FEMINIST FRIDAY: “Fearless AF” Women In New Adidas Film & Feminist Nuns In “Novitiate”

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday, our weekly breakdown of our fave videos and clips we are loving at the moment. This week we’re covering music, sports and religion. It’s a real mixed bag, showing feminism in different areas. The first is the latest short film from Adidas Running, in their #TakeCharge series. This particular video, called #FearlessAF, featuring 6 women who have overcome barriers to be the role models and badasses they are today.

The female empowerment series is trying to encourage other women to be confident and own their individuality.

“We’re past the point of empowering women. Women are already empowered. This campaign is about celebrating real women who tackle challenges head-on, defy conventions, express themselves and fuel creativity in the name of sport,” said Alexa Andersen, category director for women’s running at Adidas U.S., in a statement.

The women featured are model Karlie Kloss, the first female Boston Marathon runner Kathrine Switzer; three-time NYC Marathon winner Mary Keitany; ultramarathoner Robin Arzon; track & field coach and art therapist Jessie Zapo; and Olympic distance runner Jen Rhines. Watch the video below, and prepare to be inspired.

The second clip is the latest single from LA-based singer/songwriter Kaerhart, called ‘Drain My Love’, which is out now on Spotify and Soundcloud. Like many women using their art and platform to speak up for female empowerment, Kaerhart is doing just that, specifically for women in the music industry in the creative community.

One of my artistic project’s main objectives is to bring together talented women so we can collaborate, support one another, and use our voices to create communities where we feel safe and heard,” she said in a statement.

With the high-profile story of artist Kesha and her ongoing sexual assault case against producer Dr. Luke revealing the underbelly of the music industry, as well as the explosive revelations about sexual assault, rape, intimidation and harassment coming out of Hollywood, the uprising of women’s voices supporting each other and exposing predatory behavior and cultures is well-overdue. While some still may not have the confidence to speak out, there are women like Kaerhart who do so on behalf of them, while also releasing some pretty awesome music. Take a listen to ‘Drain My Love’ below.

The final video in this week’s FF is a trailer for Director Maggie Betts’ film ‘Novitiate’, starring Academy Award-winning actress Melissa Leo, Julianne Nicholson, Dianna Agron and Margaret Qualley. Spanning over a decade from the early 1950s through to the mid-60s, NOVITIATE is about a young girl’s first initiation with love, in this case with God. Raised by a non-religious, single mother in rural Tennessee, a scholarship to Catholic school soon finds Cathleen drawn into the mystery and romanticism of a life devoted to the worship and servitude of God.

We’re supporting this film for a number of reasons, most notably because of it’s female-driven themes as well as production. As Alexandra Clinton from Salon points out, ‘Novitiate’ features lead and co-starring female roles for women of all ages, a nearly all-female production crew and only a handful of scenes that have any man at all. This is a rarity for Hollywood films, especially for a first-time feature director.

“Sadly, it’s still rare that a film today is directed or written by a woman, produced by a woman, or starring strong female characters, but ‘Novitiate’…checks all those boxes, and then some,” she writes.

Maggie, who first became interested in the world of Catholic nuns after reading a book about Mother Theresa, won the Director Breakthrough Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. She said the casting process was exciting for her as the industry is starting to recognize the need for more complex roles for women.

“I went around to all of the agencies and was just like ‘I have this script, I’m trying to cast this amazing ensemble of all these young up and coming actresses,’. They wanted me to meet every single girl who might potentially work in this world because it was so exciting to have a really rich, dramatic, complicated part when you’re 18 to 24. It’s very unusual,” she said.

Producer Celine Rattray, who is the co-founder and president of Maven Pictures which has produced a number of female-driven films like ‘Still Alice’ and ‘American Honey’ says it is rare to find scripts that have even one interesting female role.

“We receive probably 50 scripts a week. We all sit down and read these scripts and talk about them and in the analysis ask ‘does the woman drive the action?’. And in almost every script that we receive, even though we brand ourselves as a female-driven company and we really tell the industry that that’s what we’re looking for, the man will be the astronaut, the scientist, the adventurer,” she explained.

When we see women in positions of leadership behind the camera and in executive roles in Hollywood, we start to see more and more films and content that allow for more complex, nuanced and interesting female characters. This is what we want to see more of, and with so many awful stories about sexual assault by the hands of powerful men in the film business, perhaps this is the start of something women have been working toward in the industry for a long time. Watch the ‘Novitiate’ trailer below.


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  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: Docu Feat. Female Tech Entrepreneurs & 'The Breadwinner' Animated Film - GirlTalkHQ

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