2021 Program Areas

As an organization dedicated to showcasing the best films about women leaders, we felt compelled to curate a program that receives, reacts and responds to this past year. With all of our programming, we hope to examine the challenges all around us, celebrate those who have taken up the task to solve them and use this moment as an opportunity to rebuild and envision the kind of world we want to live in.

Making it Happen: Women in STEM
In a world where we’re fighting a global pandemic, staring down the eye of climate change, and on the brink of groundbreaking AI technology, we need the best and brightest leading the way. Too often women are left out, underrepresented or intentionally sidelined in the STEM fields. We’re excited to once again partner with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to tell the stories of fierce and fearless women working in STEM. We’ll see the discoveries they make and the challenges they face as they uncover the truth about our world and break down social barriers.

Tear it Down: Dismantling White Supremacy
The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare that which already plagued our country, including police brutality, structural racism, and economic inequality. We’ll take a look at people organizing and taking action to tear down systems of oppression. You’ll see stories of activists organizing to fight white supremacy in the many forms it takes, whether that is hair discrimination, mass incarceration, or continued disrespect for indigenous communities and their sacred land.

Fall in love with new voices. Celebrate the inspiring new works of first time and student filmmakers as they discover and unlock their creativity, and support a filmmaker on the brink of success with our second annual Breakthrough Award. It has been a difficult year for filmmakers with theater closures and production halts — among those hit hardest are emerging filmmakers. But as you’ll see here, emerging filmmakers are resilient and the future of the industry is bright.

A Look At Health
Physical health, mental health, community health, public health, socioeconomic health – we’ve thought about it constantly for the past 12 months. In a year where every email starts with “hope you are well,” we are asking ourselves “what does it mean to be well?” Why are there so many different ways of talking about health? What does holistic wellness look like? Who has access to health? Do people have autonomy over their health? We’ll dive into these questions with films about health, with a focus on the ongoing fights for reproductive rights, justice, and disparities in maternal healthcare.

Resilience through Uncertainty
What keeps us going? How do we move into the future when we have no idea what it will look like? Humans, women, leaders are resilient. What does resilience look like? How do we move through the fog of uncertainty and come out on the other side? Through films and conversations we’ll investigate and showcase the exhaustion and devastation, and the powerful manifestations of perseverance and hope that keeps people going.

Imagining a New Future
When so much has changed so fast, when in the span of just a few weeks, people started talking about the “new normal,” how does that change our ideas of what is possible? While so much of this rapid change has been difficult and even traumatizing, it has shown us things that things don’t have to be the way they were. How do we use this newfound possibility to build a better world? How do we take this new perspective and turn it on institutions or systems that up until now we just accepted as the way things had to be? The future is wide open. What will it look like?

Nothing About Us Without Us
This rallying cry, which began in the disability rights movements in South Africa in 1993, has since been applied to multiple movements and causes. In the film community, it has been picked up as a way to discuss authorship. Too often we see new voices represented on screen but not behind the scenes. In this program, we dive into representation. Who is at the center of the story? Who is telling the story? These films examine, celebrate, and dissect representation and visibility as it appears in everyday life and in wider communities. In these times of great change, we must keep this rallying cry ringing in our heads. We must keep asking, who is this change serving and who is leading?

Come As You Are
Women, femmes, and trans and non-binary folks are constantly being told how they should look, how they should act and how they should live. For years feminist and queer movements have been breaking down those expectations while also reclaiming things that were once seen as restrictive and stereotypical but now they’re powerful but are these things reclaimed or are we just perpetuating old stereotypes OR is it now such a stereotype that the mere act of embodying it makes it subversive? It is so confusing! In this section we throw all of that out the window and celebrate just being who you are, whatever that means to you. Whether that’s wearing makeup or not, wearing your natural hair or not, shaving or not. It’s all good here as long as it’s what you want! Come as you are.