15 YEARS OF FUSION
By Emory Parker.
This past weekend, NYU celebrated the 15th annual Fusion Film Festival. This prestigious festival showcases the work and efforts of women in film, TV, and new media.
Fusion opened the festival with Refinery29’s Shatterbox Anthology. This eclectic body of work features short films varying in subject, style, and tone. But, what do they have in common? They’re all directed by brilliant, fearless women, including Chloë Sevigny, Anu Valia, and many more.
Chief Content Officer at Refinery29, Amy Emmerich, explained how the idea was conceived: “What I want to do is disrupt the model. Refinery29 was a media brand that started with women. We’re trying to build a world that’s much more 360°.”
The ladies behind Shatterbox did just that. The shorts we saw pushed boundaries in every way, one of them even tackling the controversial topic of abortion. The director of the piece, Anu Valia, encouraged the creators in the room to take risks: “Make the things that speak to you. You are a full human being. You are not one issue.” Refinery29 has created a space for female filmmakers to express themselves without limitation or judgment. The event was truly inspiring.
The festival featured several intriguing panels, ranging from “Women in VR” to “Women of Color.” There was even an intimate brunch with VP of Talent Development at HBO, Kelly Edwards, where she warned the group of anxious students and recent grads, “Don’t chase the job. Chase the passion.”
The most highly-anticipated event was the Directing Masterclass with GRAMMY award-winning director, NYU alum, and Woman of the Year, Melina Matsoukas. Matsoukas reminisced about her time at NYU and how it shaped her: “Making my voice heard would be a way to make change.” Even at a young age, Matsoukas knew the power of storytelling in such a tumultuous world.
The masterclass exhibited some of Matsoukas’ recent work: Beyonce’s “Formation,” Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” and HBO’s Insecure. Though Matsoukas has achieved overwhelming success, she reminds her fellow artists to stay humble: “Listen and never stop learning.”
We can all learn something from this incredible festival. Here’s to 15 fabulous years of Fusion. We can’t wait to see what’s next.