FREE screening of UNVEILED on 11/16 at 7 PM at the Landmark Theatres in Piedmont

Women’s Film Institute is proud to co-present Frameline’s FREE Encore screening and Q&A of the Frameline41 film, UNVEILED (formerly called GIRL UNBOUND), Thursday, November 16, at 7:00 PM at the Landmark Theatres Piedmont.

UNVEILED explores the Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan, where females are forbidden to attend school, listen to music, or walk outside unescorted or uncovered, and the idea of a female athlete is an anathema. As the living embodiment of that radical idea, Maria Toorpakai has been a target of Taliban death threats since the age of sixteen. But against all odds, she is the top-ranked female squash player in all of Pakistan. From the excitement of a high-stakes international squash tournament to the dangers of driving through Taliban-controlled territory, director Erin Heidenreich captures both the peril and the perseverance of an athlete who dares to defy those who seek to contain her.

Learn more about the screening and Q&A here:

Tribeca All Access® Fund Open for Submissions

Tribeca All Access® seeks feature-length scripted and documentary projects from both established and emerging storytellers whose team include a director, producer, and/or screenwriter from a community that is underserved in the industry. Projects may be in any stage of development, from the treatment/screenplay stage through post-production. Projects of any genre and/or budget range are welcome to apply.

Five scripted filmmakers and five documentary filmmakers will each receive $10,000 in grant money that may be used in the following ways:

For All Programs: Grants can be used towards any stage from development through post-production. Grantees will participate in workshops and info sessions with industry during the Tribeca Film Festival – including Tribeca Film Institute’s center-piece film market, TFI Network. Deadline: November 6

Apply today:


Looking for funding for your film? The Women’s Film Institute has compiled a comprehensive list of funding opportunities. When you make a gift in any amount today, you will receive the complete list of 200+ funding opportunities in your inbox.

Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund

Tribeca Film Institute, through its Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, will offer grants ranging from $10,000 – $25,000. The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund will provide funding to 6-10 feature-length documentaries that highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world. Funded films will be driven by thoughtful and in-depth storytelling, bolstered by a compelling visual approach. More than half of the fund will support projects about women and youth around the globe, and illuminate the ways they are working to improve their communities, their futures and the world.

Eligible films for the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund challenge the status quo not just as it pertains to subject matter, but also in form. Films should also be able to exist on multiple distribution platforms and resonate with a wide audience. We are seeking feature-length documentaries that are in advanced development, production or post-production with the intended premiere exhibition date after June 2017.

Deadline: February 5, 2017 & Apply today:

Get film grants and deadlines in your mailbox. Sign up today! Never miss an opportunity to find funding for your film. Once a month you will receive upcoming film grants and deadlines via email with lots of time to apply.

19th United Nations Association Film Festival – October 20-30

f_nefertitisdaughtersunaff2016_banner_filmpagesWomen’s Film Institute is proud to partner with the 19th United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF), October 20-30, 2016. Founded in 1998 by Stanford educator and film critic Jasmina Bojic, UNAFF uses the power of documentary film to create a community forum for discovery and dialogue about different cultures, issues, and solutions. UNAFF was conceived to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Over the years UNAFF has screened some of the most influential documentaries, including seven that won Academy Awards and 30 were nominated.  WFI is co-presenting these compelling documentaries this year:

Nefertiti’s Daughters – Female graffiti artists in Egypt use their street art to participate in and lead revolution. Nefertiti’s Daughters is a story of women, art and revolution. Told by prominent Egyptian artists, this documentary witnesses the critical role revolutionary street art played during the Egyptian uprisings. Focused on the role of women artists in the struggle for social and political change, Nefertiti’s Daughters spotlights how the iconic graffiti of Queen Nefertiti places her on the front lines in the ongoing fight for women’s rights and freedoms in Egypt today. Directors: Mark Nickolas, Racha Najdi. Date/Time: Sunday, 10/27, 4:40 PM (SESSION 23). Watch Trailer

Where We Stand  – The story of a controversial group of Mormon feminists fighting for women’s rights in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Where We Stand follows Abby Hansen, a stay-at-home mom turned vocal advocate for Ordain Women as she navigates the repercussions of her unpopular activism against her church in her predominantly Mormon suburb. Where We Stand is also the coming of age story of Ordain Women as an organization itself—from a humble website to an internationally recognized activist group. The film is not just for Mormons. It is not just for feminists. It is for anyone who has questioned what it means to believe and to belong.  Director/Producer: Kristine Stolakis. Date/time: Saturday, 10/29, 1:00 PM (SESSION 19) Watch Trailer

