenwriter, and producer will offer insights into the collaboration and creative process behind their production.

INVITED GUESTS:
Sarah Gavron, director (Suffragette, Brick Lane, Village at the End of the World)
Abi Morgan, screenwriter (Suffragette, The Hour, The Iron Lady, Shame (with Steve McQueen), Brick Lane)
Faye Ward, producer (Suffragette, Jane Eyre, Toast, The Other Boleyn Girl)
Moderator: Variety representative, to be announced

The celebration of Suffragette continues with a Spotlight on Carey Mulligan and our Closing Night screenings.

Saturday, October 17, 2:00–3:30pm | Smith Rafael Film Center

CODE: DEBUGGING THE GENDER GAP (Film Screening and Panel)
Debugging the gender and diversity gaps in the tech industry is upfront and center in what promises to be a dynamic panel aimed towards an intergenerational audience, following the October 17 screening of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap (Note: all other screenings will include director Q&A only). Teens and their friends and families are encouraged to come and join in the discussion!

INVITED GUESTS:
Cedric Brown, chief of community engagement, The Kapor Center
Tracy Chou, software engineer, Pinterest
Danielle Feinberg, director of photography for lighting, Pixar
Marc Hedlund, advisor and former VP of Engineering, Stripe; director, Code: 2040
Julie Ann Horvath, founder, Passion Projects
Robin Hauser Reynolds, director (CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, Running for Jim)
Blake Irving, CEO, GoDaddy
Moderator: Marco R. della Cava, technology and culture writer, USA Today

Saturday, October 17, 2:00–4:00pm | Throckmorton Theatre

Get tickets to events here.

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