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Arts & Culture

Female Filmmakers Take Centerstage At This Year’s Aspen Film Shortsfest

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Courtesy Aspen Film
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A scene from “Al-Sit” directed by Suzannah Mirghani. 55 films with female directors or co-directors are part of this year’s Aspen Film Shortsfest.";s:3:

Women filmmakers are getting attention at this year’s Aspen Film Shortsfest, which also happens to be the organization’s 30th annual short film festival. Nearly 3,000 films were submitted for this year’s Shortsfest—80 were chosen for this year’s virtual event, and 55 of those selections were directed or co-directed by women. That’s over two-thirds of this year’s featured Shortsfest films. 

“That’s just really a reflection of this pool of talent and kind of who are the emerging voices,” said Aspen Film’s Shortsfest Program Director Jason Anderson. “I think it really has shifted towards the future is female.”

Anderson worked with a team of three other film curators, including two women, to narrow down this year's field of submission.

This year’s female-focused lineup comes during a historic year for women in film. Two women directors were among this year’s list of Oscar nominees in the best director category when the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its full list of nominees earlier this month. That’s the first time two women have appeared on the same list; previously, only five women had ever been nominated in the award’s 90-plus year history.

Short films, in particular, have seen a strong showing from female directors in the last several years, according to Anderson. That’s telling of the next crop of filmmakers getting noticed and funded for their work.

Getting recognition for work in short film can be a springboard for bigger projects, which has historically been a barrier for women in film. It’s also indicative of changing audience taste, and an appetite for different perspectives on storytelling. Anderson said that’s a good thing for the industry.

“I love working in short films for that reason because you really get this incredible diversity of talent,” said Anderson of the shift in demographics. “I think the hope is that this is a sustaining wave and they will continue to have these opportunities.”

The Aspen Film Shortsfest kicks off on April 6. Tickets and more information is available at Aspen Film’s website.

 

 

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