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This blog was featured on 01/28/2020
5 Inspirational Quotes from Female Storytellers at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to Kickstart Your Writing
Written by
She Writes
January 2020
Written by
She Writes
January 2020

This is a guest post by YA author and bookish lifestyle blogger Rektok Ross. 

The mission of the Sundance Film Festival has always been to ignite new ideas, discover original voices and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. This year, the 2020 festival not only celebrated this objective but expanded it to put an emphasis on diverse, female-centric content creation. Of the 65 filmmakers in all four competition categories, 46% were women this year and many of their entries featured female-focused stories like writer/director Julie Taymor’s film adaptation of the Gloria Steinem memoir My Life on the Road (The Glorias), writer/director Dee Rees’s film adaptation of Joan Didion’s The Last Thing He Wanted and director Liz Garbus’s film adaptation of Robert Kolker’s thriller, Lost Girls. Embracing this new celebration of female storytelling, sponsored panels popped-up all over Park City to provide an additional forum for women to chat about the power of story and their own personal experiences as women creating art. Read on for five of the best inspirational quotes heard this year at the Sundance Film Festival to motivate you on your own writing journey!

America Ferrera on Breaking Through Barriers

“When I think about the last 18 years and where we are now, where our beloved community has built this space for us, for our stories, I can’t help think about Josefina Lopez, writer of REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES, and how it took her 11 years of having doors slammed in her face, and struggles to get her stories made . . . We have been building it slowly, nobody has opened the gates for us or welcomed us in. We have [had to] open these doors for ourselves.”

(Award-winning actor, producer, director, and activist America Ferrera heard at The Latinx House panel, A Fireside Chat with America Ferrera.)

Sarah Harden on Building Your Audience and Marketing

CEO of Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, on why her film company has built its social media initiatives around the book club community:

“Long term power means having a direct relationship with your audience.”

(Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden heard at the UTA Sundance House panel Is This Real? Sustaining Gender Equality in Entertainment presented by UTA, The Atlantic, and Women in Film Los Angeles.)

Julie Taymor on Artists Making an Impact

“[Social media and focusing on profit numbers”] has really ruined a lot of what art is . . .if you’ve changed or inspired one or two people you have done a lot. I don’t think there is enough appreciation for that.”

(Writer and Director Julie Taymor heard at the NRDC Impact Lounge panel The Glorias Discussion with Julie Taymor presented by Entertainment Weekly and NRDC.)

Diane Guerrero on Making Your Dream Projects Come to Fruition

What you have to do is just start - tell your life story. Write! We’ve always felt that we only had one story, one opportunity to shine, so we shy away from the negative stuff but that's where the meat is.” 

(Author and actor Diane Guerrero heard at The Latinx House panel, A Fireside Chat with America Ferrera.)

Frankie Shaw on Pushing Gender Boundaries in Art

“Women supporting women is the only way. Solidarity is the only way. It’s the only thing that’s ever instigated change.”

(Writer, actor, director, producer Frankie Shaw heard at SundanceTV Headquarters panel, Women Breaking Barriers: How Far Have We Come presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.)

About Liana:

Liana is a YA author and bookish lifestyle blogger. You may know her from her blog, www.RektokRoss.com, where she shares book recommendations and tips for living a book-infused life, often featuring her Netflix watch list, fashion, her dogs and her latest travel destinations. Find her on Instagram and Twitter at @RektokRoss!

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