In 2013, while making her thesis film at NYU (the well-reviewed festival standout “I Believe in Unicorns”), writer/director Leah Meyerhoff founded the women’s collective, Film Fatales in New York, unwilling to sit on the sidelines, waiting for the film industry to deal with its glaring gender and diversity problems.
Now every month, in New York, Los Angeles and dozens of sister groups worldwide, women filmmakers meet “to mentor each other, share resources, collaborate on projects, and build a supportive community to amplify the voices of women in film…In addition to the monthly meetings, Film Fatales supports a number of other collaborative programs including: panel discussions, industry recommendations, educational workshops, and numerous other special events.”
I was thrilled when director Eliza Hittman (whom I’d photographed when her extraordinary debut feature “It Felt Like Love” screened at BAMcinemaFest in 2013) recommended me to do the new group shot for the NYC Film Fatales feature film directors. During a wonderful weekend in February, aided by Leah, Erica Fae (whose first feature “To Keep the Light” was recently completed), Christine Vartoughian and Jenna Ricker, I photographed nearly sixty women (some of whom I’d know for decades–Bette Gordon and Mary Harron), in groups of 10 or so, in my studio. Tech support (aka Mark) composited the six group portraits (and six individually shot “connector” women) into a gorgeous power panorama, which is now on Film Fatales’ homepage.
Tuesday was International Women’s Day (National Pancake Day too). Today, like the remaining 363–and it literally goes without saying–is men’s day. The shout-out is nice(ish) but true equality will mean (in a vast cosmos of other things) no special days. At least the 51% of us of didn’t share our day with inter/national cupcake, tomato, hot tamale, cheesecake or honeybun day.
In my house today, because of the unseasonably warm weather (great, but not good–I’m worried I’ll soon see polar bears doing the dog paddle in the Hudson), it was national iced cappuccino day.