– posted by Ellen F.
This September, Seattle Public Library will be joining in a global celebration of women directors with a series of free film screenings around the city. A US News and World Reports study estimated that women made up only 7% of Hollywood directors in 2014, but in Seattle the industry is dominated by women who have broken through the celluloid ceiling. These directors often work collaboratively on their films, and the following is only a shortlist of the directors making movies in the Northwest.
Seattle Women in Film is a collection of the best short films by 21 Seattle women filmmakers in the indie film scene.
Director/writer/producer/actor Lynn Shelton’s latest movie Laggies was filmed in Seattle and stars Keira Knightley and Sam Rockwell. Shelton previously directed the awarding-winning Hump Day and Your Sister’s Sister. She wrote and directed her first film We Go Way Back way back in 2004.
Leah Warshawski produces and directs documentaries filmed in remote parts of the world. Recent projects include SIFF favorite Finding Hillywood about Rwanda’s film industry, and Big Sonia, the story of “a tiny woman with a big impact.” Leah and her husband own the Seattle-based production company Inflatable Film. The company’s motto is “Work Hard. Play Hard. Give Back.”
Jennifer Maas directed Wheedle’s Groove: Seattle’s Forgotten Soul of the 1960s and ‘70s. Narrated by Sir Mix-A-Lot and featuring interviews with Black on White Affair, Cookin’ Bag, and other local musicians of the era.
In Megan Griffiths’ 2014 Lucky Them Toni Collette plays a down on her luck journalist hoping to save her job by finding her rock legend ex-boyfriend. Griffiths’ new project The Night Stalker, based on the notorious Richard Ramirez, is in post-production and will debut in 2016.
Joanne Ardinger is currently directing Personhood about the right to choose vs the rights of the fetus. Earlier credits include the documentary Beyond the Visible: The Story of the Very Large Array, narrated by Jodi Foster, and 2 other PBS deep space features. She is also an award-winning editor and founder of Tandybrook Productions in Seattle.
Cornelia Duryee Moore directed The Dark Horse in 2007 and Camilla Dickinson (2012). Both were featured at the Seattle International Film Festival. Her most recently completed project is West of Redemption, a thriller set in arid Eastern Washington which premiered at SIFF in 2015.
Seattle is also home to Women in Film Seattle which has been supporting women’s work and female leadership in film for over 30 years. WIF Seattle is part of Women in Film and Television International, a global network of 10,000+ members dedicated to advancing professional development and achievement for women working in all areas of film, video, and other screen-based media.
To hear more, listen to this recent interview on KUOW on women filmmakers in Seattle. Also, at the upcoming Social Justice Film festival here in Seattle, you’ll find that 40% of the films are directed by women.