Sheridan Recognizes Women in Film

Story by Stephanie Young

Photo by Karl Solano on Pexels

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than celebrating all month long? That’s exactly what Sheridan is doing! Every Thursday for the month of March, Sheridan will be screening films directed by women.  

According to The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, “women comprised 17% of directors working on the 250 top grossing films in 2021”. With half of the population being women, most films are not directed by women.  

“Most films are directed by men, and most of those men in the North American and European context are white, cisgender and straight… I think it’s really important for us to get a female perspective and not just one female perspective(s) across various axes. Across the axes of race, sexuality, ethnicity, and even generation,” says Sheridan film professor Dr. Kathleen Cummins, who holds a PhD in Women and Gender Studies.  

International Women’s Day is a day to show appreciation for the women in our lives, and has been celebrated every year since 1911 (according to NDTV Education). 

“[International Women’s Day] is about pausing and reflecting and then making plans for the future. I reflect on how women have navigated, challenged and transgressed [gender] barriers…and the work that still needs to be done. The barrier still exists,” says Dr. Cummins.  

Sheridan has recognized the importance of the voices and perspectives women have in the world. By showing films directed by women, we can learn to appreciate and recognize the women in the film industry. 

Quickening by Haya Waseem

Some films being shown this month include Quickening, directed and written by Sheridan’s own 2012 Media Arts grad, Haya Waseem. Quickening is a film about the societal pressures and expectations faced by young women of colour in North America. Quickening will be free to watch on March 10th.

Alice by Krystin Ver Linden

Another note-worthy film that will be shown this month is Alice, directed and written by Krystin Ver Linden. Alice is a film (starring Keke Palmer) about an enslaved woman yearning for freedom on a Georgia plantation, escaping through the woods and stumbling into the year 1973. Alice will be available to watch on March 17th.

“Showing films directed by women would showcase that women are just as capable of creating a film that speaks to people. Their voices are valid. Making a film and being a woman filmmaker- it’s showing a perspective that’s very important. I think you need that kind of diversity,” says Ava K. Barker, a previous Sheridan Film student. 

Photos by Ava K. Barker

“People would always tell me, you know, “but you’re a woman in film,” and that just gave me more of a reason to want to be in film,” says Barker

You can check out more information on Sheridan’s International Women’s Day Film Screening Series here.