Setting the New Norm: Empowering Women in the Art House

December 11 only

Join us for a free community event to celebrate women in art house and discuss how we can collectively create a more female empowered film industry.

Please RSVP via the ticket link below.

Over the past few months, the film exhibition community has been rocked by stories of sexual harassment and unresponsiveness to inappropriate behavior. In light of these events, the Roxie Theater is proud to host a safe space for conversation with Bay Area film professionals and film lovers of all genders to ask questions like, “how do we fight “bro culture” in cinema spaces?”, “where do we draw the line between programming great cinema and not supporting filmmakers with a history of questionable behavior?” and “how we can lead the charge in empowering more women in film exhibition?”.

The Roxie has gathered a panel of extraordinary women in the Bay Area film community to lead this community discussion and offer their insights on working in the field and their visions for the future.

Gina Basso (Moderator) has been the producer for Performance & Film at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art since 2008. As an independent programmer, she has curated film series for Roxie Theater, Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theater and the Northwest Film Forum (Seattle, WA). She occasionally makes videos with her husband which have screened at Haxan Festival (Oakland, CA), Crosssroads Festival (SF), Roxie Theater, Artist Television Access (ATA) and Antimatter Experimental Film Festival (Vancouver, Canada). She is the recipient of the 2017 Curatorial Travel Grant awarded by the French American Cultural Society and San Francisco French Consulate for film research.

Soumyaa Behrens (Panelist) is an award-winning director and producer whose projects have screened at festivals across the globe and on KQED. Her work engages issues that influence the human condition and the political landscapes that shape identity and power structures within marginalized communities. Recent awards include Best Animation at SF Black Film Festival and Best Feature at Montreal International Animation for Abina and the Important Men. She has appeared on CNN Dialogues in addition to other conferences in conversation about film, representation and social justice. Behrens is the Director of the Documentary Film Institute at SFSU and serves on the Board of Directors for Bay Area Women In Film and Media.

Sherilyn Connelly (Panelist) is a San Francisco-based writer and librarian, and the head film critic for SF Weekly. Her writing can be found in anthologies including but not limited to It’s So You: 35 Women Write About Personal Expression Through Fashion and Style and Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, and her first work of scholarly sparkliness, Ponyville Confidential: The History and Culture of My Little Pony, 1981-2016, was published by McFarland & Company in March 2017.


Elizabeth Duran (Panelist) is the Private and Community Events Director at the New Mission Alamo Drafthouse, where she also produces and hosts a number of film and comedy programs including Riffer’s Delight. Over the last decade, she has worked in development and event production for KQED, SF Sketchfest, SF Film and The California Film Institute. If pressed to pick her favorite film of all time, Liz will never give you the same answer twice.


Zoe Elton (Panelist) is a curator, writer and interviewer, and serves as director of programming for Mill Valley Film Festival. She’s been involved with MVFF since its inception, and her creative leadership and vision drive the festival’s well-regarded international programming and initiatives. Her most recent initiative, Mind the Gap, has established MVFF as a leading voice on issues of gender parity in film and tech. She is a graduate of New College of Speech and Drama in London. Her work has been recognized with a Milley Award for Creative Achievement, and induction into San Francisco Film Society’s Essential SF.

Elizabeth O’Malley (Panelist) is the Executive Director of the Roxie Theater. Prior to her time at the Roxie, she worked for the Sundance Institute, building strategic funding initiatives to support the development and presentation of independent cinema around the world. Elizabeth was a key contributor to Sundance’s Catalyst Initiative and the Women at Sundance Initiative. Elizabeth received her MPA from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, during which time she served as a consultant to the City of Oakland recommending a policy strategy for the implementation of an Arts and Culture District program.

Amanda Salazar (Panelist) is a Programmer with the SFFILM Festival. She is also the co-Director of the Camera Obscura Film Society, a curated film event that takes place in Petaluma, CA. Previously, she was the Vice President of Film Acquisitions at Fandor and Program Director of the Newport Beach Film Festival.


Roxie Theater is a non-profit arthouse cinema – donations are always welcomed! Give a gift online today.


Setting the New Norm: Empowering Women in the Art House: Upcoming Showtimes