February 24, 2010

Something very exciting is happening in New York City. It started this fall when Ester Casey and Melissa Hacker, who both attend the City University of New York, Hunter College, and are current AAUW Career Development Grant recipients, met at an AAUW New York City Branch gathering. While chatting over tea and cookies they found that, as filmmakers, they had a lot in common, and they both wanted to bring more attention to films directed by women. Casey and Hacker also started to think about ways that they could do more to connect with and give back to AAUW. So, with the beginnings of a fabulous idea, they set out to make something happen.

CineSalon Feb 25The result of their vision is CineSalon, a monthly screening series and social hour showcasing women filmmakers. Presented in partnership with the AAUW New York City Branch, the screenings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month in the branch’s elegant brownstone headquarters. As Hacker explains, “CineSalon will screen films directed by women and create a supportive space for screenings of films not easily seen elsewhere.”

The second event of the series will take place this Thursday, February 25, and will feature shorts including Sister Wife, by Jill Orschel, which offers a glimpse into the life of a polygamist wife; an animated documentary called Unravelling, by Sarah Cortese, about an 87-year-old woman struggling with memory loss; and The Chambered Nautilus, Vanessa Woods’ animated underwater journey featuring vintage engravings. To learn more, you can visit CineSalon’s Facebook page.

By providing an opportunity for women filmmakers to screen their work, Hacker and Casey hope to increase the attention these films receive and also build more connections between women in the industry. As Casey points out, “Women make up perhaps 10 percent of the field of professional filmmaking, yet 95 percent of my program is made up of women. What happens to all of these filmmakers once they graduate?” Perhaps supportive spaces such as CineSalon can help more women break through barriers in a field where they are still too often silenced.

By:   |   February 24, 2010

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