5 DIFF Docs with a Female Focus
DIFF 2017 offers a great and ample selection of films by female filmmakers, proving that women-driven films, long and short, are neither “too niche” nor the unicorns of cinema. A selection of those films include these ‘DIFF Docs with a Female Focus’: films made by amazing women and/or showcasing amazing women.
It’s not easy being the coach of the Ice Queens, Finland’s worst cheerleading team. Determined to start her girls on the path to success, Miia travels from the Arctic Circle to Texas–including a stop in Dallas–to observe the sport’s world champions and replicate their methods back home. But this is no real-life BRING IT ON, Miia and her cheerleaders have matters to contend with that are decidedly more serious than mastering a routine, as revealed in Director Christy Garland’s sensitive portrait of identity and belonging.
CITY OF JOY
City of Joy is a revolutionary center for female survivors of rape, abuse and gender violence: a safe haven in war-torn Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where, for years, militias have targeted women and girls with violence. Doctor Denis Mukwege, Tony Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler, and human rights activist Christine Schuler-Deschryver come together to establish City of Joy, giving women a place to share and process their emotional stories of trauma. Director Madeleine Gavin creates a powerful and inspiring film chronicling early beginnings of the program and the first class of women at City of Joy.
History tells us Cesar Chavez transformed the U.S. labor movement by leading the first farm workers’ union. But missing from this narrative is his equally influential co-founder, Dolores Huerta, who fought tirelessly alongside Chavez for racial and labor justice and became one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century. Even as she empowered a generation of immigrants to stand up for their rights, her work ethic was constantly under attack, with false accusations eventually pushing her out of the very union she helped create. DOLORES seeks to set the record straight on one of the most effective and undervalued civil and labor rights leaders in modern U.S. history.
ELLA BRENNAN: COMMMANDING THE TABLE
In this entertaining and charming documentary, we learn the story of Ella Brennan: a New Orleans matriarch and the force behind the famous Commander’s Palace restaurant. When Brennan began her career in the 1940’s, the restaurant industry was still in its infancy. Her journey in food service was not without hardships, but Brennan’s wits and determination made her into the pioneer she is today. ELLA BRENNAN: COMMANDING THE TABLE shares the intimate and delicious story that created a culinary revolution in the South and the nation.
UNREST tells the story of Jen and Omar, newlyweds facing the unexpected, and the four extraordinary M.E. patients that Jen meets throughout her journey. Together, they explore how to make a life of meaning when everything changes. It is a feat of disability filmmaking, using innovative technologies to allow the bed-bound, disabled director to travel the world and film as if she’s in the room. It is a story of resilience in the face of life-changing loss, of how we treat people with illnesses we don’t fully understand, and ultimately, about the need we all have to connect.
DALLAS STAR AWARDBILL PAXTON (POSTHUMOUSLY)
Bill Paxton was an award-winning actor and filmmaker from Texas. In 1992, he landed his first leading role in ONE FALSE MOVE. Paxton went on to star in several hit films including ALIENS (1985), APOLLO 13 (1995), TWISTER (1996) and TITANIC (1997)
L.M. KIT CARSON
DAVID GORDON GREEN
This year’s L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Award Honoree is writer/director David Gordon Green. David Gordon Green’s debut feature, GEORGE WASHINGTON (2000) won the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and his second feature, ALL THE REAL GIRLS (2003) received a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
SHINING STAR AWARDZOEY DEUTCH
This year’s Shining Star Award Honoree is Zoey Deutch. Zoey Deutch is an actress known for VAMPIRE ACADEMY (2014), EVERYBODY WANTS SOME! (2016) and WHY HIM? (2016). Most recently, Zoey Deutch starred in two films selected at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, REBEL IN THE RYE and BEFORE I FALL.