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How Refinery29’s Female Filmmaker-Focused Shatterbox Shorts Are Creating the Next Generation of Auteurs

How Refinery29’s Female Filmmaker-Focused Shatterbox Shorts Are Creating the Next Generation of Auteurs
Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present, and future.

When the popular women-focused lifestyle website Refinery29 began to build out its original video assets, they hit a stumbling block: they wanted more women creators to make their projects, but they couldn’t seem to find them through traditional means.

“We were building so many things simultaneously,” Chief Content Officer Amy Emmerich recently explained to IndieWire. “And having such a tough time finding women directors and hearing what the agents would say to us, like, ‘We don’t have someone who is a comedy director for you,’ or ‘There aren’t that many,’ and we kind of looked at each other, like, ‘What the hell is happening?'”

For a female-focused business, that idea just wasn’t tenable, and Emmerich and scripted programming executive producer Shannon Gibson set out to launch their own program aimed at female creators.
See full article at Indiewire »

7 Essential Debut Films Directed By Female Filmmakers, From ‘Ratcatcher’ to ‘The Virgin Suicides’

7 Essential Debut Films Directed By Female Filmmakers, From ‘Ratcatcher’ to ‘The Virgin Suicides’
When Greta Gerwig’s already-lauded “Lady Bird” hits limited release later this week, the actress-writer-director will join a long line of other female filmmakers who used their directorial debut (this one is Gerwig’s solo directorial debut, just for clarity’s sake) to not only launch their careers, but make a huge mark while doing it. Gerwig’s Saoirse Ronan-starring coming-of-age tale is an instant classic, and one that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has enjoyed Gerwig’s charming work as a screenwriter in recent years, bolstered by her ear for dialogue and her love of complicated and complex leading ladies.

While Hollywood still lags when it comes to offering up opportunities to its most talented female filmmakers, many of them have overcome the dismal stats to deliver compelling, interesting, and unique first features. In short, they’re good filmmakers who made good movies,
See full article at Indiewire »

Fear The Walking Dead season 3 episode 13 review: This Land Is Your Land

David S.E. Zapanta Oct 2, 2017

Fear The Walking Dead delivers a strong episode that gives The Walking Dead a serious run for its money...

This review contains spoilers.

See related Denis Villeneuve interview: Sicario, Kurosawa, sci-fi, ugly poetry Dune reboot: Denis Villeneuve confirmed to direct

3.13 This Land Is Your Land

Well, it was only a matter of time before the ranch fell, but did anyone expect it to happen quite in this fashion, or so soon before the end of the season? Still, Jeremiah Otto’s legacy doesn’t go out with a whimper—resulting in one of the strongest episodes of the season, if not the entire show itself. A couple of minor points bog things down here or there, but overall, This Land Is Your Land vaults Fear The Walking Dead onto the same level as The Walking Dead. And a lot of the credit for this goes
See full article at Den of Geek »

Vancouver Film: "Skyscraper", "Siren", "Colony"

  • SneakPeek
From VancouverFilm.Net, here is the Vancouver Film Production Update for October 2017 including "Skyscraper", "Siren", "Colony" and a whole lot more:

Features:

A Dogs Way Home

Local Production Company: Singularity Productions

Director: Charles Martin Smith

Producer: Gavin Polone

Oct 16/17 - Dec 15/17

Eggplant Emoji

Local Production Company: Eggplant Productions

Director: Jake Szymanski

Producer: Ross Dinerstein

Aug 21/17 - Oct 05/17

Elsewhere

Local Production Company: Elsewhere Productions

Director: Hernan Jimenez Garcia

Sep 11/17 - Oct 11/17

Nicole

Local Production Company: True Meaning Productions

Director: Marc Lawrence

Oct 23/17 - Jan 19/18

Skyscraper

Local Production Company: Main Mast Production - Can, Inc

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurter

Aug 14/17 - Nov 17/17

Untitled Robert Zemeckis Project

Local Production Company: Stiletto Cinema Partners

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Producer: Robert Zemeckis, Cherylanne Martin

Aug 11/17 - Oct 19/17

TV Series:

A Series Of Unfortunate Events ~ Season 2

Local Production Company: Olaf II Productions Inc

Director: Loni Peristere, Allan Arkush

Apr 17/17 - Apr 20/18

Arrow - Season 6

Local Production Company:
See full article at SneakPeek »

17 Films By and About Women to Check Out at Tiff 2017

Unicorn Store

The 42nd edition of the Toronto International Film Festival will kick off in just two days, and as always, there is an overwhelming amount of amazing-sounding films screening at the fest. We’ve collected some of the titles by and about women that have us most excited. This list is by no means exhaustive — there are plenty of other films written, directed, and about women in the program. These are just some of the highlights, which include directorial debuts, Oscar hopefuls, and more.

