Hollywood Watch

A poet "on watch," according to author and filmmaker Angela Williamston, is a lyricist on the lookout for anything that can't be trusted -- the government, local politicians or even our own emotions. In Blowin' Up a Spot Film Fest: A Woman's Perspective 2000, Williamston is keeping her eye on the male-dominated business of movies.

Sixteen national and international filmmakers will get the opportunity to showcase their communities in video and on celluloid. In its second year, the combination of spoken word and dialogue films has its roots in the Austin-based Women in Cinema. "There were so many women in there with good ideas and with legitimate good work, and I was like, "Why aren't we showcasing our talents?' " says Williamston, who has worked on the sets of such Hollywood productions as Jason's Lyric and Terms of Endearment. "The fact that we're under-represented in media in general creates a challenging struggle, because we say, "So we have stories too, but are they worth telling?' "

One controversial film, Beyond Prison Bars, documents women whose male lovers are incarcerated. "During the screening, they were wondering, "Why is she depicting women like that?' like we shouldn't love men who are in prison," Williamston says. "We women hide from the truth, and the truth is that there is a large population of women out there whose husbands are locked up, and we become victims when we don't accept it." Another 30-minute documentary portrays the courage of Argentinean women who step out of their traditional roles.

Williamston describes herself as a "conscious capitalist" who's not going to wait for Hollywood to create opportunities for her. "Women's issues are world issues, and we need a venue to showcase our work and talents," she says. "We shouldn't depend on someone else to do that for us."