When discussing female filmmakers, it is nearly impossible to not include Columbia University’s role in introducing new talent into the industry. The first woman to ever win a Best Director Oscar, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, is an alum, as are Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids are All Right), Nicole Holofcener (Please Give), Courtney Hunt (Frozen River), and Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don’t Cry).
This year, a new generation of women from Columbia will showcase their short films at the festival. Of note, and not to be missed, are Gina Atwater’s Crossing, Christina Choe’s I Am John Wayne, and Olivia Newman’s First Match. The subjects of these films eloquently range from a young female wrestler going to the mat for the first time, to an impoverished young man riding a horse through the streets to Coney Island, to a period piece about Southern racism.