THE POLITICS OF NOW: REDEFINING THE NARRATIVES

Films represent one of our greatest opportunities to change narratives, shift mindsets and create deep social impact. After decades of supporting the work of women filmmakers, CFI formally launched Mind the Gap in 2015, an initiative dedicated to achieving equity in the film industry.

Two years ago, we signed the 50/50 by 2020 pledge to include 50% women filmmakers at the Mill Valley Film Festival. We are very pleased to announce that we have exceeded our own pledge goal and women filmmakers will have 57% representation at this year’s MVFF43!

This year’s MIND THE GAP program is both a celebration and a call to action. Through films, Q&As, panels, and conversations, CFI & MVFF continue to highlight and explore the work and the impact of women in the media industry. Our mission is to open doors and provide access, education, and opportunities for women filmmakers.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE LIST OF MVFF43 MIND THE GAP FILMS & EVENTS

2020 MIND THE GAP AWARD

VIOLA DAVIS: ACTOR OF THE YEAR

The award honors people whose work has helped close the gender gap in the film industry and in our lives. Recognizing talents both above and below the line, the Award celebrates their groundbreaking achievements and acknowledges their importance as role models.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE PROGRAM INFO.

PANELS | WORKSHOPS

ALL PANELS ARE 60 MINUTES IN DURATION AND FREE WITH RSVP

The pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in society that have fueled and structured the film industry, and guided which perspectives are centered  and which are left off screen.  The global support of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the uprisings against racial injustice has forced the industry to examine the systems that have marginalized BIPOC creatives.

Mind the Gap 2020 will build on these cultural and industry conversations and will examine how these issues can be reframed, centering the voices of those who have remained on the margins for far too long. Beyond the current context of upheaval, MTG will also explore the formation of networks and communities of black and brown film professionals, in particular those connecting intersectional women, non-binary and queer people, and how they form alternative eco-systems and spaces of learning, healing and re-envisioning.  

EVOLUTION OF BLACK WOMEN’S ROLES ONSCREEN

This conversation with film creatives, actors, and curators will chart the changing nature of the portrayal of Black women onscreen. By revisiting the simplistic type-casting of Black women in film since its inception, the speakers will discuss how the representation of Black women in Hollywood and beyond has moved towards a variety of depictions and voices.

PANELISTS:
RUTH CARTER – Costume Designer
EKWA MSANGI – Director, FAREWELL AMOR
LORRAINE TOUSSAINT – Actress, The Glorias

MODERATOR: FARIDAH GBADAMOSI, MVFF US Indies Programmer

AVAILABLE THURSDAY, OCT. 8 – SUNDAY, OCT. 18
FREE  |  RSVP REQUIRED

RETHINKING CLASSICS

TOWARDS A MORE DEMOCRATIC GLOBAL CANON

For as long as there has been a film canon, it has been dominated by white heterosexual men as creatives, educators and critics. This canon has in recent times come under increased pressure to open up to a broader spectrum of authors and perspectives. Challenging this canon involves questioning the criteria and the conventions for films to be considered “worthy” of being an important film as well as who is making those decisions. This conversation explores how to shift the decision-making on what enters the international canon towards a broader, more inclusive and ultimately more democratic pool can be achieved at a global level.

PANELISTS:
AMALIA CORDOVA – Programmer, Latinx digital curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklore and Cultural Heritage
KATARINA HEDRÉN – Programmer, African film
JANAINA OLIVEIRA – Programmer, Academic – Pan-African Cinema (Zózimo Bulbul Black Cinema Encounter, FICINE, Flaherty Seminar)
JENNI OLSON – Filmmaker, Queer Film Historian
LORNA TEE – Programmer, Macao International Film Festival

MODERATOR: VICTORIA THOMAS – Producer, Filmmaker, Lecturer

AVAILABLE FRIDAY, OCT. 9 – SUNDAY, OCT. 18
FREE  |  RSVP REQUIRED

CENTERPIECE MIND THE GAP EVENTS:

CHANGING THE INDUSTRY FROM THE INSIDE

By creating awareness and a conversation around discrimination, marginalization, and underrepresentation, these are organizations, collectives and initiatives striving to address the fundamental systemic inequities of the film industry and effect change from the inside. This conversation explores how these industry players are using their power and clout to create structural change across Hollywood and beyond.

