About Sara Zia Ebrahimi

Persian bohemian, indie films cheerleader, Social Media Specialist at American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Love to: write, read, sew, eat, cook, run.

“So to Speak: a feminist journal of language and art” accepting submissions for the next issue

The print and online journal So to Speak is now accepting submissions for their spring issue. The publication, which has been around for almost 20 years, looks for work “that addresses issues of significance to women’s lives and movements for women’s equality and are especially interested in pieces that explore issues of race, class, and sexuality in relation to gender.” Submissions are welcome from all.

Women’s Independent Film Festival now accepting submissions

womens festThe Women’s Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles is now accepting submissions for their 2015 festival. Regular entry deadline is September 15 and late entry deadline is October 6th. In order to qualify for entry, a woman must fill AT LEAST ONE of the following key positions on the film: Director, Producer, Writer, Lead female Protagonist, Editor, or Cinematographer. (Not sure what their stance is on trans women since their logo looks like a pregnant person, but hopefully it’s open to all who identify as a woman!)

“We read too” app helps find children and young adult books with people of color as characters

Looking for books for your kid that don’t feature exclusively white characters? (Note: I am.) A coworker recently introduced me to this app called We read too developed by a second year college student named Kaya Thomas. The free app allows you to search a database of books in either a children’s fiction or young adult fiction category, share your finds, as well as suggest additions to the list.

Brave New Films accepting applications for paid fellowship for mediamakers of color

Brave New Films–which produces films on social justice issues that are widely shared online–has announced a new paid fellowship opportunity (which includes health care coverage!). Their goal with the program is to “break down the systemic barriers that limit opportunities for people of color from marginalized communities by empowering fellows with tools and training to become stronger activists and versatile advocates for social justice. ” Deadline to apply is September 15.

The Diverse Women in Media Residency Lab now accepting applications!

Need a retreat to work on your film or digital project? The National Association of Latino Independent Producers is now accepting applications for its Diverse Women in Media Residency Lab in Vermont. 8-12 people will be selected to participate, and be paired with mentors. Deadline to apply is August 17.

Book and film of the week for your lists: Origin and Tarnation

blog postLooking for some books and movies to add to your reading list? This week I finished reading Diana Abu Jabar’s novel Origin, which though has some mixed reviews some places–I loved. Set in Syracuse, NY, the story is narrated by Lena, a fingerprint specialist in a crime lab. The description of the story emphasizes the string of baby crib deaths that were thought to be SIDS but then reconsidered as murder, but it’s not as gruesome as it sounds. I don’t normally read mystery novels, but the few I have read give me enough insight to know that this book does not follow the conventions of the genre. It’s really more about the main character’s personal mystery as it unravels, one that is both magical in ways and metaphorical. I gave it four stars on Goodreads and recommend it.

I also watched Jonathan Caouette’s personal documentary Tarnation on Netflix DVD. The film, now 11 years old, should be watched with the context  of the time period it was made. Now in the age of YouTube the direct camera confessional feels almost commonplace. Caouette’s film was ahead of its time in that way and weaves together snippets of hours of footage he shot of himself and his schizophrenic mother from a young age. For documentary filmmakers looking for models of personal story telling, it is a useful example.