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Women with Vision 2006

In the 1950s, a number of Hollywood visionaries and talents found themselves literally silenced. After the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) named people such as screenwriter Norma Barzman and Minnesota-born actress Gale Sondergaard as suspected communists, their careers were forever altered. Some went into exile abroad, others had to use assumed names, and still others couldn’t find work in the industry until decades later. This year’s festival celebrates women in film who courageously confront silence, from actors and writers blacklisted in McCarthy-era Hollywood to directors today in India, Iran, Chile, Tibet, Kenya, Cameroon, Europe, and the United States who are boldly giving voice to their visions.

Anchoring the festival is the Blacklisted series of films, which includes a special appearance by Barzman, who signs copies of her memoir The Red and the Blacklist and introduces a 1946 film she wrote but was never credited for. We’re also excited to screen Deepa Mehta’s entire India Trilogy, based on the elements fire, earth, and water, and to nurture a new generation of film artists ages 8 to 18 who are finding their voices through the Girls in the Director’s Chair program.

To engage our audience members more deeply, we have added new features to the festival this year: podcasts by filmmakers will be available through Art on Call, a cell phone–based audio guide that can also be accessed online; and the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab has been converted into a comfy Dialogue Lounge where people can gather for refreshments and post-screening discussions, whether informal or scheduled.

I am deeply grateful to all the artists, filmmakers, and directors who contribute to Women with Vision. Over the past 13 years the festival has followed the careers of many, and this year we are pleased to show works by the following festival veterans: Islid Le Besco, Claire Denis, Joanna Kohler, Deepa Mehta, Miranda Pennell, Niki Karimi, Kim Longinotto, and Kimi Takesue. The festival is sponsored by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. We are also pleased to mark the ninth year of support by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.

The Walker is grateful to Fox Searchlight, ThinkFILM, Women Make Movies, Harvard Film Archive, UCLA Film & Television Archive, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and Miami International Festival for programming assistance.

We hope you enjoy Women with Vision: Confronting Silence.

Sheryl Mousley

Festival Director
Curator of Film/Video, Walker Art Center

Verena Mund

Festival Program Associate