complex female protagonist

Bluestocking 2017 Tour hits Boston March 15!

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Bluestocking 2017 Touring Program

MARCH 15, 2018 | 6:30 PM

WGBH'S YAWKEY THEATRE, ONE GUEST STREET, BOSTON, MA 02135

Sponsored by Women in Film and Video New England. Networking event starts at 6:30, screening starts at approx. 7:15 with Q&A afterward. The event will be free for WIFVNE members, free for WGBH employees, free for WGBH members, $10 for non-members and non-employees.

Tickets on sale NOW!

Bluestocking 2017 SNEAK PREVIEW >> May 18

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Want to see the Bluestocking 2017 films before they world premiere in Los Angeles in June? Head on down the road to Soundstage 909 in Portsmouth, NH on May 18 when Leah's Movie Lowdown will host a sneak preview at 7:00 PM. Just $5 admission to see these great female-driven, Bechdel-Wallace tested films. For more information, click here. Hope to see you there!

Announcing Bluestocking 2017 Official Selections

BLUESTOCKING FILM FESTIVAL 2017

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

8 Short Female-Driven Films by 8 Talented Directors are selected to premiere at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles on June 23, 2017. Bluestocking 2017 films will also travel across Maine and around the country (schedule still to be determined). Check out trailers on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

BLISS BLUE

Elle Schneider, director / Anna Carini, writer / Calliope Porter, Anna Carini, producers

Synopsis: A seemingly ordinary woman is clearly having an un-ordinary day.

RT: 10:19

LAS RUBIAS (THE BLONDES)

Carlota Martinez Pereda, writer-director / Mario Madueño, producer

Synopsis: Blonde, pretty and delinquent. Nothing stands in the way of Marta and Pepa...except another blonde. Inspired by real events.

RT: 17:00

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REAL ARTISTS

Cameo Wood, director/producer / Ryon Lane & Alexa Fraser-Herron, co-producers

Synopsis: Set in the near future, and based on Ken Liu’s short story of the same name, Sophia has just scored every animator’s dream. But in order to maintain her artistic integrity, it’s going to take all of Sophia’s instincts and nerve.

RT: 12:00

RHONNA AND DONNA

Daina Pusic, writer-director / Helen Gladders, producer

Synopsis: How are you supposed to act when you are conjoined at the hip?

RT: 14:40

SHAUNA IS A LIAR

Chell Stephen, writer-director / Kristy Neville, producer

Synopsis: An isolated, imaginative, perfectionist exacts ill-conceived revenge on all liars of the world via the one target she has access to: a classmate sharing her name.

RT: 10:10

TERMINAL

Natasha Waugh, writer-director / David C. Lynch, producer

Synopsis: TERMINAL is a short film about the decisions women make in the face of overwhelming personal circumstance.

RT: 10:50

THEY CHARGE FOR THE SUN

Terence Nance, director / Eugene Ramos, writer / Guilia Caruso, Kady Kamakaté, Ana Souza, producers

Synopsis: In a dystopian future where people live nocturnally to avoid the harmful rays of the sun, a young black girl unravels the lie that has kept her and her sister in the dark.

RT: 16:46

ZARPAZO

Nerea Castro Andreu, writer-director / Ziggurat Films, production

Synopsis: Mar and Xara meet in a remote mountain setting. Everything is prepared to make the leap into hiding…

RT: 14:30

World Premiere ROAD MOVIE **Cellphone** Challenge

We LOVE road movies. In fact, we love them so much that, in homage to the release of "Thelma and Louise" 25 years ago, we created an entire World Premiere category calling for submissions of female-driven road movies for Bluestocking Film Series 2016.

And now, we're taking it one step further. We are putting out a special call for female-driven short films in the ROAD MOVIE category — specifically, 7 minutes or less — that have been shot on your handheld device.

You are free to choose ANY genre to express your road narrative, but the film should explore how being unmoored from our everyday fixed places brings about change, for good or bad.

We encourage filmmakers to take a handmade, organic approach to the subject of road narrative. Surprise us. Shock us. Move us. Make us cry. Even remake a classic.

