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Ash Mayfair coming to the IU Cinema


Vietnamese filmmaker Ash Mayfair will be attending a screening of her film “The Third Wife,” at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19. Mayfair will be interviewed at the cinema at 5 p.m. the following day. Courtesy Photo

The award-winning Vietnamese filmmaker Ash Mayfair has several upcoming events at the IU Cinema next week. Mayfair will be attending a screening of her film “The Third Wife,”at 7 p.m. Sept. 19. The film originally debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018. Mayfair will be interviewed at the cinema at 5 p.m. the following day.

These events are a part of the IU Cinema’s special September series of celebrating female filmmakers entitled “Running the Screen: Directed by Women,” in addition to its ongoing “International Arthouse” series. The IU Cinema has taken steps to mitigate the traditional white male-dominated landscape of filmmaking.

“Women are making movies, but they are generally not given the same opportunities to helm large studio productions as are men, and thus their visibility is often not as obvious to the greater movie-going public,” Brittany Friesner, associate director of the IU Cinema, said in a blog post. “In the past few years, the film industry and public have increasingly recognized the lack of inclusion and equity behind the camera, especially as it relates to filmmakers who identify as women.”

Mayfair’s debut picture “The Third Wife” will be screened at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 and 4 p.m. Sept. 21. The film, which won the award for Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, is about a 14-year-old Vietnamese girl who struggles with the expectation of birthing a male son for her older, wealthy husband. The film also explores the societal limitations placed on women in a setting where marriage is held as the be-all end-all for female opportunities.

In addition to her interview and “The Third Wife,” Mayfair will be attending the screenings of “Dead Pigs” and “Oda Wa Sala (Ode to Nothing)” at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sept. 20. These acclaimed films, directed by Cathy Yan and Dwein Baltazar are recent examples of Asian thrillers that have begun to break through to a Western audience. 

“Since IU Cinema’s first Directed by Women celebration in 2015, 20 filmmakers have been nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as best director and only one of those has been a woman,” Friesner said. “Throughout this month-long series, IU Cinema aims to increase awareness regarding the breadth of films created by women filmmakers by including films and visiting filmmakers from across all genres and from around the globe.”

Further information for these showings and more is available online at the IU Cinema website. Tickets are available online, as well as at the IU Auditorium Box Office or in the IU Cinema lobby an hour before each showing.

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