Tiff runs from September 7–17. Be sure to check out our interviews with women directors screening films at the fest, which will start rolling out today.

All summaries and images courtesy of Tiff.

Lady Bird” — Written and Directed by Greta Gerwig

What it’s about: A rebellious young woman (Saoirse Ronan) navigates the pressures and constraints of Catholic school and life in Sacramento.

Why we’re interested: Loosely based on writer-director Greta Gerwig’s own experiences, “Lady Bird” marks her solo directorial debut. She previously co-helmed “Nights and Weekends.” We’ve been fans of Gerwig’s writing in oddball comedies “Mistress America” and “Frances Ha” and it’s great to see her penning another female-led story, this time starring Saoirse Ronan, one of the most exciting actors of her generation. In a soon-to-be published interview with us, Gerwig said that the worst advice she received was “Women don’t really have the right personality traits to be directors.” We’re glad she didn’t listen.

“Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami” (Documentary) — Directed by Sophie Fiennes

What it’s about: Filmed over the course of a decade, the new documentary from director Sophie Fiennes (“The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology”) offers a stylish and unconventional look at the Jamaican-born model, singer, and New Wave icon.

Why we’re interested: “‘Grace Jones’ exists almost as a cultural construction — a visual fetish,” director Sophie Fiennes told us in a soon-to-be-published interview. “The film was a unique opportunity to explore the person beyond that fascinating surface.” Like another Tiff film, “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” “Grace Jones” looks like it will push past the public figure everyone thinks they know to present a real-life woman who is just as compelling as her persona.

Kings” — Written and Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven

What it’s about: A recluse (Daniel Craig) helps a woman (Halle Berry) and her multiple children when riots erupt in Los Angeles following the 1992 acquittal of the policemen charged with assaulting Rodney King.

Why we’re interested: Like so many others, we were bowled over by “Mustang,” Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Oscar-nominated debut about oppressed sisters living in a small village in Turkey. “Kings” marks her first project in English, and is set during an important chapter in history that hasn’t received nearly enough attention. We’re also looking forward to seeing Halle Berry in a meaty dramatic role. The Oscar-winning actress has revealed that she herself hopes to start directing and also to produce more projects. “I want to start being a part of making more opportunities for people of color,” she said. “We have to start telling stories that include us and if stories don’t include us, we have to start asking, ‘Why can’t that be a person of color? Why can’t that white male character be a black woman? Why can’t it?’ We have to start pushing the envelope and asking these questions.”

Unicorn Store ”— Directed by Brie Larson; Written by Samantha McIntyre

What it’s about: Brie Larson stars in her directorial debut about a dreamer reluctant to abandon her childish wonder who is offered the most magical gift she can imagine.

Why we’re interested: A feel-good movie about an unconventional young woman who follows her dreams is just what the doctor ordered in these troubled times. When we asked star and director Brie Larson what drew her to the project in a soon-to-be-published interview, the Oscar winner said, “For me, the idea of going after this unicorn was dreaming the impossible dream. The fact that I wanted to be an actor for so long and was told ‘no’ so many times kind of made me feel a little crazy; I was like a person going after a unicorn. There were all these people scratching their heads and going, ‘Why are you doing this? This is obviously never going to work out,’” she recalled. “So, this is, in some ways, an homage to my life and my journey and hopefully a way to inspire others to keep going on their path, whatever their unicorn is.” The “Room” actress added, “It’s not an easy time in the world right now, so I hope that, in the spirit of film’s traditional escapism and a way to dream, this film can do that.”

“I, Tonya”

What it’s about: Margot Robbie stars as controversial Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in this alternately tragic, hilarious, and absurd look at one of the biggest scandals in U.S. sports history.

Why we’re interested: “I, Tonya” focuses on Tonya Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly’s attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. The buzzy script for the film landed on 2016’s Black List. We’re hopeful that the movie doesn’t just play the story for laughs. When the iconic pop culture moment is rehashed, most overlook Harding’s allegations of her ex-husband’s abuse. Harding has claimed that the attack was his idea, and she didn’t report his plan to the police because she was worried he’d try to kill her if she tried. We’re looking forward to seeing Robbie in a role unlike any we’ve seen her in. The “Suicide Squad” star is also producing the project.

