Therese Shechter

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Therese Shechter

Therese Shechter is a filmmaker, writer and artist best known for the documentary films How to Lose Your Virginity (Women Make Movies, 2013), I Was A Teenage Feminist (Women Make Movies, 2005), How I Learned to Speak Turkish (IndiePix, 2006) and the short "#SlutWalkNYC" (2013).[1] She is also the creator of "The V-Card Diaries," an online collection of over 300 stories of "sexual debuts and deferrals" submitted by readers. In 2013, the collection was featured in The Kinsey Institute's Juried Art Show.[2]

Shechter's work challenges double standards and gender stereotypes, and how they affect women’s lives and identity. She is an advocate for comprehensive sex education and media criticism to combat misinformation about sex for teens and young people.[3] Her production company, Trixie Films, is based in Brooklyn.

Personal life & Previous Work[edit]

Shechter studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in Toronto. She worked as an Art Director at the Toronto Star and then as Design Director for The Financial Times of Canada, edited by John Edward Macfarlane. In 1990, Therese moved to Chicago to work at the Chicago Tribune, where she worked for nine years, rising to the position of Associate Graphics and Design Editor. She has won numerous awards from Society for News Design, the New York and Toronto Art Director’s Clubs, and a Peter Lisagor award from the Chicago Headline Club.[4]

While at the Chicago Tribune, she attended Columbia College in Chicago, studying film and video. In 1999, Shechter left Chicago for New York City in order to pursue her interest in film and work for Robert De Niro’s company Tribeca Productions as assistant to Jane Rosenthal. After leaving Tribeca Productions, Therese volunteered at the Sundance Film Festival, which she cites as having changed her view of the documentary genre and filmmaking in general.[5] When Shechter returned from Sundance, she enrolled in a documentary workshop with filmmaker Macky Alston at Union Theological Seminary. She worked as a researcher on his film Questioning Faith, and Alston continued to mentor Shechter as she filmed her first feature I Was A Teenage Feminist (2005).[6]

Shechter currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Through her production company, Trixie Films, she continues to explore feminist issues as they pertain to sexuality and sex education. Shechter frequently lectures on the college circuit, screening her films for young audiences across the U.S. She has participated as a panelist at Harvard’s Rethinking Virginity Conference and has appeared as a featured guest on Fusion TV, Sex Nerd Sandra and Brooklyn Independent Television.[7][8][9][10]

Feature Films[edit]

How to Lose Your Virginity (2013)[edit]

In the documentary film, How to Lose Your Virginity, Shechter explores how the concept of virginity affects the lives of men and women through interviews and personal narrative. The film details the historical, political and religious construction of virginity as well as its place in modern pop culture. "How to Lose Your Virginity" had its U.S. premiere at DOC NYC in Fall 2013 and its U.S. Broadcast premiere on Fusion in February 2014.[11][12] International screenings and film festivals have taken place in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Croatia, Turkey, Chile, Canada, the Czech Republic and Korea.[13][14][15][16][17][18]

I Was A Teenage Feminist (2005)[edit]

Shechter’s first feature-length film I Was A Teenage Feminist examines the discomfort a growing number of young people feel in identifying themselves as feminists. She uses her own personal journey as the driving force of the film while she interviews past and present feminist icons as well as women and men struggling for and against the concept of feminism. The film won Best Film at the Jewish Women’s Film Festival and Special Mention at the Karachi International Film Festival.[19]

Short Films[edit]

#SlutWalkNYC (2013)[edit]

In "#SlutWalkNYC", Shechter documents the controversial global, grassroots anti-rape movement on the day it filled the streets of New York City. This short debuted at the 2013 Hamptons International Film Festival, and screened at Barnard College in 2013 and the Athena Film Festival in 2014.[20][21]

The End (2010)[edit]

The End is a silent, 16mm and hand-cut narrative short film about a woman attempting to end a relationship with a persistent suitor. The full film is available on Vimeo via Trixie Films.[22]

How I Learned to Speak Turkish (2006)[edit]

