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Belcourt - Nashville's Nonprofit Cinema

Strong Leads: A Film Seminar for High School Girls

Strong Leads: A Film Seminar for High School Girls is a four-part after-school seminar spotlighting films about and made by women. It is designed for 10th, 11th and 12th grade girls. A presentation of the Belcourt’s education and engagement program, Strong Leads will explore gender representation in cinema, in the Hollywood establishment, and in film discourse.

We’ll feature four films from a variety of genres and cultures—and follow with discussions and activities. Strong Leads sessions take place on Mondays, Apr 8-29 | 4:00-7:30pm.

Please note: Participation in Strong Leads is by application only, and space is limited. This seminar is offered at no cost to participants, but you must apply and be selected to attend. It is designed for students only and is meant to be taken in its entirety (no single sessions). Application deadline is Fri, Mar 22. Participants will be notified on Tue, Mar 26.

Strong Leads 2019: About the Films:

Mon, Apr 8 | HONEYTRAP (Dir. Rebecca Johnson, UK, 2014, 93min, NR)

Mon, Apr 15 | MUSTANG (Dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüve, Turkey, 2015, 94min, NR)

Mon, Apr 22 | DANCE, GIRL, DANCE (Dir. Dorothy Arzner, USA, 1940, 90min, NR)

Mon, Apr 29 | DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (Dir. Julie Dash, USA, 1991, 112min, PG)

This series features high-quality films designed to spark conversation about important issues. Because of that, some films contain adult situations, profanity, drug/alcohol use, nudity, sexual situations, and violence.

Girlhood and gang culture in London’s Brixton neighborhood collide in this harrowing rite-of-passage drama as 15-year old Layla (Sula) contends with bullying at a new school by transforming herself inside and out. The teen's compulsive journey for love and acceptance soon becomes fatal in this cautionary tale based on headline news adapted by writer/director Rebecca Johnson.

The feature debut of Turkish filmmaker Deniz Gamze Ergüven is a sensitive and powerful portrait of sisterhood and burgeoning sexuality. Early summer in a village in northern Turkey, five free-spirited teenage sisters splash about on the beach with their male classmates. Though their games are merely innocent fun, a neighbor passes by and reports what she considers to be illicit behavior to the girls’ family. The family overreacts, removing all “instruments of corruption,” like cell phones and computers, and essentially imprisoning the girls, subjecting them to endless lessons in housework in preparation for them to become brides. As the eldest sisters are subjected to virginity tests and married off one by one, the younger sisters look on in fear—and resolve not to succumb to the same fate. Co-written by noted writer-director Alice Winocour (DISORDER)

Ballet meets burlesque when two dancers, demure Maureen O'Hara and genius of “oomph” Lucille Ball, strive to preserve their integrity while making a living on their own terms. Through the career maneuvering of O'Hara and Ball, the film explores the boundaries of high and low art, the male audience's objectification of women, and the decisions facing women who put a career over love. Despite box office and critical failure, the film has been reconsidered as a feminist gem and was noted by the Library of Congress's National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and a “meditation on the disparity between art and commerce." DANCE, GIRL, DANCE is the penultimate film by Dorothy Arzner—the first woman to direct a sound film, the only American female director working in the 1930s, and the inventor of the boom microphone.

At the dawn of the 20th century, a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina—a community of former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions—struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots. The first wide release by a black female filmmaker, DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST was met with wild critical acclaim and rapturous audience response when it initially opened in 1991. Casting a long legacy, it still resonates today, most recently as a major influence on Beyonce’s video album “Lemonade.” Restored (in conjunction with UCLA) for the first time with proper color grading overseen by cinematographer AJ Jafa, audiences will finally see the film exactly as Julie Dash intended.

Facilitated by Allison Inman, the Belcourt’s education and engagement director. The seminar will be held in the Belcourt’s second floor Jackson Education and Engagement Space and Manzler/Webb Screening Room.

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