School of Film Presents 'At the Helm: Women Filmmakers'

Visiting artist program featuring producer/director Barbara Attie is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

February 21, 2013

The School of Film at the University of the Arts presents "At the Helm: Women Filmmakers," a visiting artist program with special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The new program will kick off on Wednesday, February 27 with a master class, film screening and Q&A session by producer/director Barbara Attie.

"Barbara Attie: Twenty Years of Art and Activism" will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in 1408 Terra Hall. The master class is free and open to the public and the University community, but there is limited space and pre-registration is required. Please e-mail to reserve your spot.

Still from Attie's documentary "Mrs. Goundo's Daughter."

Attie will discuss the creative and ethical challenges in several of her works from the last two decades, beginning with "Motherless," which explores the tragedy of death by illegal abortions, and ending with her current work-in-progress "BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez," which explores the life and work of the seminal poet, teacher and activist.

A screening of Attie's documentary "Mrs. Goundo's Daughter" will be held at 8 p.m. in the Connelly Auditorium, 806 Terra Hall, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. The screening is free and open to the public and the University community.

"Mrs. Goundo's Daughter" is the story of a young mother's quest to keep her baby daughter healthy and whole. It is also the story of the African tradition of female genital cutting, which dates back thousands of years – and how it affects people's lives in just two of the many places where the practice is being debated today.

About Barbara Attie
Barbara Attie has been producing and directing award-winning documentaries for more than 20 years with her filmmaking partner Janet Goldwater. The subjects of their films, often focusing on women's and social justice issues, have included children orphaned when their mothers died after back-alley abortions ("Motherless," 1992); the terrorism waged at Pensacola, Fla.'s abortion clinics by religious zealots ("I Witness," 1998); a woman who brought a dead instrument back to life ("Landowska: Uncommon Visionary," 1997); activists fighting age discrimination ("Maggie Growls" ITVS co-production, 2002); and a 9-year old rape victim's struggle to end her pregnancy ("Rosita," 2005).

Attie and Goldwater are currently in production on a new documentary, "BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez," a biography of the African-American poet and activist. Their most recent documentary, "Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter," recounts a Malian mother's fight for asylum in the U.S. to protect her 2-year old daughter from female genital cutting/mutilation. It was supported by ITVS and the Sundance Documentary Fund and was broadcast nationally on PBS' Afropop series in 2011. The film has been shown at film festivals throughout the world, including the Human Rights Watch Festival and Silverdocs, was named Best Social Documentary at the Addis International Film Festival in Ethiopia, and won a best feature documentary award at the Moondance Film Festival.

Attie also produced and directed "Daring to Resist: Three Women Face the Holocaust with Martha Lubell." A portrait of teenage girls fighting Nazi genocide, "Daring to Resist" was broadcast nationally on PBS. The Boston Globe called it "one of the 10 best television documentaries of 2000."

Attie received an MFA in Film and Media Studies from Temple University. In 2007, she was inducted into the Temple University School of Communications and Theater Hall of Fame. Attie and Goldwater's collaborative work has been recognized with a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2005 and a Leeway Transformation Award in 2012.

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