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Guest Post: What It’s Like to Be a Fiercely Independent Woman Film Fest Director in the Trenches

Meira Blaustein

Guest Post by Meira Blaustein

When I co-founded the Woodstock Film Festival 18 years ago I had no sense of how hard the work would be, and how immense the positive influence on so many people, near and far, it would have. When you are deep in the process of developing something that requires you to give your all, you can’t always see what’s happening outside of your immediate vision.

Eighteen years after the festival first began as a fiercely independent, artistically driven event, I can look around and see the thousands of lives that it has affected and helped: young high school students and college interns who were inspired by the festival and have gone on to successful careers in film and media, such as Amanda Warman Naseem, who started out as an assistant at the festival and today is one of the top producers at Vice; emerging filmmakers who have developed into accomplished artists in their fields, such as Leah Meyerhoff, who screened her short film “Twitch” at the festival back in 2005, and today is a feature film director who also heads the internationally known grassroots women filmmakers organization Film Fatales; community members who have discovered new passion for the power of the arts such as Jen Dragon, who was a volunteer at the festival and now runs a highly successful art gallery.

Seeing countless stories like this makes the hard work and dedication worthwhile. I suppose it’s like giving birth each year — a long and hard pregnancy period ending with a beautiful baby that gives you the courage and the energy to do it all over again.

As a woman working in a male-dominated industry, I recognize that there is much work left to do. Each year as I program the fest’s film lineup, put together the panels, and select the special honorees, I find myself looking for a gender balance that is not always easy to achieve. As such I’m proud that we have developed an official Spotlight on Women in Film and Media whereby we highlight annually the works by some of the year’s most talented and courageous women filmmakers.

This year we are showing 54 feature films, and 19 are directed by women, which puts us at a higher percentage than most festivals. Moreover, we have made a conscious effort in our programming to pay attention to issues affecting women, as well as films featuring outstanding female actors. Among the female-directed films showing this year are first-time director Lillian Lasalle’s “My Name is Pedro,” filled with engrossing twists and inspirational lessons, Hope Litoff’s “32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide,” which explores the life and death of her artist sister, and Catherine Eaton’s “The Sounding,” a narrative of a woman’s struggle to maintain her independence and find her own unique voice, also written and acted by Eaton.

The 2017 Spotlight on Women in Film and Media includes titles such as “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story,” “La Chana,” and “This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous.”

This year’s honorary Maverick Award, given for her outstanding artistry in acting and her long-standing commitment to the support of issue-driven films as a producer, will be presented to Susan Sarandon. In the past we have honored documentarian Barbara Kopple, producer Christine Vachon, director Mira Nair, and actor Ellen Barkin. In talks and events we have featured Vera Farmiga, Melissa Leo, Lucy Liu, Kyra Sedgwick, Patricia Clarkson, Parker Posey, Uma Thurman, Catherine Hardwicke, Debra Granik, Susan Seidelman, Katherine Dieckmann, Rebecca Miller, and countless others.

So while it is still a challenge to create gender balance, I’m glad that we can do our small part in tipping the scale towards equality. The more that festivals like ours offer opportunities to showcase and celebrate the outstanding works by women filmmakers, the higher the chances that those keepers of the gate in the financing and distribution universe will open their purse and greenlight female-directed projects.

The 18th annual Woodstock Film Festival runs from October 11–15. To download a pre-fest program of this year’s event click here.

Meira Blaustein is an arts entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience developing film organizations, entertainment, arts, and media events in the U.S. and globally. Blaustein is the Co-founder, Executive Director, and Head Programmer of the Woodstock Film Festival (Wff). Wff was launched in 2000 and has become one of the most respected and influential regional film festivals in the USA. Blaustein has been running it ever since its inception. As an international consultant Blaustein also co-founded and developed the Cabo International Film Festival in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The festival developed into what is now the Baja International Film Festival. A filmmaker by training, Blaustein directed, produced, and consulted on numerous feature films in various stages, from development to marketing.

