MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Film launched its first-ever Women's History Month program, featuring 15 feature-length films and two shorts programs. Because of the pandemic, all of the events and screenings are happening virtually.
Nearly all of the films are directed by women and all focus on stories about women.
"They take on a unique perspective of a really intimate and personal look at what the female experience is," said Milwaukee Film's Community Engagement and Events Manager Maureen Post.
The selected films tell stories about everything from working mothers to gender equity in STEM fields, women in leadership roles and more.
"We really pushed to make this representative of the diversity of the experience. So not only ethnically and racially diverse, but diverse by age, diverse by experience," Post said.
Los Angeles-based director Tiffany Frances' short film "Hello From Taiwan" is one of the films featured in the Women's History Month programming.
"'Hello from Taiwan' is based on one of my earliest childhood memories, which was a scene at the airport where my sisters and I were re-meeting each other for the first time after being separated for a year," Frances said.
She said being a part of Milwaukee Film's program highlighting women in film is important and exciting.
"It's something I've stood by for my career, that I wanted to always be supporting women and other women filmmakers," she said. "There are a lot of hurdles and difficulties that you have to go through as a woman in this industry."
One of those hurdles can just be getting your foot in the door.
According to a study from San Diego State University's Center for the Study of Women Television and Film, in 2019-2020 women made up just 35% of key behind-the-scenes roles (producers, executive producer, director, writer, cinematographer) in independent films.
That same study shows that high-profile film festivals in the U.S. selected twice as many narrative feature films directed by men than by women. When it comes to documentaries, festivals featured about an equal number of films directed by women as by men.
For Milwaukee Film, the month-long program is also about taking the conversations presented by women on the screen and bringing them into everyday life. Part of the Women's History Month programming includes virtual conversations with women leaders and organizations in the community on various themes presented in the films.
For a full list of the films and events taking place this month, click here.
To buy a pass or tickets to a particular screening, click here.