agnès films is named in honor of Agnès Varda, the legendary French filmmaker who for 64 years made daring, whimsical films that placed women at the center of her narratives. In spite of the fact that Varda’s scintillating oeuvre has inspired countless filmmakers to pick up the camera for the first time, she remains largely unknown to mainstream audiences around the world. This is not surprising, since in spite of recent, urgently needed initiatives towards inclusion, the film industry remains a male-dominated space that prioritizes male artists and audiences.
According to the Celluloid Ceiling Report, women comprised only 21% of directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers in the 250 top-grossing films of 2020. This is a 6% increase from 1998 when Dr. Martha Lauzen began keeping track of women’s presence behind the camera. We are encouraged by this improvement and are here to see that it continues all the way to gender parity in the industry.
In order to provide support to emerging and established women, non-binary, and feminist filmmakers, we:
Publish nuanced and generative essays, interviews, and reviews about film and TV made by women and non-binary artists, as well as work helmed by men that features women in prominent roles.
Utilize social media to promote the work of women, non-binary, and feminist filmmakers while creating opportunities for them to connect with each other and with audiences. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to be part of our social media community.
Foster a community of women and non-binary filmmakers, media producers, critics, filmmaking and film studies instructors, and film lovers who support each other. Men interested in our mission are welcome to join us. Our aim is for our community to be diverse in terms of race, sexuality, class, and ability.
Consider becoming a member (it’s free). You can also share your work with us and request that we cover it through reviews and interviews, and you can apply to write for us. If you have any questions, email our editors at agnes.films.publication[at]gmail.com.
agnès films is made possible through the generous support of Michigan State University’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, The Cube, and the College of Arts and Letters. Although our editorial board and writing staff come from around the world, a number of them are faculty and graduate and undergraduate students at MSU. We are immensely grateful for the support they provide to make our publication flourish.
Alexandra Hidalgo is an award-winning Venezuelan filmmaker, film and TV critic, theorist, memoirist, and editor whose documentaries have been official selections for film festivals in 15 countries and been screened at universities around the U.S. Her videos and writing have been featured on The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, NPR, The Criterion Collection, and Women and Hollywood. She has a PhD in English from Purdue University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University and is associate professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures and co-director of the Doc Lab at Michigan State University. Her video book Cámara Retórica: A Feminist Filmmaking Methodology for Rhetoric and Composition received the 2018 Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award. She is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the digital publication agnès films: supporting women and feminist filmmakers and of the journal constellations: a cultural rhetorics publishing space.
Denah is an experimental filmmaker who received her MFA in Filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and Ph.D. in Media & Communications from European Graduate School. She teaches film history, studies and theory at San Francisco City College and served as Executive Director of Canyon Cinema Foundation for 3 years. Her academic work lies at the constellation-like intersections of film, music, literature, media and culture. Denah’s first book No Future Now: A Nomadology of Resistance and Subversion was published in 2012 by Atropos Press. A recent essay on the innovation and influence of Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan (The Witch) (1922) can be seen in a special edition of the Abraxas Journal The Luminous Screen edited by Jack Sargeant. Denah’s current research focuses on the female filmmakers of Canyon Cinema.
Iliana joined agnés films in February 2021 as the managing editor. She is a senior at Michigan State University studying Professional and Public Writing and the Arts and Humanities, with focuses on Community Publishing & Editing and Community Engagement, respectively. She has previously interned with Age UK Islington, a non-profit dedicated to supporting the disabled and elderly people of London, assisting with communications and volunteer management. While she does have a passion for editing, she also likes to spend her time reading lots of books, and working towards creating an entirely homemade wardrobe.
Julia Stroman is a senior at Michigan State University studying Arts and Humanities and Psychology, with a minor in Documentary Production. She joined agnés films in May 2021 as the social media manager. She is also the head of the film branch for ROIAL Players Theatre Co. at MSU. She has many passions that include acting, writing, documentary filmmaking, improv, and photography. She also likes to spend her time reading, listening to music, and building her squishmallow collection.
