Now in its eighth year, Women with Vision is a tribute to women filmmakers from around the world, across the country, and throughout Minnesota who have crossed boundaries--whether geographic or geopolitical, personal or social, financial or emotional. The Walker is pleased to present their achievements on the screen.
These filmmakers have carefully chosen their stories and the manner in which they are told. Some take us across borders--in Barbara Alpert's Northern Skirts, Bosnian war refugees cope with life on the outskirts of Vienna; Deann Borshay Liem's First Person Plural takes her from America back to Korea in search of her family. Others tell of escaping the cultural boundaries placed on women, such as the forced segregation experienced by a nine-year-old Iranian girl in Marziyeh Meshkini's The Day I Became a Woman, the exclusion of a child widow in India in Prema Karanth's Phaniyamma, or the realities faced by inmates of a California women's prison in Cheryl Dunye's Stranger Inside. Brazilian Tata Amaral's Through the Window is about a mother going beyond her personal boundaries of maternal love. Hidden Whisper, Vivian Chang's film from Taiwan, explores the complex boundaries set between mothers and daughters.
This year, 10 Minnesota filmmakers are premiering their latest works. The festival includes Lisa Ganser's documentary about the band Janestown, Tara Spartz's coming-of-age drama about baby-sitting set in Coon Rapids, and Eleanor Savage's rollicking look at the Southern stereotypes that Northerners hold dear. Videos by Minnesota's newest directors, young women ages 11 through 19, are showcased in the Girls in the Director's Chair program.
Featured this year is New York-based Pola Rapaport, who presents recent work exploring issues of memory and family. The evening includes the area premiere of her award-winning documentary Family Secret, a visually stunning portrait intertwining the story of her family with the sociopolitical history of Europe and the United States during the 20th century.
Cheryl Dunye closes the festival with her new film, Stranger Inside, an unflinching story of life inside a women's prison. Dunye workshopped the script for this film while she was an artist-in-residence at the Walker, and collaborated with women inmates from the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Shakopee, who shared their personal experiences of life inside.
I am pleased to note that support for Women with Vision continues to grow each year. The 2001 festival is made possible by a very generous gift from the Minnesota Women's Foundation, which marks its fourth year of sponsorship. This year the international component of films is especially strong thanks to funding from the Bush Foundation for the Walker's Bush Global Initiative. The closing-night reception is made possible with a gift from the Minnesota Film Board. The Girls in the Director's Chair program has expanded under the guidance of Karon Sherarts and Jennifer Kennedy. I am deeply grateful to all of the funders, community partners, programmers, and artists who contribute to Women with Vision, and I thank you all for your extraordinary support and hard work.
Focusing on global women film- and videomakers of all ages, this festival provides a place for their visions to be seen, their voices to be heard, and our audiences to respond. I hope you will enjoy Women with Vision 2001.
Associate Curator of Film/Video
Walker Art Center
WOMEN WITH VISION: CROSSING BOUNDARIES IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE MINNESOTA WOMEN'S FOUNDATION AND THE BUSH FOUNDATION, WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM THE MINNESOTA FILM BOARD.