Through Her Lens

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June 12, 2013
1:00pm Central Time
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Welcome to the launch of Through Her Lens, presented by ITVS Community Cinema & Women And Girls Lead in partnership with FEM Inc and Women in Film and Video.

We have a stellar lineup of panelists today! So honored and thrilled to have all three filmmakers present and an incredible list of powerful women working to change the paradigm of women in media!

Video Descriptions

Through Her Lens: International Films by and about Women

Women and Girls Lead presents an online exclusive premiere of Through Her Lens, a collection of dramatic short films exploring international stories and content about women and made by women. Through Her Lens explores social issues facing women and girls worldwide through a character driven-narrative.

Not Another Word

Inside a Middle Eastern home, three generations of women in a family conflict over their plans for the future of granddaughter Lama, who refuses to get married.

Good Country People

Spanish Town, Jamaica, is one of the island’s oldest and poorest rural communities - it is also a war zone, where ordinary residents are caught between politicians and gangsters. Amidst this backdrop, Blossom Edwards is forced to take over for her Uncle as the family's primary breadwinner by driving his taxi cab, exposing her to the dangerous circumstances brought on by the impending election.

Half of Her

Life on a fourth floor tenement building in New York City’s Chinatown is invasively communal. Chinese immigrants live in a loft that has been divided into blocks of cubicles barely wider than a mattress. Here a very pregnant Mei struggles alone to safely give birth to her child and deal with the consequences of her husband's demands.

44min 43sec


  • Moderator Avatar
    Naomi Walker

    Just another girl on the OVEE.

  • Co-Moderator Avatar
    Meredith Anderson-McDonald


  • Panelist Avatar
    Paola Mendoza, Filmmaker, HALF OF HER


    Paola Mendoza, was named one of Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces of Independent Film. She made her narrative directorial debut with entre nos, which had its world premiere at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Entre Nos went on to win over ten international awards at film festivals from around the world. She was most recently commissioned by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Tribeca Film Institute to direct the short documentary LA TOMA. She also directed the feature length documentary AUTUMN’S EYES and a short documentary, Still Standing; about her grandmother trying to put her life back together after loosing her home to Hurricane Katrina.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Cherien Dabis, Filmmaker, NOT ANOTHER WORD


    AMREEKA (2009) world-premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (2009), opened New York’s New Director’s/New Films at the MoMA (2009) and won the prestigious FIPRESCI award in the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes (2009). The same year, Dabis was also named one of Variety’s “Ten Directors to Watch.” Dabis recently premiered her second feature film, MAY IN THE SUMMER, as the Opening Night film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Dabis has been an advisor for the Sundance Screenwriter’s Labs in both Turkey and Jordan and has taught screenwriting in the graduate film program at Columbia University. She currently resides in New York City.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Tanya Hamilton, Filmmaker, GOOD COUNTRY PEOPLE


    Tanya Hamilton (born in Spanish Town, Jamaica) is an American film director and producer. She came to the United States at the age of eight, and settled in Maryland with her mother. She attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Columbia University. Hamilton's first project was a short film entitled The Killers, which was released in 1997. Her first feature film was Night Catches Us, a portrayal of former Black Panthers reuniting in 1976 Philadelphia. Hamilton is currently a Fellow at the Sundance Screenwriter and Filmmaker Lab.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Melissa Houghton


    Executive Director, Women In Film & Video

  • Panelist Avatar
    Rachel Payne


    Prior to starting FEM Inc., Rachel was Principal, Global Strategic Alliances, at Google, where she worked with the executive team and with senior executives across product areas to develop strategy and engagement models for Google’s most important partners globally. Her international work experience focuses on economic development as a means to drive broader forms of empowerment for women. 

  • Panelist Avatar
    Elisa Lees Muños


    Elisa Lees Munoz is the IWMF’s Executive Director. She is responsible for identifying strategic opportunities and programmatic development and fundraising. Before joining the IWMF, Munoz was executive director of the Crimes of War Education Project, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to raising awareness among journalists about international humanitarian law and its applicability to armed conflict. Munoz has also held several positions at the Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Karim Ahmad


    Karim Ahmad oversees funding initiatives at ITVS, including the Open Call, the acclaimed web series FUTURESTATES, and other digital content projects such as THROUGH HER LENS, for which he reviews projects for funding and works with greenlit filmmakers to develop content from conception to completion. He previously served as Feature Development Director at San Francisco production company Momentum Cinema, where he wrote and produced the award-winning narrative feature film Harrison Montgomery, starring Oscar-winner Martin Landau. Mr. Ahmad has served as a panelist/juror for numerous film funders and festivals, and received his BA from Pomona College.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.