Day 22 of 100 Days of Women in Film celebrates the work of American cinematographer and director Nadia Hallgren. Netflix has just released her latest film: Becoming, an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the life of former first lady Michelle Obama, as she embarks on her 2019 book tour.
22/100: cinematographer & director Nadia Hallgren
Nadia Hallgren has worked as a cinematographer on more than 30 documentary projects over the span of a 15 year career.
She has also directed 4 documentary shorts as well as the miniseries She’s the Ticket, which captures stories of pioneering female politicians running for office (including, most notably, Stacey Abrams).
She’s the Ticket (2017)
Here is the project’s synopsis:
Since the election of Donald Trump, there’s been a new wave of women running for political office. We follow five female candidates who are jumping into everything from gubernatorial showdowns to city-council races, getting inside the fascinating, difficult, and inspiring process of campaigning.
Becoming is Hallgren’s first feature as a director (and she was also the cinematographer for it). The film was produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions company, which had signed a multi-year agreement with Netflix.
Women & Hollywood recently ran a superb interview with Hallgren, on the subject of her latest film.
What stood out to me the most was this part:
Mrs. Obama surrounds herself with an incredible team of strong, talented, powerful women who have uplifted her, and in turn, she does the same.
In my experience, when I started out working in film, it was mainly women who encouraged me, who hired me, who put me on the forefront in positions that they knew I was ready for in some ways I didn’t think I was prepared for yet. When I met Mrs. Obama, she just had an incredible belief in me even though it was my first feature.
You can read the full interview on Women & Hollywood and watch Becoming on Netflix.
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So far #100DaysofWomeninFilm has featured:
- 1/100: film director Elvira Notari (Italy’s first female director)
- 2/100: American cinematographer Kira Kelly (13th, Queen Sugar, Self Made)
- 3/100: film editor Margaret Booth (the first person in the history of cinema to be named “film editor”)
- 4/100: filmmaker Madeline Anderson (the first African American female documentarian)
- 5/100: film critic Iris Brey (author of the book The Female Gaze)
- 6/100: trailblazing director Ida Lupino (the first American female filmmaker to direct a film noir)
- 7/100: film director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, The Invitation, Destroyer)
- 8/100: documentary filmmaker Veena Rao
- 9/100: cinematographer Sarah Thomas Moffat
- 10/100: film director, writer & producer Leila Djansi
- 11/100: production designer Monique Dias
- 12/100: sound designer Cindy Takehara
- 13/100: colorist Anastasia Shepherd
- 14/100: director Jen McGowan
- 15/100: experimental filmmaker Maya Deren
- 16/100: producer / director DeMane Davis
- 17/100: Italian cinematographer Valentina Caniglia
- 18/100: film director Mira Nair
- 19/100: director Aya Tanimura
- 20/100: filmmaker Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, You Were Never Really Here)
- 21/100: film director Lynn Shelton (Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister)