FilmScene’s Women’s March highlights work by female directors

This month, FilmScene is playing content directed only by women, to draw attention to content that is often overlooked.

Today marks the beginning of the Women’s March programming at Iowa City’s own art house theater, FilmScene. Though the theater has a reputation for playing a diverse range of showings, this month all of the films playing will all be directed by women. The goal is to highlight art made by women in a time when society is becoming more aware of issues regarding media representation. There’s a lot out there to see that is often overlooked, and FilmScene is working to bring such work to the public eye.

What is different is that every series FilmScene presents has yielded the screen to female filmmakers,” explained Rebecca Fons, Programming Director at FilmScene. “Our family program, The Picture Show; our late night Grindhouse series; our Science on Screen programming; our new releases and our films programmed with our Bijou Board – every single film is presented by a woman, and that is something very unique and different for us.” The first films to open are “Faces Places,” “All the Queen’s Horses,” and “ Signature Movie.”

Choosing the films proved to be somewhat challenging, since there was an excess of possible material to use.

“We did our best to choose  films that have great importance to cinema, or are from filmmakers we wanted to highlight,” Fons said.Our newer voices program, called Vanguard, includes films by a trans-woman filmmaker, a Latina filmmaker, a differently-abled director and a Japanese filmmaker. Overall, we just wanted to make sure we were intersectional, inclusive and diverse from month start to month end.”

Looking over the output for the month, it looks like FilmScene succeeded in this. Programming should stray very little from the usual output, with the only exception being that the directors are all female. This should drive home the point that while female involvement behind the camera is very limited in Hollywood, it’s not nonexistent altogether. Art House cinemas can now come in when it comes to social change- giving these creators a voice and an audience when the mainstream is slipping.