Cinema Femme and Camera Ambassador are greatly saddened by the death of Ukranian cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. On October 21, 2021, we tragically lost this incredible talent, who'd worked on more than 30 films, short films and TV miniseries, including the films “Archenemy”, “Darlin'”, and “Blindfire”.
Cinema Femme will be honoring her during the Cinema Femme Short Film Festival by screening one of her films, “Labor”, followed by a panel discussion with “Labor” director Cecilia Albertini and camera assistant Patricia Vidal Delgado.
This week, we hope to spotlight this amazing tribute event. While in the midst of preparing for a stellar 4th Cinema Femme Short Film Festival, Founder and Editor of Cinema Femme Magazine Rebecca Martin agreed to respond to a few of our questions.
CA: In searching for films for the Halyna Hutchins Tribute Event, why did "Labor" speak out to you?
RM: I actually didn't search. I discovered Halyna was DP of "Labor" after the tragic accident. I had previously interviewed Cecilia Albertini, about her film "Labor", not knowing about Halyna at the time. Also, past featured filmmaker Patricia Vidal Delgado ("La Leyenda Negra") and mentor of our inaugural festival in 2020 was camera assistant to Halyna. Which I wasn't aware of until after Halyna's death. So it kind of came together after, and when I decided it was important to honor her at the festival, it made sense to include a screening of that film.
CA: For our readers who might not know them, would you mind, in your own words, introducing us to Cecilia Albertini and Patricia Vidal Delgado?
RM: Sure thing! Here are their bios. I first met Patricia at Sundance 2020 where she premiered her debut feature film "La Leyenda Negra", which is now available to watch on HBO Max. I asked Patricia to be one of our mentors for our inaugural festival in August 2020. She agreed and chose her mentee for the 6-month mentorship from the selected filmmakers, Nathalie Villarpando, director of the short "Mi Alma". When we were looking for a mentor for our April 2021 Showcase Patricia connected me to Cecilia Albertini. I wanted to interview Cecilia as she was going to be the mentor for our April Showcase which was when we discussed "Labor". Cecilia's mentee she chose was Michelle Courtney, director of the short "Douk"
CA: What excites you most about presenting this event?
RM: I'm excited to shine a light on Halyna, the person and talent. I feel what happened to her is tragic, and we can learn from her situation by bringing awareness for the need for change of better managed sets. It is important to treat your crews like people and not machines. It is also important to not be careless about the safety of your sets. And that is why for the first time we are giving a Producer Award in her name to the producer that exemplifies the best management on set. Selected filmmakers have nominated their producers, and we will choose one producer to win the award to be presented the final day of the festival on May 1st.
CA: What questions are you interested in asking the filmmakers and why?
RM: I really just want to know more about Halyna, I don't know anything about her except the tragic accident and that she is from the Ukraine. I feel talking about their experiences with her on and off set will really bring the human being of Halyna to light, I also want to talk about their thoughts about the industry and the collective of women and non-binary representation behind the camera.
A still from the short film "Labor" | Courtesy of Cinema Femme
We'd like to truly thank Rebecca Martin for being so generous and making time for us in the midst of a busy and wonderful festival season.
The 4th edition of the Cinema Femme Short Film Fest is running from 4/28/22 to 5/1/22. The festival emphasizes the importance of supporting emerging female and non-binary filmmakers by connecting them to seasoned industry members through our Breaking Down Walls Mentorship Program. The festival is presented by Cinema Femme magazine and sponsored by RogerEbert.com and Noisefloor. 23 short films from all over the world will screen in five short blocks. Each short block with have a premiere screening with a LIVE Q&A with a celebrity filmmaker moderator.
Rebecca Martin is the Managing Editor of Cinema Femme magazine and the Festival Director of Cinema Femme Short Film Fest. She founded her publication in 2018 because she wanted to create a platform for female voices in the film community. She has hosted film screenings in Chicago, led virtual panel discussions, Q&As, is the Cinema Femme Short Films Director, and has covered festivals like the Chicago International Film Festival, Sundance, Tribeca, and the Bentonville Film Festival.