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WIF Panel Addresses Empowerment

March 8, 2008 | By

Women in Film hosted “It Takes a Vision,” a panel at the Sundance Film Festival featuring women working both in front of and behind the camera. The session was another event to further WIF’s mission, which “is about meeting people, following up, building your community,” says Jane Fleming, president and WIF board member, as well as an independent producer at Shot in the Dark Entertainment, which she co-founded with Cindy Guidry. “We need to start showing off women – directors, writers, cinematographers,” says Fleming, “so that people who are making decisions know about them.”

The Sundance panel included actress Patricia Clarkson (Blind Date and Phoebe in Wonderland), screenwriter Pamela Cuming (Downloading Nancy), director Lauren Greenfield (Kids + Money), writer/producer/co-director/ cinematographer Ellen Kuras (Nerakhoom), (The Betrayal), writer/ director Sharon Maguire (Incendiary), producer/director Amy Redford (The Guitar), writer/director Marina Zenovich (Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired) and moderator Lucy Webb of WIF Los Angeles.

With the quality of HD and being able to work in video… it’s adding up to a more diverse group of voices,” said Greenfield. “When I was starting out as a photographer, I was interested in doing a documentary film and I tried to get a film going, but at that time it was so expensive; you couldn’t just go out and make your own film. Now, young people starting out can get a camera and shoot”.

Webb agreed, quoting Sundance founder Robert Redford: “If you really want to see what’s coming down the creative pipe, really investigate the shorts.”

Kuras, whose documentary feature Nerakhoon was shot over the course of 23 years, has been able to experience the transition to new technologies first-hand. “I started out working in film and started editing on a Steenbeck,” she said. “I find it very humorous that my postproduction supervisor had never seen one.”

Kuras realized over time that it would have been much easier to have shot in video, if it had been around, than on 16mm, which is more of a production. “I couldn’t call the sound person in the middle of the night,” says Kuras. “But if I had a video at the time, I would have been a one-person show.”

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