Five incredible women from around the world, who are boldly breaking glass ceilings in the male-dominated world of orchestral conducting, take center stage in MAESTRA, filmmaker Maggie Contreras’ directorial debut.
These women gathered in Paris for ‘La Maestra’, the only competition in the world for female conductors, to show the world the singular talent that unites them and which, for far too long, has been considered the pursuit of only men. Mothers, daughters, rebels, leaders – over four days, each took to the stage to compete: a mother of young twins from Athens, determined to show her kids anything is possible; a Ukrainian doing all she can to focus on her art and the competition in front of her while Russia invades; a Polish student just starting out; a newlywed American grappling with the decision to start a family; and a French immigrant returning to the city that closed its doors to her many years ago. Personal stories of survival, passion and perseverance are woven together with the drama and excitement of this one-of-a-kind event.
The struggles and triumphs of the gifted artists in MAESTRA offer a microcosm for the challenges faced by women in every industry and in every walk of life today, while also providing valuable insights into how we may conduct ourselves as we create a new movement for a more equitable future.
Director: MAGGIE CONTRERAS
This is Maggie Contreras’ first feature as a director. She’s been a producer behind
documentary films tackling a wide range of topics, from comics to solar energy.
Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip (PBS Independent Lens ‘20) is the titular HGTV celebrity
and activist’s journey across the USA to examine the antiquated utility monopoly system
and how solar holds the key to energy freedom. In 2017, Gilbert premiered at the
Tribeca Film Festival and was distributed by Gravitas Ventures with exclusive SVOD on
Hulu. Digital series have been seen on AMC, NFL and Quibi. Her short film about the
intersection of comedy and social justice is a permanent installation in The Museum of
Tolerance in Los Angeles.
She has worked as an audiovisual producer in the area of production and post-production of audiovisual materials in independent media, civil organizations and educational institutes. She has experience working in the field with vulnerable people, particularly with indigenous communities and people from the LGBTQI+ community. Since 2018 she began collaborating with the civil association Casa de las Muñecas Tiresias, A.C., founded by the trans activist Kenya Cuevas and is currently in the development stage of his second documentary feature film.
Film Title – Maestra
Country – USA
Year – 2023
Runtime (in minutes) – 88
Language – English
Subtitles (if available) – English
Director · Dirección
Cinematography · Fotografía
Olympia Mytilinaiou, Isabelle Razavet, Neil Berkeley, Patrick Bolton
Music/Score · Música
Editor · Edición
Elisa Bonora, Finola Couling, Rupert Hall
Producers · Productores
Maggie Contreras, Neil Berkeley, Emma West, Melanie Miller, Lauren Lexton
Cast · Intérpretes
Mélisse Brunet, Tamara Dworetz, Zoe Zeniodi, Ustina Dubitsky, Anna Sułkowska-Migoń