“I’m Thinking Of Ending Things”and the complexities of onscreen female characters written by men

Join us Wednesday, January 13th at 7:30 PM CST as we talk about Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” and the complexities of onscreen female characters written by men.

Synopsis: Full of misgivings, a young woman travels with her new boyfriend to his parents’ secluded farm. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is now streaming on Netflix. Starring Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis.

Discussion Participants

Dawn Borchardt

Dawn Borchardt is a Salt Lake City-based film festival producer, film podcaster and filmmaker. She has worked at many film festivals around the US including Sundance and the LA Film Fest, and currently produces the Freeland Film Fest which focuses on sharing stories that inspire. She hosts the podcast Faux Reel interviewing indie filmmakers about how their personal histories and beliefs interweave with the stories they share on screen. Dawn’s lifelong love of horror film is what got her immersed in the film world, ultimately landing her focus on experimental work, documentaries and stories that inspire change.

Victoria Geil

Victoria Geil is an actress and a screenwriter with a passion for the female gaze. She began her studies at Occidental College in Critical Theory and Social Justice and completed her BFA at Portland State University in film and writing with a business minor. She has acted in Spike Lee’s “OldBoy”, “How I Met Your Mother”, and “Trinkets”. Publications written for include Verily Magazine and Complex Magazine. At her former live-in residency in downtown Los Angeles, she wrote over 100 live poems for visitors at the Brewery Artwalk.
She seeks to create works that exemplify intersectionality, empowerment, and inclusion.

Rebecca Martin

*MODERATOR* Rebecca Martin is the Managing Editor of Cinema Femme magazine and the Festival Director of Cinema Femme Short Film Fest. She founded her publication in 2018 because she wanted to create a platform for female voices in the film community. She has hosted film screenings in Chicago, led virtual panel discussions, Q&As, is the Cinema Femme Short Films Director, and has covered festivals like the Chicago International Film Festival, Sundance, Tribeca, and the Bentonville Film Festival.

Veronica Miles

Veronica Miles dedication to the cinematic experience led to a career in Cinema Exhibition over the past 8 years: managing dine-in cinemas, producing large-scale screening events and premieres and working at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, AFI Fest, New Zealand International Film Festival, TCM Fest, and more. She has now moved into Impact Producing for Spellbound Productions II, overseeing distribution of their award-winning documentary General Magic, which had a 25-city US theatrical run and is now available on Showtime and VOD. She is currently a Producing lead on their next project in development. Her latest short film “Bess” was completely self-produced and follows a woman seeking healing in New Orleans after her grandmother’s death.

Andrea Staley

Andrea Staley is a professional prudent eccentric and an amateur everything else. She is a connoisseur in hats, both literal and metaphorical as she as worn many of both. She has worked in the film and TV industry for seventeen years, doing everything from camera to post. Currently she is in the local Chicago union as a coordinator, working primarily on features and television. Her loves include cinema, cats, long walks and longer jokes. Please vote. The end.

Tavi Veraldi

Tavi Veraldi is a Chicago based Illustrator. Her illustration style is bold, playful, and busy. The inspiration behind most of her work is the genre, queer, classic Hollywood, and B movies she can get her hands on. Learn more about Tavi’s work here: taviveraldiworks.squarespace.com

Chaz Ebert moderates Black Female Filmmaker Renaissance Panel with Channing Godfrey Peoples, Numa Perrier, Christine Swanson, Ashley O’Shay, and Sanicole

Here is a throwback to a panel discussion that was part of our 2020 Inaugural Short Film Fest that took place 8/6/20 – 8/9/20.

The panel will discuss the powerful cinematic stories by Black female filmmakers in 2019 and 2020, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement. The panel discussion will be moderated by Chaz Ebert, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of RogerEbert.com. Feature panelists include filmmakers Channing Godfrey Peoples (“Miss Juneteenth”), Ashley O’Shay (“Unapologetic), Numa Perrier (“Jezebel”), Christine Swanson (“The Clark Sisters”), and Sandrel Nicole Young (“Training Wheels”).

Short Film “Cool for Five Seconds” now on Omeleto!

Inaugural 2020 Cinema Femme Short Film Fest selected “Cool for Five Seconds”- Short Film is officially released online! Link below!

