Lucia Small’s Film ‘Girl Talk’ Explores Gender Bias Within High School Debate Teams: ‘A Powerful Team With Powerful Girls’ Voices’

Perhaps it should come as little surprise that many prominent female public figures—Sonia Sotomayor, Kamala Harris, Oprah Winfrey, the list goes on—were all high school debaters. In that arena, each of them overcame the odds stacked against them—girls are less likely to participate than boys, less likely to continue year-after-year, and even less likely to win.

Filmmaker Lucia Small’s latest film Girl Talk explores the microcosm of gender bias within high school debate competitions by following five girl debaters through their high school years. In this interview, Small talks about her inspiration for the film and how it speaks to larger issues of how girls and women articulate themselves in arenas from politics to filmmaking. She hopes the film will inspire discussions about gender bias in the debate world—and beyond.

Gender Is Still Burning: The Ms. Q&A with Jennie Livingston

When filmmaker Jennie Livingston stumbled upon drag ball culture in the late 1980s, they had no idea how much the resulting film would resonate. Released in 1990, Livingston’s first documentary Paris Is Burning showcases drag balls during the late 1980s in Harlem, New York City, and features interviews with numerous queer and trans Black and Latinx performers who comprised the various “houses” in competition at the balls. Decades later, the film continues to resonate.

Filmmaker Elizabeth Mirzaei on Telling the Stories of Afghan People and Fighting “Afghanistan Fatigue”

Elizabeth Mirzaei’s recent short film Three Songs for Benazir, has been shortlisted for an Oscar and was recently acquired by Netflix for distribution. The story about Shaista and his wife Benazir, who live in a camp for displaced persons in Kabul, presents Afghanistan in a light not commonly depicted—one that reveals stark realities through the more quiet moments of one couple.

The Crime Hidden in Plain Sight: An Interview with Amy Ziering, Director of ‘Allen v. Farrow’

We’ve grown accustomed to the premise underpinning the HBOMax series ‘Allen v. Farrow,’ directed by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick. Yet another heralded male celebrity, this time Woody Allen, is exposed by accusations of sexual assault. Yet, what’s most disturbing about the details uncovered by the investigative work in ‘Allen v. Farrow’ is just how much hid in plain sight—for nearly 30 years.

Time’s (Still) Up: Rewriting Our Film History

The conversation around film history today still revolves around predominantly male and white producers, directors and more. Even in 2020, the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest American Films of All Time has not one female director.

In order to widen the conversation in the future, we must amend how we look at the past. The time is up—and for many of us, it has been up for quite a while.