Women Make Movies: films by and about women Established in 1972 to address the under representation and misrepresentation of women in the media industry, Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. The organization provides services to both users and makers of film and video programs, with a special emphasis on supporting work by women of color. Women Make Movies facilitates the development of feminist media through an internationally recognized Distribution Service and a Production Assistance Program. Their collection of more than 500 titles includes documentary, experimental, animation, dramatic and mixed-genre work. The films and videotapes represent a diversity of styles, subjects and perspectives in women's lives. More than half of the works in the collection were produced by women of diverse cultures, and the collection includes a variety of works by and about lesbians, older women and women with disabilities.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending Silence Highlighting the extraordinary strength of women who survive sexual assault, institutional disregard, domestic violence and more, these films break the historical silence that has often surrounded issues of violence against women. Inspiring and eye-opening, this collection includes After The Rape, about a Pakistani woman who fought a tribal council's order that she be gang-raped as punishment for a crime she didn't commit; Sin By Silence, which examines a women's domestic violence support group - from inside prison walls; Sundance award-winner The Greatest Silence: Rape In The Congo; the critically acclaimed SISTERS IN LAW; Academy-Award Nominee GOD SLEEPS IN RWANDA, and more. http://www.wmm.com/filmcatalog/collect11.shtml Films in this collection include the following:
Señorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman
A film by Lourdes Portillo
Señorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman tells the haunting story of the more than 350 kidnapped, raped and murdered young women of Juárez, Mexico. Visually poetic, yet unflinching in its gaze, this compelling investigation unravels the layers of complicity that have allowed for the brutal murders of women living along the Mexico-U.S. border. In the midst of Juárez's international mystique and high profile job market, there exists a murky history of grossly underreported human rights abuses and violence against women. The climate of violence and impunity continues to grow, and the murders of women continue to this day. More
The Day You Love Me: El Dia Que Me Quieras
A film by Florence Jaugey
A close-up look at the varieties and complexities of domestic violence, The Day You Love Me takes us into the daily life of policewomen and social workers in one of the Police Commissaries for Women and Children in Nicaragua's capital city of Managua. Women of different ages, as well as children and young adults, come there seeking help against abusive husbands, lovers and parents. They also talk freely about their experiences and their sometimes conflicting desires for change. The men in their lives come to the station to respond to the charges against them by defending themselves, justifying their actions, arguing their own grievances, or even admitting their wrongs. More
A film by Lucinda Broadbent
In 1998, Managua, Nicaragua became host to one of the most publicized and controversial cases of sexual abuse to hit modern day Latin America. At the epicenter of the scandal stood none other than Nicaraguan Sandinista leader and ex-President Daniel Ortega. Revered as a revolutionary hero and symbol of military strength, Ortega was accused on multiple charges of rape and battery by his stepdaughter, Soilamerica Narvaez. Despite Ortega's eventual acquittal--he was granted immunity from prosecution as a member of the legislature--a group of pioneering men rallied around the episode to organize a radical campaign against domestic violence and sexual abuse. Their efforts eventually led to the formation of the internationally acclaimed organization, Men Against Violence. More
Honoring Our Voices
A film by Judi Jeffrey
Sharing their stories about recovery and healing, six Native women of different ages and backgrounds talk about the choices they have made to overcome the hardships of family violence and end the cycle of abuse and silence. Through the far-reaching changes in their lives, they reveal the rewards of empowering themselves and their families, as well as the strengths of counseling based in Native healing strategies and traditions. Directed by Judi Jeffrey (Metis) and produced by the Native Counselling Services of Alberta, this thought-provoking documentary is a valuable tool for education, prevention and intervention. More
After the Rape: The Mukhtaran Mai Story
A film by Catherine Ulmer
In 2002, Mukhtaran Mai, a rural Pakistani woman from a remote part of the Punjab, was gang-raped by order of her tribal council as punishment for her younger brother's alleged relationship with a woman from another clan. Instead of committing suicide or living in shame, Mukhtaran spoke out, fighting for justice in the Pakistani courts-making world headlines. Further defying custom, she started two schools for girls in her village and a crisis center for abused women. Mukhtaran, who had never learned to read but knew the Koran by heart, realized that only a change in mentality could break brutal, archaic traditions and social codes. More
