Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Super 8 Film Festival- Watch and Enter

Straight 8 is a film festival that invites you to shoot a film on one Super 8 cartridge. The entry fee includes the cartridge. They send it, you shoot and send it back. Then they process it, you send the soundtrack separately. No editing. They'll be at Sundance this year if you plan to go. Meanwhile, you can watch some of the best films from previous years here. Some really creative stuff. Entry deadline: March 1.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative

Met this great bunch of women working to raise awareness in Los Angeles of the stage work done by women.  They have launched an organization called the Female Playwrights Initiative - FPI.  The sad fact is that too few of the plays by women are getting produced and the skew in the voices is resulting in a skew in the stories.  I think that our stories are not serving us very well these days, caused at least in part by the narrow range of narratives that get exposure.  More women's voices would benefit not only the women writers, but the culture as a whole. 

It would be great if we would all take the time to go and enjoy the work of one woman a month, be it a play or a movie or an art exhibit.  Perhaps we can make it a group outing and meet and greet for a beverage or snack before or after.  We need to have fun supporting women or it becomes a chore. But if we don't support women in the arts, then how can we complain about the movies, the music, all the stories out there that fail to engage us because we're not the target audience.

So how about it.  Anybody up for a "women's work" play group to go to one event a month?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Who Gave You Your Inspiration or Aspiration?

I'd like to know who have been the women - and men - who inspired you to take on the creative life or who helped you give yourself permission to aspire to it.  We broads think we've got something to say that others need to hear, whether they know it or not.  How did we get so confident?  Or driven?  I'd like to see if we share common heroines, real or fictional.  Maybe there are some women who we should be recognizing as part of the festival for their contribution to our lives.

I have a host of women I can point to.  As I'm an old broad, mine are pretty old school. The first name I have to put on the list is Anita Loos.   Female scifi/fantasy writers like Ursula LeGuin and Andre Norton were other writing inspirations, though neither of these is funny.  Then comediennes like Carol Burnett and Jean Harlow. (Lucille Ball was not my favorite.  I preferred Ethel.)

Another role model for me from a young age was Barbra Streisand.  She did not look like any other woman at the pinnacle of American success anywhere, she had worked her way up with talent, and she took the reins like it was a woman's right to do so.  There weren't any women directors that I knew of.  (Okay, so there are only a few now.  At least there ARE a few.)  Streisand directed and I remember thinking, "Can she do that?"  I've come a long way, baby.

So how about you?  If you have time, please share your thoughts along with the names.  I think we are in trouble as a society because the stories manufactured in the marketplace are failing us.  I'd like to get down to the root with some real stories and see if we can make a fertile field for a new narrative crop to nurture our minds and spirits.