Children Deported: Farida – Nine-year-old Farida was deported to Afghanistan in February of 2015, after almost four years in Norway. A country she has never been to before, with a language and a culture that is foreign to her. She misses her friends, her school and the safety of the small town Dokka. The short documentary emphasizes the human consequences of the Norwegian asylum policy. Despite strong ties to the country, several children have been deported from Norway over the past few years. In this portrait, Farida gets to tell her story for the first time. We follow her new life in an unknown Kabul, where she talks about her longing for Norway and the future that so abruptly was taken away from her. Director: Ragnhild Sørheim. Date/time: SUNDAY 10/30, 1:00 PM (SESSION 22) Watch Trailer

The Computers  In the United States, women are vastly underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields, holding under 25% of STEM jobs and a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees. Contributing to the problem is that we do not teach our history, including that the pioneers of programming included six brilliant young women.This is the inspiring story lost for almost 70 years about the founding of technologies we cannot live without—by six incredible women everyone should know! Directors/Producers: Kathy Kleiman, Jon Palfreman, Kate McMahon.  Date/Time: Sunday, 10/30, 3:10 PM (SESSION 23) Watch Trailer

Feminism Inshallah: A History of Arab Feminism – The struggle for Muslim women’s emancipation is often portrayed stereotypically as a showdown between Western and Islamic values, but Arab feminism has existed for more than a century. This groundbreaking documentary recounts Arab feminism’s largely unknown story, from its taboo-shattering birth in Egypt by feminist pioneers up through viral Internet campaigns by today’s tech-savvy young activists during the Arab Spring. Director: Feriel Ben Mahmoud. Date/Time: Sunday, 10/30, 3:40 PM (SESSION 23) Watch Trailer

Here is the full list here.



Coming soon to 39th Mill Valley Film Festival (October 6 – 16)

Women’s Film Institute is proud to be a community partner of the 39th Mill Valley Film FestivalOctober 6 – 16, 2016, presented by the California Film Institute. Check out the following films:

Baden Baden 

Writer-director Rachel Lang’s impressive feature film debut, 26-year-old Ana returns home to Strasbourg in a purloined Porsche to hang out with her grandmother, inefficiently reconstruct a shower, possibly find some work, attempt to weave together the loose strings of her love life, and, eventually, find her particular path towards adulthood. For more information CLICK HERE

BADEN BADEN – Trailer from Mill Valley Film Festival on Vimeo.

Lora feels constrained by the tedious monotony of life in her small village, and her small acts of defiance are already causing gossip. But when a sudden tragedy provides Lora more personal freedom, her hesitant rebelliousness begins to take a more definite form in this compelling coming-of-age drama. For more information CLICK HERE

Zhaleika Trailer from cinemanda on Vimeo.


We are so excited to Co-Present Ninth Floor at CAAMFest2016!

Ninth Floor

Directed by Mina Shum

DOCUMENTARY / Canada / 2016 / Documentary / 81 mins / English

In 1969, 400 students at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, Canada, occupied a computer lab to send a clear message to administrators: Mistreatment of students of color would not be tolerated. In particular, the core activists were of Caribbean descent, including students who had landed in Canada to study medicine.

The ensuing clash between student activists and police on the ninth floor lab made the events one of the most infamous acts of civil disobedience in Canadian history.

Director Mina Shum (DOUBLE HAPPINESS) brings a smart and unwavering sensibility to her first feature-length documentary. The film’s use of astounding archival footage brings viewers back in time, juxtaposed with interviews of the student leaders today and those on the administration’s side. Several of the activists became prominent leaders including Roosevelt “Rosie” Douglas, who became prime minister of Dominica and Anne Cools, the first black person to serve on Canada’s Senate.

Over four decades later, the lessons from the Sir George Williams events are still relevant in today’s climate of tenuous race relations in the US.

Location: Roxie Theatre
Date: March 12, 2016
Time: 2:40 pm

Co-presented by: Women’s Film Institute


Twitter: @CAAM

Instagram: @caamedia


Youtube (Find Trailers here):

Coming soon to the United Nations Association Film Festival (October 15-25th)

Women’s Film Institute is proud to be a community partner at this year’s 18th annual United Nations Association Film Festival (October 15-25th). WFI is proud to co-present the following films: 

f_drivingDRIVING WITH SELVI  Thursday, Oct. 15, Aquarius Theater, 430 Emerson St., Palo Alto, Calif., 8:20 p.m.

