Women Make Movies

Women Make Movies is a non-profit feminist media arts organization based in New York City. Founded by Ariel Dougherty and Sheila Paige with Dolores Bargowski, WMM was first a feminist production collective that emerged from city-wide Women's Liberation meetings in September 1969. They produced four films by 1973. Dougherty and Paige incorporated the organization in March 1972 as a community based workshop to teach film to everyday women. A distribution service was also begun as an earned income program. In the mid 1970s a membership was created that screened and distributed members' work.[1][2] In the early 1980s focus shifted to concentrate on distribution of independent films by and about women.[3] WMM also provides production assistance to women filmmakers.

Women Make Movies
Logo reading "WMM Women Making Movies"
MottoFilms by and about women
FormationSeptember 1969
TypeNon-profit organization
  • New York, NY
Ariel Dougherty
Sheila Page
Executive Director
Debra Zimmerman

Film catalogEdit

The organization distributes more than 500 films created by over 400 women filmmakers from nearly 30 countries. These films address such subjects as reproductive rights, AIDS, body image, economic development, racism, immigration, medical ethics, and global feminism. The collection includes films by key feminist filmmakers including Trinh T. Minh-ha, Julie Dash, Pratibha Parmar, Jane Campion, and Kim Longinotto.[citation needed]

Recognition and distributionEdit

Films distributed by WMM have appeared at film festivals worldwide,[4] including the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).,[5] and the Athena Film Festival[6] Its films have received media awards such as the Special Jury Prize at Sundance (The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo and Rough Aunties),[7] the Academy Award (Love & Diane), the Emmy (Quick Brown Fox: An Alzheimer’s Story), and the Peabody (Sisters in Law).[5] In 2011, WMM received an award from the Athena Film Festival for their outstanding work distributing films by and about women.[6]

WMM films have aired on cable networks and public television stations around the world,[8] including HBO/Cinemax, PBS, Sundance Channel, and Rede Globo. Among the broadcast titles: Kim Longinotto’s Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go and Gemma Cubero and Celeste Carrasco’s Ella Es El Matador. The organization has worked closely with the Public Broadcasting System, Hunter College, the Museum of Modern Art, and many other NYC-based media arts organizations.

Executive directorEdit

In 1983, Debra Zimmerman became the executive director of WMM.[9]


The Academy Film Archive houses the Women Make Movies Collection, which includes prints, videotape masters, and original film elements of dozens of features, documentaries, shorts, and informational films made by and about women.[10]


  1. ^ "Feminist Media Part of Life_Next 40 Yrs". Scribd. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ White, Patricia (2013). ""Women Make Movies at 40"". Camera Obscura. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "Debra Zimmerman and Women Make Movies - Featured Artists". Center for Social Media. 2002.
  4. ^ "Blog - Women Make Movies". MovieMaker. 2006.
  5. ^ a b ""Sisters In Law" Wins Peabody Award". Cinema Without Borders. 2008.
  6. ^ a b http://athenafilmfestival.com/
  7. ^ ""Rough Aunties" Take IDFA". indieWIRE. 2008.
  8. ^ "POV - Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go Interview". PBS.org. 2009.
  9. ^ "A Talk From IDFA with Women Make Movies' Debra Zimmerman". Still in Motion. 2007.
  10. ^ "Women Make Movies". Academy Film Archive.

External linksEdit