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MUSLIM: The Changing Face of Muslim Women
 
Who is the human being behind the veil? The films of this groundbreaking collection offer many answers and new questions. A diverse group of Muslim women daily challenge their role in a male-dominated world in the new release UNVEILED VIEWS. Move beyond the sensationalism of Islamic polygamy with the intimate FOUR WIVES – ONE MAN. In THE NOBLE STRUGGLE OF AMINA WADUD study Islam, race and women’s rights in the United States. Exploring stories of Islamic women from Egypt, Iran, France, Afghanistan, the Netherlands, Palestine, the United States and more, the documentaries of The Changing Face of Muslim Women enlighten and challenge.

Special Offer! Purchase 5 films from this collection for only $495! Call 212-925-0606 x360 or email orders@wmm.com to purchase.


films in this collection

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Afghanistan Unveiled
A film by Brigitte Brault & Aina Women Filming Group

Filmed by the first ever team of women video journalists trained in Afghanistan, this rare and uncompromising film explores the effects of the Taliban’s repressive rule and recent U.S.-sponsored bombing campaign on Afghani women. None of the fourteen journalist trainees had ever traveled outside Kabul. Except for one, none had been able to study or pursue careers while the Taliban controlled their country. More


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After the Rape
The Mukhtar Mai Story

A film by Catherine Ulmer

In 2002, Mukhtar Mai, a rural Pakistani woman from a remote part of the Punjab, was gang-raped by order of her tribal council as punishment for her younger brother’s alleged relationship with a woman from another clan. Instead of committing suicide or living in shame, Mukhtar spoke out, fighting for justice in the Pakistani courts—making world headlines. Further defying custom, she started two schools for girls in her village and a crisis center for abused women. Mukhtar, who had never learned to read but knew the Koran by heart, realized that only a change in mentality could break brutal, archaic traditions and social codes. Her story, included in the bestseller “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and the subject of Mukhtar’s own memoir, “In the Name of Honor”, has inspired women across the globe. More


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Camera/Woman
A film by Karima Zoubir

Working as a videographer at weddings in Casablanca, Khadija Harrad is part of the new generation of young, divorced Moroccan women seeking to realize their desires for freedom and independence while honoring their families' wishes. Mother of an 11-year-old son and primary breadwinner for her parents and siblings as well, she navigates daily between the elaborate fantasy world of the parties she films and harassment from her traditionally conservative family, which disapproves of her occupation and wants her only to remarry. CAMERA/WOMAN, shot in vérité style, follows Khadija on the job, at home, and with supportive women friends who are divorced and share similar experiences. More

International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), WorldView Award
International Documentary Festival in Agadir, Human Rights Award

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Covered: The Hejab in Cairo, Egypt
A film by Tania Kamal-Eldin

Just over a decade ago it was hard to find women on the streets of Cairo who veiled, a custom that their forebearers struggled to overthrow at the beginning of the twentieth century. But today, many Muslim women in Egypt wear a head scarf called the hejab, and in more extreme cases they cover their entire faces. This absorbing documentary offers a rare opportunity to examine the restoration of veiling and the reasons for its pervasiveness through the eyes of Egyptian women. In unique interviews with women of different ages and backgrounds, COVERED reveals that Islamic tradition, religious fundamentalism, and growing nationalism are not solely responsible for decisions to wear the hejab. More


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Enemies of Happiness
(Vores Lykkes Fjender)

A film by Eva Mulvad and Anja Al-Erhayem

"In September 2005, Afghanistan held its first parliamentary elections in 35 years. Among the candidates for 249 assembly seats was Malalai Joya, a courageous, controversial 27-year-old woman who had ignited outrage among hard-liners when she spoke out against corrupt warlords at the Grand Council of tribal elders in 2003. ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS is a revelatory portrait of this extraordinary freedom fighter and the way she won the hearts of voters, as well as a snapshot of life and politics in war-torn Afghanistan. More

Sundance F F, World Cinema Prize: Documentary
Int’l Doc Fest Amsterdam (IDFA), Silver Wolf Award

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For a Place Under the Heavens
A film by Sabiha Sumar

