I am so thankful to all of the film community for helping me grow my blog and making my voice heard. I want to give back to that community and let their voices be heard as well, which is why every month I will be posting an edition of Film Critics Showcase. Every month, I will share one podcast and blog that I love, and let the hosts and critics of those platforms speak and share their love for film. I adore both of the selections for this month, so please go and check them out after reading this post.


Blog: In Their Own League (run by Bianca Garner)

What is your website about?
In Their Own League is a film site dedicated to women in film and other underrepresented individuals working in film. We aim to focus on topics such as female and LGBTQ representation in cinema, as well as offer a platform for many writers from a wide background regardless of their gender. We try to cover the wide releases as well as independent and world cinema. For us, we like to focus on making a change in the industry and also bring attention to the lack of representation on the big screen.

Why did you create your website?
Originally I set out to create a podcast that would focus on just female filmmakers, but I realised that there's not really a site like ITOL and site that do focus on female filmmakers often exclude male writers and their POV, and there's a lack of focus on transgender and non-binary filmmakers. I wanted to offer a space for all writers to express their passion for film and would like to include everyone, not just female film critics. I decided on the name "In Their Own League" as a homage to the film "In a League of their Own" but didn't want to call it In Her Own League as that seemed to exclude Non-binary, transgender, queer gender individuals so ITOL was created. What sets us all apart is that we are all unique in our own ways, and what brings us together is our shared passion for film.

What has been your favourite post you have released so far and why?
I think Caz Armstrong's editorial piece "The Backlash Against Calls for Better Gender Representation On Screen"  really captured what ITOL is about and what we stand for. It was a personal essay from Caz that focused on an issue close to her heart. We were able to offer her a place where she could express her frustrations and also start a discussion about an issue that is often ignored by the mainstream media. I didn't agree with all of Caz's points but it was interesting to see what she had observed and refreshing to have a female perspective on gender representation, especially seeing how film criticism is still dominated by male critics. I love reading everyone's reviews and articles even if I don't necessarily agree with their take on a certain film, their passion really shines through. 

How important is it to you to interact with fellow film fans on social media?
I think it's very important as it shows a level of respect. It also helps to know how other people respond to a film, especially those who are from different backgrounds, social classes or cultures. What is wonderful about film and social media is its power to bring people together from across the globe. It's thanks to Twitter that I made some wonderful friends who I might have never known if it wasn't for social media.

What is your favourite film of all time and why?
I have so many favourite films that it's hard to pick just one. I think my fall back film would be "Phantom Thread" because I think the film is beautifully filmed and acted.

Who is one other blogger or podcast you love and want to share the love to?
I really love Piecing It Together Podcast, David Rosen has created such a unique format for the podcast and I love the idea of breaking down a film to see what other films may have influenced it. As a film graduate, I love studying the history of cinema and to see how certain filmmakers pay homage to the works of prior filmmakers who have come before them.

And finally, where can people find your content?

You can find us at intheirownleague.com or over at Twitter @theirleague. We also have our own podcast which you can find on iTunes


Podcast: InSession Film Podcast (Run by JD Duran)

What is your podcast about?
We are cinephiles who love the discussion of art. Regardless of genre or type, we analyze film in a way that is open-minded, though provoking and (hopefully) entertaining. We feature full-length reviews, small discussions, top 3 lists and much more. We have a great time and hope that you enjoy the journey as much as we do.

Why did you create your podcast?
We were desperate for a platform to create a conversation among ourselves, aside from drunken bar conversations that lasted until 3am. We figured that if we recorded it, perhaps someone out there would enjoy it like we do.

What has been your favourite episode you have released so far and why?
Wow, this is tough. Perhaps the episode where we invited Adam Kempenaar from Filmspotting to join us for our "Best of the Decade so far" discussion back in 2015. He is a big inspiration to us, so it was massive to get him on the show and we had a ball talking about some great films we admire deeply.

How important is it to you to interact with fellow film fans on social media?
Very important. Fans are the lifeblood of any podcast. Without them, the show stops. So interacting with them is vital and we go out of our way to make sure we do every single day.

What is your favourite film of all time and why?
Citizen Kane. Yeah, yeah, it's the "easy" answer or maybe the "boring" answer. But I don't think it's just because of the film's technicalities and how advanced they were for the time. Orsen Welles' direction is masterful, but what I love about that film is its emotional underbelly, and that is surprisingly not talked about enough. At the heart of Citizen Kane is a man yearning for childhood. He builds wealth, has access to women, and any luxury you could think of, and none of that is enough. And the sad tragedy of it all is that by the time he realized what he wanted, it was too late. It's a film that suggests how intimately tied we are to the innocence and free-spirit of childhood, whether we realize it or not. And I found that profoundly moving in Citizen Kane.

Who is one other blogger or podcast you love and want to share the love to?
Matt Neglia and Next Best Picture are basically family to us.

And finally, where can people find your content?

Thank you once again for Bianca and JD for taking part in this first edition, please make sure to go and give them some support for all of the work that they do.

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