Mimi Anagli is a writer and cinematographer who joined agnés films in October of 2018. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2021 with a bachelor's degree in Film Studies, Professional and Public Writing, and a minor in French. During her time in undergrad, Mimi had the opportunity to attend the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, where she interned for The Hollywood Reporter. On top of writing for agnès films, Mimi writes for Take 2 Indie Review, Made in Shoreditch Magazine, and is a senior video editor for the influencer marketing agency, The Outloud Group. Her biggest passion lies in cinematography, highlighting diverse stories and promoting social change. You can learn more about Mimi and her work on her website.
Claire Bahorski is a junior at Michigan State University and joined agnès films in February 2021. She is studying Human Capital and Society and Humanities Pre-Law, with concentrations in Public and Professional Writing and History. In her free time, she loves spending time with her friends and family. She hopes to keep improving and trying new things, and to always continue writing.
Mitch Carr is the Graduate Research assistant at The Cube and is a Master’s Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing at Michigan State University. Mitch is also the lab manager and PR strategist for the Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition (DHLC) Lab in the College of Arts and Letters at MSU. His research interests fall into community rhetoric and engagement, digital humanities, and narrative healing. He joined agnés in August 2020 as a staff writer. In his spare time, Mitch enjoys creative writing, spending time outside, and cooking. Mitch can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer works as an editor, actor, producer and director and enjoys telling stories of her own and assisting others. She is a board member and resident artist at Undiscovered Works in New York City (undiscoveredworks.org) and with them currently co-curates a monthly series, Mixology, exploring the creative possibilities of presenting theatrical, cinematic and performance pieces in virtual space. After graduating from UCLA with a BA in Theatre Arts, she ran La Vache Enragée Productions in San Francisco. At the City University of New York Graduate Center, she wrote her thesis on the work and advocacy of women directors in the United States and began an ongoing project The 2nd Sex and the 7th Art (the2ndSexandthe7thArt.com). More information can be found on her website.
Shewonda is a Haitian-American filmmaker and a Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Writing at Michigan State University. Her research touches on cultural and Haitian/African American rhetorics, representations of black bodies, identity, feminism, and Womanism. As a documentary filmmaker she explores minority experiences/stories in the United States. Shewonda’s first film Fixing The Standard: The Black Women’s Reclamation Of Power explores how black women take risks and learn from their experiences of defining and embodying their own standards of beauty when choosing to embrace their natural hair. Her current projects are a video memoir that tracks her transition from M.A. student to Ph.D. student while learning what it takes to be a filmmaker, and a short film about Haitian-American children passing as African-American in the United States.
Tiffany is a Senior at Michigan State University studying professional writing, English, and women’s and gender studies. She enjoys hiking and anything else to do with mountains, writing poetry, reading any book she sees, and being a summer camp counselor. She currently works at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts and Sabana Grande Productions. She is also the marketing intern at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing. She is diving headfirst into the film world and is so grateful for the opportunity to work with a company comprised of talented creators.
Denise is a writer/filmmaker whose first short film “Freckles” screened at Cannes Film Festival. The narrative explores the damaging effects cultural beauty standards have on one lonely, very freckled woman. During her previous work in television, Denise has produced, written and directed television shows such as “Fashion Police” and “Behind the Label” for Style and WE Networks, and was awarded an Emmy for her work on the cult hit, “Subway Q&A.”
Irene Meltzer Richard is a proud recipient of an Honorary Degree for her contributions to promoting Israeli Culture in America, as well as a M.Ed. in the Arts and Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her passion for moving pictures drew her into the world of indie film, where her entrepreneurial spirit spurred her to create a consulting enterprise in the areas of audience engagement, event management, and partnership development for film festivals, independent film productions, and distribution companies. For many years, she worked at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, managing ticketing for its year-round programming as well as the New York Film Festival and New Directors/New Films.
