Chopra will be speaking about her new memoir, Lady Director: Adventures in Hollywood, Television and Beyond, which will be released by City Lights in early November.
A conversation with filmmaker and UVA professor Paul Wagner will follow. This in-person event will be free to attend and open to the public.
In this engaging, candid memoir, Chopra describes how she learned to navigate the deeply embedded sexism of the film industry, helping to pave the way for a generation of women filmmakers who would come after her.
She shares stories of her bruising encounters with Harvey Weinstein and Sydney Pollack and her experience directing Diane Keaton, Treat Williams, and a host of other actors, as well as her deep friendships with Gene Wilder, Arthur Miller and Laura Dern.
Along with the successes and failures of her career, she provides an intimate view of a woman’s struggle to balance the responsibilities and rewards of motherhood and marriage with a steadfast commitment to personal creative achievement. During a career spanning six decades, Chopra has worked through monumental shifts in her craft and in the culture at large, and the span of her life story offers a view into the implacable momentum of the push for all women’s liberation.
Chopra has directed a wide range of award-winning films, ranging from Smooth Talk, winner of the grand jury prize for best dramatic feature at the Sundance Film Festival and starring Laura Dern, to the thriller The Lady in Question, with Gene Wilder. Her numerous documentaries have appeared on PBS and have been the recipient of Cine Golden Eagles and American Film Festival Awards. Her groundbreaking documentary Joyce at 34 is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Moderator Paul Wagner is an Academy and Emmy Award–winning filmmaker, whose films have premiered at the Sundance, Toronto, Telluride and Rotterdam film festivals and have been broadcast widely on PBS. His documentaries include Miles of Smiles/Years of Struggle, about the Pullman porters who formed America’s first Black labor union, and Out of Ireland, the story of Irish emigration to America, featuring Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne. Paul’s dramatic feature Windhorse, filmed secretly in Tibet, won best American feature at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. He is currently producing a feature documentary about the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe.
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