In this special conversation, Eliza Hittman discusses the creation and themes of one of the most powerful films of the year, her Sundance-winning NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS. The film tells a deeply intimate story of a young woman wrestling with a life-altering decision that she cannot solve in her rural, conservative town. Hittman will talk about reproductive rights, working with young actresses and the state of independent cinema. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Breakthrough Director Prize from the Gotham Independent Film Awards, the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the John Cassavetes Spirit Award.


Eliza Hittman is an award-winning filmmaker, born and based in New York City. Her most recent feature Beach Rats won the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award for U.S. Dramatic Feature, for which Variety compared Hittman to “ … auteurs ranging from Claire Denis to early Lynne Ramsay.” After attending IU for undergraduate studies, Hittman received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, School of Film/Video. In 2011, Hittman’s short film Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight was included in Indiewire’s list of “the Best of the Best” at Sundance. In 2013, her debut feature film It Felt Like Love was voted one of the top 10 films at Sundance by Film Comment’s Laura Kern. Also that year, Hittman was listed as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and nominated as the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director and for the John Cassavetes Spirit Award. She has also recently been guest director on HBO’s High Maintenance.

Born in Mexico City, Mara Fortes is a researcher and a curator who holds a B.A. in Film and Media Studies from Swarthmore College and is currently a doctoral candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at The University of Chicago. She works as a curator for the Telluride Film Festival, programs for the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival (Mexico), and is the head curator at the audiovisual department “Cine más allá” of the Center for Digital Culture (Mexico). She has curated programs for Museo Reina Sofia (Spain) La Otra Bienal (Colombia), and London MexFest (UK).