The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Awards and accolade to women behind the lens

Professor Alexis Krasilovsky’s documentary, ‘Women Behind the Camera,’ continues to garner worldwide acclaim and this year is again an official selection at a myriad of prestigious international film festivals and screenings.

The documentary was written, produced and directed by Krasilovsky, a professor in the department of cinema and television arts at CSUN.

The film examines the often varying, yet ultimately intertwined stories of female camerawomen and cinematographers worldwide.

‘I was a camerawoman in the 1970s and 1980s and it was a very difficult time. Women in the film industry at that time were pioneers. I didn’t have the perseverance to deal with the discrimination, and have so much admiration for the women who stayed,’ said Krasilovsky.

‘Women Behind the Camera’ won the ‘Best Women in Cinema’ award at the 2008 San Francisco Women’s film festival and ‘Best Documentary Feature’ award at the 2007 Spirit of Moondance among others.

In 1997 Krasilovsky also published a book, ‘Women Behind the Camera: Conversations with Camerawomen.’

‘I am very grateful to this university for approving my grants for this film so that I was able to travel and interview the camerawomen in France, India and Mexico, among others,’ said Krasilovsky.

Krasilovsky, and her film crew, filmed in 17 countries and conducted dozens of interviews to compile footage for the 90-minute documentary.

‘Many of my students, especially women, tell me that the film has inspired them and given them the strength to pursue careers as camerawoman. In making this global film, I wanted to expose how similar the stories are regardless of the country,’ said Krasilovsky.

The examination of the unique narratives of camerawoman from India, China, Germany, Russia and Iran offers a glimpse into the diverse and shared experiences of women in the film industry.

‘It’s undoubtedly easier for women to get jobs as camerawomen now but the sexual discrimination persists. While there is a general acceptance now of women in the industry, there is also a backlash to feminism and an illusion of progress,’ said Krasilovsky.

The statistics from big budget American movies are discouraging. Of the top 250 movies, about two percent featured camerawomen, added Krasilovsky.

‘A lot of younger people are unaware of the struggles women went through in the industry, that’s why I think its so important to pay homage to their struggles and have history manifested in the documentary,’ said Krasilovsky.

The documentary is an official selection at this year’s Iranian film festival, Baltimore’s Women’s film festival, and the Flying Broom International film festival in Turkey among a long list of other festivals.

It is also an official selection at the Manaki Brothers International Cinematographers’ film festival in the Republic of Macedonia, Sept. 27th to Oct. 4th. Krasilovsky will be attending the film festival next week.

‘It is important to understand how women are seeing the world and how their perceptions are helping to change and alter it from the dominant mainstream understanding,’ said Krasilovsky.

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