Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oscar Honors Women Filmmakers

Actress Diablo Cody poses in the press ...

This year we saw giant strides made by women filmmakers at the Oscars. It was good to see women finally telling their stories and getting acclaim for it.

Persepolis, adapted and directed by Marjane Satrapi (and Vincent Paronnaud) from her graphic novel was nominated for Best Animated Feature. Marjane removes the veil so we can really get to know the precocious Iranian girl living during the Iranian revolution. T
hrough this poignant and often hilarious film, writer/co-director Marjane Satrapi hopes to create understanding of what the Iranian people have undergone.

“I believe that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists,” Satrapi says. “I also don’t want those Iranians who lost their lives in prisons defending freedom, who died in the war against Iraq, who suffered under various repressive regimes, or who were forced to leave their families and flee their homeland to be forgotten.”

We watched as women accepted Oscars for:

Best Documentary Short Subject "Freeheld" - Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth

Best Animated Short Film "Peter & the Wolf" - Suzie Templeton (and Hugh Welchman)

For the first time in Oscar history, four women were nominated in the screenwriting categories: Nancy Oliver was nominated for her highly original feel good comedy, Lars and the Real Girl. Congratulations to Diablo Cody (pictured above) for winning Best Original Screenplay for her quotable dialogue and for her honest portrayal of a teenage girl (which also garnered Ellen Page a Best Actress nomination) in Juno. Two of these nominated writers also realized their vision as director. They created fully drawn, truthful characters that paid off in nominations for their leading ladies. Young writer/director Sarah Polley was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for Away from Her while her lead actress, Julie Christie, was nominated for best actress. Writer/Director Tamara Jenkins was nominated for the bitingly real screenplay, The Savages. Her lead actress Laura Linney was nominated for Best Actress.

Congratulations to all these talented filmmakers! I hope that these powerful women inspire and empower a new generation of women filmmakers to express their stories on film.
Jana Segal


Tuesday, March 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Presented by The University of Arizona's Women's Studies Department

LUNAFEST 2008 lands at The Loft!

Get ready for an entertaining and enlightening evening of short films made by, for, and about women. This annual, nationally-touring film festival brings the best short films from around the world (all made by women) together for one special night of cinematic excitement.

This year's films, which have won industry awards and film festival audience accolades, run the gamut from quirky animation to touching documentaries, and explore such topics as social and cultural diversity, the joys and challenges of mother and child relationships, and the bending (and sometimes breaking) of traditional gender roles. Incredibly diverse in both style and subject matter, these gems are united by a common thread of exceptional storytelling by…for…about women.

Visit the LUNAFEST website:

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