Acclaimed director Sabiha Sumar, recent winner of the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival for her feature Silent Waters, offers an insightful perspective on Pakistan in this finely crafted personal film. Beginning with the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Sumar traces the relationship of Islam to the state in an effort to understand how women are coping with and surviving the increasing religiosity of civil and political life in her country. Raised in a more secular time, she struggles to comprehend how religious schools have expanded at once unthinkable rates and presents chilling footage of a mother encouraging her toddler to be a martyr when he grows up. Mixing political analysis with interviews with activist colleagues, noted Islamic scholars and Pakistani women who have chosen to embrace fundamentalism, Sumar’s provocative questions dramatically capture the tension between liberal and fundamentalist forces that are shaping life in contemporary Pakistan. More


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Four Wives – One Man
A film by Nahid Persson, Produced by Setareh Persson & Nahid Persson

From Nahid Persson, the filmmaker of the award-winning Prostitution Behind the Veil, comes an intimate portrait of a polygamist family in a rural Iranian village. Persson reveals the intricacies of the relationships between the four wives, their husband, their astoundingly free-spoken mother-in-law and their numerous children. Sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking, this film follows the daily lives of the wives whose situation has turned them into both bitter rivals and co-conspirators against their abusive husband. More

Honorable Mention, Society for Visual Anthropology Film Festival

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Going Up the Stairs: Portrait of an Unlikely Iranian Artist
A film by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

Warm, revealing and often surprisingly funny, Iranian filmmaker Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami's portrait of an unlikely artist shows us that true talent will refuse to be stifled and you don't need an education to channel your emotions into art. Akram is an illiterate 50 year old Iranian woman who became a painter unexpectedly when her young grandson asked her to work on a drawing; that simple act tapped into an explosion of powerful, primitive and colorful paintings, which she hid under the carpet from possibly disapproving eyes. She finally tells her Western educated children about her work and they arrange for her to have an exhibition in far-off Paris. More

Sheffield Doc/Fest, Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award: Best Female-Directed Film

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In the Name of the Family
Honor Killings in North America

A Film by Shelley Saywell

Schoolgirl Aqsa Parvez, sisters Amina and Sarah Said, and college student Fauzia Muhammad were all North American teenagers—and victims of premeditated, murderous attacks by male family members. Only Muhammad survived. Emmy® winner Shelley Saywell examines each case in depth in this riveting investigation of "honor killings" of girls in Muslim immigrant families. Not sanctioned by Islam, the brutalization and violence against young women for defying male authority derives from ancient tribal notions of honor and family shame. More


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Invoking Justice
A film by Deepa Dhanraj

In Southern India, family disputes are settled by Jamaats—all male bodies which apply Islamic Sharia law to cases without allowing women to be present, even to defend themselves. Recognizing this fundamental inequity, a group of women in 2004 established a women’s Jamaat, which soon became a network of 12,000 members spread over 12 districts. Despite enormous resistance, they have been able to settle more than 8,000 cases to date, ranging from divorce to wife beating to brutal murders and more. Award-winning filmmaker Deepa Dhanraj (SOMETHING LIKE A WAR) follows several cases, shining a light on how the women’s Jamaat has acquired power through both communal education and the leaders’ persistent, tenacious and compassionate investigation of the crimes. More

Film Southasia, QFX Jury Award

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The Ladies Room
Zananeh

A film by Mahnaz Afzali, Produced by Hassan Poor-Shirazi & Mahnaz Afzali

Directed by the acclaimed Iranian actress Mahnaz Afzali and filmed entirely inside a ladies washroom in a public park in Tehran, this absorbing documentary shatters Western preconceptions of Iranian women. Populated by addicts, prostitutes, runaway girls and others who simply enjoy the camaraderie and atmosphere, the ladies room becomes one of the few places where women feel comfortable enough to smoke cigarettes, discuss taboo subjects and remove their veils. In a series of frank and intimate conversations, these diverse women debate everything from drugs and family abuse, to sex, relationships and religion. More


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Leila Khaled: Hijacker
A film by Lina Makboul

In 1969 Palestinian Leila Khaled made history by becoming the first woman to hijack an airplane. As a Palestinian child growing up in Sweden, filmmaker Lina Makboul admired Khaled for her bold actions; as an adult, she began asking complex questions about the legacy created by her childhood hero. This fascinating documentary is at once a portrait of Khaled, an exploration of the filmmaker’s own understanding of her Palestinian identity, and a complicated examination of the nebulous dichotomy between "terrorist" and "freedom fighter." More