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts ”— Co-Written and Directed by Mouly Surya

What it’s about: A young widow violently turns the tables on her would-be attackers, in this powerful, provocative, and visually stunning Indonesian take on the “feminist western” genre.

Why we’re interested: Director Mouly Surya calls “Marlina” “a celebration of women power” — a far cry from the usual female revenge fantasy, which usually includes a woman becoming completely unhinged with rage and a thirst for blood. According to Surya, Marlina is a woman “on her way to redemption.” That’s a fresh perspective for a genre that’s usually plagued with vigilantes, victims, and little else.

Dark River ”— Written and Directed by Clio Barnard

What it’s about: Ruth Wilson stars in British filmmaker Clio Barnard’s atmospheric and layered drama about the old wounds and bitter new grievances that come to light when a woman returns home to settle the tenancy of her family’s Yorkshire farm.

Why we’re interested: Sibling drama, old grudges, and gendered societal expectations collide in “Dark River.” In a soon-to-be-published interview, Barnard told us that “it is a film about how damaging it is to be silenced and to bury the past, about how as children we can feel we failed to protect our siblings and can carry misplaced guilt with us for the rest of our lives. It is also about acceptance, putting the past to rest.”

“My Days of Mercy” — Directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer

What it’s about: The daughter (Ellen Page) of a man on death row falls in love with a woman (Kate Mara) on the opposing side of her family’s political cause.

Why we’re interested: Political arguments usually last a scene or two in film — and they hardly ever occur between two people in a romantic relationship. “My Days of Mercy” promises to be groundbreaking because it not only depicts two people with very different opinions falling in love, it depicts two women on opposite sides of an issue falling in love. Ellen Page’s Lucy has a father on death row and is vehemently against the death penalty, while Kate Mara’s Mercy supports capital punishment. “I wanted to explore the beautiful dynamic between Lucy and Mercy, which I believe is an expression of the transformative, healing power of love,” Tali Shalom-Ezer told us in an as-yet unpublished interview.

Disobedience” — Co-Written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz

What it’s about: Sebastián Lelio (“A Fantastic Woman,” “Gloria”) directs Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in this adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel about a woman who returns home to her orthodox Jewish community in London and rekindles a romance with her cousin’s wife.

Why we’re interested: Lelio received raves for “Gloria,” his 2013 film about a vibrant older woman looking for passion and love. It appears that he’s helmed another story about an unconventional female protagonist with “Disobedience.” Even before Ronit (Rachel Weisz) embarks on an affair with her cousin’s wife (Rachel McAdams), she is considered a rebel; she lives a secular life far away from her devout family. “Disobedience” promises to be a nuanced take on women, faith, family, and living life on your own terms.

“The Seen and Unseen ”— Written and Directed by Kamila Andini

What it’s about: A 10-year-old girl retreats to a fantastical, evocative dream space to deal with the impending loss of her twin brother in this imaginative film from Indonesian director Kamila Andini.

Why we’re interested: “The Seen and Unseen” depicts a holistic culture and — unlike most other movies that do so — doesn’t present it through white, privileged characters. Instead, the film uses the philosophy of Sekala Niskala as a way to examine family, connection, and grief. “Bali is a place where holism is still strongly felt in daily life,” director Kamila Andini explained to Women and Hollywood in an as-yet unpublished interview. “The Seen and Unseen — or Sekala Niskala — is the philosophy they believe in life; life is in harmony with all the seen things, and the unseen as well.”

Woman Walks Ahead” — Directed by Susanna White

What it’s about: Jessica Chastain stars in the true story of Catherine Weldon, a 19th-century Brooklyn artist who travelled to the Dakota Territory and became the confidante of legendary Sioux chief Sitting Bull.

Why we’re interested: Jessica Chastain consistently delivers amazing performances, and it seems like “Woman Walks Ahead” handles its subject matter with respect and self-awareness. “In making this movie I was very conscious, of being, like Wheldon, an outsider. While I could relate to being a woman in late 19th century New York, I knew I had a huge amount to learn about Native American culture,” director Susanna White explained in an upcoming interview with us. “I asked for help from the community and had an amazing experience.” “Woman Walks Ahead” has a white protagonist but it doesn’t seem like it’ll present yet another white savior narrative. It’s based on a true story and White revealed she was “very moved when [the project’s] Lakota language adviser, Ben Blackbear, watched the movie and said he hoped it would change the way history was taught in schools because it was telling a story his community usually didn’t get told.”

“Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” (Documentary) — Directed by Tracy Heather Strain

What it’s about: Filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain delivers a moving account of the life of Black playwright, communist, feminist, lesbian, and outspoken trailblazer Lorraine Hansberry (“A Raisin in the Sun”).

Why we’re interested: Tony winner Anika Noni Rose provides the voice for Lorraine Hansberry’s writing in this documentary. The film also features interviews with Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, and Louis Gossett Jr., all of whom acted in versions of Hansberry’s most famous work, the segregated Chicago-set play “A Raisin in the Sun.” While “Raisin” is a classic of literature and theater — and movingly portrays the struggles of a black family in the pre-Civil Rights era — it is far from the writer’s only accomplishment. “Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” shines a much-needed spotlight on Hansberry’s entire story and legacy.

I Am Not a Witch ”— Written and Directed by Rungano Nyoni

What it’s about: Part magic realist fable and part gendered social critique, Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature focuses on a young girl who is banished from her village in Zambia and sent to a camp for exiled witches.

Why we’re interested: It’s rare to see a feature center on a young girl, and this fascinating project is not entirely a work of fiction. “These witch accusations are actually illegal in most parts of Africa, but it still continues. The practice of witchcraft is also illegal but it still continues,” writer-director Rungano Nyoni told us in an interview. “Sometimes people get very precious about it, they’re like, ‘You’re laughing at these witch accusations and that’s cultural tradition.’ We said, ‘No it’s not.’ You have to call it out for what it is, because it’s mostly aimed at women, and it always has been throughout history so we can’t wrap it in cotton wool. It’s misogyny — that’s all it is. I don’t know how else to express it. We have to embrace that truth before we can do something about it.”

Mary Shelley” — Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour; Written by Emma Jensen

What it’s about: Elle Fanning stars in this scintillating biopic of the “Frankenstein” author, chronicling her tempestuous marriage to dissolute poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the fateful night at a Swiss chateau that inspired her most famous creation.

Why we’re interested: Haifaa Al-Mansour is following up her critically acclaimed debut narrative “Wadjda” with another female-led story, this one starring the fabulous Elle Fanning. “When I read Mary Shelley’s story I felt an instant connection with it. She grew up in this very conservative culture, where women’s roles were much more rigid and opportunities were extremely limited. But she rose above it, and wrote a story that continues to capture the imagination of readers to this day,” Al-Mansour explained in an upcoming interview with us. “What I love is that she chose to write a book that was so outside of the ‘acceptable’ realms of literature for women, and created a genre — science fiction — that continues to be dominated by male voices. She wrote a book that challenged religious doctrine and raised new ethical questions about the impact uninhibited scientific experimentation would have on a society.” Shelley’s trailblazing story is important, and we’re even happier to bear witness to it since it’s Al-Mansour and Fanning bringing it to the big screen.

Ava” — Written and Directed by Sadaf Foroughi

What it’s about: A 16-year-old girl’s relationship with her family is challenged after her mother takes her to a gynecologist in order to ensure she’s still a virgin.

Why we’re interested: Young women’s sexuality is still very much a taboo subject around the world. It definitely is in the world of “Ava,” in which the titular Iranian girl is forced by her mother to undergo a physical examination to confirm that she hasn’t had sex. After Ava’s is subjected to the invasion of privacy, she begins to see the hypocrisy and misogyny everywhere. This is the beginning of her feminist awakening.

The Children Act

What it’s about: Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci star in this adaptation of the novel by Ian McEwan, about a high-court judge (Thompson) who finds personal and professional crises colliding when she is asked to rule in the case of a brilliant 18-year-old boy who is refusing the blood transfusion that would save his life.

Why we’re interested: Last seen as Mrs. Potts in the live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” it’s been awhile since Emma Thompson has had a starring vehicle. In a story reminiscent of real-life medical ethics cases, “Children Act” sees Thompson playing Fiona Maye, a judge coping with a troubled marriage and guilt over a past verdict when the new case is put on her desk. A successful, intelligent woman who’s conflicted and overwhelmed, but determined to do her job and do it well? We can’t think of a better character to showcase Thompson’s talents.

“Number One” — Directed by Tonie Marshall; Co-Written by Tonie Marshall and Marion Doussot

What it’s about: In this whip-smart drama about corporate sexism, top French star Emmanuelle Devos plays a high-ranking female executive who is forced to consider her options and marshal her forces when she realizes that the glass ceiling is fast approaching.

Why we’re interested: Like Meera Menon’s “Equity,” “Number One” explores a corporate culture from a female perspective — and shows how the professional world isn’t always a welcoming place for a woman, no matter how capable she is at her job.

17 Films By and About Women to Check Out at Tiff 2017 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 »

Female Directors Talk Breaking in, Mentoring and Becoming ‘Christopher Nolan With a Vagina’

Female Directors Talk Breaking in, Mentoring and Becoming ‘Christopher Nolan With a Vagina’
“We can’t be your first.” That’s the maddening response that many female directors hear when they are trying to break in to the world of directing episodic TV.

FX Networks assembled a panel of seven female directors on Wednesday to discuss their experiences working in TV and with Ryan Murphy’s Half, the uber-producer’s initiative to dramatically increase the number of women and persons of color who are hired as directors on his many series. The women emphasized that the support of Murphy and his team was “life-changing” in terms of allowing them to build careers in TV.

“I could not get an episode of television,” said Maggie Kiley, who has directed episodes of Murphy’s “Scream Queens” and the upcoming “American Horror Story: Cult.” Despite having delivered indie features and shorts, Kiley said she was continually told by prospective TV employers: “We can’t be your first. Come
See full article at Variety - TV News »

2017 Ifp Week: Latest from Falardeau, Menon, Cassidy & Shatzky, Clea DuVall & Franka Potente Among Co-Prod Market

Tucked in between spaces occupied by Venice and Toronto and Nyff, is the indispensable Ifp Week. A summit slash showcase for true independent visions in the mostly American indie and documentary field, this year’s listing of projects that are in need of a little production coin includes names such as Clea DuVall (The Intervention), Philippe Falardeau (Chuck), Meera Menon (Equity), Brian M.

Continue reading...
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

How One NYC Event Can Turn Promising Ideas For New Indies Into a Reality

Our bi-weekly Film Festival Roundup column explores notable stories and news updates from the circuit.

Long before Barry Jenkins or Laura Poitras won their first Oscars or Robert Eggers made one of 2016’s highest-grossing indies, or Denis Villeneuve graduated to Hollywood’s A-list, they were still just independent filmmakers with a dream — a dream that needed to be packaged, sold, and produced. Enter Ifp Film Week, home of one of the world’s most forward-thinking film markets, and the U.S.’s only market that presents new works across all platforms, all the better to serve their creator’s visions.

This year’s 2017 Ifp Film Week, presented by the Independent Film Project, has unveiled its slate for this year’s film project section. The lineup includes 110 narrative and documentary projects in development from over 15 countries. Curated by Ifp’s Deputy Director/Head of Programming Amy Dotson and Senior Director of Programming Milton Tabbot,
See full article at Indiewire »

Maggie Betts to Co-Write and Direct Political Drama for Focus Features

Maggie Betts: Variety/YouTube

Novitiate” writer-director Maggie Betts has booked her follow-up to the coming-of-age nun drama. Deadline reports that she’s sold an untitled original pitch to Focus Features. Little is known about the project except that it’s a contemporary political drama and Betts will direct. She’ll also pen the script along with Andy Bellin (“Lovelace”).

Maven PicturesCeline Rattray and Trudie Styler are set to produce, while Josh McLaughlin will oversee the movie for Focus.

Novitiate,” Betts’ first narrative feature, premiered at Sundance back in January. She won the Breakthrough Director award at the fest. Sony Pictures Classics snagged the rights to the film and is planning a release this fall. The 1960s-set drama follows Cathleen (Margaret Qualley, “The Leftovers”), a young woman who is raised by a non-religious single mother in rural Tennessee. A scholarship to a Catholic School leads Cathleen down a religious path where she pursues a life devoted to God, but on her journey to becoming a nun, she begins to question her faith. The nearly-all-female cast includes Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”), Dianna Agron (“Glee”), Julianne Nicholson (“Masters of Sex”), and Morgan Saylor (“White Girl,” “Homeland”).

“Focus has made a concerted effort to bolster its roster of female directors,” Deadline observes. “Counting the new deal with Betts, it has put six such films in the mix: the Niki Caro-directed ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife,’ the Julia Decournau-directed ‘Raw,’ the Sofia Coppola-directed ‘The Beguiled,’ the Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre-directed ‘Mustang’ and most recently the Massy Tadjedin-directed ‘Circle Of Treason.’” In 2016 Focus released women-directed titles such as Lorene Scafaria’s “The Meddler,” Rebecca Miller’s “Maggie’s Plan,” Meera Menon’s “Equity,” and Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann.”

Betts previously helmed the documentary “The Carrier,” a portrait of an HIV-positive and pregnant mother, and “Engram,” a short about an elderly man and woman who reconnect after many years.

