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Women of the Kansas International Film Festival

September 29, 2011



Women have a tendency to get the proverbial “short end of the stick” when it comes to movie making. Even though, according to the MPAA in 2009, a higher percentage (55%) of women frequented the movies more than men, the highest paid actress reported in 2011 was a tie with Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker. They both brought in roughly 30 million dollars last year, according to Forbes. While this is amount is hardly worth complaining about, when looking at the highest paid actor (Johnny Depp with 75 million last year), the disproportion in salaries is apparent. This imbalance extends to behind the screens as well with only one female director ever winning an Academy Award: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2009. Only four women have ever been nominated.

Fortunately, these are statistics that seem to be changing and the Kansas International Film Festival has no shortage of female talent. Twelve films in the KIFF lineup are directed by women and even more contain significant topics or plots involving the gender. A few of these directors are even going to be at the festival.

Here is a handful of the female-centric films coming to KIFF this year:

Atomic Mom

Atomic Mom is a documentary about two women, both mothers, who have very different experiences of the atom bomb. After decades of silence, a daughter’s (director M.T. Silvia) quest for truth leads to the exchange of an olive branch between an American Scientist and a Hiroshima Survivor.

Directed by M.T. Silvia.

Berlin 36

As the Berlin Olympics draw near, theUSA is threatening to boycott the games if the hosts don’t allow Jews to compete in the German team. The Nazis are caught between a rock and a hard place—they are keen to show off their sporting prowess, but unfortunately the best female high jumper is Gretel Bergmann, a Jew. The Germans devise a plan to foil the Jewish woman that is almost too bizarre to be true.

Directed by Kaspar Heidelbach.

Dirty Girl

It’s 1987 and Danielle, the high school, “Dirty Girl,” is running away. With her is chubby, gay Clarke, a bag of flour called Joan and a Walkman full of glorious 80’s tunes.

Directed by Abe Slyvia and starring Milla Jovovich, JunoTemple, Mary Steenburgen, William H. Macy, and Jeremy Dozier.

Made in India

This documentary follows the journey of an infertile American couple, an Indian surrogate and the reproductive outsourcing business that brings them together. Made in India explores a complicated clash of families in crisis, reproductive technology, and choice from a global perspective.

Directed by Rebecca Haimowitz & Vaishali Sinha

Mother: Caring For 7 Billion

Overpopulation is merely a symptom of an even larger problem—a “domination system” that for most of human history has glorified the domination of man over nature, man over child and man over woman. To break this pattern, this film demonstates that we must change our conquering mindset into a nurturing one. And the first step is to raise the status of women worldwide.

Directed by Christophe Fauchere.

Nude Study

An absorbing study of self, identity, the nature of love and raw sexual desire. With unforgettable performances by the female leads and stunning cinematography. Nude Study will leave you bitten, sweetened, and reluctant to let the story go.

Directed by Stefan Popescu.

The Phantom Wolves of Sun Valley

The Phantom Wolves of Sun Valley documents the war over wolves that’s taking place in the West, the result of a successful reintroduction of the species into the same are in which they were eradicated nearly a century ago.

Director DeSiree’ Fawn is attending this screening.

A Wake

After the mysterious death of their infamous director, members of a formerly renowned theater company reunite for his wake. The widow welcomes the thespians to her country house, but things go awry when old rivalries and jealousies erupt, exposing a myriad of secrets and lies.

Director Penelope Buitenhuis is attending this screening.

The Wedding Party

A sexy romantic comedy about the Thompson family, whose individual love lives range from deviant to delicious to downright desperate.

Director Amanda Jane will be attending this screening.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

The mother of a teenage boy who went on a high-school killing spree tried to deal with her grief—and feelings of responsibility for her child’s actions—by writing to her estranged husband. Starring John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton.

Directed by Lynne Ramsay.


For more information about these films, as well as the Kansas International Film Festival (including ticket information and showtimes), check out the link below:

And, don’t forget to check back here for even more festival coverage!


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