Best of TIFF Reunions: GIRLFRIENDS (2020)

  • Best of TIFF Reunions
  • 30min

Director Claudia Weill and and star Melanie Mayron reunite to discuss the first-ever TIFF People’s Choice Award winner, charting the lives, careers, and friendship of two women in New York.

This event can be viewed on Bell Digital Cinema September 10–19, or you can tune in to TIFF’s Facebook and Twitter for the free livestream on September 11 at 1pm.

Take a look at the TIFF People’s Choice collection on Crave for other past winners.

In a 1980 interview, Stanley Kubrick called first-time feature-film director Claudia Weill’s low-budget indie “one of the very rare American films that I would compare with the serious, intelligent, sensitive writing and filmmaking that you find in the best directors in Europe.” Kubrick’s high praise was fully deserved: Girlfriends is a minor-key marvel — funny, painful, and affecting, and often all at once.

The girlfriends of the title are New York City photographer Susan (Melanie Mayron), who supports herself shooting weddings while trying to get her work into galleries, and her roommate and best friend Anne (Anita Skinner), an aspiring writer who slowly shucks her artistic dreams (and Susan) when she moves in with her boyfriend (Bob Balaban) and settles into marriage and motherhood. Feeling abandoned by Anne and frustrated by the constant professional rejection she experiences, Susan keeps plugging away, accidentally acquiring a boyfriend (Christopher Guest) even as she determinedly maintains her independence.

Recently revived and celebrated by such champions as actor, writer, and author Illeana Douglas and Girls creator Lena Dunham, Girlfriends was way ahead of its time and is considered one of the most influential onscreen representations of friendship between women. Forty-two years after their film won the Festival’s first-ever people’s choice award, we are thrilled to welcome Girlfriends director Claudia Weill and and star Melanie Mayron to discuss their collaboration on this unjustly underrated masterpiece.

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