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Betsy West & Julie Cohen - Documentary Masterclass

Friday November 10
Light House Cinema, Dublin


IFTA is delighted to present a Documentary Filmmaking Masterclass with Julie Cohen and Betsy West, the renowned Oscar-nominated directors of RBG, Julia and My Name is Pauli Murray. The Masterclass will take place on Friday 10th November at 5pm at the Light House Cinema, Dublin 7. This event is supported by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland through the Screen Stakeholders funding scheme, and will be moderated by leading Irish documentary filmmaker Ross Whitaker. 

Julie and Betsy have gained widespread acclaim for documenting the lives of trailblazing women: having captured the life of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in RBG; delved into the legacy of civil rights activist Pauli Murray in My Name is Pauli Murray; painted a compelling portrayal of Julia Child in Julia; and told the inspiring story of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' recovery from an assassination attempt in Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down.

RBG is one of the most successful documentaries in American history, grossing $14 million at the box office. It was chosen by the National Board of Review as the Best Documentary Film of 2018, recieved two Oscar nominations for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song, and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary. Julie and Betsy received the Cinema for Peace Award for Women's Empowerment for the film.

Julie is also the producer and director of American Veteran and her most recent feature documentary Every Body was released this year, while Betsy produced Constantine's Sword and exec produced The Lavender Scare.

At this special Masterclass for Academy Members and industry guests, Julie and Betsy will discuss the art of directing high-end feature documentaries, the process of authentically bringing the lives of remarkable women to the screen and collaborating with icons of politics and civics, and the dynamics of successful creative partnerships with a co-director.

Moderator Ross Whitaker will draw on his own experience in in telling the stories of influential women, having chronicled the journey of boxer Katie Taylor in 2018's IFTA-nominated Katie. He is also the director of feature documentaries Between Land And Sea, Unbreakable and Saviours, and TV documentaries Peter The Great, The Road Down Under and The Boys in Green. He is a former festival director of IFI DocFest and editor of Film Ireland magazine.