Cinema Femme New Year Issue — Editor’s Letter

Photo Credit: Fabiola Auxila, UChicago 2016

Welcome to Cinema Femme’s New Year Issue, “Black Panther” Edition!

Back in 2016, I got the chance to hear Ryan Coogler speak at UChicago about his films “Fruitvale Station” (2013) and “Creed” (2015). He also talked about a little film he was working on called “Black Panther.” I knew at that time that “Black Panther” was going to be a groundbreaking and electrifying success. There was a sense of excitement in that auditorium.

“Black Panther” brought something true and real to the screen, and moviegoers came in floods in 2018, bringing over $700 million to the box office. As you will read in our personal essays and in my interview with Carla Renata, “Black Panther” resonated deeply with many women, especially African American women.

Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” (2018) was chosen for our New Year issue because of the hope this film brought for onscreen representation, and because it’s proof that diverse, strong female characters do well in the box office.

In this issue, we feature passionate personal essays by Liverpool writer and playwright Marjorie H. Morgan, Chicago-based writer Amy Wasney, and Egyptian writer and poet Jaylan Salah, our newest contributor. For those who would rather listen to the personal essays than read them, we’ve included an audio version of the essays read by the writers.

We’ve also doubled our interviews for this issue. Film critic Pamela Powell, who we interviewed in our inaugural issue, included her TIFF interview with female filmmaker Michal Aviad. She spoke with Michal about her film “Working Woman” (2018), releasing in LA and NYC in March and April 2019. I had the pleasure of interviewing “The Curvy Film Critic” Carla Renata. Carla is the onscreen host of “Black Tomatoes Live” (soon to be rebranded and named “The Curvy Film Critic), which is featured on the YouTube channel “Black Hollywood Live.”

I also interviewed two Chicago-based actors and filmmakers who recently had their directorial debuts. I interviewed Tiffany Addison about her debut “Road to Freedom” (2017), and Clare Cooney, who wrote and directed the film festival smash “Runner” (2018). Both filmmakers are strong, talented women and bring their strength to their filmmaking.

 Thank you for reading, and have a happy New Year!

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