From 1994-2010, the Walker Art Center presented an annual month-long screening series featuring women directors, starting with a touring program “Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC): Homegirls”, which blossomed into the Walker’s very own “Women With Vision” (WWV) festival. This March, the Walker Art Center will celebrate the legacy and influence of these groundbreaking programs that both launched and inspired so many women directors from our region.
Celebrate the legacy and influence of the Walker’s Women with Vision programs, which supported female filmmakers and sought to bring their experiences and perspectives to the forefront. Celebrated international directors screened side by side with local artists at all stages of their careers. Two past participants, Melody Gilbert and Kelly Nathe, guest curate and pay tribute to this era of film programming, largely helmed by Senior Curator Sheryl Mousley.
“My indie filmmaking career kicked off in 2002 when Sheryl Mousley selected my first indie doc Married at the Mall to screen at the Walker in the Women with Vision program. I was so honored, and I know there are so many other women in our region who came up through this program just like me. Finding those filmmakers and having a reunion as well as celebrating the up-and-coming women filmmakers of today are reasons why I wanted to guest curate this program with Kelly Nathe. We both had life-changing experiences by screening films at the Walker, and we wanted to find out what happened to the others. And with the Academy Awards leaving women off the best director list again, we thought now would be a good time to do this.” —Melody Gilbert
The four-day program includes shorts screenings, on-stage conversations, introductions of new films by emerging local directors and a celebratory reception.
“I have always believed that filmmaking is women’s work. When I came to the Walker in 1998, I took on the annual film program that had started in 1994 called “Women in the Director’s Chair” which had a local sidebar called “Homegirls.” I turned the program into Walker’s “Women With Vision” film festival, always keeping the local filmmakers at the center,” states Sheryl Mousley, Senior Curator, Moving Image. “After my eleven years with the festival, and only when a woman, Katherine Bigelow, in 2010 finally won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director, did I hear the shout, “We’ve won!” While ending the series on a high note, I vowed to continue showing women filmmakers at Walker throughout all our programs. I am proud to say that 25% of the Walker Dialogues are women, and the year-round cinema program continues to give voice to local filmmakers and celebrate the legacy and influence of women in international cinema. I am proud of all the Minnesota filmmakers who have shown their films at Walker. It is a wonderful history and confirmation of home-based talent.”
“My very first short film, Rock-n-Roll Girlfriend, screened in the WIDC: Homegirls program back in 1995 when I was still a student, and I can’t begin to explain how much my inclusion in the program meant to me back then. It remains a badge of honor to this day! I’ve always wondered what happened to all the women who started here. Where did they end up and how did the Walker program that focused on women directors shape their careers? Melody Gilbert and I were co-chairs of Film Fatales in Minnesota, an international organization of women and non-binary directors of feature films, and we both pondered that question and decided to go on a journey together to find these women as well as celebrate the emerging filmmakers in our region.” adds Kelly Nathe
Women with Vision: Then and Now
Guest curated by Melody Gilbert and Kelly Nathe
Thursday–Sunday, March 12–15
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Film Fatales Presents: New MN Shorts Showcase
Post-screening conversation with Film Fatales
Thursday, March 12, 7 pm
Walker Cinema, Free
Enjoy a sampling of recent works directed by MN women and selected by Film Fatales, a national organization of women and non-binary filmmakers advocating for intersectional parity in the film industry. The evening’s screening is followed by an onstage conversation led by Film Fatales about making the leap to feature filmmaking in our region.
- Film Fatales Twin Cities Reel, 10 min
- Santuario, Christine Delp & Pilar Timpane, 3 min. (excerpt)
- A Winter Love, Rhiana Yazzie, 4 min. (excerpt)
- Master Servant, Julie Anne Koehnen, 3 min. (excerpt)
- North Side Boxing Club, Carrie Bush and Amanda Becker, 3 min.
- Peeled, Naomi Ko, 2 min.
- Muslim Sheroes of MN: Nimo Omar, Ariel Tilson, 4 min. (excerpt)
- The Coyote Way, Missy Whiteman, 4 min. (trailer)
- Oh My Stars, Cynthia Uhrich, 3 min. (excerpt)
- Happily Married After, Alison Guessou, 3 min. (excerpt)
- Little Men, Ayesha Adu, 3 min. (excerpt)
- Untitled Hmong Doc, Joua Lee Grande, 3 min. (excerpt)
- Underground, Beth Peloff, 3 min.
- Self-Creation, Shelby Dillon, 5 min.
- Jasmine Star, Jo Rochelle, 5 min. (excerpt)
Total run time: approximately 60 min.Continue reading