Sandra Osawa is a director, producer, and writer. She is a member of the Makah Nation of Washington State. One could argue that news coverage of Native American issues is still vastly lacking today. Thus, Sandra Osawa was a true ground-breaker in 1974 by directing, producing, and writing NBC’s first news program on Native American issues Continue reading Trailblazing through the Decades: Sandra Osawa (1970s)
British-American actress and producer Ida Lupino, got her start directing when the director of the 1949 film Not Wanted suffered a heart attack during pre-production. Lupino stepped in and shot the film guerilla style to keep the movie on budget and on schedule. Budgeted at just over $150,000, the film grossed $1 million, and Lupino’s reputation spread through Hollywood studios even though the original director retained credit. Continue reading Trailblazing Through the Decades: Ida Lupino (1950s)
During WWII, a hobbyist inventor worked to help the military come up with a secure communication system to combat the Nazis. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention formed an unbreakable code that prevented classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel. This patented form of frequency hopping revolutionized modern communications and formed the foundation for Wi-Fi, cell phone, and Bluetooth technology. The inventor’s name was Hedy Lamarr, and she was also a Hollywood star during MGM’s “Golden Age.” Continue reading Trailblazing through the Decades: Hedy Lamarr (1940s)
In honor of Women’s History Month, NYWIFT looks back at some of the remarkable women who have shaped the film, television and digital media industries through the decades. We kick off the series in the 1930s. Esther Eng was a film director who also worked as a writer, producer, and distributor. She had an international career, making films both in the United States and Hong Kong. She was the first woman to direct Chinese language films in the U.S. Continue reading Trailblazing through the Decades: Esther Eng (1930s)
In 1973 the 13-month Brookside Strike brought almost 200 workers to battle Eastover Coal Company’s Brookside Mine and Prep Plant, a company owned by Duke Power. When filmmaker Barbara Kopple traveled to Harlan County, Kentucky, the resulting Academy award-winning documentary, Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976) captured a historic story. We look back on the film, which screens this Sunday, February 25th at UnionDocs.
Continue reading The Brookside Women’s Club of Harlan County
NYWIFT member Jane Applegate recaps the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and offers some key tips on how to make the most of any festival experience. Continue reading How to Work a Major Film Festival: A Report from Sundance
Many have never heard of “Wobblies” or the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), but in the early 1900s, The Wobblies were laborers working in a variety of fields, who joined the movement which became known as “industrial unionism” under the IWW organization and they made headlines.
70 plus years following the founding of IWW, filmmakers Deborah Shaffer and Stewart Bird came together to bring the story of early American industrial radical labor reform back into the spotlight. Their documentary, The Wobblies (1979), shows the relevance of this history that still holds true today. The WFPF will screen the film at UNDO on January 28. Continue reading One Big Union: A History of the Wobblies