Emmy winning actress-turned-director Cady McClain’s Seeing is Believing: Women Direct will make its East Coast Premiere and is an Official Selection of the 2017 SOHO International Film Festival, screening Monday, June 19 at Village East Cinemas.
Seeing is Believing: Women Direct is a documentary series directed, executive produced, written and edited by Cady McClain about women directors who are on the front lines of the field: from major award winners and those in the vanguard of television and feature films, to graduate students and frustrated auteurs. The first episode recently made its World Premiere at Newport Beach Film Festival, where it won an Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Short. Now, McClain will debut a feature-length version at SOHO International Film Festival.
McClain has spent the past year traveling the globe, speaking to female directors of film and television and documenting their stories. The outcome is a feature film and a serialized documentary, providing insider access to the skills and tools needed to succeed as a woman in the directing field.
When only 1.9% of the top 100 films are directed by women, it is a symptom of a larger problem: an ingrained cultural bias against women’s ability to lead. McClain believes the best way to create change is to show proof that the bias is based on outdated and false ideas. Considering all aspects of the directing experience, the series will show how these women drive through obstacles creative, cultural and professional. The series is also intended to serve as peer-to-peer mentorship for anyone of any gender looking for guidance and real world experience as they pursue their dreams of becoming a visual storyteller.
Last fall, McClain started an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign for the project’s post-production, which successfully met and then surpassed its $50,000 goal by 16%. Donations were fully tax-deductible due to not-for-profit sponsorship from The Film Collaborative. The series also received a micro grant and social media support from Awesome Without Borders via the Harnisch Foundation.
“We are so excited to be sharing our feature-length version of this documentary with the SOHO International Film Festival this June,” said Cady McClain. “My husband (who is a producer on this doc) and I are both veterans of the festival having screened his narrative feature (I was his AP) and my short (he was my PA!) in 2013 and 2015. We’ve found the audiences at SOHO to be full of savvy film lovers and caring filmmakers. The personal support from the festival of our work is truly meaningful to us both.”
The 50 interviewees include: Sarah Gavron (Suffragette, Brick Lane), Meera Menon (Equity), Oscar winner Lee Grant (Down and out in America), Lesli Linka Glatter (EP/Director, Homeland), Betty Thomas (highest grossing female director: The Brady Bunch Movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeekquel) Bethany Rooney (200+ hours primetime TV & co-author of Directors Tell the Story), Lizzie Borden (Born In Flames, Working Girls (Sundance Jury Prize), two-time Oscar-winner Sarah Kernochan (documentaries: Marjoe, Thoth), Emmy-winner Anne Makepeace (I. M. Pei: Building China Modern, Robert Capa in Love and War), Rusudan Glurdijdze (Karlovy Vary winner: House of Others), Marianna Palka (Sundance: Good Dick, Bitch), Nicole Conn (lesbian genre films: A Perfect Ending, Elena Undone), producer Deborah Del Prete (Ender’s Game, The Spirit), plus John Wells (ER, West Wing), Mike Robin (Major Crimes), Deborah Riley Draper (Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, Versailles ‘73: American Runway Revolution) and many more.
The producing team: Lead Producer: Kate Super (Director/Producer: Women on the Edge), Additional Producers: Amanda Quinn Olivar (Board member, The Chimaera Project), Kimberly McCullough (Director: Pretty Little Liars), Jon Lindstrom (Director: How We Got Away With It) and Li Lu (Director: There Is a New World Somewhere).