Check out a video of Betts and the stars of “Novitiate” discussing what drew them to the project. They explain how rare — and appealing — it was to work on a female-led story.

https://medium.com/media/5d01bf8d3361cac568a6402ef244a33a/href

Maggie Betts to Co-Write and Direct Political Drama for Focus Features 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 »

Trailer Watch: Women Directors Step in Front of the Camera in “Seeing Is Believing”

Trailer Watch: Women Directors Step in Front of the Camera in “Seeing Is Believing”
Deborah Riley Draper in “Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct”: Cady McClain

“I’m not afraid to say, ‘I don’t know,’” says Leslie Hope, director of TV and docs, in a trailer for “Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct.” “I’m also not afraid to say, ‘This is what I want…Can you please make it the way I want? Because, by the way, I’m the director.’” Hope is one of the characters featured in Cady McClain’s upcoming documentary, which turns the camera on female filmmakers and interviews them about their career experiences, their goals, and the roadblocks they have encountered as women in the film industry.

The full feature doc version of “Seeing Is Believing” made its world premiere at the Soho Film Festival on June 19 and took home the Audience Award. McClain’s project, which was partially a crowdfunding effort, has been presented in many forms. In addition to the feature documentary version, the subjects’ commentary has been developed as a limited series and as individual interviews. McClain and her team are also writing a book from their conversations with directors like Hope (“Murdoch Mysteries”), Deborah Riley Draper (“Olympic Pride, American Prejudice”), Lesli Linka Glatter (“Homeland”), Marianna Palka (“Bitch”), Sarah Gavron (“Suffragette”), and Meera Menon (“Equity”).

“I am really excited about the audience reaction to this piece and thrilled that we just won the Audience Award at the Soho Film Festival. Viewers of the piece always tell me that they are inspired after watching it, which to me is a major win,” McClain told us. “The statistics and stories of how women are silenced are too many, and it makes me really happy to give something to them that will help them feel there is a way forward, and that there is hope.”

McClain’s other directing credits include episodes of “Suzy F*cking Homemaker” and “Venice the Series” as well as short films “Flip Fantasia” and “The World of Albert Fuh.”

Check out the “Seeing Is Believing” website for a full list of the women interviewed for the project as well as “some good guys” who are vocally supportive of their female colleagues. You can watch the trailer below.

https://medium.com/media/1c6ddb6274a8343a6f72163de1cb91dc/href

Trailer Watch: Women Directors Step in Front of the Camera in “Seeing Is Believing” 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 »

Crystal + Lucy Diversifies to Add Men

Crystal + Lucy Diversifies to Add Men
A trio of men are among Women in Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards honorees this year. Sony Classics toppers Tom Bernard and Michael Barker will receive the inaugural Beacon Award, while Dan Rather is to receive the Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award.

“I am reminded about empowered women the whole day, everyday,” Barker says, pointing to his two adult daughters, one of whom is a director.

“We were thrilled,” to hear about the award, Bernard says. “We are big proponents of equal rights, using that gender button. We want to further the cause, it was something that is important to us.”

Related

Women in Film’s Call to Action Bears Fruit

Barker and Bernard have worked with a bevy of women directors from Susanne Bier to Meera Menon and Agnes Varda.

“We were not aware that we had that many women’s films until someone brought it up to us,” Bernard says.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Crystal + Lucy Diversifies to Add Men

Crystal + Lucy Diversifies to Add Men
A trio of men are among Women in Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards honorees this year. Sony Classics toppers Tom Bernard and Michael Barker will receive the inaugural Beacon Award, while Dan Rather is to receive the Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award.

“I am reminded about empowered women the whole day, everyday,” Barker says, pointing to his two adult daughters, one of whom is a director.

“We were thrilled,” to hear about the award, Bernard says. “We are big proponents of equal rights, using that gender button. We want to further the cause, it was something that is important to us.”

Barker and Bernard have worked with a bevy of women directors from Susanne Bier to Meera Menon and Agnes Varda.

“We were not aware that we had that many women’s films until someone brought it up to us,” Bernard says. “We were looking at quality of work. It just happened because we recognized the talent.”

The
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Crystal + Lucy Awards to Honor Elizabeth Banks, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mira Nair, & More

Tracee Ellis Ross on “Black-ish”: Eric McCandless

Former “Daily Show” correspondent Jessica Williams is set to host the 2017 Crystal + Lucy Awards. Elizabeth Banks, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Mira Nair are among the women being honored at the event, a press release from Women in Film, Los Angeles (Wif La) has announced.

