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Film

Elaine May

Elaine May, half of one of the most successful American comic teams of the 1950s and 1960s, became one of Hollywood’s first important female directors in the 1970s and 1980s. She has often combined her talents for acting and screenwriting with her role as director.

Fania Marinoff

Fania Marinoff was associated with one of the most vibrant artistic circles in the United States and Europe. She numbered among her friends writers such as Gertrude Stein, playwrights such as Eugene O’Neill, and artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe. Fania Marinoff and her husband, Carl Van Vechten, played a prominent role in the bohemian social and artistic life of New York, particularly of the Harlem Renaissance.

Marceline Loridan-Ivens

Marceline Loridan-Ivens is known around the world for the superb documentaries that she codirected with her husband, the Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens (1898–1989). But the earliest part of her career, as well as her most recent work, depart from the documentaries by providing very personal, profoundly moving reflections on her identity as a Jewish woman, and it is her latest film, A Birch Tree Meadow/La petite prairie aux bouleaux (2003), that both established her as a significant voice in Jewish cinema and inaugurated (at age 75!) a new career as a feature film maker.

Sonya Levien

Sara Opesken Levien (“Sonya” is the Russian diminutive, which she used) was born on December 25, 1888, to Julius and Fanny Opesken in Panimunik, formerly Russia, now Lithuania. (She altered the date later to 1898). By the time her father immigrated to the United States in 1891, she had two younger brothers, Arnold and Max. Sonya’s father changed his name to Levien, the name of the man who had helped him escape from Siberia, where he had been exiled for political activities, and in 1896 brought his family to New York. By the time Sonya, her parents, and her Russian-born brothers were naturalized in 1905, she had two more brothers, Nathan and Edward.

Sherry Lansing

Sherry Lee Heimann (Lansing) was born in Chicago on July 31, 1944. Her father, a real-estate agent, died of a heart attack when she was nine years old, leaving a thirty-two-year-old wife and two daughters, of whom Sherry was the elder by four and a half years. His widow declined the offer of his colleagues to help her by running his business and insisted on carrying it on by herself. This provided an excellent example of female independence for Sherry, who frequently accompanied her mother on her business rounds. Lansing graduated from Northwestern University and worked as a schoolteacher, model and actress (1970, in the films Loving and Rio Lobo). She joined MGM studios in 1973 and quickly moved up the corporate ladder.

Mariana Kroutoiarskaia

As a composer, music producer and supervisor, Mariana Kroutoiarskaia dedicated her entire life to music, film and television. Perhaps because she usually worked behind the scenes and was of small, delicate stature, she appears initially not to have been acknowledged by many people. But whoever came to know her better was usually overwhelmed by her energy, her love of life and her creative capacity.

Beryl Korot

Beryl Korot is an internationally known video artist who has created multimonitor installations which have been shown all over the world. She is best known for her multiple channel works Dachau 1974 and Text and Commentary, 1977, and her two collaborations with composer Steve Reich, The Cave and Three Tales, both of which brought video art into a theatrical context with contemporary classical music.

Margot Klausner

Margot Klausner was born in Berlin in 1905 to Julius and Dora Klausner. She was an author, film producer, founding owner of the first film laboratory in Israel, and active in bringing the Habimah Theater to Israel.

Bel Kaufman

Bel Kaufman, best known for her novel Up the Down Staircase and its subsequent film, was born in Berlin, Germany, on May 10, 1911. She is the granddaughter of the great Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem (on whose work the musical Fiddler on the Roof is based).

Fay Kanin

Over a sixty-year career as a writer, actor, coproducer, and activist, Fay Kanin was awarded several Emmys and Peabodys, the ACLU Bill of Rights Award, the Crystal Award from Women in Film, the Burning Bush Award from the University of Judaism, and nominations for Oscar and Tony awards. She served as President of the Motion Picture Academy for an unprecedented four terms (1983-1988).

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Film." (Viewed on April 27, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/film>.

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