“Directed by Dani Wieder from a script by Calamity West, this two-hander is equal parts bitingly funny, emotionally raw and deeply empathetic, with an ear and eye for the complexities of relationships between sisters, and how currents of affection and anger can flow between siblings, though it all comes from a deep well of love.”

“Cool for Five Seconds” was written by Calamity West, directed by Dani Wieder, Produced by Katherine Bourne Taylor & Mary Tilden. Starring Mary Tilden & Katherine Bourne Taylor. It was first performed as a play, then adapted to the screen and shot in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.Please share the link with your network and friends! The first days are important to the long-term visibility of the film and your engagement really helps.

Also, please “like” the film on YouTube and let us know what you think in the comment section! Thank you, and we hope you enjoy

“Cool For Five Seconds”!CW: Mention of eating disorder, mention of addiction

The Twelve Days of Cinema Femme: 9 – 12

We could not have had the year we had without you. 2020 was hard for many reasons and in many ways, but we stuck together as a filmmaking and womxn in film community, and that made it all worthwhile. In the spirit of the holidays we wanted to highlight 12 “days” or “events” of 2020 that celebrate our community. Thank you all for your support this year and Happy Holidays!

On the ninth day of Cinema Femme, we got to talk to the amazing cast and crew of “Once Upon A River”

On the tenth day of Cinema Femme, we featured womxn filmmakers from the Chicago International Film Festival

On the eleventh day of Cinema Femme, we talked “Scream”

On the twelfth day of Cinema Femme we elevate indigenous female filmmakers.

Know Their Work: Indigenous Womxn in Film

Lissa Yellow Bird’s story rippled in me an awareness of what I was not seeing onscreen. Where are the indigenous stories and indigenous female stories? The book Yellow Bird by Sierra Crane Murdoch inspired me to take a deeper look into the indigenous female filmmaker community who are telling these stories. The bios below I hope to be the beginning of a deeper dive into this community in 2021.

Rebecca Martin, Managing Editor of Cinema Femme.
Danis Goulet

Danis Goulet

Danis Goulet is a writer and director. Her films have screened at festivals around the world including Sundance, Berlinale, and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and have been developed with support of the Sundance Institute, the National Screen Institute and the TIFF Talent lab. Her film Wakening (2013) screened at TIFF and Sundance and her film Barefoot (2012) was recognized with a special jury mention at the 2013 Berlinale. She is a former programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival and a former director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her debut feature NIGHT RAIDERS was selected for the Sundance Institute’s inaugural Talent Forum in 2019 and is currently in post production. Danis is Cree/Metis, originally from northern Saskatchewan in Canada. (Sundance Collab)

Heather Rae

Heather Rae

Heather Rae has produced such films as Academy Award nominated Frozen River, Netflix Originals Tallulah and Dude, festival darling I Believe in Unicorns, award-winning The Dry Land and more recently Bull which premiered in Cannes. Rae has been recognized as one of Variety’s Producers to Watch and won the Piaget and Cinereach Producers Awards. She is a member of the Academy and serves on the Producers Branch Executive Committee. Rae is currently in a First Look deal with Amazon Studios and is an Executive Producer on series, Outer Range starring Josh Brolin. Rae is as a narrative change strategist with IllumiNative and works from both her settler and indigenous heritage to deeper the dialogue of reconciliation and responsibility in the Americas. (Bio provided by Heather Rae)

PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 19: Director Sydney Freeland attends the Day One Press Conference during day 1 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Egyptian Theatre on January 19, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)

Sydney Freeland

Sydney Freeland is an Emmy-nominated film and TV director. Her debut feature, Drunktown’s Finest, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and went on to receive the Jury Prize at LA Outfest. She also directed the digital series Her Story, which received an Emmy nomination in 2016 for Short Form Series. Her second feature, the Netflix original film Deidra and Laney Rob A Train, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and is currently streaming in 190 countries. Additionally, Sydney has directed episodes for Grey’s Anatomy and the upcoming Heathers. (Free the Bid)

