Women behind agnes film’s social media campaign pose for a picture. Photograph credit: Hannah Countryman
A social media campaign created by MSU faculty and students aims to make people aware of the work being done by women filmmakers around the world. The campaign runs for four days from November 9 to November 12, using the hashtag #FavWomanFilmmaker.
“The campaign uses videos, Twitter chats, and Twitter interviews to get people to start talking about what women filmmakers they love and why,” WRAC assistant professor, Alexandra Hidalgo says. “If they don’t know any (and many people don’t), we’re hoping it gets them thinking about why they don’t.”
agnès films, an international community of women filmmakers, has organized this campaign. The editorial staff, as well as a number of the site’s reviewers work or study here at Michigan State University. Hidalgo co-founded agnès films in hopes of uniting women filmmakers and providing them with resources to be successful. “We feature interviews, articles, narratives, reviews, and news items that support the work of women filmmakers around the world,” she says.
The #FavWomanFilmmaker Campaign has a number of students working on it. Professional Writing student Lindsey Spitzley color corrected two of the campaign’s videos, and Arts and Humanities and Media Information double major Sarah Shaw did the sound mixing for one of the videos. Both of them have helped contact the press about the event and develop the themes they’ll be discussing during the campaign. Professional Writing student Sabrina Hirsch has helped design the campaign branding visuals, and Experience Architecture student, Shell Little, redesigned the website and came up with agnès films’ logo in order to prepare for the campaign.
agnès films has been starting each day with a video showing people discussing their favorite woman filmmaker, encouraging others to create their own videos, blog posts, or Tweets about their favorite women filmmaker, using the #FavWomanFilmmaker hashtag. There are also Twitter chats and interviews with activists like Melissa Silverstein, Sophie Mayer, filmmakers like Patricia Perez and Deborah Kampmeier, and filmmaking academics like bonnie kyburz. The women participating come from all over the world and provide those following the campaign with a complex and nuanced understanding of the experiences and work of women filmmakers today.
The Twitter chats and interviews are run by Hidalgo, as well as Spitzley, Shaw, Hirsch, Professional Writing student Katie Grimes, Media and Information student Savannah Smith, and Rhetoric and Writing Ph.D. student Shewonda Leger. One of the campaign’s four videos was made by German Studies and Digital Humanities Ph.D. student Anne Von Petersdorff and another by Arts and Humanities student, Emily Chen. This collaboration has been going on since this summer and has resulted in a campaign that joins many perspectives about filmmaking, creativity, social media and what it means to be a creative woman.
Shaw says of the campaign, “I hope the campaign will show audiences the importance of women filmmakers and prompt them to think critically about gender in the industry. I also hope that everyone will find new movies made by women to watch.” For Leger, “things are changing for women, but it is still extremely difficult for women to be heard in certain societies, so it is important that we come together. Unless we act together, we won’t be heard.” Spitzley adds that she hopes “the #FavWomanFilmmaker campaign will help further the conversation that’s already been started about women in the film industry and the inequalities women face by creating an open space for constructive dialogue to take place between women from all different places in the world and different positions in the film world.” Hirsch adds, “the #FavWomanFilmmaker campaign is great because not only is it getting more exposure for women filmmakers, but it’s exposing people who may not know about these women filmmakers to their work. Plus, I think it’s really inspiring for girls and women who may be interested in filmmaking but don’t have any or enough role models in the industry. It’s a lot easier to trust that you can do something if you have people to look up to.”
Here’s some of the exciting WRAC and MSU engagement with the campaign so far: