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Profiles Interviews

Filmmakers Ja’Tovia Gary, Stefani Saintonge, and Penelope Spheeris

Ja’Tovia Gary, Stefani Saintonge, and Penelope Spheeris took part in Directed by Women, a festival at the IU Cinema that showcased work by female filmmakers.

L to R-Stefani Saintonge, Ja’Tovia Gary, Penelope Spheeris

Photo: James Gray/Adam Schwartz

Left to right: Stefani Saintonge, Ja’Tovia Gary, Penelope Spheeris

Ja’Tovia Gary and Stefani Saintonge are members of the New Negress Film Society, a collective of black women filmmakers. Gary’s work confronts notions of representation and identity. Her short film Cakes Da Killa: NO HOMO was screened at a number of festivals abroad and won the audience award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

Saintonge’s work focuses on immigration, women, youth, and community. She is the recent recipient of the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Discovery Award for her narrative short Seventh Grade, a coming-of-age story about adolescent girls tackling sex. DeShawn Tyree hosts the joint interview.

Penelope Spheeris is a film director, producer, and screenwriter. She directed three documentaries in the Decline of Western Civilization series, which examines the punk rock and heavy metal music scenes. Her Hollywood features include The Little Rascals, Black Sheep, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Wayne’s World.

Penelope Spheeris directed three documentaries in the Decline of Western Civilization series, which examines the punk rock and heavy metal music scenes. Her Hollywood features include Black Sheep, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Wayne’s World. John Bailey hosts.

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