New York — Moms-in-Film, an organization founded to energize the careers of mothers in film and television by providing community, funding and advocacy, celebrated its one-year anniversary at The Players on April 18. The bi-coastal organization chose to honor filmmaker and mother Marielle Heller, whose film DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL ignited audiences and critics alike at Sundance and Berlin, and whose upcoming film CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? stars Melissa McCarthy.
Accepting the award, Heller commented, “”Before I had a kid, I thought I’d have to keep those parts of my life separate. I didn’t think, as a mother, they’d take me seriously as a filmmaker. I had my child 5 weeks before my film premiere and there was no separation, he was there, breastfeeding at my premiere party. I realized how much I didn’t want those things separated… It does feel like our personal feminist fight right now.”
Presenting Heller with the award, Moms-in-Film founder Mathilde Dratwa commented, “Mari pulled off the birth of a film and the birth of a child in crazy syncopation, and more importantly, she did not hide it. That is revolutionary.” The award itself is a concrete sculpture titled MOTHER AND CHILD by Barbara Lubliner whose work, often inspired by her experience giving birth and mothering, can be seen on the Brooklyn Museum Feminist Art Base.
Also present to say a few words was actress Emily Bergl (SHAMELESS, SOUTHLAND, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) who is expecting her first child, and noted that people can’t stop asking, “what about your career?” David Paterson (BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS) gave a dad’s perspective, and rising Broadway star Kat Cunning (PARAMOUR) provided musical entertainment.