Bad Feminists Making Films
Bad 20feminists 202

Bad Feminists Making Films is a show where we talk to bad feminist filmmakers who are confronting and changing the film industry through intersectional and decolonial practice. Our podcast features intimate conversations with feminist filmmakers about their filmmaking journeys, including cringe-worthy moments, sweet successes, and tips for navigating and challenging male-dominated spaces. Join us as we work towards creating community, building alternatives, and transforming the film industry.

This show records and broadcasts LIVE on Full Service Radio from the lobby of the LINE DC in Adams Morgan, Washington DC.

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    Speaking My Truth: Organizing & Filmmaking in These Times

    Filmmaker, organizer, and impact producer Set Hernandez Rongkilyo waxes lyrical about how to bring together the worlds of storytelling and organizing in the service of building movements. They share their journey of feeling like the only person without a social security number to being connected to an entire universe of undocumented superheroes fighting in the migrant justice movement. Set reflects on how film is a sharp weapon that can be wielded in toxic or healing ways, and the unique role of the impact producer to support directors and producers in shaping film into a powerful tool for organizing and movements.

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    MIXED: What it means to be biracial in a black and white world

    Filmmaker, photographer, and professor Leena Jayaswal joins the show for a deep-dive into her current film project MIXED. She describes her filmmaking journey with fellow director Caty Borum Chattoo, as they--two mothers, one brown, one white--set off to explore the experiences of mixed race families fifty years after Loving v. Virginia legalized interracial marriage in the U.S. Leena reflects on the vulnerability of sharing her own family’s story on screen; why filmmaking sometimes feels like therapy; and what the work of inclusion looks like in the film and academic worlds.

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    The Art of Taking up Space: A conversation with Hilary Hess

    Artist and filmmaker Hilary Hess describes her journey from doing social media at a public television station to directing a PBS digital series, becoming the videographer for Bernie Sanders and working with Melinda Gates. She created her own opportunities and intensely focused on what she was passionate about rather than the limitations she or others may have perceived about her. Maggie, Emily and Hilary discuss the difficult questions and “catch 22s” that women often face in terms of how they choose to show up and lead in historically white male dominated work cultures.

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    BFMF goes on the road for an evening of storytelling with emerging and seasoned feminist filmmakers from across the U.S. who break down the “how tos” of mounting a decolonial lens onto your camera. Whether it's challenging stereotypes, forging a space for alternative narratives, or digging into solidarity work, we hear from Tricia Creason-Valencia, Elena Herminia Guzman, Laura Menchaca Ruiz, and Nadia Shihab about filmmaking as an act of resilience, love and courage.

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    Women Rising up through Art & Activism

    Artist and activist Monica Jahan Bose describes “rising up” to challenge the Kavanaugh nomination by teaming up with other women media-makers. Monica reflects on where her fearlessness comes from—her background as an environmental lawyer and performance artist. She shares her unique approach to filmmaking and other art forms as one of “forming community”—using storytelling and shared artistic authority with women to tackle climate change and other social justice issues.

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    Collaborating Consciously with Community

    Dawne Langford, DC-based filmmaker and creative producer tells us about “discovery syndrome”--or what happens when women and people of colors’ ideas are picked up without credit--and the hard lessons she’s learned about film collaborations with communities. Describing her journey from her beginnings at a black-owned public TV station (Howard University’s WHUT) to attending the highly selective PBS Producers Academy, Dawne offers some important ethical principles for filmmakers.

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    A Case Study in Decolonial Documentary: Call Her Ganda

    What does it mean to decolonize film not just in theory, but in practice? In episode 2, Maggie and Emily speak with filmmaker PJ Raval, who recently led an all-Filipino directing and producing team to create Call Her Ganda, which tells the story of three women intimately invested in justice for Jennifer Laude, a Filipina trans woman who was brutally murdered by a U.S. Marine; together they galvanize a political uprising, pursue justice and take on hardened histories of US imperialism. We speak with PJ about how he came to realize his responsibility to work on this project, the process of creating a transnational production team with the depth of experience and sensitivity necessary to execute it across borders, and what he learned about U.S.-Philippine colonial history and himself along the way.

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    What the hell is feminist filmmaking, anyway?

    Emily and Maggie kick off the podcast by dropping some bad feminist facts about the sad state of the filmmaking industry. Our guests Elena Guzman and Miasarah Lai talk about why feminism needs an asterisk, and how it has come to be a shorthand for knowing who you want to work with. Elena and Miasarah discuss the importance of feminist filmmaking as an anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice, and share some bad feminist moments they’ve had along the way.