2023, NR, U.S., Documentary, 88 minutes
Director: Maggie Contreras
Producers: Maggie Contreras, Neil Berkeley, Emma West, Melanie Miller, Lauren Lexton
Cast: Mélisse Brunet, Tamara Dworetz, Zoe Zeniodi, Ustina Dubitsky, Anna Sułkowska-Migoń
In the male-dominated world of orchestral conducting, five incredible women are breaking the glass ceiling and taking center stage. Filmmaker Maggie Contreras’ directorial debut follows the inspiring work of five women who gather in Paris to partake in La Maestra, the only competition in the world for female conductors.
Their stories are rich with nuance and complexity. We meet a mother of young twins from Athens, determined to show her kids anything is possible; a Ukrainian doing all she can to focus on her art and the competition in front of her while Russia invades her homeland; a Polish student just starting out; a newlywed American grappling with the decision to start a family; and a French immigrant returning to the city that closed its doors to her many years ago.
In the end, it is not only their incredible talent for conducting that shines through, but also their passion, perseverance and optimism to make the world of classical music a more inclusive space.