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Renee Herrell
Founder, San Diego Women's Film Festival

To prepare for the fifth annual San Diego Women's Film Festival, I recommend the movie that kicked off last year's festival, Come Early Morning, directed by actress-turned-director Joey Lauren Adams. An excellent film that deserved wider release, it marked one more woman making films in Hollywood.When considering opening-night films this year, we were thrilled to have four from women. My hope is this means women are starting to take over Hollywood. To that I say, "You go, girl!" Of the four, we decided on one that takes us from Hollywood to Bollywood: Pratibha Parmar's Nina's Heavenly Delights. Check out Parmar's earlier documentary about women and music, The Righteous Babes, on DVD .

For some time, Nora Ephron has been a woman filmmaker at the top of my list. I can't help myself when it comes to her romantic comedies, which I watch over and over. Try Sleepless in Seattle.

Come Early Morning
(USA) 2006, Weinstein Company

The Righteous Babes(UK) 1998, Women Make Movies

Sleepless in Seattle (10th Anniversary Edition)
(USA) 1993, Sony Pictures

Jennifer Hsu
Director, San Diego Women's Film Festival, sdwff.org

This week, the San Diego Women's Film Festival will showcase over 100 films made by women from around the world. If you can't catch these films at the festival, check them out on DVD. Red without Blue, by Benita and Todd Sills and Brooke Sebold, documents the relationship between identical twins who both explore varying shades of gender and sexuality. Out of pain they find a surprising and unconventional kind of solace in family. Celia Carey's Mr. Dial Has Something to Say is a bright, glassy film about the shamefully underrecognized Afro-American improvisational visual artist Thornton Dial.

Buthina Khoury's Women in Struggle reveals an oft-overlooked world: that of women's roles in political resistance. Three Palestinian women, ex-detainees of Israel's prison system, tell their stories of torture, pain, sacrifice, and, most movingly, of friendship.

Red Without Blue
(USA) 2007, Indiepix

MR. Dial Has Something to Say
(USA) 2007, Alabama Public Television

Women in Struggle
(Palestine) 2004, Women Make Movies

Lauren Berliner
Filmmaker and UCSD graduate student

In the spirit of the upcoming San Diego Women's Film Festival, I recommend the following films by women: Jenni Olson's The Joy of Life and Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know. Olson's is a favorite for stunning photography of San Francisco and the brilliant pairing of a voice-over narrative of lust and longing with ruminations on the suicide lure of the Golden Gate Bridge. July's film draws out the otherwise lonely story of a struggling female artist by revealing the myriad of unlikely connections she shares with others and that they share with each other. In Wings of Hope, Werner Herzog recreates the journey of Juliana Kopcke, the lone survivor of a Peruvian plane crash. Herzog was originally scheduled to be on that plane. His attempt to understand Kopcke's survival reveals his own struggle to comprehend chance, connection, and the human spirit.

The Joy of Life
(USA) 2005, Strand Releasing

Me and You and Everyone We Know
(USA) 2005, MGM

Wings of Hope
(Germany) 2000, Werner Herzog Filmproduktion, www.wernerherzog.com

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