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Guest Post: What It’s Like to Be a Fiercely Independent Woman Film Fest Director in the Trenches was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Initiatives Targeted at Boosting Women in Hollywood Thrive, But Can They Close Gender Gap?

Initiatives Targeted at Boosting Women in Hollywood Thrive, But Can They Close Gender Gap?
While it’s not a great time to be a woman entrenched in the Hollywood system, it is a good time to be an up-and-coming female director, writer, producer or even cinematographer trying to get her foot inside entertainment’s heavy doors.

Just look at the past several months. In June, Ava DuVernay announced that all the episodes in the second season of her series “Queen Sugar” (Own) would, as in the first season, be directed by women. In July, the Toronto Intl. Film Festival kicked off a $3 million campaign to support female filmmakers and Sundance Institute launched Catalyst Women, to connect film financiers with women artists behind Sundance Institute-supported features and documentaries. NBC followed those initiatives with Female Forward, focused on female directors among scripted series across the Peacock network.

Spearheaded by NBC president Jennifer Salke in partnership with director Lesli Linka Glatter, Female Forward will give 10 women directors the opportunity to shadow on up to
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins on Equal Pay, Hollywood Sexism and James Cameron’s Nasty Words

‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins on Equal Pay, Hollywood Sexism and James Cameron’s Nasty Words
Much like a certain Amazon goddess with a lasso, there are no heights that director Patty Jenkins can’t scale. Her blockbuster “Wonder Woman,” which has grossed a staggering $821 million worldwide since it opened in the summer, has become a rallying call for women everywhere and a beacon of empowerment in a Donald Trump-led world. Beyond all the Instagram posts of little girls decked out in “Ww” regalia while seeing the film and an endorsement from Hillary Clinton, Jenkins recently cracked another glass ceiling. She’ll be directing “Wonder Woman 2” for a reported $7 million to $9 million, a record salary for a female filmmaker.

As she negotiated the terms of her contract with Warner Bros. over several months, Jenkins was conscious of what earning a big paycheck would mean. “You’re of course aware of the money,” says Jenkins on a sunny afternoon in Los Angeles. “But I’ve never been more aware of a duty
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Telluride Horror Show 2017’s Second Wave of Programming Includes Psychopaths, Tragedy Girls, and More

  • DailyDead
Following their exciting first wave of announcements, the Telluride Horror Show has revealed its second slate of films, and they are definitely a worthy follow-up to the first wave, with the anticipated titles including Mickey Keating's Psychopaths, Tyler MacIntyre's Tragedy Girls, and many more:

Press Release: The highly anticipated second wave of films and guests, as well as special events and schedule, has been announced for the 2017 Telluride Horror Show, which will kick off on Friday the 13th of October and run through October 15th in picturesque Telluride, Colorado.

The second wave includes the World Premieres of Derelicts and Never Hike Alone (a fan tribute to Friday The 13th), as well as the U.S. Premiere of Borley Rectory and Colorado Premieres of Tragedy Girls, Desolation, Cold Hell, and Psychopaths. Fourteen additional short films have been included.

More guests have been confirmed, including directors Greg McLean (Jungle), Patrick Brice
See full article at DailyDead »

Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Molly McGlynn — “Mary Goes Round”

Mary Goes Round

Molly McGlynn is a Canadian writer and director. Her previous short films include “I Am Not a Weird Person,” “Shoes,” and “3-Way (Not Calling).” “Mary Goes Round” is her first feature film. In 2015, she was selected as a Talent Lab Resident at the Reykjavik International Film Festival and as a Samsung Tiff Emerging Director.

Mary Goes Round” will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Mm: “Mary Goes Round” is largely about overcoming alienation, both personal and familial, and the relief that comes with the acceptance. The film centers around a substance abuse counselor who returns to her childhood home after a DUI to meet her half-sister but learns that her estranged father is dying of cancer.

It’s about a woman who is forced to take care of a parent who she thinks let her down while simultaneously dealing with her personal demons for the sake of a teenage girl.

