Balkan Dox

Terra Femme

United States
2021 — 62 min / Colour



“What does the narrative of exploration offer women?” This question has framed Courtney Stephens’s study of women’s amateur travelogues, which comes to fruition, following live lecture-performances, in this long-awaited film. Composed entirely of archival material and home movies from the 1920s to the 1940s, Terra Femme explores the emancipatory power women found in newly available personal cameras, and the association this self-expression had with gender roles, the rise of a leisured, white middle class, and imperialism.

Official Trailer

Directors' Biography

Courtney Stephens is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her non-fiction and experimental films address the contours of language, historical memory, and women's lives. Her work has been exhibited at the Berlinale, the Museum of Modern Art, New York Film Festival, AFI Fest, South by Southwest, Art of the Real, The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Hong Kong, Camden, Mumbai, Luxembourg, Dhaka, and San Francisco International Film Festivals. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a California Humanities Grant, fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Pocantico, and the Sloan Foundation, and was one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film. A graduate of the American Film Institute, she co-founded the Los Angeles microcinema Veggie Cloud and has curated film programs for The Getty, Museum of the Moving Image, Union Docs, and Flaherty NYC.

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Courtney Stephens


Courtney Stephens

Screenings & Awards

Doc Fortnight, MoMA NY, United States, 2021