Cady McClain's Seeing is Believing: Women Direct will have its world premiere as an official selection of the 2018 Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis during the festival's run from October 11-21 at venues throughout Indy. The film centers around four women filmmakers in particular - Leslie Linka Glatter (Executive Producer/Director of Homeland), Sarah Gavron (Director of Suffragette, Brick Lane), Li Lu (Director of There is a New World Somewhere), and Naima Ramos-Chapman (Director of HBO's Random Acts of Flyness).
The film emphasizes the opportunity for women to use their voices through media to change the social and political landscape and to achieve full equality, an effort aimed at young female storytellers using the mentoring leadership of the four key directors featured in a film that also shines the light on a number of female filmmakers and film industry professionals.
As a film critic with a disability who is passionate about disability representation in Hollywood, I resonated greatly with McClain's intellectually stimulating and emotionally resonant film that confronts a rather harsh reality - to this day, about 90% of Hollywood's films continue to be directed by men.
Trust me, the problem is not lack of women directors. The problem is certainly lack of talent.
McClain's approach is to largely go out searching for that female voice, interviewing a number of women with pointed and passionate questions while occasionally appearing on the screen herself in sharing her own experiences.
Seeing is Believing incorporates perspectives from both experienced vets like Betty Thomas, Lee Grant, and Boys Don't Cry's Kimberly Peirce, while also giving an abundance of time to up-and-comers like Glatter, who talks about the importance of mentorship by sharing about the opportunities she received from Steven Spielberg, and Lu, whose journey hasn't really offered mentorship but who seemingly agrees with its importance.
McClain has one particularly interesting scenario she offers throughout the film where she interviews random strangers, both men and women, in an effort to get them to name their favorite female director - the vast majority can't do it.
Yet, ultimately, Seeing is Believing: Women Direct strikes an inspirational tone borne out of the passion that these women have for storytelling and for bringing those stories to life. It's an informative, entertaining film that should be considered "must see" viewing for any up-and-coming filmmakers.
Seeing is Believing: Women Direct will screen at the following times:
- Oct. 13th @ 5:30pm at AMC Castleton Square 14
- Oct. 18th @ 8:15pm at AMC Castleton Square 14
- Oct. 19th @ 5:30pm at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12
For ticket information, visit the Heartland Film website.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic