WIFSFBA CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH!
February is Black History Month, also known as African American History Month! Please join us in celebrating and supporting the creative works and contributions of Black storytellers.
Who Was the First African American Woman Filmmaker?
Historians at the Women’s Film Pioneer Project at Columbia University have researched early African American women filmmakers in pursuit of the question “Who was the first?” Like most early Black filmmakers, the films and their archives are much more difficult to track down than the more mainstream films of the silent era. Many films have been lost, and so scholars look for evidence elsewhere - in advertisements and in newspapers, looking for any mention of Black women and their work.
Maria P. Williams produced, distributed, and acted in her own film, The Flames of Wrath (1923). Contemporary filmmaker Yvonne Welbon, an award-winning filmmaker and CEO of Sisters In Cinema, discovered a reference to William’s film on the first page of the Norfolk Journal and Guide which described it as a mystery drama in five reels, “written, acted and produced entirely by colored people.”
Source: Morgan, Kyna. "Maria P. Williams." In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2013.
-by Amy Harrison
Ava Duvernay and Free Resources through Array101
Filmmaker Ava Duvernay includes educational materials with her online education initiative, Array101. This project creates learning resources that accompany many of the films she distributes. These Learning Guides are provided free of charge, in an effort to expand knowledge and put tools in the hands of educators wanting to support learning about racial justice. Films that offer companion learning guides include Selma, When They See Us, Colin in Black and White, and more.
A Thousand and One - Review
I got the chance to catch A.V. Rockwell’s poignant film A Thousand and One through Sundance online this year after it won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. The film stars Teyana Taylor as a struggling Harlem mother in the 90s who kidnaps her son from foster care and chronicles their life over the course of his childhood.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH EVENTS
Great articles to check out:
As we move forward into 2023, we’d like to hear from you! We are working on a member survey to help us get to know each other and our community better as we plan for the new year. So stay tuned for a link via email!
New Secretary Announcement
The WIFSFBA Board of Directors gives praise to Amy Harrison for her leadership. Since her election as Secretary in 2019, Amy has positioned WIFSFBA as an upstanding, influential, and educational organization and community that supports women in film. During her tenure, the organization has become a strong, diverse organization with a powerful and inclusive board of directors and we are forever grateful. Amy will remain a WIFSFBA member.
Script Incubator Pitch-A-Pro Event Wrap Up!
Thanks to everyone for joining us at our Pitch-A-Pro event on Jan. 31st evening. We had 35 participants pitching to seven professionals in breakout rooms. And then five more pitches to everyone at the end using the lucky wheel of fortune! Great story ideas were heard, connections were made. If you want to work on your writing and help with events like this in the future, join our Script Incubator that meets once a month on Zoom! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Script Incubator.
Conversations and Connections March Event - Standing in Power Positions
San Francisco Indie Fest
The San Francisco Independent Film Festival, known as IndieFest, is an annual film festival, held in January or February, that recognizes contemporary independent film. It is run by SF IndieFest, a nonprofit organization, and based at the Roxie Theater in the Mission District.
Feature FILM Challenge - In PRODUCTION
When: February 18 @10AM - March 19 @7.30PM
Tribeca Film Festival - Short Films
The Script Lab Free Screenplay Contest
The Brklyn Film Festival
18th Annual SF International Festival of Short Films
SFFILM Rainin Grant
Diversity Development Fund
Thanks to Newsletter Contributors: Nil Unerdem, Diane Walsh, Amy Harrison, Ami Zins, Julie Rubio, Carol Hall
Newsletter designed by Lina Indeeva and edited by Nil Unerdem.
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