Aurora Guerrero

Aurora Guerrero

Writer/Director Aurora Guerrero has directed award winning short narrative films, including Pura Lengua (2005 Sundance Film Festival) and Viernes Girl (winner of the 2006 HBO/NYLIFF short film competition). Based on the strength of her first feature length script, Mosquita y Mari, Aurora was awarded the 2005 Sundance Ford Fellowship, the 2005 Paul Robeson Development Grant, was selected to participate in the 2005 Sundance Native/Indigenous Lab; 2006 Tribeca All Access Filmmaker Program; 2009 Film Independent Producer’s Lab. In 2007, she received an ITVS development deal and most recently was awarded a production grant from Latino Public Broadcasting. Her accomplishments as an emerging writer/director earned her a slot in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. She has also had the honor of assisting directors Patricia Cardoso (Real Women Have Curves) and Peter Bratt (La Mission). In 2000, Guerrero was in Film Independent’s Project:Involve, and in 2011 Film Independent awarded her the LG Cinema 3D Grant. (Film Independent)

Erica Tremblay

Erica Tremblay

Erica is an award-winning filmmaker (“Little Chief”, “In the Turn”, “Heartland: A Portrait of Survival”) and digital strategist with over 10 years experience across interactive and video content. Her projects have screened at 60+ film festivals and her work has been featured on PBS, CNN and IFC. She was recently honored as a 40 Under 40 Native American and was a 2018 Sundance Native Film Lab Fellow. Erica is currently studying her Indigenous language.

Leya Hale

Leya Hale

Leya Hale, 36, lives in St. Paul. She was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. She is Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and Navajo Dine. She is a storyteller, a documentary filmmaker and a producer with Twin Cities PBS (TPT), where she’s been working for the past eight years.

She graduated from California State University, Fullerton in Orange County, studying radio television and film. She attended graduate school at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D., where she earned a degree in American Indian Studies and worked as a production assistant on a documentary about women in the Red Power movement. This is where Hale says the door to filmmaking opened for her.

When she moved to St. Paul, Hale said she was in awe because she could walk down the street and run into Native people. Back home in Los Angeles, she had to intentionally seek them out. Being around so many Native people, “just made me feel good that there was a strong vibrant community out here. I felt at home right away,” Hale said.

Hale has won multiple regional Emmy awards for her work. She is currently the Merata Mita fellow at the Sundance Institute, an imagineNATIVE 2020 Native fellow and an ambassador with Thrive’s “My Sisters are Warriors” initiative. Hale is currently producing a feature length documentary about missing and murdered Indigenous women, titled “Bring Her Home.” (mprnews.org)

Razelle Banally

Razelle Benally

Razelle Benally is an emerging independent filmmaker dedicated to creating stories
with strong Indigenous female protagonists and hopes to bring a new perspective to the male-dominated film industry that has a history of marginalizing Indigenous peoples.

She has helped facilitate several film workshops with Native youth in Oregon, South Dakota and New Mexico. Her film work has shown in Portland, Oregon, Long Beach, California, Phoenix, Arizona, and internationally in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada, and Stockholm, Sweden. She was the 2010 Santa Fe Indian Market jury-awarded winner for Best Documentary in SWAIA’s Classification X and is an alumna of the 2012 Sundance Institute Native Filmmakers Lab as well as an awardee of the 2015 Sundance Institute Native Short film Production Grant for her most recent completed work I Am Thy Weapon.

Benally’s 2015 Short Film The Blanket was the 2016 New Mexico Film Foundation’s Student Showcase winner for Best Narrative, Best Actor, and Best Overall Film of the Showcase. I Am Thy Weapon also won SWAIA’s 2016 Classification X: Best Short Narrative. (First Peoples Fund)

Tracey Deer

Tracey Deer

Born and raised in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, Tracey Deer is an award-winning Indigenous director, producer, writer, mentor, speaker, and leader. A graduate of Dartmouth College’s Film Studies program, Tracey is a visual storyteller who wants to have a positive impact on the world. (traceydeer.com)

The Twelve Days of Cinema Femme: 5 – 8

We could not have had the year we had without you. 2020 was hard for many reasons and in many ways, but we stuck together as a filmmaking and womxn in film community, and that made it all worthwhile. In the spirit of the holidays we wanted to highlight 12 “days” or “events” of 2020 that celebrate our community. Thank you all for your support this year and make sure to stay tuned for days 9 – 12 through out the next few days and for what’s to come in 2021. Happy Holidays!

On the fifth day of Cinema Femme, with the horrific murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the many other police brutalities that occurred this year, our eyes were opened to the devastating impact of systemic racism. In light of that and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we elevated Black female filmmakers like “The Watermelon Woman” director Cheryl Dunye and documentarian Shola Lynch (whose subjects have included Angela Davis and Shirley Chisholm).

