April brings focus on documentaries and women in film / by KirstenStudio

There are some great documentary oriented events during the month of April and women are most definitely highlighted.  I don't claim to know about every one, but the happenings I am aware of, are worth mentioning.

DocuClub looks particularly terrific this month with How To Lose Your Virginity on April 6th at 7p. The screening will take place at DCTV.  This is a Therese Shechter film and is Co-Produced by Lisa Esselstein and edited by Dina Guttman of Dovetail Films. "Shechter poses two compelling questions: Why does virginity still hold such importance in an otherwise hyper-sexualized American society? And does virginity actually exist, or is it just a social construct created to keep the girls in line?" - docuclub.org

IFP and the United Nations Department of Public Information are teaming up for the third year in a row for Envision, which takes place earlier in the year in 2011.  This event will return to The TimesCenter on April 8th and 9th.  Last year had some great panel discussions and screened A Small Act and Waiting for Superman.  I particularly found the panel discussion that followed A Small Act screening to be inspiring.  I wrote about it last year here.

New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) boasts a full calendar this month with Next Generation Docs: Social Media and Cross-Platform Storytelling, will consist of a panel discussion on the potential of all new technology in documentaries and brings industry professionals, Doug Block, Caitlin Burns, Barbara Rick and Kyle Ruddick. This event takes place at Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute New York University on April 27th.

On April 29th, NYWIFT and New Day Films join for Women Documenting Life: A Celebration of Women Filmmakers to Mark the 40th Anniversary of New Day Films. The event offers two screenings and a reception, all part of the tribute to 40 years of independent filmmaking by women and New Day. The filmmakers will be present and the evening is part of the Reel Dialogue Series at Hunter College.

But the month isn't done yet. NYWIFT's WFPF is proud to be part of Tribeca Film Festival's schedule this year.  The evening of April 30th will offer Independent Women: 15 Years Of NYWIFT-Funded Film Preservation. "Dating from 1950 to 1984, these 11 short films contain experimental narratives, personal documentaries, and abstract animation from the likes of Mary Ellen Bute, Storm de Hirsch, Faith Hubley, and Marie Menken, as well as contemporary voices of living female artists." - Tribecafilm.com. A post screening conversation boasts a pretsegious group of filmmakers. Directors Liane Brandon (still from her film above), Lisa CraftsBarbara HammerJane AaronBette GordonCaroline Mouris will be there. Bute films curator/collector Cecile Starr, animator Emily Hubley, and Tribeca's experimental film programmer Jon Gartenberg. The discussion will be moderated by Drake Stutesman, Co-Chair of NYWIFT's Women's Film Preservation Fund and editor of Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media.

April is a busy month for both documentaries and celebrations of women filmmakers.  Hope to see these events sold out.