Last night I had a very interesting chat with film-maker Rupert Howe about the lessons we can draw from the fact that women can be found vlogging and making online video in roughly equal numbers to men, but still find it so difficult to succeed in the mainstream film industry.
One of those lessons might be that women are leap-frogging the studio system.
But it’s also good to know that that system is still producing some great movies made by women. And here are two bits of news on that vein: first off, Birds Eye View has just announced that its 2008 film festival will be held 6-14 March at the ICA and the BFI Southbank in London. You can find more information here. Tickets will be available early February. One of the most interesting bits on the programme so far looks to be a retrospective of early women pioneers in silent comedy. Screenings of the pre-1930 movies will be introduced by 21st century comics. The festival will also include a screening of the film adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis and Expired, starring Samantha Morton. As usual, the festival includes masterclasses and workshops as well as lots of opportunities to plop down with some popcorn in front of a good film directed by a woman for once. This year, these classes extend their remit a bit – there’s an interesting looking masterclass on screenwriting for videogames and a panel on women in music videos hosted by Miranda Sawyer.
And here’s some more excellent news – Drew Barrymore is going to direct her first film. It’s going to be an adaptation of the autobigraphical book Derby Girl. And the star is going to be Ellen Page of Juno fame. As scribegrrrl at AfterEllen points out, there are “no guarantees” that Barrymore will make a good director. But I can’t help but think she will be.