Female filmmakers showcase their work this weekend

By Haley Costen
Staff Writer

Promotional poster for the IWFF
Promotional poster for the IWFF

Female filmmakers from around the globe will come to the College this Saturday for the annual International Women’s Film Forum (IWFF).

The six projects vary from documentaries and feature films to television shows, and feature a diverse array of topics.

“I can’t say which are my favorites, because they feel like they are all my children!” Professor Judith Richland said in an email interview. “Ideally there is something for everyone. Essentially for each of the 3 sessions, students can pick between two very different options.”

The first session begins at noon and will feature “The Way Home,” a documentary about Tibetan women living in the U.S., and “Peter and John,” a film set in 1862 Nantucket that depicts a doctor’s jealousy when he and his brother fall in love with the same woman.

The second session begins at 2 p.m. and features episode 8 of “Transperent,” an Amazon original show about the life of a dysfunctional LA family following the discovery that the person they know as their father is transgender, and “Soft Vengeance,” a South African documentary about the Supreme Court judge Albi Sachs.

The final session begins at 4 p.m. and features “Hot Girls Wanted,” a documentary about young women lured into the pornography industry, and “Traitors,” a Moroccan thriller about a female musician who agrees to smuggle a drug shipment to earn cash and vows to save her companion from enslavement by dealers.

Richland began planning for the forum in June 2014 when she attended the Provincetown Film Festival and asked every filmmaker of interest if they would like to screen their films at Simmons.

“Throughout the year, I go to film screenings in Boston and NYC. I research what films are being written about and I look into films screened at Sundance,” Richland added.

Richland called her Studio 5 student team indispensable for their work in kicking off the advertising campaign and handling the logistics of the event. Her Media Convergence and Motion Graphics students will also be volunteering, handling registration, signage, and working with all of the attendees at the event.

Several former and current faculty members as well as members of the Boston community will also be present at the event, donating their time and expertise to several panels.

Former Communications professor Dan Connell and former adjunct professor Lehlohonolo Montjane, who grew up in Soweto, South Africa, will be on the panel with “Soft Vengeance” director Abby Ginzberg.

Cinema and Media Arts Professor Suzanne Leonard will moderate the discussion of “Hot Girls Wanted,” with panelists Hannah Fish, a Simmons student, Wheelock Professor Gail Dines, Attorney Wendy Murphy and filmmakers Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus.

After the Moroccan film “Traitors,” written by his son Sean Gullette, Simmons Professor Emeritus David Gullette will discuss the film with Boston University and Wellesley Professor Wilfred J. Rollman. Meanwhile, Graduate student and Simmons Dean Fellow, Lydia Dana will conduct the discussion with TV writer Faith Soloway, about her new show “Transparent.”

Communications graduate Olga Pikalova, who created the promo trailer for the IWFF, will host the discussion of “The Way Home” with filmmaker Marilyn Pennell, Executive Director of South Asian Arts Council Amit Dixit, and members of the Tibetan community.