KAMALA LOPEZ – DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER (In attendance at screening)
Actress, filmmaker, activist and President of Heroica Films, Kamala Lopez, has launched the movement and the film EQUAL MEANS EQUAL to educate Americans about the importance of equal rights under federal law for women. Born in New York City to an Indian mother and a Venezuelan father, Lopez has worked as an actor in over 30 feature films including Born in East L.A., Deep Cover, The Burning Season (winner of two Emmys, three Golden Globes and the Humanitas Prize), Clear and Present Danger, Lightning Jack, and I Heart Huckabees. She has starred in over 60 television shows including Medium, 24, Alias, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, and 21 Jump Street (winner of the Imagen Award). She also hosted the PBS series Wired Science.
A Yale University graduate in Philosophy and Theatre Studies, Lopez formed her production company Heroica Films in 1995 with the mission to write, direct and produce media for women, about women and utilizing women both in front and behind the camera.
Her film, A Single Woman, about the life of first Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, won the 2009 Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus. In 2013 her short Spanish-language film Ese Beso won the Jury Award at the Senorita Cinema Festival and the Audience Award at the Boyle Heights Latina Film Festival.
In 2009 Lopez began the ERA Education Project, creating multi-media PSAs and FAQs, social media campaigns, and educational videos, and piloting curriculum and speaking around the country. She has been the Keynote or Featured Speaker in venues as disparate as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery and The United Nations to The National Arts Club and the Yale Women Global Conference. She’s met with “at-risk” girls and other children through Mayor Villaraigosa’s Partnership for Los Angeles schools.
Her work on behalf of women and girls has been recognized by Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors and the Women’s Commission, who named her 2015 Woman of the Year (Arts/Media). In 2012 Women’s eNews selected her as one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century and the National Women’s Political Caucus named her the 2011 Woman of Courage.
EQUAL MEANS EQUAL is a labor of love that Lopez embarked on six years ago when she first realized that women still did not have Constitutional protections in the United States and that, like she, most Americans were unaware of this fact.
Filmmaker will be in attendance: Kamala Lopez
Documentary• 94 min •
EQUAL MEANS EQUAL is an unflinching look at how women are treated in the United States today.Examining both real-life stories and precedent-setting legal cases, director Kamala Lopez uncovers how outdated and discriminatory attitudes inform and influence seemingly disparate issues, from workplace harassment to domestic violence, rape and sexual assault to the foster care system, and the healthcare conglomerate to the judicial system. Along the way, she reveals the inadequacy of present laws that claim to protect women, ultimately presenting a compelling and persuasive argument for the urgency of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.
Maryland International Film Festival April 1-3, 2016
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