WIFV’s Recommended Reading and Viewing
Expand your reading and viewing with these suggested magazines, books and DVDs AND support WIFV! Check out our assortment of magazines, books and DVDs available through our Amazon Affiliate program. Up to 15% of your purchase will be donated to WIFV (at no additional cost to you)!
SDC Journal is the craft journal of the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers: the national labor union for stage directors and choreographers. Every issue contains a wealth of valuable insights on script analysis, casting, blocking, and working with actors. You can subscribe to the SDC journal here.
“The Wild West of Film” by Otessa Ghadar; available on Amazon
The Wild West of Film: Shots, Scale, and Cinematography is Chapter 2 of The Wild West of Film, the full book on techniques for emerging new media formats. Designing for the small screen (a.k.a. the web) is vastly different than executing for the big screen. Most film schools and textbooks, however, teach to the big screen. Through reading this chapter, you’ll learn everything you need to know to shoot a successful web product. Award winning filmmaker and web series creator Otessa Marie Ghadar has been breaking ground in new media since 2007 and is widely praised for her pioneer work in the web series format. Her book, The Wild West of Film, takes readers step by step through the script-to-screen process. It focuses on specifics of the “small screen,” including short form script-writing and story structure, budgeting and breakdowns, post-production for online viewing, self-distribution, best practices for social media, film festival lists & strategies, and more. Whether film and web rookies or seasoned veterans, The Wild West of Film provides practical insight and technical knowledge useful for successfully navigating the post-Internet world.
“The Mama Sherpas” a documentary by Brigid Maher; available on Amazon Prime
With c-section rates dangerously over 30% in America, are midwives the solution? Executive produced by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, this topical documentary provides an investigative lens into how midwives work within the hospital system.
“Gideon’s Army” a documentary by Dawn Porter; available on Amazon Prime
Three young, idealistic Public Defenders in the Deep South struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads to ensure justice is served for America’s forgotten poor.
Starring: Brandy Alexander,Travis Williams; Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes
“Spies of Mississippi” directed by Dawn Porter; available on Amazon Prime
From PBS – Enter the chilling world of anti-civil rights espionage. Spies of Mississippi reveals in shocking detail the state of Mississippi’s effort to undermine the civil rights movement using a vast network of spies. Their identities will shock you. Whites and Blacks spied for Old Dixie. And the Sovereignty Commission would stop at nothing, even murder, to retain the “Mississippi way of life”.
“First Love” directed by Joan Darling; available on Amazon Prime
Two college students are swept into the passion of love until he finds out that she is involved with an older, married man. Based on the short story, “Sentimental Education.”
Starring: William Katt, Susan Dey; Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
“The Kids Are All Right” development executive Jenny Halper; available on Amazon Prime
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore star in this funny, smart and heart-warming comedy that critics are calling “a nearly note-perfect portrait of a modern family.
“The Whistleblower” development executive Jenny Halper; available on Amazon Prime
A drama based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and outed the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal. Starring: Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave; Runtime: 1 hour, 52 minutes
“Provincial Actors” directed by Agnieszka Holland; available on Amazon
The film is set in a small town near Warsaw, to which a young and coming director comes to produce a classic play (Wyspianski “Wyzwolenie”) with a modern vein. Everyone in the production gets his usual stereotypical role, but the aging idol of the ensemble senses opportunity to give the performance of his life. For young director everything is already set. The leading man, however, is not giving up and is trying to restore the role according to his view. His wife listens to his fears, complaints and frustrations, while resigning herself to a fading career in a puppet theatre.
“Angry Harvest” written and directed by Agnieszka Holland; available on Amazon
This film tells a compelling story of love and desire during World War II. Middle-aged, lonely farmer Leon (Armin Mueller-Stahl, Avalon) rescues the younger Rosa, an upper-class Jewish refugee, as she is fleeing from the Nazis. While he nurses her back to health, their relationship gradually grows more intimate, but disintegrates into a cat-and-mouse power struggle as Leon’s mixed motives in hiding Rosa emerge. One of the boldest Holocaust films ever made, Angry Harvest is a fascinating, multilayered portrait of two flawed people forced to depend on each other as war takes its ultimate toll.
“Europa Europa” directed by Agnieszka Holland; available on Amazon
This “incredible, true story” (Los Angeles Times) is at once “eye-opening, harrowing and humorous” (Leonard Maltin) as it recounts the severe actions a young boy must take in order to survive the Holocaust. Based on the autobiography of Solomon Perel, a young German Jew, the film “bounds from one jaw-dropping episode to the next” (The New Yorker) and puts you in the middle of war-torn Europe where ingenuity, timing and luck are the key to survival. Separated from his family at the age of thirteen, Solly (Marco Hofschneider) takes on various identities to hide his Jewish heritage. First passing himself off as an orphan and later as one of the “Hitler Youth,” Solly carries on his charade, hoping desperately to keep his identity hidden and make it through the war alive.
“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” select episodes directed by Joan Darling; full series available on Amazon
In the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio, suburban housewife Mary Hartman seeks the kind of domestic perfection promised by Reader’s Digest and TV commercials. Instead she finds herself suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune: mass murders, low-flying airplanes and waxy yellow buildup on her kitchen floor. Mary’s world is populated by a cast of misfits and oddballs: an impotent husband (Greg Mullavey), a sullen 12-year-old daughter (Claudia Lamb), bizarre parents (Dody Goodman and Philip Bruns), a man-eating younger sister (Debralee Scott), a country-singing best friend and her devoted husband (Mary Kay Place and Graham Jarvis), Fernwood’s devious mayor (Dabney Coleman) and identical twins Barth and Garth Gimble (Martin Mull).
“M*A*S*H” select episode directed by Joan Darling; full series available on Amazon
The staff of an army hospital in the Korean war find that laughter is the best way to deal with their situation.
“Magnum, P.I.” select episodes directed by Joan Darling; full series available on Amazon
The adventures of a Hawaii based private investigator.
“Treme” select episodes directed by Agnieszka Holland; available on Amazon Prime
Life after Hurricane Katrina as the residents of New Orleans try to rebuild their lives, their homes, and their unique culture in the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in the USA.
“Roseanne” select episodes written by Sheree Guitar; available on Amazon
The story of a working class family struggling with life’s essential problems: Marriage, Children, Money and Parents in Law.
“Orange Juice in Bishops Garden” written and directed by Otessa Ghadar; current season available on the series website
A web series detailing the lives of a group of teenagers as they navigate high school in the 1990s. The show is set and shot in the greater metropolitan Washington D.C.