Shechter filmed "How I Learned to Speak Turkish" as a chronicle of her own growing obsession with Turkish language and culture as she navigates new relationships with Turkish men. The documentary examines cultural clichés, the male gaze and the idea of the exotic other. The film won the Short Documentary Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival in 2006.[23]

Womanly Perfection (2003)[edit]

Shechter’s animated short film examines "the nature of beauty and womanhood through the lens of fashion magazines." The full film was released on Vimeo via Trixie Films.[24]

Other Work[edit]

"The V-Card Diaries"[edit]

An ongoing project, "The V-Card Diaries" is a crowd-sourced collection of sexual experiences curated on the Internet. The transmedia story-sharing site gives readers a chance to anonymously submit personal narratives. The submissions detail positive sexual encounters as well as many instances of slut-shaming, older virginity and sexual assault. "The V-Card Diaries" was developed over the course of two POV Hackathons - PBS-sponsored events where web developers are paired with artists and activists for multimedia creation. The project was featured in The Kinsey Institute's Juried Art Show (2013) as their first interactive installation.[25][26]

Writing[edit]

Shechter has written articles for a variety of publications, most notably: Nerve, Talking Points Memo, Women & Hollywood, Adios Barbie, Chicago Tribune, Bitch Magazine Blog, Girl With Pen, Film Independent Magazine and Skirt! Magazine.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36]

She also edits and writes for the companion blog to her feature film How to Lose Your Virginity. The blog covers virginity-related issues in the news, purity culture, uses of the concept in pop culture and media, and publishes stories that are submitted via "The V-Card Diaries."

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Therese Shechter". August 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "The V-Card Diaries: Users Can Share Their Virginity Stories In This Interactive Exhibit". May 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Let's (Not) Talk About Sex: Meet The Filmmaker Who's Exploring Modern Virginity". May 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Interview: Therese Shechter, Documentary Filmmaker : On the Cutting Edge of Social Issues". 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Interview: Therese Shechter, filmmaker". 26 August 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "NKU to Host Free Screening of Award-WinningDocumentary 'I Was a Teenage Feminist' October 10". 19 September 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Rethinking Virginity: Panels". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "DocuMental: How To Lose Your Virginity". 7 February 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "SEX NERD SANDRA #36: VIRGIN: THE SEXUAL DEBUTANTE". 11 April 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "BK Live 11/12/13: "How to Lose Your Virginity"". 15 November 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY". 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "How To Lose Your Virginity" Documentary Premieres On Fusion February 8". 6 February 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Losing My Virginity: Of Romance and Property Rights". 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY". Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Filmmor Festival on Wheels hits the road". 14 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "How To Lose Your Virginity". 27 September 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "How to Lose Your Virginity". 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "How to Lose Your Virginity". 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "I Was a Teenage Feminist". 2005. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "NYWIFT at the 2013 Hamptons International Film Festival Women Calling The Shots". 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "#slutwalknyc". 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  22. ^ Shechter, Therese (Director) (2010). The End (A Love Story) (short film). Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  23. ^ "MEET ATLANTA'S WINNERS". 21 June 2005. Archived from the original on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  24. ^ Shechter, Therese (Director) (2003). Womanly Perfection (short film). Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  25. ^ "Strangers Talk about Losing Their Virginity & Keeping It". 14 May 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  26. ^ "The V-Card Diaries". 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  27. ^ "Sexless in the City: The Truth About Adult Virgins". 7 February 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  28. ^ "Virginity Merchants Profit From Defining Women By Their Vaginas". 27 November 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  29. ^ "Cross-Post: Seven things Glee gets wrong about The First Time by Therese Shechter". 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "Boys and Sex: Why Are They Waiting Longer For Their First Time?". 24 April 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "FIRST PERSON "Real women belong on film"". 30 January 2002. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  32. ^ "Rave On: Filmmaker Therese Shechter on Woman: An Intimate Geography". 6 September 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  33. ^ "GUEST POST: Thirtysomething Sexist or Something?". 27 August 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  34. ^ "How Funders are Like Crushes and Other Sundance Morsels". 3 February 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  35. ^ "How Funders are Like Crushes and Other Sundance Morsels". 3 February 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  36. ^ "Is There a Right Way?". 1 January 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 

External links[edit]