Live from TEDWomen

12 short films by female filmmakers, played at TEDWomen 2015

Anyssa Samari finds the interstitials for TED Conferences — the short videos that run between speakers as palate-cleansers.

“It’s like a Rubik’s Cube,” she says. “There are a lot of constraints—the videos can’t be too long, they need to tell a narrative, they need to be beautiful and they need to fit the theme of the session. Sometimes, it’s giving the audience the space to breathe when they’ve just heard something hard. Other times, it’s giving a punch of energy to the session.”

For TEDWomen, another constraint was added to this list — each interstitial should be directed, produced, written by or prominently feature a woman. “I was super excited when I heard that,” says Samari. But it was a challenge: “The film world can seem very dominated by men.”

Samari researched female filmmakers and watched hundreds of videos before she presented her picks to the TEDWomen curators. Watch these 12 shorts shown during TEDWomen 2015.

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The short
: “Transforming.” A look at what would happen if nail art went three-dimensional and came to life.
The creators: Directed by Mizuki Kawano, produced by Yuna Takayama for Taiyo Kikaku Co. Ltd. (Full credit information.)
Shown during: Session 1, “Spark”

The short: “#LikeAGirl.” A look at the subtle damage done by the phrases “run like a girl” and “throw like a girl,” with a conclusion that will melt your heart.
The creators: Directed by Lauren Greenfield for Leo Burnett and Always (Full credit information.)
Shown during: Session 2, “Surface”

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The short
: “Symmetry.” A split-screen reflection on partners, parallels and balance.
The creators: Made by Daniel Mercadante and Katina Mercadante, in collaboration with Radiolab
Shown during: Session 2, “Surface”

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The short
: “Flowers.” A timelapse of beautiful petals and striking backgrounds, to a classic song.
The creators: Created by Thomas Blanchard, music by Linda Scott (Full credit information.)
Shown during: Session 3, “Seduce”

The short: “100 Years of Beauty — Episode 4: Korea.” A look at the hair, makeup and styling considered “beautiful” decade by decade through the last century in Korea — both before and after the split of North and South.
The creator: Produced, directed, and edited by Cut.com (Full credit information.)
Shown during: Session 3, “Seduce”

The short: “Sue Austin Underwater Wheelchair.” An artist shows the sense of freedom she feels in a wheelchair, by using one to dive beneath the sea and float freely among the fish. (Watch her TED Talk.)
The creators: Shot and edited by Norman Lomax, starring Sue Austin
Shown during: Session 3, “Seduce”

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The short
: “Five.”Five children of five religions in five minutes. (We edited it down for the TED stage.) It shows incredibly divergent traditions, with a deep respect.
The creator: Directed by Katina Mercadante (Full credit information.)
Shown during: Session 4, “Sustain”

The short: “UN Climate Summit Poem ‘Dear Matafele Peinem.'” A poet from the Marshall Islands performed this poem at the UN Climate Summit in 2014. Now, it’s been matched with imagery.
The creators: Directed and produced by Natalia Vega-Berry for The Global Brain, to a poem by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (Full credit information.)
Shown duringSession 4, “Sustain”

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The short
: “Save Me.” A music video shot in a white room — that becomes a magical space thanks to projection mapping.
The creators: Directed by Xavier Maingon, music by Irma (Full credit information.)
Shown duringSession 4, “Sustain”

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The short
: “The Make It Fair Project.” A hilarious video that flips normally depressing gender statistics on their head.
The creators: Written by Patricia Noonan, Nadia Quinn and Emily Tarver, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt (Full credit information.)
Shown during: Session 5, “Shift”

The short: “I Will What I Want.” Badass dancer Misty Copeland faced a lot of rejection before becoming a ballet superstar. In this video, we hear just one of her rejection letters.
The creators: Droga5 for Under Armour, starring Misty Copeland (Full credit information.)
Shown during: Session 5, “Shift”

The short: “A Very Realistic Video Game.” When Amy Schumer plays the same military video game her boyfriend does, she has a very different — not nearly as fun — experience.
The creators: Amy Schumer for Comedy Central
Shown during: Session 6, “Share”

Have a short film you think would be good for the TED stage? Send it to interstitials@ted.com.