by Linda Barnard.
At the 2010 Oscars, Kathryn Bigelow made history as she accepted the Academy Award for Best Director for her powerful dramatic thriller, The Hurt Locker, the first woman to take the prize.
It was a pivotal moment for women working behind the camera and a signal that the male-dominated industry was welcoming new voices into the elite filmmakers’ club. But the euphoria was short-lived.
“I think Bigelow was caught between a rock and a hard place,” says writer-director Leslie Ann Coles, founder and director of Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival, which marks its 10th year next month.
“If she acknowledged, ‘Hey, I’m a woman director,’ the feminists said, ‘It’s not about being a woman, why make it an issue?’ At the same time, what she did — thank you.”
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