Set for June 13 in Beverly Hills, this year’s fundraising dinner, themed “Evolve,” will be in support of Wif La’s educational and philanthropic programs and its work advocating for gender equality in the entertainment industry.

Pitch Perfect 2” director and actress Banks will receive the The Crystal Award for Excellence in Film, which honors “outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.” The three-time Emmy nominated actress is set to direct two high-profile female-led films: a “Charlie’s Angels” reboot and an adaptation of Victoria Aveyard’s Ya dystopian fantasy “Red Queen.” In 2016 Banks founded WhoHaha, a digital comedy platform for women.

The Lucy Award for Excellence in Television will be given to “Black-ish” star Ross. Named after Lucille Ball, the award recognizes “women and men and their creative works that exemplify the extraordinary accomplishments she embodied; whose excellence and innovation have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television.” Ross’ role on “Black-ish” has earned her a Golden Globe and the 2015 and 2016 NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. In her Globes acceptance speech, Ellis said, “This is for all of the women of color and colorful people whose stories, ideas and thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important. I want you to know that I see you and we see you.” Her other credits include “Girlfriends,” “Reed Between the Lines,” and “CSI.”

Queen of Katwe” helmer Nair will receive The BMW Dorothy Arzner Directors Award, “established to recognize the important role women directors play in the film and television industries.” Nair’s feature debut, “Salaam Bombay!” scored an Oscar nod in 1989. Her other credits include “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” “Amelia,” and “Monsoon Wedding.”

Rising star Zoey Deutch snagged The Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award, “given to an actress who is experiencing a turning point in her career through her work in the film and television industries, through her contributions to the community at large, in recognition of her outstanding achievements, and her embodiment of style and grace.” “Before I Fall,” “Why Him?” and “Everybody Wants Some!!” are among her recent credits.

The Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award will go to former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather. Named after the first woman President of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, this honor is presented “to individuals who, like Ms. Zarky herself, have demonstrated enlightened support for the advancement of equal opportunity and devotion to the improvement of the human condition.”

Co-Presidents and Co-Founders of Sony Pictures Classics Michael Barker and Tom Bernard will receive The Women In Film Beacon Award, “presented to an entertainment industry professional for outstanding leadership in the advancement of gender equity, signaling and celebrating unbiased decision making in media.” Barker and Bernard have worked with directors such as Nicole Holofcener, Agnes Varda, Sally Potter, Lisa Cholodenko, Marielle Heller, Maren Ade, Meera Menon, and Marjane Satrapi. They “will be given the inaugural award for their unmatched support of female filmmakers consistently and throughout the entire history of their careers,” the press release states.

Crystal + Lucy Awards to Honor Elizabeth Banks, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mira Nair, & More 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 Independent Film Community Picks the Best Films of 2016

The Independent Film Community Picks the Best Films of 2016
Every year, IndieWire looks beyond the countless top 10 lists written by critics to widen the field. We turn to friends and colleagues in the independent film community — programmers, distributors, publicists and others — to give them the opportunity to share their favorite films and other media from the past 12 months. We also invited them to share their resolutions and anticipated events for 2017.

The Best of 2016: IndieWire’s Year in Review Bible

Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival

I’m limiting my list to films that had Us and Canadian theatrical releases in 2016. I saw far more than 10 this year that I liked, but if I have to be brutal, I’ll limit it to the films that lifted me.

1. “Moonlight

2. “Julieta

3. “Toni Erdmann

4. “Cemetery of Splendor

5. “Arrival

6. “Fences

7. “13th”

8. “American Honey

9. “Things to Come

10. “Moana”

Michael Barker, Co-President, Sony Pictures Classics

“Now is the winter of our discontent.
See full article at Indiewire »

2016’s Feminist Features: 6 Ways Women Dominated the Best Movies of the Year

2016’s Feminist Features: 6 Ways Women Dominated the Best Movies of the Year
No year is a “bad year” for movies, but some years aren’t exactly too kind to certain subjects, genres, concepts and people. 2016, for all of its many negatives, has been a good year for film – and for its women, both behind the camera and squarely in front of it.

While female filmmakers are still struggling to be recognized in the same way as their male counterparts, the women who have broken through – from reliable auteurs like Andrea Arnold, Rebecca Miller, Kelly Reichardt and Anne Fontaine to rising stars like Maren Ade, Sophia Takal and Clea Duvall – did so in a very big way this year, thanks to films that spoke to their own talents and visions. Actresses also shown bright in 2016, from awards favorites like Natalie Portman, Annette Bening and Octavia Spencer to fresh faces like Kate Lyn Sheil, Ruth Negga and Sasha Lane.

