Well folks, as the year officially draws to a close, and we begin to focus on 2018 and celebrate awards season, I have to share that one of the most compelling films I’ve seen in is a documentary feature directed by Alexandra Dean called “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” which premiered in Los Angeles at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE as the opening night film for Sloan Film Summit 2017, co-presented by Film Independent.
Bombshell tells the little known true story of a woman ahead of her time. The 1940’s actress Hedy Lamarr, once known as the “most beautiful woman in the world” she acted by day and drew mechanical and electronic inventions by night. Lamarr ultimately invented a “secret communication system” to help the allies beat the Nazis, for which she received no credit.
Bombshell is executive produced by Susan Sarandon, Michael Kantor and Regina K. Scully for their newly formed Production Company Reframed Pictures, and received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The film recalls how Lamarr, along with composer George Antheil, developed a key “frequency hopping” innovation that led to future advances like cell phones and Wi-Fi. This is an inspirational story for women’s empowerment, but also sad because her work as an inventor was never recognized, nor was Lamarr compensated.
Following the film there was a panel discussion about “Women in Science and Film” moderated by Jen Yamato of the L.A. Times featuring actress Diane Kruger (producer/star of the upcoming Hedy Lamarr television mini-series) Tracy Drain (Flight Systems Engineer, Jet Propulsions Lab) and Danijela Cabric (Associate Professor, UCLA Electrical and Computer Engineering.)
The Sloan Film Summit brought together partners at the three day Triennial summit in L.A. The VP and Program Director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Doron Weber, was present for screenings, panels and discussions held downtown at The Japanese American National Museum. I attended the keynote address by producer Lydia Dean Pilcher, who has made such films as The Queen of Katwe and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Pilcher presented a coming attractions clip of her Sloan supported film with Ginny Mohler called Radium Girls. She discussed the challenges of producing female driven projects about “stories that weren’t being told” and how “content is king.”
The Sloan Film Summit was an informative and thought provoking experience about the power of storytelling.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Film Program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and compelling stories about scientists, science and technology. For more information visit Sloan.org.
Live your dreams…
Katharine “Kat” Kramer is an actress and daughter of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kramer and actress Karen Sharpe-Kramer. She was named after her godmother, iconic actress Katharine Hepburn. For information on Kramer’s current projects visit KatKramersFilmsThatChangeTheWorld.com.