Breaking the Rule of Thumb
A film by Andrea K. Elovson
Combining powerful interviews with documentary footage, this timely and compelling videotape takes a comprehensive look at the issues still confronting battered women twenty years after the beginning of the domestic violence movement. Featuring the stories of three women - one a police officer - who went through the Philadelphia family courts to ensure their safety, Breaking The Rule Of Thumb examines contemporary domestic violence in terms of changing historical definitions of abuse. Incorporating individual stories into a strong argument for legal reform, filmmaker Andrea Elovson exposes how domestic violence's seemingly personal gender issues are inextricably tied to flawed ideas of civil justice. More
Calling the Ghosts: A Story about Rape, War and Women
Executive Producer: Julia Ormond
Directed by Mandy Jacobson and Karmen Jelincic
An extraordinarily powerful documentary, CALLING THE GHOSTS is the first-person account of two women caught in a war where rape was as much an everyday weapon as bullets or bombs. Jadranka Cigelj and Nusreta Sivac, childhood friends and lawyers, enjoyed the lives of "ordinary modern women" in Bosnia-Herzegovina until one day former neighbors became tormentors. Taken to the notorious Serb concentration camp of Omarska, the two women, like other Muslim and Croat women interned there, were systematically tortured and humiliated by their Serb captors. More
The Children We Sacrifice
A film by Grace Poore
Shot in India, Sri Lanka, Canada and the United States, and screened in 18 countries, this evocative, visually powerful documentary is about incestuous sexual abuse of the South Asian girl child. By interweaving survivors' narratives, including the producer's own story, with interviews with South Asian mental health professionals, and with statistical information, as well as poetry and art, The Children We Sacrifice discloses the many layers of a subject traditionally shrouded in secrecy. Insights into the far-reaching psychological, social and cultural consequences of incest are accompanied by thoughtful assessments of strategies that have helped adult women cope with childhood trauma. More
Finding Dawn: login: downum
A film by Christine Welsh
Finding Dawn puts a human face on a tragedy that has received precious little attention - and one which is surprisingly similar to the situation in Ciudad Juarez, on the other side of the U.S. border. Dawn Crey, Ramona Wilson and Daleen Kay Bosse are just three of the estimated 500 Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past 30 years. Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh embarks on an epic journey to shed light on these murders and disappearances that remain unresolved to this day. She begins at Vancouver's skid row where more than 60 poor women disappeared and travels to the "Highway of Tears" in northern British Columbia where more than two dozen women (all but one Native) have vanished. More
God Sleeps in Rwanda
A film by Kimberlee Acquaro and Stacy Sherman, Narrated by Rosario Dawson
Uncovering amazing stories of hope in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, Academy Award-Nominee God Sleeps In Rwanda captures the spirit of five courageous women as they rebuild their lives, redefine women's roles in Rwandan society and bring hope to a wounded nation. More
Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo
A film by Lisa F. Jackson
Winner of the Sundance Special Jury Prize in Documentary and the inspiration for a 2008 U.N. Resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war, this extraordinary film, shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), shatters the silence that surrounds the use of sexual violence as a weapon of conflict. Many tens of thousands of women and girls have been systematically kidnapped, raped, mutilated and tortured by soldiers from both foreign militias and the Congolese army. A survivor of gang rape herself, Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson travels through the DRC to understand what is happening and why. More
Love, Honour & Disobey
A film by Faction Films, Directed by Saeeda Khanum
Domestic violence in all forms-from physical abuse to forced marriages to honour killings-continues to be frighteningly common worldwide and accepted as "normal" within too many societies. Getting to the heart of current multicultural debates, LOVE, HONOUR, & DISOBEY reveals the issues around domestic violence in Britain's black and ethnic minority communities through the eyes of the Southall Black Sisters, a small group of women who have been working to combat abuse for more than 25 years. More
Mrs. Goundo's Daughter
A film by Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater
Mrs. Goundo is fighting to remain in the United States. But it's not just because of the ethnic conflict and drought that has plagued her native Mali. Threatened with deportation, her two-year-old daughter could be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), like 85 percent of women and girls in Mali. Using rarely cited grounds for political asylum, Goundo must convince an immigration judge that her daughter is in danger. More
Rule of Thumb: Order of Protection
A film by Jill Evans Petzall