There’s still a ways to go,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Equity’: ABC Plans Series Based on Female-Driven Wall Street Movie

‘Equity’: ABC Plans Series Based on Female-Driven Wall Street Movie
The Anna Gunn-starring film “Equity” is getting the TV treatment at ABC. Deadline reports that the female-led Wall Street thriller is being adapted for the network, which handed out a script commitment plus penalty.

The drama, written by “The Strain” producer Regina Corrado, is set in the world of cutthroat investment banking and centers on Naomi Bishop, a Wall Street banker, played by Gunn in the film, who is navigating a world where big money and high-power reign, and women have yet to break the glass ceiling. It is unknown if any of the film’s actresses will be part of the series.

The adaptation hails from Corrado and Pascal PicturesAmy Pascal, with Sony TV’s TriStar Television as the studio. Corrado and Pascal will executive produce with Rachel O’Connor and the movie’s producers Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas.

Read More: ‘Equity’: Why It
See full article at Indiewire Television »

‘Equity’: ABC Plans Series Based on Female-Driven Wall Street Movie

‘Equity’: ABC Plans Series Based on Female-Driven Wall Street Movie
The Anna Gunn-starring film “Equity” is getting the TV treatment at ABC. Deadline reports that the female-led Wall Street thriller is being adapted for the network, which handed out a script commitment plus penalty.

The drama, written by “The Strain” producer Regina Corrado, is set in the world of cutthroat investment banking and centers on Naomi Bishop, a Wall Street banker, played by Gunn in the film, who is navigating a world where big money and high-power reign, and women have yet to break the glass ceiling. It is unknown if any of the film’s actresses will be part of the series.

The adaptation hails from Corrado and Pascal PicturesAmy Pascal, with Sony TV’s TriStar Television as the studio. Corrado and Pascal will executive produce with Rachel O’Connor and the movie’s producers Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas.

Read More: ‘Equity’: Why It
See full article at Indiewire »

Kristen Stewart Talks Directing Her First Film: ‘I’ve Never Been Happier Doing Anything’

Kristen Stewart Talks Directing Her First Film: ‘I’ve Never Been Happier Doing Anything’
According to Hollywood lore, as a kid, Kristen Stewart never imagined she’d end up an actress, instead hoping to get into writing and directing, something behind the camera that still allowed her to actively explore an industry she’s loved most of her life. Nearly twenty years later, Stewart’s finally getting to do just that.

While being honored at this week’s “An Evening With Kristen Stewart” event, thrown in conjunction by the New York Film Festival and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, a giddy Stewart spilled a few more details about her first short, a project that was announced back in May as part of Refinery29’s female filmmaker-focused Shatterbox Anthology series. The film is entitled “Come Swim,” and Refinery29 will release it sometime later this year. (You can check out some of the other short films that have come from the Refinery29 and Shatterbox initiative,
See full article at Indiewire »

Why Sony Pictures Classics Thinks Backing Female Directors Is Good for Business and Art

When Tom Bernard and Michael Barker saw “Equity” at last winter’s Sundance Film Festival, they knew immediately that the thriller about women breaking Wall Street’s glass ceiling would tap into the zeitgeist — before reviews even hit, the Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents snapped up the movie and gamed out a release plan that saw the studio debuting the picture the same week that Hillary Clinton claimed the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

“They instantly understood that the movie was an opportunity to have a conversation about women in business,” says Meera Menon, the film’s director. So Bernard and Barker worked with Menon and producers Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas to set up screenings with women’s groups all over the country, organizing discussions about gender discrimination around the film.

“It’s a thriller and a Wall Street drama, but it’s also an issues movie,” says Bernard.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Equity review – off the money

Are financial dramas inherently thrilling? Don’t bank on this one…

There’s an oily bank executive in this exploration of murky financial misdeeds who forces his co-workers to take part in an ongoing game of Jenga whenever they enter his office. The film-makers could hardly have chosen a more obvious visual metaphor for the high-stakes, low-excitement wheeler-dealing at the heart of this turgid, TV movie-standard financial thriller. Labouring under the misconception that just because there’s lots of money swilling around this world must be interesting, director Meera Menon delivers a crushingly dull series of scenes in which smug corporate bankers shaft each other in conference rooms and expense account restaurants over plates of “Tasmanian sea trout”.

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See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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