About film: Selvi, like so many girls living within India’s patriarchal culture, is forced to marry at a young age, only to find herself in a violent and abusive marriage. One day in deep despair, she chooses to escape, going to a highway with the intention of throwing herself under the wheels of a bus. Instead she gets on the bus, choosing to live, and goes on to become South India’s first female taxi driver. This is the ten year journey of a charming and courageous young woman who defies expectations and creates a new life. Through Selvi’s eyes, the audience is taken on a journey of healing, overcoming obstacles and fulfilling dreams. Director/Producer: Elisa Paloschi. More info:

Saturday, October 24, Stanford University, Stanford Medical School (Li Ka Shing Center Building) 291 Campus Drive, Room LK130, 7:20 p.m.

About film: Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman’s journey from her birth in a shack in cotton fields of Putnam County, Georgia to her recognition as a key writer of the 20th century. Alice Walker made history as the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple, which has been transformed from a novel to a Hollywood movie and latterly to a successful Broadway musical. This universal story of triumph against all odds is not that different from Walker’s own story. The filmoffers a penetrating look at the life and art of an artist, a self-confessed renegade and human rights activist. More info:

MVFF38 is launching a festival-wide focus on inspiring women in film

Women’s Film Institute is proud to be a community partner at this year’s 38th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival (October 8-18). Taking its longstanding commitment to female filmmakers one step further, MVFF38 is launching a festival-wide focus on inspiring women in film. MIND THE GAP: WOMEN | WORK | FILM—both a celebration and a call to action, the initiative aims to elevate the conversation on women at work in film by raising awareness about those who make films and those whose stories are being told.

A CONVERSATION WITH CATHERINE HARDWICKE – What do Twilight, hardwickepanel_tktThirteen, and Tank Girl have in common? MVFF38 Tributee Catherine Hardwicke. The director with production designer roots has proven over and over that it is possible to sustain a viable creative life in the film industry: inspiring!  More than that, her work spans from insightful, independent, original works like Thirteen to the blockbuster adaptation Twilight—the latter making her the most commercially successful woman director. Hear more about her remarkable career in what promises to be a highlight of MVFF38’s MIND THE GAP program. Date/Location: Sunday, October 11, 12:30–2:00pm | Smith Rafael Film Center. GET TICKETS HERE


Debugging the gender and diversity gaps in the tech industry is upfront and center in what promises to be a dynamic panel aimed towards an intergenerational audience, following the October 17 screening of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap (Note: all other screenings will include director Q&A only). Teens and their friends and families are encouraged to come and join in the discussion! Date/Location:Saturday, October 17, 2:00–4:00pm | Throckmorton Theatre. GET TICKETS

BaddDDD_tktBaddDDD Sonia Sanchez is, in her own words, a “woman with razor blades between her teeth.” A comprehensive portrait of the poet, playwright, scholar, teacher, and social activist, this performance-rich film explodes with life and the words that love Sonia while she loves them back. An architect of the ’60s Black Arts Movement, Sanchez has stood as a persistent voice for equality when, as the film reveals, many preferred to stand down. Hers is a mighty, loud, sassy, and strong Black female voice. The performances of Sanchez’ poems light up the screen. This is especially true when she performs as a paramount jazz player of her own words. Sanchez is a revelation when backed by her band, as she “plays” the words in intricate rhythmic phrases and virtuosic solos that resonate long after the film ends. With appearances by Ruby Dee, Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, Questlove, and more. Date/Location:  Friday, October 16, 7:30 pm | Throckmorton Theatre. GET TICKETS


Sundance Producing Lab & Fellow – Apply


CREATIVE PRODUCING INITIATIVE – Sundance Institute has long recognized the crucial role independent producers in finding, championing, and shaping original voices in filmmaking. The core of the Creative Producing Initiative are its labs that identify and nurture the independent producer. There are three different producing Labs throughout the year, depending on your area of focus: Documentary and Feature Film. More info:

Filmmaker Abigail Disney shares her passion for documentary filmmaking

timthumbAbigail Disney is an American filmmaker most known for her socially themed documentaries. Disney’s directorial debut The Armor of Light is a documentary that follows the journey of an Evangelical minister (Reverend Rob Schenck) trying to find the courage to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America.

In this podcast episode, Scarlett Shepard (Founder of the Women’s Film Institute) speaks with Abigail Disney about The Armor of Light as well as Disney’s passion for documentary filmmaking and filmmaking process. Disney offers her advice on filmmaker distribution and networking. She also discusses the available funding opportunities for full-length non-fiction films from her production company, Fork Films. Fork Films supports filmmaking projects that promote peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice with particular emphasis on those that bring women’s voices to the forefront.

More information about Fork Films:

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