ICYMI: 3 Women Filmmakers on the Rise

Women’s contributions in film are undisputed—and under-recognized. A small shout-out we hope goes a long way.

It shouldn’t take International Women’s History Month to recognize the contributions and talents of women. That’s so terribly cliché and expected, right? Especially when a company or organization ghosts the efforts and celebration of women throughout the rest of the year. It’s like what some Black folks say about Black History Month: “It’s Black history 365 days of the year.”

As a Black woman, I will carry the same message for women. I will help elevate and celebrate women—period—especially women of color because we’re worthy of praise, honor, and attention. Women who commit to doing the self work and cultivate a mindset of generosity in the industry are the stewards of progress, excellence, curiosity, and thoughtfulness. This industry needs women of these forces. We can commit to each other and do the work that we not only love, but are damn good at.

Women Who Rock for Each Other

Woman Filming on Set.Image by PHILIPIMAGE.

The super moon power that’s born in a collective of like-minded women who create content is palpable and contagious. Believe me, you’ll always find inspiration in women who create. You want to grab a coffee and hear what they have to share about their experiences. You want to create alongside with her, watching a vision build, delighted and star-struck by her awesomeness and on-the-spot revelations. We have each other because we seek ourselves in each other. There’s a magnetic pull that will never keep us from finding one another.

Here are some of my favorite women who are doing THE MOST! Follow her, be inspired by her, collaborate with her, see you in her, and join me in elevating a woman’s work and voice.

1. The Real Unicorn

Kadine Anckle Photo credit by Jason Shaltz via @jshaltz.

Kadine Anckle​ ​is a writer, director, showrunner, and executive producer. We met years ago when she freelanced for the media company I was working for, at the time. I was ecstatic to see another Black woman walk through those corporate doors. Fun fact about Kadine: She was obsessed with unicorns before anyone ever used the term. I think she deserves the visionaire-extraordinaire crown for that one!

Kadine is originally from Panama, “an Afro-Latina creative whose work reflects interpretations of freedom, feminism, and identity in the modern world.” She wears the EP and showrunner crowns stylishly—so, of course, on the cult series ​Most Expensivest for Viceland with rapper 2 Chainz:

Advocating for women means being the best version of myself in order to show the world who people like me (woman, black, latina) truly are. It means building and surrounding myself with an inclusive team of talented, and often underrepresented, women. Most important, it means utilizing these building blocks in order to create content that reflects the multidimensional stories of women from the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.

– Kadine Anckle

She’s also a rock star talent and has been featured in Habla Women on HBO. This woman has a heart of gold and is hands down one of my favorite people on the planet. We recently participated in a panel conversation about race in the voiceover industry on the Podcast VO Stories. Checkout out my homegirl’s work here. Then, follow her on Instagram.

2. Storytelling Through Her Lens

Kelly MarshallPhoto by Gina Yoo.

Kelly Marshall is a New York based photographer specializing in interiors, travel, food, and portraiture. Kelly wrote to me:

When I advocate for other women, I am inherently advocating for myself. It’s a powerful form of self care and something that is so easy to do, but often ignored. Real impactful change happens when we rise together. I hope the world is starting to see this now.

– Kelly Marshall

I met Kelly through a mutual friend and immediately loved her welcoming spirit and vibrant energy. We recently emailed her when I thought I heard her talking about her film on NPR—wrong Kelly Marshall! Currently, Kelly is directing her first film, ​Birthing of a Nation​, an Afro-futuristic account of the reproductive justice movement and the healing arts of Black Women in America since 1619.

Straight from her bio:

Her commercial and fine art work are interwoven as she explores inherent belief systems, how they construct our lives, our homes, and, in essence, our everyday reality. Marshall’s work has been exhibited at The Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD), Southern Exposure, PhotoVille, and RUSH Arts. She is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Architectural Digest. Clients include CB2, The Four Seasons, Pottery Barn, and T Brand Studio. She is a 2018 Lit List Awardee and is a proud member of Diversify Photo, Black Women Photographers, Women Photograph, and a board member of Color Positive, a directory of Black photo talent and arts mentorship programs for New York City schools.

– Kelly Marshall Bio

Kelly’s work can be found here. Follow her @sans.murs and see what’s happening with the film @birthingofanation.

3. Dope Queen of Puns

Lizzie DardenImage via lizziedarden.com.

Lizzie Darden is a photographer and visual artist in Northern Florida who specializes in bringing punny wordplay to life through her use of handmade props and colorful styling. Her pun-centric images and videos on IG caught the eye of my former colleagues. I was on vacation, and when I returned to the office, we were working with Lizzie on a branded video campaign partnership with Tastykake. The one and only Tastykake of my childhood lunches.

We shot stop-motion videos with Lizzie as the lead creative director. When I reviewed her first deck, I was beyond amazed. When a creative surpasses your expectations, the gift keeps on giving. On set, I watched her carefully construct mini chocolate donuts as wheels onto a vintage toy car. She stacked Butterscotch Krimpets (my faves, by the way) and built a sandcastle version for a beach shot! Her imagination continues to stun her followers and audiences.

I asked Lizzie what advocacy meant to her:

To me, advocating for women means encouraging the next generation of women—sharing advice and resources in order to lift up young women and help set them up for success.

– Lizzie Darden

See her work at Lizzie Darden and follow her @lizzie_darden.

Need more articles on women who ROCK?! Check these out:

Voice of the Artist: Talking Creativity with Illustrator Helena Perez GarciaThank You, Men, for Explaining Things to MeAn Interview with PremiumBeat’s Signature Series Artist Bridget BarkanVoice of the Artist: How to Have a Second Act as a PhotographerIllustrating Climate Change: An Interview with Simone Golob

Cover image via ShotPrime Studio.

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