Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

TCM to air Women Make Film, a 14-hour documentary about female directors

L to R: Wanuri Kahiu (Craig Barritt), Mira Nair (Frederick M. Brown), and Kathryn Bigelow (Tristan Fewings)
L to R: Wanuri Kahiu (Craig Barritt), Mira Nair (Frederick M. Brown), and Kathryn Bigelow (Tristan Fewings)
Graphic: The A.V. Club

TCM is about to make it a lot easier for studios to find those elusive female directors they can barely remember. Per Variety, the classic film cable network will air Women Make Film, a 14-part documentary that entirely focuses on women filmmakers from around the globe, including Kathryn Bigelow, Rafiki’s Wanuri Kahiu, and Monsoon Wedding’s Mira Nair.

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According to TCM, the documentary will not be focusing on the industry’s rampant sexism and discrimination, but will actually allow the women to dig into their craft and share all of the details that proud film nerds eat up, “from tracking shots to crafting narrative arcs.” In addition, Women Make Film is meant to highlight prominent filmmakers from around the world. “It’s not only about filmmakers in North America,” TCM general manager Pola Changnon said. “It’s about countries where filmmaking reputations aren’t that well-known, especially here. That’s why I love the title of this —Women Make Film. It’s a statement of fact, and even though they’re not always well-represented in the film canon, women have been doing this for decades.”

Mark Cousins wrote and directed the super long documentary with the intent of creating a space where they can discuss their craft in detail. “I felt that we need to talk about [these women] as filmmakers, not victims of a sexist industry or not marginal figures or not curiosities or not symbols of something,” Cousins said to Variety. “When you dig into the life story of every one of these filmmakers, they made these movies because they loved cinema, and they wanted to express themselves.” Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Adjoa Andoh, Sharmila Tagore, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton and Debra Winger are billed as the documentary’s narrators.

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In conjunction with the documentary, the channel will also air 100 films from 44 countries, which will include works from the women featured in the 14-week event. The 14-week event will begin September 1 and will run until December 1.

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