On this edition of the Women’s Film Institute podcast, host, Scarlett Shepard, speaks with author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles about her book On Her Own Ground, which is slated to become a TV series about entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist, Madam C.J. Walker (1867–1919). A’Lelia Bundles shares the legacy of her great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker, the country’s first African-American millionaire, who helped women become entrepreneurs in the 20th century. Kasi Lemmons is attached to direct the series. Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer has signed on to play Madam C.J. Walker, and will become a producer of the show. LeBron James, in association with his production company, SpringHill Entertainment, has joined the team as an executive producer. The series is still in development for the kind of limited series we’ve come to expect on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and Amazon Prime.
Madam C.J. Walker’s story is one that should be in all history books. She worked as a washerwoman, making as little as $1.50 per day. She suffered from hair loss, and created a shampoo and scalp ointment to remedy her condition. She called it, “Wonderful Hair Grower,” and in 1910, she built a hair training school and factory, the headquarters of the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Co. The company trained thousands of African-Americans to become “Walker Agents,” and provided opportunities to women who otherwise would have been maids, cooks, and laundresses to gain financial independence.
“I got my start by giving myself a start.” – Madam C.J. Walker
By the time Madam C.J. Walker died in May 1919, she and her teaching faculty had trained more than 20,000 Walker agents. Tune in to our latest podcast episode with A’Lelia Bundles, and learn how Madam C.J. Walker inspired women to become entrepreneurs in the 20th century.
Women’s Film Institute is proud to be part of The Girls’ Festival 2017 (Sunday, October 1, 2017 at The Hive – 2335 Broadway, Oakland, CA). Founder of the Women’s Film Institute, Scarlett Shepard, co-curated short films for the Community and Color in the Bay: Short Films program at the Girls’ Festival 2017. Here are two films that will screen at Girls’ Festival on Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 4:25 pm – 4:45 pm.
CULTIVATING COMMUNITY directed by Jasmine Ehrhardt and Zoe Salnave (6 min, USA, 2011)
A short documentary about the role urban farming has played in the boosting of West Oakland’s communal spirit.
GREATER THAN COLOR directed by Zoe Salnave (9 min, USA, 2011)
This short documentary consists of interviews with Bay Area high school students discussing their relationship to race and identity.
The Girls’ Festival 2017 features 16 diverse and exciting workshops that span many topic areas including nutrition for athletes, filmmaking, media literacy, safe and healthy relationships, human trafficking awareness, computer coding, and cooking classes with high profile chefs. Be sure to check the schedule ahead of time for times and locations. These workshops will fill up fast, as space is limited, so arrive to the location early to ensure your entry. We hope you will join us on October 1st, and don’t forget to buy your tickets ASAP, as we have a feeling this year’s event will SELL OUT!
Women’s Film Institute is proud to be a community partner at this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival and co-present the following films:
Mr. Roosevelt – After escaping the “velvet rut” of Austin to pursue a comedy career in LA, Emily returns to deal with a cat—and life—crisis. Writer-director Noël Wells (Master of None) stars in Mr. Roosevelt, her endearingly weird and funny debut, an autobiographical ode to 21st-century twenty something angst, the winner of audience and jury awards at SXSW.
I Still Hide To Smoke is the debut feature from Franco-Algerian director and playwright Rayhana, featuring an all-female cast. In this tight, tense, and riveting drama, award-winning actress Hiam Abbass (In Syria; The Lemon Tree, MVFF 2008) is a head masseuse at an Algerian women’s hammam (bathhouse) that serves as both warm sanctuary and steamy political crucible for a group of culturally and religiously diverse women over the course one momentous day. In Arabic and French.
