14th Annual LA Femme International Film Festival: Susie Rivo’s historic documrntsry LEFT ON PEARL will compete

Jesus Figueroa

"LEFT ON PEARL," an award winning documentary with “Me,Too” overtones, will be entered into competition at this year’s LA Femme International Film Festival and screen on October 13 at 8 p.m. at the Regal Cinemas at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.

The acclaimed film takes us back to 1971 when International Women’s Day marchers took over a Harvard Building in Cambridge, MA. for a women’s center, on land sought by the largely African-American Riverside neighborhood for affordable housing? How and why did hundreds of women of diverse backgrounds decide to take a radical, collective action that would change their lives? How did this action intersect with the surrounding African-American neighborhood’s fight against displacement by Harvard University’s expansion? What is the legacy of this action almost 50 years later?

Awards the film has won thus far include: Best Documentary, Boston International Film Festival, Best of Festival and Audience Choice Award, Cinema Systers Film Festival, Director’s Choice, Black aria Film Festival, Platinum Remi Award, WorldFest Houston, and Best Short Documentary, Hot Springs International Women’s Film Festival.

Director/producer Susie Rivo holds an MFA in Cinema Production from San Francisco State University. Her award-winning short film AMY screened at numerous film festivals, including Sundance and SXSW and was broadcast by WNET, KQED and other PBS stations and in the Czech Republic. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council finalist award for filmmaking. Her documentary "LEFT ON PEARL" was supported by Mass Humanities, the Puffin Foundation, and a Blaufarb Award from the Tamiment Library at New York University. She is a Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.
Rivo said, “The Women’s Liberation Movement of the late 60s and early 70s paved the way for my generation of women to more fully participate as equals in the world. Under the Trump administration, we are witnessing an unprecedented backlash against women, LGBTQ people, and people of color. An important part of our fight against this backlash is to make sure we transmit our stories and our history to the next generation.”
International Women’s Day, 1971: Proclaiming a Women’s Declaration of Independence, hundreds of women gathered for a march at the Boston Common. They demanded equal pay for equal work, free community-controlled child-care, and free medical care including abortion and birth control. The march ended with the surprise seizure and occupation of a Harvard-owned building, renamed “The Women’s Center”. This action had a lasting impact, including the establishment of the longest continuously operating community Women’s Center in the United States

"LEFT ON PEARL" is a fruit of many years of organizing by the 888 Women’s History Project, a non-profit organization formed in 2001. Its members currently include Rochelle Ruthchild, Libby Bouvier, Susan K. Jacoby and Cheryl Stein. Determined to preserve the memory of this pivotal event, Rochelle Ruthchild, an historian, Libby Bouvier, an archivist, and Susan Jacoby, a community activist - formed the 888 Women’s History Project to record interviews and collect related material. They felt compelled, before memories fade even further, to document this transformational moment in women’s history through a documentary, produced and directed by filmmaker Susie Rivo, and edited by Iftach Shavit.

More at: leftonpearl.org

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