Female filmmakers share their hard-won insights in this #WomenMakeFilm conversation with TCM and SFTV

Recently, LMU SFTV partnered with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in support of the TCM Presents Women Make Film series, an epic journey through cinema featuring some of the most innovative films ever made by female filmmakers.

TCM host Alicia Malone was joined by SFTV faculty Janet Yang and Mary Kuryla, along with director Susan Seidelman as they shared insights into their personal experiences as female filmmakers. Seidelman also shared some behind-the-scenes stories from the making of her groundbreaking film Smithereens (1982) which screened as part of the Women Make Film line-up. Check out the conversation below.



About the Panel:

SFTV Presidential Fellow and faculty member Janet Yang’s groundbreaking 1993 film The Joy Luck Club was the first American feature starring an all-Asian cast, and it earned critical acclaim for its portrayal of Chinese immigrant families. She’s partnered with many of the top filmmakers in the world, including Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, and Kathryn Bigelow, and she’s currently a Governor-at-Large of the Academy of Motion Pictures.

American filmmaker and writer Susan Seidelman is best known for her dynamic women protagonists that powerfully mix comedy, drama, and pop-culture motifs. Her credits include Smithereens (1982) the first American independent film to compete for the Palme d’Or, the iconic Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), cult-fave She-Devil (1989), the pilot episode of Sex and the City, and more.

Mary Kuryla is a screenwriter, fiction writer, and filmmaker. Her short film Memory Circus premiered at Sundance and her feature Freak Weather premiered at Toronto and was in competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival. She is currently developing Jorie Lee Crosses the Line, an independent feature about a woman desperate to get an abortion who rides with a serial killer to cross state lines. Kuryla teaches screenwriting at SFTV.