Whatever form your 7-minute ROAD MOVIE takes, here are the *ironclad* Rules of the Game. To qualify:

1. Must feature a complex female protagonist at the center of the story.

2. Must pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test. Every film should therefore feature 2 or more female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man, men, or boys.

3. Must be 7 minutes or less total running time (including title and credits sequences).

4. The primary action of the movie must take place ON THE ROAD in a literal sense.*

5. You must use your cellphone (or tablet) as the camera.

*We reserve the right to interpret the literal sense of ON THE ROAD.

Everything else is up to you.

What YOU get:

1. Every qualified entrant is granted a 100% fee waiver to the festival up to our final deadline, April 29.* Email us at bluestockingfilmseries@gmail.com to get your waiver code.

2. If selected, your film will make its World Premiere at Bluestocking Film Series 2016.

3. You will be eligible for all prizes, cash and otherwise.**

*Entry does not guarantee selection or exhibition.

**In-kind production prizes are only available to ship domestically in the U.S.

About that obsession with road movies

I love road movies. If asked, I could make a list of 50 of my favorites right now and many of those would likely be on your list too.

In fact, I love road movies so much that I made my thesis film about a silent, mystery woman tragically wandering the back roads and train tracks of Maine (thank you to Agnès Varda's "Vagabond" and Barbara Loden's "Wanda"). When I showed my first cut to my advisor and other professors, nobody liked it. I was shocked by their patent dislike, and I didn't understand, at first. Then, over time, it dawned on me. I'd made a film with a main character who was a woman and a free spirit, unwilling to compromise herself for the male character. Could it be that my male professors were simply unable to connect with the character because of her gender and attitudes? Of the two professors who did encourage me to keep going with the film, one was — surprise! — a woman. I will admit to some small internal voice saying, “nyah nyah” when my little film was selected to be one of only 30 films at the 1992 Film Festival of International Cinema Students in Tokyo, Japan. Sweet road movie revenge!

Yes, the female-driven road movie is a rare bird. If you google "road movies," you'll get thousands of relevant entries, but if you google "female-driven road movies," there is literally a single "list" in the top 10 entries. I'm sure there are more but after page 3, I was tired of seeing repeated references to Mad Max: Fury Road. Maybe I was using the wrong search terms?

"True quest is about agency ... a test of mettle, a destiny." (Vanessa Veselka)

In order to take our rightful place in on-screen road narratives, women and girl characters must be given more to do than serve as a foil to the main male character's quest.  Where are our quests? Our adventures? Our driving need to find ourselves? We know we’re capable, ready, willing, and able to hit the road. And if “the road” is the major cinematic metaphor for the quest for freedom, women deserve to take their place right on the center line. Because women are disproportionately portrayed as victims in road movies (and are frequently victims of violence in real life), this becomes our only route to visibility. And we've been down this road before. (Forgive all the puns!)

The point is: we need more female-driven road movies, movies that allow us the freedom to succeed or fail out there, movies that allow us our own quests. What we seek won't necessarily look like or be the same as what men seek on the road, but the narrative of a search for self-actualization on the metaphorical and literal road of life belongs to all of us, no matter our gender.

"You can’t go anywhere if you can’t step out onto a road."

William Jennings Bryan said, "Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." We women are restless ... we’re ready to set out along that lonesome, dusty road.

Our call for entries for Bluestocking Film Series 2016 will open later this year and we want to see your female-driven road film. We encourage all genres, from drama to comedy to thriller to horror ... as long as your film features a complicated woman in the leading role (and passes the Bechdel Test, of course), we want to see it. If filmmakers are willing to create them, the stories of women “on the road” will be heard!

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I'll admit to a tendency to romanticize the obvious downside of extended travel by automobile. But when I imagine my retirement — yes, my quest will have to wait a while — I imagine me, my bae, and the two dogs driving a sweet little 1980s vintage camper along some lonesome, yet beautiful, forgotten back road, snapping photos, and listening to Prince sing "You Sexy MF." And don't worry, I'll send you a postcard. Wish you were here …

—Kate Kaminski, Artistic Director