- Dec. 17, 2019
-- The International Human Rights Film Festival ("IHRAF") screened Film Lab's television pilot, "Mirror Mirror," addressing gender bias through the lens of a comedy sitcom on December 14th. IHRAF Producer Thomas Block commented, "The International Human Rights Art Festival
is thrilled to welcome Film Lab's "Mirror Mirror." Following in the footsteps of Festival Godfather Norman Lear -- who produced a series of sitcoms in the 1970s at the intersection of activism and popular culture -- we feel that Film Lab's work follows this same path. Audience is vital to activist art, and the Film Lab and "Mirror Mirror" use a popular platform and deeply felt art to discuss an issue of concert to all of us: gender bias women, and particularly women of color, endure every day in the workplace." Lead Actor and series creator Jennifer Betit Yen added, "[T]his comedic sitcom allows the very complicated issue of gender bias to become more accessible and understandable."
Following the screening, award-winning filmmaker Melissa Skirboll moderated a provocative panel on the role of entertainment in shaping cultural conceptions of women - particularly women of color. Panelists included Jennifer Betit Yen (actor and creator), Franck D. Joseph III (New York City Commission on Human Rights), Cheryl L. Davis (pilot screenwriter)
, Ramya Sekaran (lawyer), and Tamar Lopez (mental health advocate and actor). Skirboll shared some statistics courtesy of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media that shocked some audience members. N7ConceptLab created an online "Misogynist Bingo" game that the audience members played real-time during the screening, noting various (mis)behaviors in the game as they occurred onscreen. The winner of the game received a book on gender in Hollywood donated by the Beacon Press. Love Love Sweets provided chocolate desserts during the panel. Lopez commented, "I feel super fortunate to have had this experience to share this incredibly bold, comedic, and relevant piece of work. The work that they do to showcase pieces that combine both advocacy and art is incredibly important in order to amplify our voices."
This was Film Lab's final event of 2019. One staffer thanked the audience who packed the theatre for "showing how effective a tool comedy can be to address gender bias." For further information about the Film Lab or to attend future events, please visit www.film-lab.org. Film Lab is a not-for-profit and relies on donations to support their programs. For more, please visit https://ihraf.org/2019-wild-project
. Event photos courtesy of Sheng Lin, Tamar Lopez and JPW are here (https://www.facebook.com/pg/AsAmFilmLab/photos/?tab=album...