On the sixth day of Cinema Femme, we launched our inaugural short film festival on the Seed&Spark virtual platform. 20 films from all over the world screened along with LIVE Q&As, panels, and workshops.

On the seventh day of Cinema Femme, we connect award recipients selected for our Mentorship program to seasoned womxn in film for our Womxn to Womxn in Film Mentorship Program.

On the eighth day of Cinema Femme, we lost a gigantic talent in the industry, Chadwick Boseman. In his memory, we brought back our “Black Panther” issue, which featured an exclusive interview with the film’s Oscar-winning production designer Hannah Beachler.

The Twelve Days of Cinema Femme: 1 – 4

We could not have had the year we had without you. 2020 was hard for many reasons and in many ways, but we stuck together as a filmmaking and womxn in film community, and that made it all worthwhile. In the spirit of the holidays we wanted to highlight 12 “days” or “events” of 2020 that celebrate our community. Thank you all for your support this year and make sure to stay tuned for days 5 – 12 through out the next few days and for what’s to come in 2021. Happy Holidays!

On the first day of Cinema Femme, we highlight womxn in film at Sundance, while amplifying work by media alliances that share our mission through the #KNOWMYWORK campaign.

January 23 – 28, 2020

Cinema Femme is about amplifying the voices of underrepresented filmmakers and those who support them. During the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, in addition to our own original interviews, we will be posting excellent content from other media outlets and platforms to make sure you know about the best content from around the globe.

On the second day of Cinema Femme, we bring you stories about womxn in film in Europe through our 2020 Cineuropa media partnership.

January 2020

We are proud to be media partners with Cineuropa. We believe cinema can make our world feel more united, and as Cinema Femme is a platform for championing womxn in film, we also like to shine a light on the exciting work that is being done outside of the US. Through Cineuropa, we are able to widen our network and showcase interviews with womxn in the European film industry.

On the third day of Cinema Femme, we brighten your quarantine by bringing you a LIVE variety show showcasing the talents of womxn in film we’ve previously featured on our site.

On the fourth day of Cinema Femme, we lost a very important womxn in film, director Lynn Shelton (“Humpday”, “My Sister’s Sister”, “Little Fires Everywhere”). We gave you coverage with videos and interviews, while highlighting the ‘Of A Certain Age’ grant that went to Keisha Rae Witherspoon in Lynn’s honor.

May 16th, 2020 (IG @CinemaFemmeMagazine)

Exclusive Screening of short GUTTERPUNKS on Dec 17th @ 1 PM PST| Q&A with Executive Producer and Music Artist KT Tunstall

Cinema Femme is proud to present an exclusive screening of the short film GUTTERPUNKS followed by a 30-minute Q&A with the executive producer of the film and music artist KT Tunstall!

Executive Produced By KT Tunstall
Written and Directed By Luke Arnold
Starring Sophie Kennedy Clark, Luke Mably, and Sasha Aston
Synopsis: Starring model-turned-award-winning actress Sophie Kennedy Clark (“Philomena”, “Nymphomaniac”) – the short film GUTTERPUNKS follows the unique friendship of a young woman and a girl as both navigate experiences with loneliness and learn to embrace their inner punk.
15 Minutes 

About KT Tunstall

Since scoring a worldwide smash with her debut album ‘Eye To The Telescope’ in 2004, which went on to sell over 5 million copies, KT Tunstall has remained at the forefront of UK Singer-Songwriter talent. KT followed up that early success with albums ‘Drastic Fantastic’, ‘Tiger Suit’ and ‘Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon’ in 2007, 2010 and 2013 respectively, keeping the platinum sales rolling and cementing the Scottish singer-songwriter’s reputation as a major recording talent, as well as a mesmerising live artist.

2012 and the years that followed saw a seismic shift in outlook – the loss of her father, a divorce, and a relocation to Venice Beach, California.
After a period of healing, soul-searching, and a change of scenery, 2016 hailed the arrival of the first of a trilogy of albums, the critically acclaimed UK top 10 album – ‘KIN’. The trilogy evokes, separately and in sequence, spirit, body and mind. With ‘KIN’ being her phoenix- from-the-ashes ‘spirit’ album, 2018 marked the second offering of that trilogy, the ‘body’ album ‘WAX’.

