1st Edition

Independent Female Filmmakers A Chronicle through Interviews, Profiles, and Manifestos

Edited By Michele Meek Copyright 2019
    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    Independent Female Filmmakers collects original and previously published essays, interviews, and manifestos from some of the most defining and groundbreaking independent female filmmakers of the last 40 years. Featuring material from the seminal magazine The Independent Film and Video Monthly—a leading publication for independent filmmakers for several decadesas well as new interviews conducted with the filmmakers, this book, edited by Michele Meek, presents a unique perspective into the ethnically and culturally diverse voices of women filmmakers whose films span narrative, documentary, and experimental genres and whose work remains integral to independent film history from the 1970s to the present.

    Independent Female Filmmakers also includes a biographical profile of each filmmaker, as well as an online resource with links to additonal interviews and a sample course syllabus.

    The filmmakers in this book include:

    • Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, The Kids Are All Right)

    • Martha Coolidge (Valley Girl, Real Genius, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge)

    • Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman, Stranger Inside)

    • Miranda July (The Future, Me And You And Everyone We Know)

    • Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, Wild Man Blues)

    • Maria Maggenti (The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love)

    • Deepa Mehta (Fire, Earth, Water)

    • Trinh T. Minh-ha (Surname Viet, Given Name Nam, Night Passage)

    . . . and more!



    About the Contributors

    Preface: Feminist Independents – By Patricia White

    Introduction – By Michele Meek

    An Independent Revolution: A History of the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers (AIVF) and The Independent Film & Video Monthly – By Erin Trahan

    Ericka Beckman (1951–)  – By Emily Watlington

    Lizzie Borden (1958–) – By Cynthia Felando

    Lisa Cholodenko (1964–) By Holly Willis

    Martha Coolidge (1946–) By Michele Meek

    Julie Dash (1952–)  – By Christina N. Baker

    Cheryl Dunye (1966–) – By Sarah E. S. Sinwell

    Jennifer Fox (1959–) – By Michele Meek

    Su Friedrich (1954–) – By Erin Trahan

    Miranda July (1974–) – By Erin Trahan

    Barbara Kopple (1946–) – By Lisa Dombrowski

    Maria Maggenti (1962–) – By Amy Guth

    Deepa Mehta (1950–) – By Anna Sarkissian

    Trinh T. Minh-ha (1952–) – By Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa and Patricia Alvarez Astacio

    Yvonne Rainer (1934–) – By Aviva Dove-Viebahn

    Annie Sprinkle (1954–) and Beth Stephens (1960–) – By Linda Williams



    Michele Meek is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Bridgewater State University. She co-founded Independent Media Publications, which now publishes The Independent, and, throughout her career has worked in film distribution, festivals, media journalism, and as an award-winning writer/director. Her recent essays have been published in Literature/Film Quarterly and Girlhood Studies. For more information about her, visit www.michelemeek.com.

    "Michele Meek’s book is a welcome and important addition to the growing list of anthologies about women filmmakers…but what makes it special is that it is about the true pioneers of independent American women’s film, written and edited by those who were part of it."

    —Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director of Women Make Movies

    "This is a rich and exciting volume that draws attention to the indispensable contributions that women filmmakers have made to American independent cinema. Featuring profiles of and interviews with many groundbreaking directors, it gives voice to female artists whose experiences will inform and inspire the next generation of image-makers."

    —Michele Schreiber, Author of American Postfeminist Cinema: Women, Romance and Contemporary Culture; Co-editor of Indie Reframed: Women’s Filmmaking and Contemporary American Independent Cinema