Womens Independent Cinema
This was a great website that brought its members a compilation of FOUR acclaimed "independent" films including a documentary all created by women filmmakers, on one DVD every month — delivered to your home. Below are just two examples of the fine films this site would offer.
Just recently I saw that The Blue Butterfly was available to rent on Netflix so I put it in my listto watch. When the disc finally arrived I decided to have a movie night and invited a couple of friends over to watch. I had set out dips, salsa, chips and a couple of bottles of red and white wine. We were just settling down to watch when my two Siamese cats decided to play tag. Fritz jumped up on the buffet with Max immediately following. What ensued was worthy of a carpet cleaning ad. Salsa, dips, a spilled bottle of red wine ending up on my pale colored carpet. While my friends started to clean up the mess, I did a web search for an emergency carpet cleaning Manhattan service. Luckily I clicked on My Home Carpet & Upholstery Care. A representative showed up the next morning to access the damage. He assured me that they would be able to clean the carpet and an area rug that the cats had also smeared with their messy paws. Not only did My Home Carpet & Upholstery Care do in home steam cleaning of wall to wall carpets, but they also cleaned and restored area rugs in their state of the art restoration and cleaning facility. The wall to wall carpet they cleaned right in my apartment. A week later the cleaned and Scotch Guarded area rug was returned looking like new! They recommended that I Scotch Guard all my carpets since I had pets. It was an offer I took them up on. That night might have felt like a disaster, but I did discover a great rug cleaning company in the process.
Content is from the site's 2007 archived pages.
Our mission is to entertain, empower, educate and bring financial opportunities to women all over the world — and we do this through the magic of movies. We invite you to join us on this journey.
Examples of the WICinema Film Collection
This Month’s Highlighted Documentary
The Blue Butterfly
Title: The Blue Butterfly
“Story Soars. Williams Hurt and Pascale Bussie`res subdued-but-powerful performances add welcome depth to what is no ordinary family film. Stunning cinemagraphy. A magical atmosphere.”
“It’s a family film, and on that level it’s a fantastic piece of filmmaking. A triumph of the genre” efilmcritic.com
Synopsis: Starring Academy Award winner William Hurt, Pascale Bussières, Marc Donato
Inspired by a true story, The Blue Butterfly is about ten year-old Pete Carlton (Marc Donato) who is diagnosed as terminally ill and his determined mother will stop at nothing to ensure her son’s dream. Funny and intelligent, yet somewhat shy, Pete is stoic and incredibly courageous when it comes to his condition. He seeks refuge by observing the miniature world of cocoons and insects that he collects. Given only months to live, Pete has one wish; to catch the most beautiful butterfly on earth, the legendary Blue Morpho…the Mariposa Azul, a magnificent creature found only in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America. He is convinced that this butterfly with the azure wings can reveal the mystery of life to him. Teresa Carlton (Pascale Bussieres) is Pete’s single mother. She is brave, worn out, consumed by love and sorrow for her dying son, and determined to overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of his dream. She begins by convincing Alan Osborne (William Hurt), a renowned entomologist and Pete’s hero, to take them to the jungle. Alan is a passionate, rugged yet vulnerable man who, due partly to a secret that haunts him, prefers the company of insects over people. He is initially dead-set against this idea. But, thanks to Pete’s determination, and his talent as a manipulator, his hero finally agrees to go along with the idea. However, since the Blue Morpho season is almost over, Alan will only give Pete a couple days to try to capture the magical butterfly. The Blue Butterfly is about the coming of age of a young boy and a mature man who both must learn to emerge from their protective cocoons to live life to the fullest.
The True Inspiration: David Marenger Biography
David Marenger was born on August 16, 1981 in Coteau du Lac in Quebec, Canada. At age six he was diagnosed with brain cancer and was given only a short time to live.
In 1988 the Children’s Wish Foundation granted him his wish which was to catch a “blue morpho”. This was his first trip ever and it was expected by his doctors that it would be his last. He had only a few months. He traveled to Mexico with an accomplished entomologist from Montreal, Mr. George Brossard, to catch the blue butterfly. He was so weakened by his condition that he had to be carried through the jungle by Mr. Brossard for the chase. His dream of catching the blue butterfly came true.
