Nora Lee Mandel is a member of New York Film Critics Online. After high school weekends spent learning film history at NY’s Museum of Modern Art, she studied film criticism at New York University. In addition to many years of writing for national and New York City organizations in the arts, education, history, and city planning, her reviews of documentaries, independent, and foreign-language films, books, television, exhibitions, and music have also appeared in such outlets as:, FilmFestival Traveler and Lilith Magazine, the independent Jewish feminist quarterly. Her ongoing Critical Guide to Jewish Women in Movies, TV, and Pop Music has been the basis for her talks around the New York region.

Currently Browsing: Nora Lee Mandel

‘Varda’ tribute leads women directors at 2019 NY Film Festival

For 57 years, New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center has been U.S. flagship of “auteur” cinema.  Writer/directors who dominate their films were presumed male – with the exception of Belgian-born Agnès Varda.  Every decade, the Festival selected a film by her. She died March 29 at age 90. In tribute, the September 27 – October 13 Festival was dedicated to her memory, and an enamel pin of her visage quickly sold out.  read more.


Women direct intensely personal autobiographies, portraits at HRWF

Women directed/co-directed more than half the films (seven of 13) in the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, at New York City’s Lincoln Center and IFC Center, June 14–20.  They were intensely personal autobiographies and portraits.  In 30th Anniversary trailer, past participating director Pamela Yates admires that the Fest “is not just about denunciation and exposure, but also about finding a way forward.” read more.


Ephron Award Winner Sets Notable Firsts for Female Director

Rania Attieh won the 7th Annual Nora Ephron Award, with $25,000 prize, at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival for her World Premiere Initials S.G.  Hers is the first win for: co-writer & director (her fourth feature film collaboration with Daniel Garcia); Lebanese-born; film shot in South America (Argentina); male lead; and exudes more.


Films by women directors are few, but memorable at NYFF

The New York Film Festival of the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) sets the standard for the best arthouse films in the U.S.  The 56th annual festival opened September 28, 2018, and ran through October 14.  This year’s included a modest number of women directors, but, as Ruth Gordon wrote in the classic Pat and Mike, they were “cherce:”

Womens’ empathy wins majority vote at Human Rights Watch Fest

 In this 29th year, an impressive 12 of the 15 features were the moving and illuminating work of female filmmakers; 11 documentaries and one autobiographical fiction.  Each film screened twice between June 14-21, 2018, at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the IFC Center.

Nora Ephron Award Shines a Spotlight on Women Filmmakers at 2018 Tribeca Film Festival

Manhattan’s 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival (April 18 – April 29) touted that 46 percent of the feature films in 2018 were directed by women (including special one-time screenings), the highest percentage in the festival’s history. The anticipated centerpiece for us at FF2 Media each year is the Nora Ephron Award which “recognizes a woman who embodies the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron.”