#1419: WFF Has Several Women-Directed Films; Services Pale For Female Veterans

Oct 3, 2016

On this week’s 51%, we hear about women-directed films at the upcoming Woodstock Film Festival. We’ll meet a woman who is a deputy fire chief and see how VA medical centers fare when it comes to providing services for women. I’m Allison Dunne and this is 51%.

It’s fall, so it must be film festival season, at least in certain parts. One such festival at this time of year is the Woodstock Film Festival, which screens independent films not only in Woodstock, New York, but in nearby Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Saugerties and Kingston. The fiercely independent 17th Annual Woodstock Film Festival features 44 female directors who will present their work — that’s one third of festival’s offerings — including the North American premiere of Bette Gordon's “The Drowning.” I spoke with Meira Blaustein, the festival’s co-founder and executive director.

That was Meira Blaustein, co-founder and executive director of the Woodstock Film Festival, which features more than 130  films, panels and event from October 13 through October 16.

We’ll now head a bit north of Woodstock, to Albany, New York, and hear about another field where women are even fewer. Captain Maria Walker recently was promoted to Deputy Chief, the highest rank ever held by a woman in the Albany Fire Department. She is a third generation firefighter, following her grandfather and her father, who both served as firefighters in the Buffalo Fire Department. Walker recently sat down with 51%’s Dave Lucas to discuss her new rank.

The percentage of women veterans has more than quadrupled in the last 40 years. And the Department of Veterans Affairs is struggling to keep up. VA medical centers often lack services for female veterans, and some women say they feel unwelcome or invisible there. John Ismay reports.

And that's our show this week. Thanks to Patrick Garrett for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio