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See what happens when women call the shots

January 10, 2008|Susan King

THE American Cinematheque's third annual Focus on Female Directors tonight is more than just a screening of shorts. It's a chance to empower women, especially young women, to make movies.

"From the get-go, our idea was to create an event that wasn't just a screening," says Andrea Richards, author of "Girl Director," who organized the evening with Kim Adelman (author of "The Ultimate Guide to Chick Flicks") and the Cinematheque's Andrew Crane. "We wanted to have some sort of celebratory dynamic -- to get people in who had never made a film before and say, 'Here is the process; it's not rocket science.' "

"So much of our perspective is overlooked in the media and commercial films," says Mariam Jobrani, whose "The Fighting Cholitas" -- an award-winning 2006 short about female wrestlers in Bolivia -- will be shown. "I think it's about time we got out there and just told our own stories and put out the way we feel."

Richards, Adelman and Crane have balanced the evening, alternating shorts by well-known filmmakers and newcomers. "We are looking for name filmmakers that people are excited to see their films, even if they don't want to support female filmmakers," says Adelman. "The first year we had a Sofia Coppola short, and this year we have a Mira Nair short ["Migration"]."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, January 12, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 55 words Type of Material: Correction
'Room 10': In Thursday's edition of The Guide, a caption for a photograph from the film "Room 10" that accompanied an article about the American Cinematheque's Focus on Female Directors said Kris Kristofferson and Robin Wright Penn star in "Room 10." The photo showed Kristofferson and actress Patricia Place, who is also in the movie.

The program also features Jennifer Aniston and Andrea Buchanan's "Room 10," based on a true story made for Glamour magazine's Reel Moments short film series; Sophie Barthes' "Happiness," about a lonely woman working in a condom factory who buys a box of happiness; "Little Miss Sunshine" directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton's 2001 music video "Sexual Revolution"; Hilary Goldberg's twist on film noir, "In the Spotlight"; Michelle Hung's exploration of sisterhood, "Chinese Dumplings"; and Sarah Wickliffe's animated "Art's Desire," which won a 2007 Student Academy Award and is about a character in a painting who decides to redraw his environment.

"The inspiration for this was wanting to do something about a character having the power to change," says Wickliffe. "You don't like what your surroundings are, so go out and change it and make a new one for yourself."

Rounding out the evening is 1913's "How Men Propose," directed by Lois Weber, who was a head of production at Universal nearly a century ago. "We were so excited about the Lois Weber short [because] it makes a kind of historical link in terms of community," says Richards.

"And that it didn't all start with Sofia Coppola," echoes Adelman.

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-- Susan.King@latimes.com

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FOCUS ON FEMALE DIRECTORS

WHERE: Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood

WHEN: 7:30 tonight

PRICE: $7 to $10

INFO: (323) 466-3456,

www.egyptiantheatre.com

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