Tunstall has toured the world many times over. She outsold every other female artist in the UK in 2005, won the 2006 Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist, won the Ivor Novello Best Song award for her huge, self- penned hit ‘Suddenly I See’, and a Q award for Track of the Year. She also landed a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance with ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’, and lent her tunes to a host of movies and TV shows (‘Suddenly I See’ being used in the iconic opening scene of modern classic Meryl Streep film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’).

The first single from her latest release, ‘The River’, was named one of Rolling Stone’s ‘Songs You Need To Know’.

The last few years have seen something of a creative rebirth for Tunstall. Upon relocating to the west coast of the USA, she was accepted as one of six annual fellows for the Sundance Film Institute’s Composers Lab (hosted by George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch in Northern California) and has since scored music for short and feature films. She has also been awarded the Inspirational Artist gong at the Women In Music Awards and was chosen as the first ever female Grand Marshal (following the likes of Sir Sean Connery) to lead April 2018’s annual New York Tartan Week parade. In May 2018 she and Mike McCready, of legendary multi-million selling Pearl Jam, released a cover of Tom Petty’s huge hit single ‘I Won’t Back Down’ with proceeds going to Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation.

In 2018, KT performed sold-out intimate headline shows across the UK and US and toured worldwide supporting acclaimed artists including Simple Minds, The Pretenders, and Barenaked Ladies.

2019 saw KT perform a large headline tour across the UK and Europe with her all-female band, playing festivals all over the UK (including a headline set at Glastonbury Festival). She toured the US & Canada, Japan, China, the Netherlands, Mexico and Brazil, as well supporting Hall & Oates on their UK arena tour.

Touring continued for KT in early 2020 with headline shows in the US, performing with Jools Holland across Europe, and playing New York’s legendary Madison Square Garden – supporting Hall and Oates.

“Oleander” – Kate Hackett

A seventeen year old sex-positive YouTuber starts a social media war against her abstinence program. Stars Emily Robinson (Transparent), Peri Gilpin (Frasier), and Jennifer Lafleur (Room 104).

Winner, Best Director, Short Film – The Method Fest.
Winner, Levin Grand Prize – Wheaton Film Festival.

Directed by Kate Hackett, who won an editing Emmy for “Cheer”. Kate is also known for editing Netflix’s “Last Chance U”, and the Sundance documentary “Half The Picture”.

“Oleander” is based on a feature film screenplay, “Purify My Heart”, which was a finalist in the American Zoetrope Screenwriting contest.


“Bess” – Veronica Miles

*Winner * Phenomenal Woman Award – Cinema Femme Short Film Festival 2020 https://cinemafemme.com/2020/09/13/ve…

After finding a photo of her recently passed Grandmother standing on a street corner in New Orleans, a young woman decides to travel to the city to find that same corner. As she journeys through her grieving process, she discovers the healing powers of the city.

Based on a true story and shot on an iPhone 7 over Mardi Gras 2018. Written, Directed, Shot & Edited by Veronica Miles (veronicamiles.com) Starring Sarah Belle Miles & Kaitlynn Clement Learn more at veronicamiles.com/bess

Featuring “Phases” by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah w/ Sarah Elizabeth Charles & Cliff Hines, from the album “Ruler Rebel” of The Centennial Trilogy (Stretch Music Publishing LLC)

RT 5 minutes

“Rita Wishman’s Birthday” – Ariel Kavoussi

“Rita Wishman’s Birthday” is a dark comedy about ‘Rita Wishman’s’ (played by Ariel Kavoussi) 30th birthday.

If you’d like to see more (& help me make more) movies, join me at patreon.com/arielkavoussi

Charlotte Film Festival (Virtual Edition) 2020, Official Selection

Director/Producer/Writer/Editor: Ariel Kavoussi
Starring: Ariel Kavoussi, Magnus Kavoussi, Judith Salavetz, Max Drazen
Cinematography/Sound: Moebius Simmons
Additional Editor: Justin Kavoussi
Color Correct: Jenny Montgomery
Special Thanks: Lillian LaSalle, Nick Kavoussi, Saemi Kavoussi, & my Patreon Backers
Thank you: Caveh Zahedi, William George-Louis, Drue Langlois, Onur Tukel, Rebecca Kavoussi, Mario Montes, Michael Montes, Gabriela Azevedo, Thammika Songkaeo, Don Cameron, Allison Toren, Meg Navoy