Women In Film, an Institute Associate of the Sundance Film Festival, kicked off the year in spectacular fashion at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival as a major participant in four exciting events:
Sundance Film Festival World Premiere and After-Party
ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED
Directed by Marina Zenovich
Friday, January 18, 2008
It Takes A Vision
WIF Panel Discussion –– 350 Main
Moderator: WIF/Sundance Chair Lucy Webb
Panelists: Patricia Clarkson, Pamela Cuming, Amy Redford, Ellen Kuras, Lauren Greenfield, Sharon Maguire, Marina Zenovich Sunday, January 20, 2008, 12-2pm
Variety’s “10 Directors To Watch”
WIF and L’Oreal’s “Women of Worth Vision Award”
Presented by WIF President Jane Fleming and actress Andie MacDowell to director Tia Lesson
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Filmmakers Lodge Outreach
Introduction to WIF Membership Table
Hosted by WIF Membership VP Candace Bowen
Thursday, January 25, 2008
World Premiere and After-Party
On January 18th, Director Marina Zenovich’s provocative and highly-anticipated documentary ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED received its World Premiere at Sundance 2008, setting off a major bidding war among distributors before finding a home at HBO. The documentary explores the truths and myths behind Polanski’s exile from the United States. Women In Film helped the producers find sponsorship for the premiere and after-party at Sundance. ROMAN POLANSKI was written by Marina Zenovich, Joe Bini and PG Morgan, and produced by Lila Yacoub and Jeffrey Levy-Hinte. The Director of Photography is Tanjas Koop and Steven Soderbergh and Randy Wooten are Executive Producers. 150 filmmakers and festival goers were in attendance.
Women In Film is committed to empowering women in the creative arts,” said Women In Film, Los Angeles President, Jane Fleming. “We are thrilled by our continued partnership with the Sundance Film Festival and proud to present these female leaders in independent cinema.
It Takes A Vision
After a tremendous response to WIF’s Sundance 2007 panel discussion, Women In Film was enthusiastically invited back to host another one. On January 20th, WIF/LA presented the panel “It Takes A Vision”, moderated by producer and Sundance/WIF/LA Chair, Lucy Webb. The panel explored how a filmmaker takes an idea from the page to the screen, as well as how a producer can use new media and technology to sell and distribute her projects.
The panelists included select women directors, screenwriters, producers and actors with films at this year’s festival:
Patricia Clarkson Actress, BLIND DATE, Drama
Actress, PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND, Drama
Oscar nominee and two-time Emmy award-winning actress Patricia Clarkson had two films screening at Sundance this year. She stars with Stanley Tucci (who also directs) in the drama BLIND DATE. Clarkson joins an all-star cast, including Elle Fanning, Bill Pullman and Felicity Huffman in PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND. In 2003, Clarkson received both an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for her supporting role in PIECES OF APRIL. She served as a member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival in 2000.
Pamela Cuming Screenwriter, DOWNLOADING NANCY, Drama
Pamela Cuming co-wrote (with Lee Ross)the much-talked-about DOWNLOADING NANCY, which had its world premiere at Sundance. Starring Maria Bello, Jason Patric, Rufus Sewell and Amy Brenneman, the story follows the fate of an unhappy wife (Nancy) who meets and develops an intense and tumultuous relationship with a stranger over the internet.
Amy Redford Director/Producer THE GUITAR, Drama
Amy Redford, daughter of Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford, is best known as an actress in the independent film. THE GUITAR stars Janeane Garafalo and Saffron Burrows and marks Redford’s debut as a director and producer. Wearing her “acting hat” at the Festival, Redford appears in SUNSHINE CLEANING, starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Steve Zahn and Alan Arkin, which premiered at Sundance.
Ellen Kuras Director of Photography/Director/Writer, NERAKHOON (translation: The Betrayal), Documentary
Award-winning cinematographer, Ellen Kuras (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, COFFEE AND CIGARETTES) has been nominated for two Emmys and has won three Cinematography Awards at the Sundance Film Festival (for PERSONAL VELOCITY in 2002, ANGELA in 1995 and SWOON in 1992). This year she marked both her directing and screenwriting debut at the Festival with the documentary NERAKHOON, which was in competition for the Grand Jury Prize. She served as a member of the dramatic jury in 1997.
Lauren Greenfield Director/Writer, KIDS & MONEY, Short Subject
In 2007, Lauren Greenfield earned her first Emmy nomination, for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming for the documentary THIN. In 2006 THIN also competed for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. She wrote and directed the short film KIDS & MONEY, which was is in Festival competition.