In the end, it’s about acts of love and taking care — not in the inane, vague email sign-off way but in a way that involves kindness and self-awareness. I wanted to unravel the sometimes circuitous way of viewing ourselves and assumptions about family relationships.

It sounds super heavy, but there’s a lot of humor and levity as well. Probably has something to do with Irish Catholic roots, but I find the darkest moments in are lives can also be the most morbidly funny as well.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Mm: It was one I needed to tell. I think there’s an old saying about making the film you need to before the one you should? It’s not autobiographical, but in many ways, I drew upon my experiences with self-identity and my relationship to my family. In making this film, I was able to create an alternate reality where I could creatively explore my deepest fears, regrets, and hopes that may or may not play out in real life.

Probably the most powerful moment on set for me was seeing a scene that was quite difficult for me to write emotionally and watching Aya Cash, who plays Mary, bring something that was totally hers to the performance. It is an amazing thing to see an actor take your words and transform them to something that belongs to them. There is comfort in how unoriginal the narratives of lives really are.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Mm: I want people to be moved and hopefully have laughed a bit, but maybe they will think about the parts of themselves or their history that they’ve avoided and what it would look like to confront those dark corners.

It ends on a beginning of sorts so I’d like the audience to think about beginnings. There is always time for a new one, I think.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Mm: I’d never made a feature before, so naturally it was overwhelming from a logistical and mental standpoint. The film had a very, very small budget — around a quarter of a million dollars — and the script called for about thirty locations and thirty speaking roles. With a team of absolute heroes behind me, we got it done.

Second to the logistical stuff, it can be overwhelming as a first-time director. I just kind of told myself I can do it and put one foot in front of the other until it was done. Fear is a powerful motivator but can really inhibit you once you’re in it.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Mm: Telefilm Canada has a Microbudget Programme supported by the Talent Fund that awards emerging filmmakers from certain accredited institutions — in my case, the Canadian Film Centre — with a grant to make their first feature. Additionally, we were supported by the Harold Greenberg Fund both in development and production. I also had additional investment from Wildling Pictures, the production company that produced the film. Yay, Canada!

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the Toronto International Film Festival?

Mm: It was my absolute goal and dream to premiere here. About ten years ago, I started out as an intern before leaving to pursue my own work in a roundabout way, and there is no way I thought I’d be on this side of things. And here we are. Coincidentally, in my backyard.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Mm: Best advice: I went to a Film Fatales talk with Catherine Hardwicke last year and she said that whenever she does a big group scene, she writes out seating cards beforehand to save time. It’s a little thing that I think people can appreciate and keeps everyone moving. You easily alleviate cast and crew asking you multiple times where people are.

Worst advice: “It’s probably fine.” Whenever anyone says that, including myself, I have to take a second look. The devil is in the details.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Mm: I’m still learning, so I give the following advice to myself as well. Be a director in a way that makes sense to you. Drop the need to “perform” director. Everyone has shown up and is waiting for you to tell them what to do so find a way to make them want to do their best. For me, that means treating people with respect and apologizing when you’re wrong.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Mm: Gah! So many. Most recently, Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann.” It was so singularly bold, original, and no one could have done it but her. I don’t know if I would ever make a film like that, but I have so much respect for Ade and was moved deeply by it. Deepa Mehta’s “Water” and Jane Campion’s “The Piano” are two of the most beautifully directed movies I’ve ever seen. Last Tiff, I watched Houda Benyamina’s “Divines” and I thought it was so tender and impactful.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Mm: Personally, I have been given a huge amount of opportunity lately — largely from projects helmed by women — so I feel very optimistic. So much has been eloquently said on this matter, but I feel like the best thing I can do is just be the best director I can be so that other people don’t see hiring a woman as a risk. A good example is Ava DuVernay hiring all these women on her series “Queen Sugar” with the philosophy that she cannot be the sole change. It’s her job to help bring other women up with her. I think that is the most powerful and useful way to make real, meaningful change.

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Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Molly McGlynn — “Mary Goes Round” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

“Wonder Woman” Is Now the Top Female-Helmed Film at the Domestic Box Office

Wonder Woman”: Warner Bros.

Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” can add another accomplishment to its ever-growing list of milestones. As you might have heard, the superheroine pic surpassed the $400 million mark at the domestic global box office last week. As of yesterday, that number climbed to $402.2 million, per Box Office Mojo. In domestic earnings, that makes “Wonder Woman” the highest-earning film from a female director. “Frozen,” co-directed by Jennifer Lee, previously held the title with its $400.7 million domestic take.

Internationally, “Wonder Woman” has earned $797 million so far, trailing “Frozen’s” $1.28 billion. However, the film has surpassed “Kung Fu Panda 2's” $665.7 million global earnings. That means that Jenkins is now the top-grossing solo female director at the international box office, ousting “Kung Fu Panda 2's” Jennifer Yuh Nelson.

All this is in addition to the film’s numerous other achievements. Only a few weeks after its June 2 opening, “Wonder Woman” became the highest-grossing live-action film from a female director. Before that, Jenkins became the record-holder for the highest domestic opening for a woman director — topping the $85.1 million opening of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” in 2015 and the $69.6 million debut of Catherine Hardwicke’s “Twilight” in 2008.

Ten weeks into its theatrical run, “Wonder Woman” is still in the top 2o domestic films. It was the top-earner during its first two weekends in theaters and placed second in its two subsequent weekends. One of the reasons for its box office longevity? Women and moviegoers over age 50.

Wonder Woman’s” latest win can only bolster Warner Bros.’ Oscar campaign for the Gal Gadot-starrer. The studio has its sights set on “Wonder Woman” becoming the first comic-book film to receive a nod for Best Picture. Warner Bros. is also pushing for Jenkins to become the first director of a comic book movie to receive a nomination. No female directors have been nominated for Best Director since Kathryn Bigelow won for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010. She’s the first and only woman to ever take home the prize.

Wonder Woman” Is Now the Top Female-Helmed Film at the Domestic Box Office was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

The Top Five Catherine Hardwicke Directed Films

Helen Catherine Hardwicke, known professionally as Catherine Hardwicke, is a well-known American director, screenwriter and producer. She was born in Cameron, Texas, on October 21, 1955. She grew up on a farm in McAllen on the Mexico border and didn’t watch movies while she was growing up. She got a degree in architecture from the University of Texas, Austin. However, she didn’t feel that a career in architecture made the most of her creative talents, so she moved to Los Angeles to study at UCLA film school. Her career in the film industry didn’t begin until around 1986 when she

The Top Five Catherine Hardwicke Directed Films
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Ucp Expanding Development Slate w/ Dan Harmon, The Raven Cycle & more

  • Comicmix
Universal Cable Productions Announces Key Projects Expanding Award-winning Studio’S Distinguished Genre Development Slate

Notable Projects Include:

Maggie Stiefvater’s New York Times Bestselling Series “The Raven Cycle” With Andrew Miller (“The Secret Circle”), Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) And Michael London of Groundswell Productions (“The Magicians”)

Hugh Howey’s Renowned Post-Apocalyptic Series “Sand” With Gary Whitta (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”), Marc Forster (“World War Z”) And Imperative Entertainment

“Sirens of Titan” With Dan Harmon (“Rick & Morty”) and Evan Katz (“Small Crimes”)

Announces Evan Spiliotopoulos (“Beauty and the Beast”)

To Write Highly Anticipated “Welcome to Hitchcock” Series

Options Iconic Hugo Award-Winning Science Fantasy Novel “Lord of Light”

Universal City, CA- July 18, 2017– As the annual gathering of TV and comic’s most loyal fans at San Diego’s Comic-Con International 2017 kicks offtomorrow, Universal Cable Productions (Ucp) unveiled today its annual genre development slate of notable projects for TV. The studio
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Universal Cable Productions Expands Genre TV Slate With ‘The Raven Cycle,’ ‘Sand’ & More

