While the overall statistics on women in the film industry are disappointing, the horror genre is one space where women reign. They are taking on increasingly larger roles in horror films as filmmakers and also as protagonists. This panel will delve into the history of women in horror and discuss the recent renaissance of the genre.
This panel will be moderated by Caryn Coleman
Caryn Coleman is the Director of Programming/Special Projects at Nitehawk Cinema where she programs the annual Nitehawk Shorts Festival, new releases of independent films (focusing on horror and women filmmakers), and special repertory screenings. In 2018, she founded The Future of Film is Female, a funding initiative for short films directed by women, that is also part of an ongoing screening series at the Museum of Modern Art. Coleman received the 2012 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Art Writers Initiative grant for her blog on horror and art, The Girl Who Knew Too Much, and has written for Harvard Design Journal, Fangoria.com, and OneplusOne Journal.
Ashlee Blackwell is an independent scholar who developed Graveyard Shift Sisters, an online scholarship chronicling the history and present work of Black women in the horror and science fiction genres and the co-writer and producer of Shudder/AMC Network’s Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. She currently resides in Philadelphia with an ever-growing collection of books and blu-ray’s.
Christina Raia is a New York City based Writer/Director, the Founder of CongestedCat Productions and the Head of Education at Seed&Spark. Her first feature film, Summit, won Best Horror Film at the 2015 Manhattan Film Festival; and she won Best Director for it at the 2015 Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival’s genre division. She is in early stages of financing for what she hopes to be her third feature, Silent Night, a horror-comedy that was a Quarter Finalist at Slamdance’s 2016 Screenwriting Competition. Her other credits as Director, Producer, and Writer include over a dozen narrative short films, as well as a 10-episode web series, that have made official selection at film festivals across the country.
Nancy Stephens is an actress and activist. She serves on the board of the Union of Concerned Scientists and is one of the four non-scientists on the board. Nancy’s other passion is the Arts and arts education. She serves on the board of Americans for the Arts, and she and her filmmaker husband, Rick Rosenthal, actively support meaningful and socially relevant documentary films, through his company Whitewater Films. Nancy and Rick are proud Executive Producers most recently of Dark Money and Won’t You be my Neighbor?. Both documentaries were short-listed for the Academy Awards, as well as receiving many awards during this season
Jenn Wexler is the director of THE RANGER, which world premiered in the Midnighter’s section of the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and will be coming to Shudder in 2019. She is also the producer of MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND (SXSW Grand Jury Prize 2017, Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award Nominee 2018), LIKE ME (SXSW 2017), PSYCHOPATHS (Tribeca Film Festival 2017), and DARLING (Fantastic Fest 2015).