Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute, and Cathy Schulman, President of Women In Film Los Angeles spoke about how women only direct 5% of the films in Hollywood and that number has not changed since 1998! This year, of the feature films and documentaries selected to Sundance, 27% of them were directed by women! What is so exciting is how Sundance and WIF are looking to change those numbers and create much better resources for all of us to draw from.
We also had the world premiere of Himalaya Song today. Dave Liang, Mridu Chandra and I created this multimedia/live performance piece for New Frontiers and our excitement has been building up to this day.
Himalaya Song is an experimental film with live narration and music. It was a big lesson for us in how art really does meet technology. New Frontiers’ whole theme this year is about the future and technology and there is no way we could have made this project happen without it. For starters, we were able to record musicians from around the world while Dave and I were in LA and NY. On the visual side, we got really stunning footage and photographs from artists that have documented the Himalayas for years. They were so generous in wanting to help with this project and the issues we are covering. We also had the chance to work with some very gifted artists and painters in China, Turkey, London and India. We even had some paintings commissioned for our film by a Leeds born painter, Kamaljeet Ajimal.
We performed Himalaya Song at New Frontiers to a packed house. The audience was so incredibly responsive! To be able to bring a project like this, which deals with such important issues, to a live stage was always a question – now we finally know it translates.