Universal Cable Productions unveiled its genre development slate today that features four new projects involving names including Gary Whitta, Marc Forster, Dan Harmon and Catherine Hardwicke. In addition to the four titles, Ucp also said its already-in-development series Welcome to Hitchcock — contemporary retellings of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic tales — will be penned by Beauty and the Beast scribe Evan Spiliotopoulos. The new projects include an adaptation of Maggie…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Universal Cable Developing Series With Catherine Hardwicke, Dan Harmon

Universal Cable Developing Series With Catherine Hardwicke, Dan Harmon
Universal Cable Productions (UCP) has unveiled its annual development slate, with this year’s projects including potential series from “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke and “Rick & Morty” co-creator Dan Harmon.

Hardwicke will executive produce an adaptation of the best-selling book series “The Raven Cycle” by author Maggie Stiefvater for Syfy. Based on the four urban fantasy novels of the same name, “The Raven Cycle” tells the story of seventeen year old Blue Sargent who becomes involved with a group of four privileged private school boys on a quest to find a source of mythical and mysterious power hidden deep in rural Virginia. Michael London of Groundswell Productions will executive produce alongside showrunner and writer Andrew Miller. Stiefvater will serve as co-executive producer. Hardwicke is also attached to direct the pilot.

Ucp is also working on an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Sirens of Titan” with Harmon and Evan Katz. The story follows Malachi Constant, the
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Scarface’: Why the Studio Should Give Up On This Troubled Remake

  • Indiewire
‘Scarface’: Why the Studio Should Give Up On This Troubled Remake
With the recent news that David Ayer has dropped out of the latest attempt to remake “Scarface,” IndieWire’s editors traded emails on whether or not this troubled project is worth the effort at all.

Anne Thompson: Over the past decade, the studios have become accustomed to booking release dates before they even have a final script. This creates a rushed urgency to move forward, even when a movie is far from ready. Catherine Hardwicke, after the first “Twilight” had soared to the highest opening ever for a female filmmaker, wasn’t immediately ready to throw herself back into the fray with the second “Twilight.” She wanted more time to nurture the follow-up. So Summit Entertainment left her behind. And the end result a year later, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” directed by Chris Weitz, was arguably the weakest of the franchise.

Examples abound, but clearly Universal is in a
See full article at Indiewire »

The 25 Best Romances of the 21st Century, From ‘Carol’ to ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’

The 25 Best Romances of the 21st Century, From ‘Carol’ to ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’
Eat your heart out, moviegoers. Everyone loves a good love story whether they admit it or not, and the 21st century has brought us more than a few couples worth rooting for: Clementine and Joel, Ennis and Jack, Joaquin and his computer. Often these unions are unconventional or hidden in the guise of something more high-concept — straightforward romances are so 20th century — but at the end of the day, we all want to see a happy ending for our smitten lovers.

Our list goes all over the map, from the mainstream maestro Nancy Meyers to international masters like Wong Kar-Wai. Some were blockbuster hits (“Twilight,” “The Proposal”); others have hardly been seen stateside at all (Lee Chang-dong’s 2002 “Oasis”). However, all of them illustrate some essential element of love, from falling to longing and all the sticky bits in between.

While the zeitgeist has skewed toward the melancholy, that’s
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

The 25 Best Romances of the 21st Century, From ‘Carol’ to ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’

  • Indiewire
The 25 Best Romances of the 21st Century, From ‘Carol’ to ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’
Eat your heart out, moviegoers. Everyone loves a good love story whether they admit it or not, and the 21st century has brought us more than a few couples worth rooting for: Clementine and Joel, Ennis and Jack, Joaquin and his computer. Often these unions are unconventional or hidden in the guise of something more high-concept — straightforward romances are so 20th century — but at the end of the day, we all want to see a happy ending for our smitten lovers.

