Darryl Macdonald, Director of Cinema Seattle, which produces the Seattle International Film Festival and the Women in Cinema Festival, recently announced the organization’s new focus on films by women. In 2003, SIFF will embrace the mandate of the popular Women in Cinema Festival, mounted by Cinema Seattle for the past seven years. As part of its annual goal of bringing the cinematic crème de la crème to Seattle, the larger festival will take on WIC’s mission to spotlight the best features, shorts and documentaries by women filmmakers around the world. WIC will no longer be presented as a stand-alone event.
“This move reflects our recognition of women directors as mainstream film artists,” said Macdonald. “In the last ten years, festivals featuring women’s filmmaking have served a very important purpose: to introduce audiences to the richly diverse work being created by women all over the world, work that often hadn’t received the theatrical exposure it deserved. But now it’s time to acknowledge the success of women directors on the larger cinematic playing field and to avoid the appearance of “ghetto-izing” these strong-and equal–contenders for film honors.”
During the past seven years, the Women in Cinema Festival offered an important opportunity to Seattle’s film-going community to view films by major directors such as Jane Campion, Patricia Rozema, Agnieszka Holland, Alison Maclean, and Lynne Ramsay, as well as works by outstanding up-and-comers. Last year, Women in Cinema, programmed by festival director Kathleen Murphy, Maryna Ajaja and Macdonald, featured 40 films, an art exhibition, a script reading and a Sunday morning brunch and panel discussion. Seattle audiences can look forward to comparably ambitious programming as women’s cinema comes under SIFF’s umbrella in 2003.
The festival will take place May 22nd – June 15th. Keep your eye on the festival as it ramps up at the Cinema Seattle website.