by Shanon Lee
“Our stories have value.” – Jane Barbara
On Museum Day Live!, Women in Film & Video hosted The Journey To Success: A Conversation with Women Filmmakers at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. This year, the Smithsonian’s annual event included special programming aimed to encourage women and girls of color during Women’s History Month.
The Ring auditorium was the setting for the discussion, which attracted a diverse audience including men, young girls and college students. Moderated by film industry veteran and independent producer Catherine Wyler, the panelist of award-winning filmmakers included Jane Barbara, Via Buksbazen and Jami Ramberan.
Designed to educate the audience on the inspiration behind making films, the challenges of making movies and the avenues available for women and minority filmmakers, the discussion included screened clips of Lobster Fra Diavolo (Barbara), The iChancla 5c (Buksbazen) and Silent Brave (Ramberan).
Along with providing an experienced perspective of what it is like to produce independent films, the panelist discussed the discrimination they have felt as women working in a male-dominated industry.
“We are still fighting for gender, racial and sexual equity in the film industry,” said Wyler. Barbara detailed the limited career options for women in the beginning of her career, which forced her to create her own professional opportunities.
Buksaben revealed that her husband is often addressed as the filmmaker when her films screen at festivals and Ramberan described how the racism and ageism she faced in the music video industry prompted her to go into independent filmmaking.
The conversation concluded with an audience Q & A. Additional topics included funding options, opportunities in television, network diversity initiatives and various film markets.
Shanon Lee is an American Writer, Journalist, Activist and Media Personality that has been featured on HuffPost Live, The Wall Street Journal and The Labor of Love Podcast.