Sharon Maguire Director/Screenwriter, INCENDIARY, Drama
Sharon Maguire is best known for directing the international blockbuster feature, BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY starring Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. INCENDIARY, starring Michelle Williams, which was in dramatic competition this year at the Festival, marks Maguire’s feature screenwriting debut as well.
Marina Zenovich Director ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED & DESIRED, Documentary
In 2006, Marina Zenovich directed the biographies TIM NOBLE & SUE WEBSTER: NOW HERE and VANESSA BEECROFT IN BERLIN. Zenovich's new documentary examines the public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary director Roman Polanski's sudden flight from the United States. It was in Grand Jury competition at Sundance 08.
Lucy Webb Moderator and Chair, Sundance Film Festival for WIF/LA
Producer, writer, actress and comedienne Lucy Webb first joined the board of Women In Film in 1999. She is currently Senior Consultant for Special Events and has produced the last four Crystal + Lucy Awards shows. Through her Calm Down Productions, she has produced projects for HBO, Warner Bros. Television, CBS, NBC and Lifetime. As an award-winning actress she starred on HBO’s highly-acclaimed NOT NECESSARILY THE NEWS, and has been featured on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, and was a member of the original Comedy Store Players alongside Robin Williams and Martin Short. She has been involved with Sundance for the past five years.
During the discussion, when asked what the baby boomers could learn from the new generation of filmmakers and vice versa, cinematographer Ellen Kuras noted that “the new generation can teach us about new technologies and we can share with them the values that more established filmmakers hold important.” The exchange was spirited, informative and exciting.
Everything today moves faster and faster,” said Webb. “I think we see that film and content delivery is like a huge train leaving the station; either get on board, or get left behind. The future is here. We have to share our knowledge on how to survive in a competitive field.
Amy Redford spoke of her father, Robert Redford, and the Institute’s staff as great mentors for her. Actress Patricia Clarkson commented that she “loved being in the room with so many smart women.” Pamela Cuming discussed the challenges of tackling tough subject matter. Director Sharon Maguire traveled from Great Britain to attend the premeire of her film and to participate in the WIF panel. Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield discussed her involvement with Sundance and the Institutes supportive spirit. The panel was attended by over a hundred Sundance associates, festival goes, directors, managers, agents, attorneys and actors. Many thanks to the panel sponsors Stella Artois, Turning Leaf Vineyards and 360 Vodka.
Variety’s “10 Directors To Watch”
Women In Film and L’Oreal partnered at Sundance this year on Monday, January 20th, to present the L’Oreal “Women of Worth Vision Award,” to Director Tia Lesson, who, with her husband Carl Dean, directed the remarkable documentary TROUBLE THE WATER, a chilling account of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. At Variety’s “Ten Directors to Watch” reception at the Stein Erickson Lodge, WIF President, Jane Fleming, and actress Andie MacDowell presented the $15,000 L’Oreal prize to a gracious Lesson. The Award was inspired by the L'oreal Women of Worth initiative-- a grassroots program that recognizes women who serve their communities and exhibit a strong sense of social responsibility. Attendees at the event included Jodie Foster, Rufus Sewell, Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson.
WIF is very proud to announce that TROUBLE THE WATER was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and congratulates Tia and Carl.
At the Filmmakers Lodge on Friday, January 25th, WIF hosted an outreach table headed by VP of Membership Candace Bowen. The WIF table helped festival goers join WIF, learn more about the organization and get involved with other filmmakers. Working alongside Candace was music video and film producer Kim Ogletree and WIF/LA member Joanne Dean as well as staff members from the Sundance Institute. Women from all over the country stopped by to watch the Legacy Series video and discuss the various programs of the organization.
Once again, everyone that attended the festival had a great time exploring new ideas and enjoyed seeing what was clearly coming from new filmmakers in 2008. Panels ranged from topics such as New Spaces for New Cinema to Culture to Middle East Perspectives.
In addition to President Jane Fleming, Lucy Webb, Candace Bowen and Joanne Dean, other WIF and WIFF members in attendance included Hilary Bibicoff, Ilene Kahn Power and Barbara Boyle.
Women In Film looks forward to a continuing and growing alliance with the Sundance Institute and all the family of supporters. A special thank you to Robert Redford, Ken Brecher, Geoffrey Gilmore, Ben Kim, Robert Dick, Michelle Satter, Jess Christensen, Katie Kennedy and the many others who offered support. WIF and Sundance share mutual goals: to support independent film and to help creative talent find a voice.
Cultivate your craft, put on your snowboots and start looking forward to a wonderful 2009! See you in Park City!
For more information on WIF at the Sundance Film Festival, you are welcome to contact Lucy Webb directly.