Beyond the adventure of grasping his dream, when he returned to Canada, his battle against cancer was strengthened and a miracle occurred. The cancer went into remission and he has not had to take any medications since the age of 18, he is now 24 years old.
David credits hope, belief and perseverance for his newfound strength and health. Assisted by his uncle Richard Filion, he travels to schools and hospitals to share his message. He is living proof that belief and perseverance can lead to miracles.
The movie “The Blue Butterfly” was inspired by his life story. He has had the opportunity to travel again to spread the magic of the blue butterfly. In 2002, during the filming of the movie he traveled to Costa Rica, on location, where he caught another blue butterfly but this time he was capable of standing on his own two feet. In 2004, he traveled to Japan by invitation to share the magic with moviegoers on the other side of the world. And in September 2005 he helped to launch the movie at The Orinda Film Festival where proceeds from the movie benefited The Children’s Hospital Research Center in Oakland California, specializing in pediatric cancer research and treatment.
David’s future holds two more dreams: 1) more visits to hospitals and schools to inspire and support children and 2) the hope for his own aviary for butterflies. David is preparing to open the doors to his own “house” to children to share the miracles of nature and to share his message of strength and hope.
David is a simple man with a simple but powerful message.
About the Director
Director: Léa Pool
Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Films created by the Genius Filmmaker Léa Pool:
1978 Laurent Lamerre, portier
1979 Strass Café
1982 Eva en transit
1984 La femme de l'hôtel
1984 A Woman in Waiting
1986 Anne Trister
1988 À corps perdu
1988 Straight for the Heart
1990 Hotel Chronicles
1991 Montréal Sextet: Rispondetemi segment
1991 Montréal vu par… six variations on a theme: Rispondetemi
1991 La demoiselle sauvage
1991 The Savage Woman
1993 Desire in Motion
1993 Mouvements du désir
1996 Femmes : une histoire inédite. Le tango des sexes
1996 Femmes : une histoire inédite. Échos du futur
1996 Lettre à ma fille
1996 Women: A True Story. The Gender Tango (segment)
1996 Women: A True Story. Postcards from the Future (segment)
1997 Gabrielle Roy
1998 Set Me Free
2001 Lost and Delirious
2001 Rebelles ou la rage au coeur
2004 The Blue Butterfly
2004 Le papillon bleu
Feature • Drama
N/R (Not Rated)
Starring: Debbie Fan, Omari Hardwick
Mia Sakamoto feels trapped physically and verbally abused by men all her life, until she crosses paths with a spoken word artist Ku James. Ku is Mia's savior, guiding her to discover her inner strength, her voice. She discovers herself as he finds unconditional love.
About the Director
Born and raised in the small town of Hendersonville, North Carolina, Blu Fox always had a knack for entertaining. By the age of 12 Blu was writing, directing, producing, and acting in school plays, and continued to be a creative force throughout high school. At 17, he received a scholarship to the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts where he notably enhanced and further developed his passion for entertainment.
In 2000, Blu decided to leave North Carolina to pursue God’s will on his life, filmmaking. Arriving in Hollywood, he immediately began working as an actor in various commercials and independent films, and appeared on hit television shows such as NYPD Blue, Boomtown, and General Hospital. He quickly realized there was a need for quality character driven films and stories that depicted real life. So, he decided to write, direct, and executive produce his own film, “Speechless” starring Omari Hardwick (”The Guardian,” “Gridiron Gang,” “Saved,” and “Beauty Shop”) and Debbie Fan (“The Shield,” “Strong Medicine,” and “The Agency”). As well as many nationally ranked HBO Def Jam Poets (Mayda Del Valle, Adam Paul, Shihan, and more). Speechless is distributed by Image Entertainment. Recently he completed his second film, entitled “The Gift A.D.”. The Gift A.D. is based on a harsh but true story that revolves around a severely scarred child, Adam Jacob. The Gift A.D. is a 2006 BET RAP IT UP finalist. Blu continues to develop and write new projects such as his up and coming football drama, “The Red Zone”, and the true story of one of the most successful slave revolts, entitled “Nat”.
Recently, Blu embarked on a new journey by starting his company Samson Entertainment. Samson Entertainment’s slogan is, “Forging the evolution of entertainment,“ which reflects his passion to create change in the industry. He believes everything he does is through the grace of God.