A sensitive video which explores domestic violence through the perspective of women who have left abusive relationships. Five women from different backgrounds discuss their ordeals and the concrete steps they have taken to eradicate fear and violence from their daily lives. Supplemented by testimonies from a woman judge, a police officer and a former abuser, this empowering tape offers clear, concise instructions on obtaining an order of protection and other support services. More
Sin by Silence
A film by Olivia Klaus
From behind prison walls, a group of extraordinary women are shattering misconceptions of domestic violence. An important film that profiles Convicted Women Against Abuse (CWAA), the US prison system's first inmate initiated group and led by women, SIN BY SILENCE is an essential resource featuring more than two hours of bonus materials, including interviews with experts on abusive relationships, law enforcement leaders and leaders in faith-based communities about domestic violence, and more. More
Sisters in Law
A film by Kim Longinotto, Co-directed by Florence Ayisi
Winner of the Prix Art et Essai at the Cannes Film Festival and screened to acclaim at more than 120 festivals around the world, Sisters In Law is the bestselling documentary from internationally renowned director Kim Longinotto, co-directed by Florence Ayisi. More
3 Times Divorced
A film by Ibtisam Salh Mara'ana
How does a Palestinian woman in Israel survive an abusive husband? When Gaza-born Khitam's abusive Arab Israeli husband divorces her and gains custody of her six children, she suddenly finds herself fighting two heart-breaking battles: against the Sharia Muslim court to get her children back, and against the state of Israel, which considers her an illegal resident and denies her protection in a shelter for battered women. More
Voices Heard Sisters Unseen
A film by Grace Poore
Voices Heard Sisters Unseen is a powerful and inspirational videotape showing how survivors of domestic violence are working to change the way the system treats battered women in search of justice and safety. Interviews, poetry, dance and music combine to present a feminist analysis about how courts, police and social services 're-victimize' battered women who are deaf, disabled, lesbians, prostitutes, HIV-positive and without official immigrant status. VOICES HEARD SISTERS UNSEEN is an important call for multi-issue activism and an integrated response to services for battered women. More
Films About Latinas:
A film by National Women's History Project
Spanning five centuries, this comprehensive video, produced by the National Women's History Project, focuses exclusively on the history of Mexican-American/Chicana women-from the Spanish invasion to the present. Hundreds of previously unpublished photographs, art works, and contemporary footage pay tribute to the strength and resilience of women at the center of their families, as activists in their communities, and as contributors to American history. More
Brincando El Charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican
A film by Frances Negrón-Muntaner
In a wonderful mix of fiction, archival footage, processed interviews, and soap opera drama, Brincando El Charco tells the story of Claudia Marin, a middle-class, light-skinned Puerto Rican photographer/ videographer as she attempts to construct a sense of community in the U.S. Confronting the simultaneity of her privilege and her oppression, this film becomes a meditation on the social constructs of class, race, and sexuality. More
Canto a la Vida (Song to Life)
A film by Lucia Salinas Briones
CANTO A LA VIDA illuminates exile through the remarkable stories of Chilean women, including the assassinated president's widow Hortensia de Allende, their niece, author Isabel Allende, and folk singer Isabel Parra. In this powerful exploration of cultural displacement, language loss and personal dislocation, seven different women discuss their altered notions of home, work and daily life. Moving testimonies are underscored by archival footage, paintings, songs and memories. Since Pinochet's ouster in 1989, many Chileans have journeyed back to their birthplace, and are now faced with the difficult decision of whether to remain in Chile or return to their adoptive countries. Filmmaker Briones, who herself left Chile in 1986, presents a beautiful, unforgettable testament to life in exile. More
The Desert Is No Lady
A film by Shelley Williams in collaboration with Susan Palmer
With provocative imagery and spirited juxtapositions, The Desert Is No Lady looks at the Southwest through the eyes of its leading contemporary women artists and writers, including author Sandra Cisneros. The nine women profiled are Pat Mora (poet), Sandra Cisneros (writer), Lucy Tapahonso (poet), Emmi Whitehorse (painter), Harmony Hammond (painter), Meridel Rubinstein (photographer), Nora Naranjo Morse (sculptor), Pola Lopez de Jaramillo (painter) and Ramona Sakiestewa (tapestry artist). The Southwest is a border territory - where cultures meet and mix - and the work of these nine women from Pueblo, Navajo, Mexican-American and Anglo backgrounds reflects its special characteristics. More
A film by Lillian Jiménez, 2009, 53 min., Color
Antonia Pantoja (1922-2002), visionary Puerto Rican educator, activist, and early proponent of bilingual education, inspired multiple generations of y...
