Everything about working on a set is patriarchal... Everything about it made me uncomfortable. There’s a lot of emotional labor going on within myself, trying to make myself comfortable, trying to show that i’m valuable, that i’m not just the cute girl on set that everyone can hit on.... That’s why I do independent documentary. I don’t have to deal with a lot of the bullshit that deals with the high stakes of working on big productions.
— Miasarah

Emily and Maggie kick off the podcast by dropping some facts about the sad state of the filmmaking industry. Guests Elena Guzman and Miasarah talk about why feminism needs an asterisk & how it’s become a shorthand for knowing who you want to work with. Elena and Miasarah discuss the importance of feminist filmmaking as an anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice, and share some bad feminist moments they’ve had along the way. 

 
 
 

Ep 02 : PJ

A Case Study of Decolonial Filmmaking : ‘Call Her Ganda’


What does it mean to decolonize film not just in theory, but in practice? In episode 2, Maggie and Emily speak with filmmaker PJ Raval, who recently led an all-Filipino directing and producing team to create ‘Call Her Ganda’, which tells the story of three women intimately invested in justice for Jennifer Laude, a Filipina trans woman who was brutally murdered by a U.S. Marine; together they galvanize a political uprising, pursue justice and take on hardened histories of US imperialism. We speak with PJ about how he came to realize his responsibility to work on this project, the process of creating a transnational production team with the depth of experience and sensitivity necessary to execute it across borders, and what he learned about U.S.-Philippine colonial history and himself along the way.

 

I was very conscious of not wanting to go into this story, and this area and imposing my point of view. Recognizing that I am a foreigner, not just being respectful, but actually honoring what is there.
— PJ
 

eP 03 : Dawne

Collaborating Consciously with Community

Dawne Langford, DC-based filmmaker and creative producer tells us about “discovery syndrome”--or what happens when women and people of colors’ ideas are picked up without credit--and the hard lessons she’s learned about film collaborations with communities. Describing her journey from her beginnings at a black-owned public TV station (Howard University’s WHUT) to attending the highly selective PBS Producers Academy, Dawne offers some important ethical principles for filmmakers.

 
 

Ep o4 : Monica

Women Rising up through Art & Activism

Artist and activist Monica Jahan Bose describes “rising up” to challenge the Kavanaugh nomination by teaming up with other women media-makers. Monica reflects on where her fearlessness comes from—her background as an environmental lawyer and performance artist. She shares her unique approach to filmmaking and other art forms as one of “forming community”—using storytelling and shared artistic authority with women to tackle climate change and other social justice issues.