PANELISTS:
ADRIANA CHARTRAND – ImagineNATIVE
LILIANA ESPINOZA – National Association of Latino Independent Producers
TILANE JONES – Array
LUCY MUKERJEE – Programmers of Colour Collective (POC2)
EMILY SMITH BEITIKS – Paul K. Longmore Institute / Superfest Disability Film Festival

MODERATOR: TRACY RECTOR – Nia Tero

AVAILABLE SATURDAY, OCT. 10 – SUNDAY, OCT. 18
FREE  |  RSVP REQUIRED

BUILDING YOUR OWN TABLES & CHAIRS

As a response to the many ism’s that are endemic to the film industry, these organizations, collectives and initiatives have chosen to focus their attention on building alternative networks, platforms, and eco-systems—alongside the mainstream industry—in which their communities can flourish, create power structures and set their own rules. As opposed to working towards having a seat at the table, these industry players have opted to create their own table.

PANELISTS:
JENNIFER CRYSTAL CHIEN – Re-Present Media
GUETTY FELIN – Daughters of Tressie
MARIA FORTIZ-MORSE – Brown Girls Doc Mafia
SARITA KHURANA – Asian American Documentary Network

MODERATOR: TRACY RECTOR – Nia Tero

AVAILABLE SATURDAY, OCT. 10 – SUNDAY, OCT. 18
FREE  |  RSVP REQUIRED

MIND THE GAP DIRECTORS FORUM & KEYNOTE

2020 will go down as the year when everything changed—in ways both daunting and exciting. Where will it all lead? With theaters closed, festivals cancelling or re-inventing, online platforms springing up, zoom rooms and virtual events becoming ubiquitous, words like “pivot” and “nimble” have peppered daily discussions about work, life and navigating radical change. It seems like a 20-year growth spurt packed into a single year. This program considers what things will return and what will have shifted as we imagine the future for independent filmmakers. The program includes a keynote by an industry leader and a roundtable of directors whose work was released this year discussing their experiences of navigating 2020 and their insights about how this year’s challenges may inform innovations in the post-pandemic world of film. 

KEYNOTE
CATHY SHULMAN, Co-founder, ReFrame; Academy Award®-winning producer; President and CEO, Welle Entertainment; Writer-Producer, First Ladies 

DIRECTORS’ FORUM
MODERATOR:
ZOË ELTON, MVFF Director of Programming
PANELISTS:
RADHA BLANK (The 40 Year Old Version)
GIA COPPOLA (MAINSTREAM)
GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD (The Old Guard)
LIESL TOMMY (Respect)
ALICE WU (The Half of It)

AVAILABLE SUNDAY, OCT. 11 – SUNDAY, OCT. 18
FREE  |  RSVP REQUIRED

ABOUT MIND THE GAP

Films represent one of our greatest opportunities to change narratives, shift mindsets and create deep social impact. Films break through barriers, highlight the commonalities of the human condition and define what we see, know and how we act towards one another. It’s this power to mold minds and affect our actions which underlines why it is essential for films to include and to reflect the totality of the world in its full kaleidoscope of genders, ethnicities, sexualities, classes, castes, ages, bodies and abilities.

After decades of supporting the work of women filmmakers, CFI formally launched Mind the Gap in 2015, an initiative dedicated to achieving gender equity in the film industry. The same year, the California Film Institute (CFI) began expanding the Mind the Gap initiative across the entire organization in order to provide an inclusive platform to showcase female-forward contributions in all aspects of the film industry, celebrate the dynamic achievements of women in film, and empower future filmmakers. Since its inception, Mind the Gap has embraced the intersectionality of its filmmakers and conversations within the fight for gender equity and the importance of intersectional perspectives and gender’s indisociable connections to other identity traits has become a cornerstone of the platform’s focus.

MND THE GAP SUPPORTERS

CHRISTINE A. SCHANTZ

RESONANCE PHILANTHROPIES