Our list goes all over the map, from the mainstream maestro Nancy Meyers to international masters like Wong Kar-Wai. Some were blockbuster hits (“Twilight,” “The Proposal”); others have hardly been seen stateside at all (Lee Chang-dong’s 2002 “Oasis”). However, all of them illustrate some essential element of love, from falling to longing and all the sticky bits in between.

While the zeitgeist has skewed toward the melancholy, that’s
See full article at Indiewire »

17 Highest-Grossing Movies Directed by Women, From ‘Mamma Mia!’ to ‘Wonder Woman’ (Photos)

  • The Wrap
17 Highest-Grossing Movies Directed by Women, From ‘Mamma Mia!’ to ‘Wonder Woman’ (Photos)
Take a look at which films directed by women are on this list, unadjusted for inflation. 1. “Frozen” (2013) Directors: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck Domestic gross: $400.7 million 2. “Wonder Woman” (2017) Director: Patty Jenkins Domestic gross: $285.3 million 3. “Shrek” (2001) Directors: Vicky Jenson, Andrew Adamson Domestic gross: $267.7 million 4. Brave” (2012”) Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman Domestic gross: $237.3 million 5. “Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” (2009) Director: Betty Thomas Domestic gross: $219.6 million 6. “Twilight” (2008) Director: Catherine Hardwicke Domestic gross: $192.8 million 7. “Pitch Perfect 2” (2015) Director: Elizabeth Banks Domestic gross: $183.8 million 8. “What Women Want” (2000) Director: Nancy Meyers Domestic gross: $182.8 million 9. “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015) Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson Domestic gross: $166.1 million 10. “Kung...
See full article at The Wrap »

New York Approves $5 Million in Incentives to Hire Women, Minorities as TV Writers and Directors

New York Approves $5 Million in Incentives to Hire Women, Minorities as TV Writers and Directors
The New York state legislature passed a new law on Wednesday allocating up to $5 million in new tax incentives to encourage the hiring of women and people of color as TV writers and directors. The bill, introduced by Senator Marisol Alcantara and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, would introduce a new incentive separate from the state’s existing $420 million allocation for TV and film tax credits. The legislation, which awaits the signature of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, had the backing of the DGA and Writers Guild of America, East. Also Read: Catherine Hardwicke Says 'Time Is Now' to Fix Hollywood's Gender Disparity (Exclusive.
See full article at The Wrap »

Catherine Hardwicke Says ‘Time Is Now’ to Fix Hollywood’s Gender Disparity (Exclusive Video)

  • The Wrap
Catherine Hardwicke Says ‘Time Is Now’ to Fix Hollywood’s Gender Disparity (Exclusive Video)
Catherine Hardwicke is a successful film director and screenwriter, best known for “Twilight” and “Thirteen,” but she still believes that women aren’t afford enough opportunities in “every single business” across the board — a problem that’s become a hot topic in Hollywood. “The time is now to really try to change the gender balance and the equations out there,” Hardwicke said in a video to launch a new blog for We Do It Together, a nonprofit that is dedicated to financing and producing female-driven films, TV and other forms of media. “Everybody is excited about embracing the future, making movies look more.
See full article at The Wrap »

Success of ‘Wonder Woman’ Could Pave Way for More Female Directors

Success of ‘Wonder Woman’ Could Pave Way for More Female Directors
The critical and commercial success of “Wonder Woman,” the first female superhero movie directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins, could be the catalyst that turns the tide for female directors angling to helm major studio films. Keeping the momentum going, however, will be a big challenge.

Although summer looks to be a strong season for women directors, nearly halfway into the year just a handful of female-led films have been announced by the majors. At this juncture, Sony Pictures has more movies helmed by women in its lineup than its competitors. Warner Bros. and Paramount, have not yet unveiled any new women-led films so far this year, and both declined to name projects in the works.

