Films & Filmmakers: Ruth Gregory February 8 at 2:00
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Award-winning filmmaker and SWHS class of 1997 alum Ruth Gregory will be returning to The Clyde Theatre for a Films and Filmmakers event Sunday, February 8th, at 2 pm. She’ll be presenting some of her recent work and previewing aspects of the sci-fi web series she hopes to begin shooting this summer.
In 2005 The Clyde hosted the enthusiastic premiere of Ruth’s first documentary Jump like a Girl, about female ski jumpers striving to get their sport included in the Winter Olympics. Since then she has written, directed, and produced a series of award-winning short docs that have screened all over the world. One of them, Maikaru, won Best Documentary Short at the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival, making it eligible for Oscar consideration.
“After winning one of the biggest awards out there for short films, I decided I needed a new challenge,” Ruth says, so she jumped into creating “Music of the Spheres,” a web series about the quest of Angela Burkle, a thirty year-old philosophy graduate student, to mend her broken family through use of a mystical device that can alter space and time. This Films and Filmmakers event will also mark the beginning of her Kickstarter campaign to fund “Music of the Spheres.”
Ruth, who has an MFA in Film, generally looks for topics that aren’t being covered by the mainstream. “There are so many stories out there that aren’t being told, and I tend to gravitate towards them,” she says. The films she’ll be showing at The Clyde cover such topics as missed romantic opportunities (I Saw U), health care (A Dose for Dominic), a turn-of-the-century female “quack” doctor (Hazzard), and a young UW student rising above his traumatic childhood (Maikaru)
Ask Ruth why she makes movies, and you get a thoughtful answer. “Hollywood creates films for 19-24 year old straight white guys. As a woman I’ve never fit into that demographic, and the older I get, the more I want to see movies that differ from that formula. I don’t want to watch another coming-of-age story. I’ve already come of age. I don’t want to feel like the best years of my life are behind me every time I go to the movies or watch something on television. I want to see stories that model what’s ahead of me.”
She claims The Clyde fed her desire to tell stories through film and video. “I’ve always loved The Clyde because you’ve always balanced big blockbusters with great independent films that are about a vast array of life experiences,” she says. “I think that experience of watching all those mid-week films with my Dad (projectionist Dan Gregory) influenced me to want to make movies myself someday.”
As a feminist Ruth is very aware that as a woman who writes, directs and produces she is an anomaly in the business. But she has her role models: “In all seriousness, I aspire to be Agnes Varda. She made the first French New Wave film (La Pointe Courte) in 1955, and was still making films that integrated new technology and new techniques in 2011 at age 83. Those movies make me so happy. I just want to be as excited about making media as she is when I am that old no matter what the form.”
The Films and Filmmakers event featuring Ruth Gregory will take place at 2:00 on Sunday, February 8, at The Clyde. Usual admission prices apply.