Full Frame Doc F F, Spectrum Award, Hon. Mention

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Linda & Ali
Two Worlds within Four Walls

A film by Lut Vandekeybus

LINDA AND ALI provides a nuanced and intimate look into the life of a traditional Muslim family in Doha, Qatar. But Linda and Ali’s 20-year marriage is far from traditional. Linda was brought up Catholic in Arizona and met Ali – a Shiite Muslim from Qatar – at college in the 1980’s. Shot during the American invasion of Iraq, this poignant film shows how Linda and Ali struggle to surmount their cultural differences while raising their seven children in a lively, loving home. More


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The Mosque in Morgantown
A film by Brittany Huckabee

THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN follows one woman’s campaign for change against extremism in her West Virginia mosque, throwing the community into turmoil and raising questions that cut to the heart of American Islam. When former Wall Street Journal journalist and single mother Asra Q. Nomani returns from working in Pakistan to her hometown mosque in Morgantown, West Virginia, she believes she sees signs of trouble: exclusion of women, intolerance toward non-believers, and suspicion of the West. She finds such signs particularly alarming and determined to halt the ‘slippery slope’ that she maintains leads from Islamic intolerance to violence, she begins a campaign to drag the mosque’s practices into the 21st century, triggering a heated battle between tradition and modernity. More


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Mother, Lebanon & Me
A Film by Olga Nakkas

A visually striking meditation on loss and a perceptive political critique, this deeply personal work has two subjects: filmmaker Olga Nakkas’ ailing mother and the chaotic country where Nakkas was raised. Both fell sick in 1975, the onset of incurable depression for one and a bloody civil war ushering in deep divisions for the other. In this sequel to LEBANON: BITS AND PIECES (1994), Nakkas ponders the plight of the country she clearly loves while honoring the mother dear to her. More


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Mrs. Goundo's Daughter
A film by Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater

Mrs. Goundo is fighting to remain in the United States. But it’s not just because of the ethnic conflict and drought that has plagued her native Mali. Threatened with deportation, her two-year-old daughter could be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), like 85 percent of women and girls in Mali. Using rarely cited grounds for political asylum, Goundo must convince an immigration judge that her daughter is in danger. More

Winner, Best Social Documentary, 2011 Addis International Film Festival

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My Home - Your War
A film by Kylie Grey. Produced by Denoux Films Productions

MY HOME – YOUR WAR offers an extraordinary look at the effect of the Iraq war through the eyes of an ordinary Iraqi woman. Shot in Baghdad over three years that span the time before, during and after the invasion of Iraq, this profoundly moving film brings a perspective that – until now – has rarely been available to U.S. audiences. More

Gold World Medal, Best Doc in NY
European Independent FF, Best Int’l Doc

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The Noble Struggle of Amina Wadud
A film by Elli Safari

On March 18, 2005, Amina Wadud shocked the Islamic world by leading a mixed-gender Friday prayer congregation in New York. THE NOBLE STRUGGLE OF AMINA WADUD is a fascinating and powerful portrait of this African-American Muslim woman who soon found herself the subject of much debate and Muslim juristic discourse. In defying 1400 years of Islamic tradition, her action caused global awareness of the struggle for women’s rights within Islam but also brought violence and death threats against her. More


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Paradise Lost
A film by Ibtisam Salh Mara'ana

Arab Israeli filmmaker Ibtisam Salh Mara'ana grew up in Paradise (Fureidis in Arabic), a small fishing village overlooking the Mediterranean. One of the few Arab communities remaining after the 1948 war, Paradise became culturally and politically isolated as Jewish settlements sprung up around it, and today it is a place defined by silence and repression. More

DocAviv Int'l Documentary Film Festival, Best Debut Documentary and Best Cinematography
Int'l Spring Doc Festival, Best Script award for Co-productions, First-Creation Photography Award

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Quest for Honor
A film by Mary Ann Smothers Bruni

A searing and necessary documentary, QUEST FOR HONOR, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for an Academy® Award nomination for Feature Documentary, investigates the still prevalent practice of honor killing in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The alarming rise in the heinous act of men killing daughters, sisters and wives who threaten “family honor,” endangers tens of thousands of women in Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and adjoining countries. The Women’s Media Center of Suleymaniyah, Iraq, has joined forces with Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to end this practice. More


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Rights & Wrongs
The Story of Women in Islam

