One of the foremost documentary filmmakers working today, Kim Longinotto is renowned internationally for her compellingly human portraits and her sensitive and compassionate treatment of difficult topics. By seeking out, observing, and following the untold stories of women’s daily lives, she has created cinéma vérité portraits of the larger society and cultural customs. Longinotto’s first film, Pride of Place, a critical look at a girls’ boarding school, was made while she studied camera and directing at England’s National Film School. Theatre Girls, shot in a hostel for homeless women, followed soon after. These films established Longinotto’s capacity for confronting some of the most difficult aspects of women’s realities around the world. After graduating from the NFS, she worked as the cameraperson on a variety of documentaries for TV and embarked on collaborations with several film partners. In 1986, she formed the production company Twentieth Century Vixen with Claire Hunt.
Longinotto’s documentaries have tackled a wide range of subjects, from a controversial Japanese feminist performer to divorce in Iran. She received a Peabody Award and the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Prix Art et Essai for Sisters in Law, set in Kumba, Cameroon; and she took home a Special Jury Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam (IDFA), for Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go, set in an Oxfordshire school for disturbed children.
Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, with special thanks to Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director, and Julie Whang, Sales and Marketing Manager, Women Make Movies.