Overall, the studios say they’re working to hire more women as directors, but they have lots of ground to cover to even begin approaching parity. In 2016, men made up more than 90% of directors
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Women in Cannes

Women in Cannes
Anna Serner, Filminstitutet. Foto: Fredrik Sandberg/ScanpixAnna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute (Sfi) has been leading the way for gender equality on a global scale for at least the past five years and has become a sort of godmother to all the woman striving and thriving in Cannes.

She not only encouraged the collection of statistics of women filmmakers in Sweden and abroad which could then be used to calculate public funding to create parity but as been the preeminent global lobbyist. In 2016, 64% of the Sfi’s production funding when to female directors which means that from 2013–2016, Sfi funding was 50% female and 50% male. In 2017 the Sfi funding is expecte to be 40% for female directors.

50/50 by 2020 — Global Reach was held in Cannes for the second year, hosted by Sfi, Wift Nordic and the Marche and included talk with such filmmakers a Agnieszka Holland and Jessica Hausner, a presentation by
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

“Wonder Woman” Director Patty Jenkins Makes History

Patty Jenkins: THR News/YouTube

By now you know that “Wonder Woman” kicked ass at the box office. But here’s the cherry on top of the sundae: “Wonder Woman” helmer Patty Jenkins now holds the record for highest domestic opening for a female director. Diana Prince’s origin story raked in $100.5 million this weekend, topping the $85.1 million opening of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” in 2015 and the $69.6 million debut of Catherine Hardwicke’s “Twilight” in 2008.

Jenkins’ film also out-performed the highest-opening animated films helmed by women. “Frozen,” Jennifer Lee’s retelling of “The Snow Queen,” opened to $67.3 million in 2013. Brenda Chapman’s “Brave” opened with $66.3 million and Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s “Kung Fu Panda 2” debuted to $47.6 million. The latter two both hit theaters in 2011.

While Jenkins is only the second woman to helm a live-action film with a budget of $100 million or more — Kathryn Bigelow was the first with 2002’s “K:19: The Widowmaker” — the success of “Wonder Woman” sets an optimistic precedent for upcoming big budget projects from women. Two projects with $100 million budgets will open in 2018: Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” and Niki Caro’s “Mulan.” In fact, as the first film of its size to be directed by a woman of color, “A Wrinkle in Time” has already cemented itself as a milestone for female filmmakers. Brie Larson-starrer “Captain Marvel,” co-directed by Anna Boden, will open in 2019. And news recently broke that Gina Prince-Bythewood will helm Marvel’s “Silver Sable and Black Cat.”

It’s likely that Jenkins and “Wonder Woman” will only continue to break records throughout the movie’s theatrical run. It is sure to be 2017's top-grossing movie directed by a woman. And, considering the opening numbers and the positive critical response, a sequel revolving around Diana Prince is all but guaranteed. Jenkins and star Gal Gadot are contractually bound to a second “Wonder Woman” film and the director “is more than ready to return to the character for a contemporary-set” installment, The Hollywood Reporter writes. It’s probable that Jenkins will best herself and make history again in the next few years as the first woman to direct a sequel (to her own movie) with a budget of over $100 million.

Wonder Woman” Director Patty Jenkins Makes History was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

How ‘Wonder Woman’ Shattered Box Office Records

How ‘Wonder Woman’ Shattered Box Office Records
Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.) starring Gal Gadot dominated the weekend box office with a $100-million record performance that drew media hoopla as the best-ever female-directed wide release. But that achievement is not the only news out of the weekend Top Ten box office. D.C Comics’ newest entry soared on multiple levels — see below — but DreamWorks Animation’s “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” (20th Century Fox) also exceeded expectations.

But one week alone won’t set the summer box office to rights. Neither of last week’s weak openers, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (Disney) and “Baywatch” (Paramount), will have box-office legs. And the five holdovers in the bottom half of the Top Ten took in a miserable $11 million altogether.

The Top Ten

1. Wonder Woman (Warner Bros.) New – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 76; Est. budget: $249 million

$100,505,000 in 4,165 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $24,131; Cumulative: $100,505,000

2. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
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