About the Producers
DaWanna Kimble, Executive Producer
DaWanna Kimbleserved as the Executive Producer for Speechless. She has been in this film industry for 25 years. She started acting on stage at age 8 and by age 12 she moved into TV, Film and Commercials. DaWanna wrote and directed her first short film called "Holding" at age 21. She met her good friend Blu Fox six years ago on another project, "Mama's Boyz." DaWanna still currently serves as Executive Producer, Director, and Writer on various other projects.
Elvia Gonzalez, Associate Producer
Working on the film, Speechless was an exciting, eye-opening experience. This was the first film I worked on. My background wasn’t in filmmaking but rather in business and the extent of my knowledge was… that I loved watching films. I say all of that, to explain how much of a newfound respect I have for filmmaking.
We all have thoughts, ideas, and stories that run through our heads but to be passionate enough to make those thoughts and ideas reality, is another thing. So much goes into making a film. From writing the script, finding the talent, formulating a shooting budget, and making sure that you stay on budget through out the production. This takes a person with a lot of patience, faith, and talent, and seeing this passion in the Writer, Director, Producer, Blu Fox made it easy to want to work on this project as an Associate Producer.
Since then, I’ve worked on Blu’s second film, entitled “The Gift A.D” as a Line Producer. The film is amazing and is based on true stories. You can view the trailer at: TheGiftAD.com
My experience working on these films was extraordinary. Currently, we are on the festival circuit with “The Gift A.D.” and are working on two more up and coming projects that are in development (The Red Zone and Nat). With every project, my passion grows for the art of filmmaking. I feel blessed to play an important part of making people’s dreams come true.
By Jan Lisa Huttner
“Mia Sakamoto” (Debbie Fan) is filled with rage. Her father is an abusive alcoholic and her mother is unable to protect her, even when she literally throws her body into the breech to deflect his blows. Leave now, Mrs. Sakamoto (Akiko Shima) whispers urgently to her daughter. Mia quickly packs and runs to the car, but her father (Michael Yama) is soon standing at the driver’s side window, bellowing. She has nowhere to go, he mocks, and he’s right.
Finding her way to a seemingly safe haven, Mia fills notebook after notebook with bilious poems that grow ever more extreme as she realizes she’s merely traded one prison for another. Then “Jason” (Adam Paul) brings home a flyer one day, inviting them to a poetry slam. He doesn’t want to go but Mia clearly does, so he decides to indulge her. Big mistake, Jason! Mia is transfixed by the energy unleashed by spoken words, and when she learns the next night is “Open Mike Night,” she’s determined to give it a try.
SPEECHLESS is a passionate tribute to oratory. The central performances by Fan, Paul, and Omari Hardwick (playing Mia’s slam mentor “Ku”) are all excellent. As the relationship between Mia and Ku grows, their words leave the street behind and climb towards Shakespearean heights until, by the last act, they’ve almost made their way up to the climax of ROMEO AND JULIET. This is truly thrilling to watch, and gives credibility to an emerging art form by reminding us that even Shakespeare once wrote for real audiences (yes, including “groundlings”).
The actors playing Mia’s parents have small but critical parts, which they handle with grace. When Mr. Sakamoto falls to his knees and begs for forgiveness, it’s hard not to root for him. The competing poets are also totally convincing, especially Sufe Bradshaw, as the sister from Chicago who takes the stage on Mia’s first night.
Ku has problems of his own, of course, and he’s just as emotionally damaged as Mia is when they first meet. Writer/director Blu Fox sets up an emotionally-tense dynamic between a woman who’s learned to use sex as a commodity and a man who loves her but refuses to have intercourse with her. Mia is genuinely confused when Ku won’t sleep with her, and it fuels her rage in a fascinating way. The personal and the political confound her. Is he rejecting her because she’s Asian-American? Is he mocking her when he tells her he likes women with bigger butts? Is Ku just one more incarnation of her father?
SPEECHLESS was literally made on a shoestring, so production values are raw, nevertheless Fox is able to make the milieu come alive, and the lighting during the slam scenes is impressive. I have only one complaint: SPEECHLESS is too short. When did Mia and Jason first meet, and where? How much does he know about her parents when he opens his door to find her standing there suitcase in hand? Adam Paul creates a convincing, hateful villain, but even an arrogant, egotistical monster needs a backstory.