A film by Corine Huq

By returning to the roots of Islam and understanding how societies have found justification for their treatment of women within Islamic sources, this thoughtful and far reaching film is an essential resource that debunks myths about women and Islam. Renowned Muslim feminist scholars and journalists, including Asra Q. Nomani, Mona Eltahawy, Azadeh Moaveni, Dr. Amina Wadud, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl and Asma Gull Hasan, detail how from early on very different understandings of the Qur’an lead to vastly different translations, with enormous repercussions for women living in different Islamic societies around the world. More


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Salata Baladi (An Egyptian Salad)
A film by Nadia Kamel

Award-winning Egyptian filmmaker Nadia Kamel’s heritage is a complex blend of religions and cultures. Her mother is a half-Jewish, half-Italian Christian who converted to Islam when she married Nadia’s half-Turkish, half-Ukrainian father. Prompted by the realization that her 10-year-old nephew Nabeel is growing up in an Egyptian society where talk of culture clashes is all too common, she urges her feminist, pacifist, activist mother, Mary Rosenthal, to share their diverse family history. More

Mumbai Int’l Film Festival, Golden Conch, Best Long Documentary, & Special Prize, Int’l Critics Jury FIPRESCI
San Francisco Arab Film Festival, Noor Award, Outstanding Documentary

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Search for Freedom
A film by Munizae Jahangir

SEARCH FOR FREEDOM traces the dramatic social and political history of Afghanistan from the 1920s to the present through the stories of four remarkable women: Princess Shafiqa Saroj, sister of the beloved progressive King Amanullah (1919-1929); Mairman Parveen, the first woman to sing on Afghan radio; Moshina, a war widow and survivor of a Taliban massacre; and Sohaila, an exiled medical student who ran underground schools for RAWA (Revolutionary Association of Afghan Women) during the Taliban regime. More


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That Paradise Will Be Mine
A film by Merel Beernink

Why would a woman in one of the most liberal Western European countries choose to become a Muslim and faithfully follow the demands of her new conviction – including wearing the veil? This eye-opening film follows the lives of three women dealing with the consequences of their choice to convert to Islam. Rather than pressing the women for the reasons behind their choice, director Merel Beernink takes a close look at their day-to-day lives, letting them speak candidly about how they feel in their new cultural and religious context. More


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These Girls
(El-Banate Dol)

A film by Tahani Rached

Screened to audiences at the Cannes, Toronto, and New York film festivals, this fresh, irresistibly lively, intensely engaging documentary from widely acclaimed Egyptian director Tahani Rached (SORAÏDA, WOMAN OF PALESTINE and FOUR WOMEN OF EGYPT) follows a band of teenage girls living on the streets of Cairo. Rached won astonishing access to the girls’ world; this vigorous, cinematic film is built upon the deep trust of its subjects and the long experience of the filmmaker. Already at a disadvantage as impoverished and abused girls in a Muslim society, they encounter rape, drug addiction, prostitution, pregnancy and motherhood on the streets. While the girls’ troubles are not downplayed, neither are their courage, playfulness and vibrant camaraderie. More

Festival Cinéma Méditerranéen, Prix Ulysse
Carthage Film Festival, Jury Award

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They Call Me Muslim
A film by Diana Ferrero

In popular Western imagination, a Muslim woman in a veil – or hijab – is a symbol of Islamic oppression. But what does it mean for women’s freedom when a democratic country forbids the wearing of the veil? In this provocative documentary, filmmaker Diana Ferrero portrays the struggle of two women – one in France and one in Iran – to express themselves freely. More

Bellaria Film Festival, Premio Avanti
Sguardi Altrove Int'l F F, Concorso Italia

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3 Times Divorced
A film by Ibtisam Salh Mara'ana

How does a Palestinian woman in Israel survive an abusive husband? When Gaza-born Khitam’s abusive Arab Israeli husband divorces her and gains custody of her six children, she suddenly finds herself fighting two heart-breaking battles: against the Sharia Muslim court to get her children back, and against the state of Israel, which considers her an illegal resident and denies her protection in a shelter for battered women. More

Doc Aviv Film Festival, Best Israeli Documentary
FIPA-Biarritz, FIPA D'ARGENT Special Prize

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Unveiled Views
Muslim Women Artists Speak Out