Coming soon to Netflix, Oscar-winning actress’ Angelina Jolie’s fourth feature directorial effort, “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.” Adapted by Loung Ung and Jolie from Ung’s memoir of the same title. It is told from the perspective of a Cambodian girl, Loung Ung, as she and her family struggled to survive the brutal genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime that murdered one-quarter of the population after the United States withdrew from Vietnam. Jolie recently screened the film at the Telluride Film Festival to a standing ovation, as reported by IMDB pro. The film is also eligible for the best foreign language film Oscar should Cambodia choose to submit it. The film will be simultaneously released by Netflix in select theaters and on its streaming platform on Sept. 15. (image courtesy gettyimages.com)
Rizzoli & Isles creator Janet Tamaro writer for and producer of shows like Bones, Sleeper Cell, CSI: New York, Lost and Law & Order: SVU, is developing a new female police drama series for 20th Century Fox Television entitled Smoke and Mirrors. According to IMDB pro, the series would follow a seasoned former detective who is now a mom stuck behind a desk and raising two children. She is unexpectedly pulled back into the field to cover for a sick colleague and work alongside a young rookie female detective who has been deep undercover.
Variety reports Oscar-winning actress, producer and author Octavia Spencer is set to play entrepreneur and activist Madam C.J. Walker (1867–1919) in a new TV Series based on the critically-acclaimed, best-selling biography “On Her Own Ground” by A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s granddaughter. Madam C.J. Walker suffered from a scalp condition that made her lose her hair, which was the impetus for her to invent a successful line of hair care products, and is ultimately what led her in 1905 to become one of the first female self-made millionaires in America. The series is being produced by SpringHill Entertainment, the production company of NBA star LeBron James, whose mission is to spotlight the hidden African-American figures who helped shape American history.
The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund will provide successful applicants with a development grant of up to $10,000 CDN which could reflect up to 100 per cent of the development budget. Grant money must be spent in the region on development activities and pre-production. Eligible costs include research, development of a script and story proposal and production of a teaser or trailer. Other eligible costs may include production of pitch and marketing materials, community engagement strategy research, as well as distribution strategy research. Application deadline: August 18, 2017. Apply now: http://www.hotdocs.ca/i/hd-big-fund-how-to-apply#
The Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund supports full-length documentary films that reflect the spirit and nature of Pare Lorentz’s work, exhibiting objective research, artful storytelling, strong visual style, high production values, artistic writing, and outstanding music composition, as well as skillful direction, camerawork, and editing. A program of the International Documentary Association, the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund is made possible by The New York Community Trust. Deadline: July 31, 2017. More information: http://www.documentary.org/pare-lorentz-doc-fund#
ITVS is looking for exceptional storytelling that’s in line with their mission: stories that take risks, tackle important issues, and are seldom seen in public media. They’ll partner with you to help you finish your film, then distribute it on public television.
As part of your application, you’ll submit a work in progress video from your production. For pre-production projects, see Diversity Development Fund or Digital Open Call. On average, Open Call applicants spend 1-2 weeks completing their applications. One to three percent of Open Call applicants receive funding. Amounts average between $150,000 and $350,000.
Open Call is not a grant. ITVS provides a co-production investment in your project. Open until July 28, 2017 11:59 PM PDT. Apply today: https://itvs.org/funding/open-call
The Roy W. Dean Grant for Summer 2017 is now open for entries. Now celebrating its 25th year, the grant seeks independent film projects that are unique and contribute to society. It is open to documentaries, short films, features, and web series. Deadline for entering the grant is June 30th, 2017.
Founded in 1993 by film funding non-profit From the Heart Productions, the Roy W. Dean Grant winner receives $30K in cash film related products, and services to help them complete their film. This includes $3,500 donated by From the Heart, a hard drive from G-Technology, $600.00 for your Free Closed Captioning by NetCaptioning, $1,000 expert post-production consultation for both film and tape projects from colorist Sam Dlugach.
Unique about the grant is that each applicant is able to discuss their film project with a staff or board member of From the Heart. They can get advice on funding, story, distribution or whatever they’d like to discuss. Consultations can be reserved after grant has closed. To apply to the grant, go to http://fromtheheartproductions.com/roy-w-dean-grant-form-summer/