Darryl Macdonald, Director of Cinema Seattle, which produces the Seattle
International Film Festival and the Women in Cinema Festival, recently announced
the organization's new focus on films by women. In 2003, SIFF will embrace the
mandate of the popular Women in Cinema Festival, mounted by Cinema Seattle for
the past seven years. As part of its annual goal of bringing the cinematic cr�me
de la cr�me to Seattle, the larger festival will take on WIC's mission to
spotlight the best features, shorts and documentaries by women filmmakers around
the world. WIC will no longer be presented as a stand-alone event.
"This move reflects our recognition of women directors as mainstream film artists,"
said Macdonald. "In the last ten years, festivals featuring women's filmmaking
have served a very important purpose: to introduce audiences to the richly diverse
work being created by women all over the world, work that often hadn't received
the theatrical exposure it deserved. But now it's time to acknowledge the success
of women directors on the larger cinematic playing field and to avoid the appearance
of "ghetto-izing" these strong-and equal--contenders for film honors."
During the past seven years, the Women in Cinema Festival offered an important
opportunity to Seattle's film-going community to view films by major directors
such as Jane Campion, Patricia Rozema, Agnieszka Holland, Alison Maclean, and
Lynne Ramsay, as well as works by outstanding up-and-comers. Last year, Women
in Cinema, programmed by festival director Kathleen Murphy, Maryna Ajaja and
Macdonald, featured 40 films, an art exhibition, a script reading and a Sunday
morning brunch and panel discussion. Seattle audiences can look forward to
comparably ambitious programming as women's cinema comes under SIFF's umbrella