Citizen Jane, Day One: Recap

The festival, featuring films made by female filmmakers, runs ‘til Sunday.

If you think you’re not cool enough for an independent film festival, you’re wrong. If you think you’re too cool for Citizen Jane because you’re a True/False buff, you’re even more wrong.

After an afternoon of panels and a class, I can with gusto say that Citizen Jane is the coolest thing ever to happen. As a woman, it’s incredibly empowering.

The first panel, called “Stories We Tell,” focused on the films themselves. Do yourself a favor and check out MOVE’s preview of “I Believe in Unicorns;” I saw the trailer during this panel, and I swear, I got full-body chills. That movie looks remarkable.

We went through the rest of the artists’ films as well, seeing previews and/or clips from the shorts, “I Am One,” “Life after Manson” and “Keys. Wallet. Phone,” the inspiration for which filmmaker Juliet Lashinsky-Revene says she found after seeing an elderly woman getting wasted alone at a diner.

The second panel, “Gatekeepers and Gamechangers,” was very logistics-oriented, and there was a lot of talk about how to find funding for films. Basically, finding money for a movie is a lot like applying for lots and lots of colleges, only for every single time you make a film and not just once in your entire life.

It sounds miserable. The presenters gave some very good pointers though, and the women speaking were hilarious in general.

Lauren Domino made a short about an elderly couple looking for a threesome buddy on Craigslist. Then there was Audrey Estrougo, who had trouble finding funding in France because her film focused on rape.

The last panel wasn’t really a panel; rather, it was more of a class focusing on crowdfunding for filmmakers. The workshop, entitled “Crowdfunding to Build Independence,” was led by

two women from a company called Seed&Spark. If you’re an aspiring director/producer, definitely go check it out.

MOVErs, go to Citizen Jane. Be empowered by women, even if you’re a guy. Immerse yourself in a culture that is unfamiliar to you; you can still learn a lot (and see some great films in the process).

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