Julie Casper Roth is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and educator interested in hidden histories and representation. She is a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Video, a NYSCA Individual Artist grant recipient, a two-time finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and a College Art Association Fellowship awardee. Her work has been screened nationally and internationally at film festivals, in galleries, and on television. Her work embraces experimental, fictional, and documentary storytelling. Casper Roth has a BA from Smith College and an MFA from the University at Albany.
Allison is a sophomore at Michigan State University studying English with a focus in Secondary Education, hoping to become a high school English teacher after graduating. She joined agnés films in the fall of 2020 and works as a social media manager for Sabana Grande Productions. She also works as an undergraduate researcher assistant in the Digital Humanities and Cognition Lab (DHLC) within the College of Arts and Letters. Allison enjoys writing, reading, sports, and traveling.
Moira Sullivan is a feminist film scholar, lecturer, film critic, promoter, and experimental filmmaker based in San Francisco and Stockholm. She teaches at City College of San Francisco in the Cinema Department and has a PhD in cinema studies from Stockholm University. Sullivan is one of the world’s experts on the work of the avantgarde and ethnographic filmmaker Maya Deren (1917-1961). She is a staff writer for agnesfilms.com named for Agnès Varda since 2013, filmfestivals.com Paris, since 2000 and the weekly radio program Movie Magazine International in San Francisco since 1995. Her focus is on feminist film criticism and covering women and film events. She has interviewed directors such as Julie Dash, Agnès Varda, Anna Karina, Laurie Anderson, Margaretha von Trotta, Jane Campion, and Lizzie Borden at Créteil Films de Femmes in Paris and other festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Frameline and QWOCMAP (Queer Women of Color Film Festival) in San Francisco.
Sabrina Vetter is a freelance writer based near Frankfurt, Germany. She joined agnés films in late 2020 as a staff writer. After finishing her MA studies of American and English studies at the Goethe-University Frankfurt, she worked as an editorial assistant at a German publishing company and was able to garner experience as Social Media manager. Currently, she is part of the feminist film magazine Filmloewin and also writes for FemFilmFans, a site focusing on feminism, feminist theory and female empowerment. Besides her freelance work, Sabrina is busy finishing her PhD on marginalized bodies in media, including film, TV and social media.
Danielle Winston is a Manhattan writer/director, creating complex female antiheroines, who expand perceptions of women in film. As a filmmaker and playwright, Winston has written and directed a web series, short films, and plays; as well as directed multiple solo shows about historical women. Driven by what lurks beneath the surface, Winston enjoys working with actors to explore psychological barriers, and hidden character motivations. Recurring elements in Winston's works include artists, suspenseful twists, dark quirky humor, and supernatural themes. In addition to film and theater, Winston works as a freelance wellness and arts/entertainment writer.
Olivia is a photographer, filmmaker, copywriter, and proud alumna of Michigan State University, where she earned her B.A. in Film Studies with minors in Documentary Filmmaking and Graphic Design. She currently writes as a copywriter for a major entertainment marketing agency in Los Angeles and a local Detroit marketing agency that works for nonprofits devoted to bettering the health and wellness of citizens around Michigan. She also maintains her responsibilities as an entrepreneur with her photography business, Olivia York Photography, where she captures the spirit of her clients and surroundings through portrait, product, event, and nature photography. Beyond her photography work, Olivia has completed pre-production work for short and feature films, which have inspired her to create her own screenplays and shorts. She plans to fuel her passion for creating a space where women and people of color can continue to produce personal stories for worldwide audiences.
Chrystel Lopez is a senior at Michigan State University with a dual major in journalism and the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) and a minor in documentary production. On top of writing for agnès films, she is the social media manager for the MSU Doc Lab and the communications intern for RCAH. She enjoys photography, graphic design, and doodling all over her homework.
Former Editors and Staff Writers
Kara Headley, social media specialist, staff writer, 2019-2021