A film by Hannah Weyer, 2000, 53 min., Color
In an intimate portrait of migrant life along the U.S.-Mexican border, Hannah Weyer's new film LA BODA delves into the challenges faced by a community...
A Man, When He Is a Man
A film by Valeria Sarmiento, 1982, 66 min., Color
Set in Costa Rica and touched with dark humor, this stylistically imaginative documentary illuminates the social climate and cultural traditions which...
Women Make Movies Production Assistance Program
Women Make Movies also offers a unique Production Assistance Program which provides fiscal sponsorship, low-cost media workshops and information services to independent media artists. The services included in this program reflect Women Make Movies' commitment to outreach and development of both emerging and established women film and video makers. More info.
Support Our Sponsored Projects: Would you like to support an individual WMM filmmaker or media project? There are more than 100 film and video projects in various stages of production in WMM's Fiscal Sponsorship Program. You can learn more about and contribute to these projects through our secure shopping cart right. View our Sponsored Projects page to learn more.
See some of the projects that are currently in our fiscal sponsorship program, and make a donation to any project online. Go!
JESSICA GONZALES VS. THE U.S.A.
A film by April Hayes and Katia Maguire
In 1999, Jessica Gonzales' estranged husband abducted their three daughters in violation of a domestic violence restraining order. Jessica's repeated calls and visits to the police that night went unheeded. Nearly twelve hours after she first called the police, Jessica's estranged husband arrived at the police station and opened fire, and he was immediately shot and killed by the police. The bodies of the three girls were found in his bullet-ridden truck. Jessica's quest for answers and justice led her on a 10 year journey through the American legal system and beyond, and have turned her into an outspoken and charismatic advocate for victimized women and children everywhere. Jessica Gonzales vs. The United States of America is a feature-length documentary that follows the story of one woman, who in the wake of unspeakable tragedy and hardship embarks upon a journey to reclaim her voice and discover her own power to heal herself and others.
JUSTICE FOR MY SISTER
A film by Kimberly Bautista
Adela left home for work one day and never returned. She was beaten to death by an ex-boyfriend. Her story is hauntingly familiar in Guatemala, where over 4000 women have been brutally murdered since 2001. Her sister Rebeca is determined to see that the killer is held accountable. Rebeca braves Guatemala's corrupt, victim-blaming justice system for two years. Transformed by her struggle, Rebeca emerges as a feminist leader in her rural community with a message for others: justice is possible. Visit the filmmaker's website.
A film by Florencia Davidzon
"Ingrates" examines the life and struggle of Marcelina Bautista, a young Oaxacan Mexican who, at the age of 12, was forced by her parents to work as a live-in maid in a home in Mexico City. Unable to speak Spanish initially and after overcoming many abuses at work, she became the President of household workers first in Mexico, and recently Latin American and the Caribbean. Today, she organizes maids, trains them in understanding their human rights in order to build their awareness, strengthen their voices, energize a movement that advocates for their justice and dignity and change labor laws. Visit the filmmaker's website.
A GIRL AND A GUN
A film by Cathryne Czubek
A riveting documentary investigating the realities of female gun ownership and the wide-ranging effects of guns on women's lives in a rapidly shifting gun climate in America. The film unravels the stories of four women who each share a unique relationship with guns; their motivations shedding light on rarely discussed contemporary women's issues. Penetrating well beyond the Hollywood image of the armed female, this documentary illuminates the clash between societal ideas of womanhood and gun ownership in the US.
Visit the filmmaker's website.
FLESH (FORMERLY HUMAN TRAFFICKING: OUR PROBLEM)
A film by Kristin Ross Lauterbach and Christina Lee Storm
Slavery. In the past. Human trafficking. Over there. FLESH a shocking documentary, calls into question our definitions of slavery, human trafficking, and prostitution in the United States. This is a story told by girls who have escaped and by those still enslaved. It is told by former and current pimps. It is told by the abolitionists of today, including numerous directors of non-profit organizations, a former U.S. Ambassador, LAPD vice and the L.A. City Task Force on Human Trafficking. Visit the filmmaker's website.