Women in Film Education (WIFE)
Participatory Photography at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
The WIFE digital gallery showcases 100 photo stories, created by ten female students from the film production program. This on-line exhibition provides a window for readers to witness these emerging female filmmakers’ inner conflicts and struggles with external constraints, as they come to understand the importance of logistics, technology, finances, working conditions, and interpersonal relationships in practice-based film education.
Although the word ‘wife’ is largely associated with heterosexual marriage in contemporary culture, historically, people have also used this word to refer to knowledgeable and skilled women, such as ‘fishwife’ and ‘midwife.’ We employ WIFE as our acronym to evoke critical reflections from a wide audience on notions of “womanhood” in the global film industry.
The majority of the photos are taken by the participants. In some cases, the participants are the subjects of the photographs or the witnesses of the photographed scenes. The accompanying texts are all drawn from our interviews with them, or are written by the participants themselves.
We have identified five major themes: Film Set, Film School, Family& Friends, Woman Directing, and Coping Strategies. We have also created tags for each photo to highlight: 1) the critical threads that connect the themes, and 2) the conflicted emotional journeys that female students went through in film school.