Ana Katz, Video still from Mi Amiga del Parque, 2015

Examining the Complexities of Women’s Film

September 13, 2017

What defines the term “women’s film”, and what does it look like to explore the complexities and limitations of the category? This topic will be addressed, specifically within the framework of Latin American films made by women in the panel discussion Women of Latin American Film, part of the Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics symposium on October 7, 2017.

Two aspects of “women’s film” will be explored: the oversimplified terms of the definition itself, i.e., women writing and directing their own stories; and a less obvious subject, the development of an audience which recognizes women’s voices as distinct based on their female authorship.

With perspectives from academics, directors, and actors, we will destruct what it means to tell a woman’s story against the cultural and socio-political backdrop of Latin American heritage. As new voices expand the vibrant narrative, a rich tapestry of stories and experiences begins to emerge that moves beyond the oversimplied category of women’s film. Developing an audience that recognizes this powerful shift and supports these new voices will be imperative.

Meet the Panelists
Michelle Farrell is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Fairfield University whose research focuses on Cuban and Venezuelan contemporary film. Her recent work explores the intersection between state institutions and emerging independent voices in the audiovisual landscape.

Diana Vargas is a New York based film programmer and TV producer. Diana has been part of the Havana Film Festival New York’s team since 2001 and has won six consecutive Emmys for her work as a producer on the CUNY-TV series Nueva York. She is passionate about Latin American cinema, and has programmed multiple showcases in New York like Corto Circuito, the Latino Shorts Film Festival of New York, and the Lima Film Festival.

Laura Gómez is a director and actor best known for bringing Blanca Flores to life on Orange Is the New Black. Laura is an established writer and voiceover artist who has been a member of the Spanish Repertory Theater since 2007. She studied film courses at New York University, screenwriting at the Jacob Krueger Studio, and is a member of the WAW (Women Artists’ Writing).

Ana Katz is the final panelist. Ana is a writer, director, and actor from Buenos Aires whose films have won critical acclaim. She has worked as director publicist in Felhner Films Producer. This year, she will direct Sueño Florianópolis, whose screenplay won the Ancine-Incaa co-production award.

Women of Latin American Film
The panel will take place at 1:00pm on October 7 at Memorial Hall and will be moderated by Michelle Farrell, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Fairfield University, CT, with panelists: Diana Vargas, Artistic Director, Havana Film Festival New York; Laura Gómez, Director and Actor, New York; and Ana Katz, Writer, Director, Actor, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We encourage you to visit the Women of Latin American Film Facebook Event for more updates. You can also find the complete schedule for the Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics symposium at FotoFocusSymposium.org/about.