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Takeaways from the Sundance ‘Women Who Dare’ Film Panel

Takeaways from the Sundance 'Women Who Dare' Film Panel

“There are men involved in some of these films,” said producer Lucy Webb, chair of Women in Film’s 7th Annual Sundance Filmmakers Panel. This Sunday panel was called “Women Who Dare.” “We just don’t talk about them too much.”

With this global panel, including Freida Mock (“Anita”) and Michèle Stephenson (“American Promise”), WIF and its sponsors were doing what they do best – making sure female voices are part of the discussion–which isn’t such an issue this year at Sundance, as an unprecedented 50 percent of the filmmakers in the program are women.

The discussion focused on empowerment – making it, finding it, keeping it, nurturing it.

Kalyanee Mam shot and directed the Cambodian documentary “A River Changes Course”:

“I don’t think of myself as courageous, I just know I have a passion that I have to fulfill. And if I’m in a boat and I can’t swim, but I know I need that shot, I’m going to get that shot. Really It’s not us that have the courage, it’s the ones we’re telling the stories about.”

“Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes”’ writer-director Francesca Gregorini:

“I think that making fiction films comes from the subconscious, and mine is obviously female. Most of the scripts being written by men have dialogue written and are seen through a lens that are male. Right now, it’s the legacy that we as women leave behind. It’s important that young girls see women in positions of power. We all have final cut in our movies – it’s important for them to see us here.”

Jehane Noujaim directed “The Square,” about the Tahrir Square uprising in 2011:

“I would have been completely useless without my incredible team of women filmmakers, but what was incredible about that square in the beginning is that it was secure and there was no harassment. It was an incredible moment to be a part of. But being chased and shot at and run down and arrested…it just propels you further.”

Tia Lessin co-wrote and co-directed “Citizen Koch” with her partner Carl Deal:

“It’s interesting, because this panel is called ‘Women who dare’ and [in our documentary] we’re looking at men and saying ‘How dare they?’ While [the Koch’s] super enfranchise the billionaires, they’re taking away our voices and democracy at the same time.”

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