Re: judges' statement

From: shelly silver (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 25 2006 - 09:03:54 PDT

dear pip:
i understand that jennifer sent her e-mail, including the jury
statement, out to the complete list by mistake, but i assumed that it
was written, like all jury statements, for public consumption and
discussion. this seems to be what the jurors wanted:

At 9:09 PM -0500 6/22/06, Montgomery, Jennifer R. wrote:
>perhaps if there are any other press releases or
>listserves, you could include this statement:

at the bottom of my post i didn't say that i thought that gender bias
exists in the exp. film community, but in our society. i'm frankly
not knowledgeable enough to talk about the efc but, as you ask, i do
imagine that, as experimental film is made in society that an
imbalance exists there too. the publishing of the seminal and
history forming 'essential cinema' was fairly recent. i don't want
to get into an argument (yet again) on whether the almost complete
absence of women in this book was due to the selection process, who
was doing the selecting or the fact that there were so few films by
women to choose from at the time, but there was a statistically
significant imbalance - this kind of imbalance, regardless of the
reasons, existed. and it is hard to outgrow quickly. things have
greatly improved since then, this is clear from jennifer's remark on
how much great work is currently being produced by women. it would
be much easier to say that these problems no longer existed if it was
common some years at exp. film festivals to have mostly women being
shown, or sweeping the awards. it's gotten much better, but in my
experience we're not quite at that point yet. what do you think?
you're in a much better position to talk about this than i pip.

history doesn't always move in a straight positive trajectory (as we
americans know well). i was unhappy, for example, to see the small
percentage of women selected for this year's whitney biennial (yes,
co-curated by a woman). here too i wouldn't point fingers as i
know nothing about the process and specific reasons for the
selection, but put into a larger picture, i did find it disheartening
and worth noting as a possible backwards trend.

on a more positive note, i'm currently doing street interviews and
many people, men and women, have brought up, with excitement, the
idea of electing a woman president in the near future.

and now to speak very generally (and i hope for many reasons that
this statement doesn't bite me in the ass somewhere in the future) -
i must confess that i've recently become very optimistic about the
growing power of women at all levels of society. but changes like
this are hard, power is not given up easily and without detours or
backlash (george w bush being a dangerous symptom of this). it is
still necessary (and here i'd talk about all forms of bias that have
been built into the foundations of societies) to open discussions,
to make noise even if making noise is treated as being hopelessly
unfashionable or besides the point, to raise questions that people
don't want to hear, to keep one's eyes open.

i think jennifer's posting on this list also had the very positive
effect of upping the profile of the onion city festival. here's
hoping that that they get deluged by amazing films by women and
others next year,


>Hi Shelly,
>I don't the post was inappropriate; it just wasn't intended.
>If you think gender bias exists in the experimental film community
>I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.
>>ps: i personally feel that gender bias in our society is alive and well.
>For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.