Allie Light

Allie Light, winner of the 1991 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and the 1994 National Emmy Award for best interview program, writes, directs and produced documentary films with her partner, Irving Saraf. Her credits include: RACHEL’S DAUGHTERS: SEARCHING FOR THE CAUSES OF BREAST CANCER (HBO), DIALOGUES WITH MADWOMEN, (Emmy Award); IN THE SHADOW OF THE STARS, (Academy Award); MITSUYE AND NELLIE, ASIAN AMERICAN POETS; VISIONS OF PARADISE (FIVE FILMS ABOUT FOLK ARTISTS); SHAKESPEARE’S CHILDREN; BLIND SPOT: MURDER BY WOMEN; CHILDREN AND ASTHMA AND GOOD FOOD, BAD FOOD, OBESITY IN AMERICAN CHILDREN; AN IRAQI LULLABY, and THE SERMONS OF SISTER JANE, BELIEVING THE UNBELIEVABLE. Her most recent work is EMPRESS HOTEL, released in 2009. Allie has published a book of poems, "The Glittering Cave" and edited an anthology of women’s writings, "Poetry from Violence." Her essays appear in publications about women.

Ms. Light lectured in film at City College of San Francisco and, for ten years, in the Women Studies Program at San Francisco State University. Her life story appears in "On Women Turning 50, Celebrating Mid-Life Discoveries," by Cathleen Rountree (Harper/Collins, 1993), and interviews with Allie are in Film Fatales: Independent Women Directors, by Judith M. Redding & Victoria A. Brownworth (Seal Press, 1997) and "Documentary Filmmakers" Speak by Liz Stubbs (Allworth Press, 2002). Allie has served on the Media Advisory Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. (8/14)

Available Title(s):


The Sermons of Sister Jane Believing the Unbelievable


A film by Allie Light, 2007, 53 min, Color

From Oscar and Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Allie Light and Irving Saraf (Dialogues With Madwomen and In The Shadow of The Stars), in partnership with Carol Monpere, also an Emmy Award-winner, comes their latest film, The Sermons Of Sister Jane: Believing the Unbelievable. This documentary is an engaging portrait that sparkles with the courage, wit and…

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Blind Spot: Murder by Women


A film by Allie Light, 2000, 87 min, Color

Because murder by women is still relatively rare--only one out of eight murders in the United States is committed by a woman--women's own stories provide unique insights into the circumstances leading to these violent acts. In this absorbing documentary, intimate one-on-one interviews with six women murderers are combined with re-enactments of their background experience and…

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Rachel's Daughters Searching for the Causes of Breast Cancer


A film by Allie Light, 1997, 107 min, Color

From the makers of the Oscar-winning IN THE SHADOWS OF THE STARS, this fascinating documentary follows a group of women - all breast cancer activists who are fighting or have survived the disease - who are on a personal mission to unearth the causes of breast cancer. The result is RACHEL'S DAUGHTERS, an engaging detective…

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Mitsuye and Nellie Asian American Poets


A film by Allie Light, 1981, 58 min, Color

This absorbing documentary examines the lives of Asian Americans through the inspirational poetry of Mitsuye Yamada and Nellie Wong. Interviews, rare archival footage, intimate family scenes and a lively dialogue between these fascinating women underscore the different histories of Chinese and Japanese Americans but also shared experiences of biculturalism and generational difference. Ideal for literature…

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Dialogues with Madwomen


A film by Allie Light, 1993, 90 min, Color

"I was always so afraid that someone would ask me (where I was when JFK was shot), and I would have to say I was in a mental institution", says director Allie Light. This moving and informative film features seven women--including the filmmaker--describing their experiences with manic depression, multiple personalities, schizophrenia, euphoria and recovery. Candid…

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