A film by Alba Sotorra

In this revealing documentary five extraordinary women talk about their occupations, aspirations, and the rights and status of women in their Muslim countries. Bosnian Alma Suljevic risks her life daily clearing the landmines near Sarajevo that are war’s deadly legacy, then sells minefield earth in European art galleries so that she can continue her work. Eren Keskin, a longtime human rights activist and lawyer with music conservatory training, fights to change Turkey’s legal practices that perpetuate violence against women. Veteran filmmaker Rakshan Bani-Ehmad, true to her credo that art must “look, observe, and discover”, frequently pushes Iran’s censorship rules to the limit. More

Mollerussa Film Festival, Best Documentary

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Voices Unveiled: Turkish Women Who Dare
A film by Binnur Karaevli

Can Islamic values co-exist with full equality for women? VOICES UNVEILED examines this timely issue through portraits of three women pursuing life paths and careers of their own choosing in present-day Turkey. More


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A Woman's Word
(Palabra de Mujer)

A film by Silvia G. Ponzoda

Beautiful and intimate, A WOMAN'S WORD depicts the life and writings of three exceptional authors of the Arab word – Nawal Al Saadawi from Egypt, Hanan Al Shaykh from Lebanon, and Janata Bennuna from Morocco. For all three women, becoming a writer was never a choice but a necessity – a vocation fought for and hard won. In her own way, each writer struggles as an Arab woman in a society that often wants to shut down her powerful voice. Conveying the intense drive of these women to write as a way to make sense of the world, to battle their sense of alienation or to express their political dissent, this documentary shatters the clichéd image of the oppressed and helpless Arab woman too often portrayed in the media. More

San Diego Women Film Festival, Jury Award

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Women in Struggle
A film by Buthina Canaan Khoury

WOMEN IN STRUGGLE presents rare testimony from four female Palestinian ex-detainees who disclose their experiences during their years of imprisonment in Israeli jails and the effect it has had on their present lives and future outlooks. Once content in their lives as sisters, wives and mothers, each of the women became active members for the national fight for Palestinian independence, but their “crimes” differed markedly–one woman was detained in a peaceful protest while another was arrested for her participation in a bombing. More

AMWA Excellence in Media Award
Ismaelia Film Fest, Hussam Ali Award& Jury Mention

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Women Like Us: Women in Iran
A film by Persheng Sadegh-Vaziri

Filmmaker Persheng Sadegh-Vaziri returns to Iran after 20 years as an expatriate to present this intimate and revealing portrait of five ordinary Iranian women: a nurse, a journalist, a rice farmer, a religious college graduate and a piano teacher. Against a backdrop of Islam, revolution and war, they share their views on the veil, the relationship of Iranian women to the West and the long-ranging impacts of the 1979 Revolution on the status of women in their country. What emerges is an image of Iran that resists easy classification, a nation in flux at a unique historical moment, still reeling from the residual effects of the Iran-Iraq war but poised for a new future. More


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Women of Turkey: Between Islam and Secularism
A Film by Olga Nakkas

In this thought-provoking documentary, veiled and unveiled women explore relationships between Islam and secularism in present-day Turkey, where millions of women, many of them educated and urban, wear the headscarf or hijab. For her survey, filmmaker Olga Nakkas, who was born in Turkey and raised in Lebanon, draws on historical footage and individual visits with Turkish women from across the professional spectrum. Among them are the owner of a gallery devoted to Islamic art; a left-wing journalist whose politics stem from her religious convictions; a young intellectual adhering to a spirituality based on no single religion; and the film critic and columnist for a popular online newspaper. More




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Equity in Education


The films in this essential collection inspire social change in education. Learn about the role and impact of Title IX, examine gender disparities in math and science, and follow the personal story of an insightful high-school student whose life has been shaped by busing and school integration. See the full collection here.

Behind the Lens:
Women in Cinema

This extraordinary collection features titles that celebrate the lives and achievements of immigrants in the U.S. and explore ongoing struggles of immigrants today.

Shooting Women

As directors, producers, actors, and screenwriters, women have utilized the power of film to create and transform their stories and images. From sexual politics as a cinematic subject in SUFFRAGETTES IN THE SILENT CINEMA and as a cinematographic choice in FILMING DESIRE to interviews with women directors around the globe in SHOOTING WOMEN and SISTERS OF THE SCREEN, this collection presents a look at women’s crucial contributions to cinema’s history and global reach.


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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us