Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Promoting Emerging Women Directors in Independent Film

When Kate Bigelow was the first woman to win an Oscar for best direction I was excited and felt that a chip was made in Hollywood's glass ceiling. but the reality is that women directors, producers, and screenwriters are still a scarce commodity in Hollywood. Less than 10 percent of films with a theatrical release were directed by women.
In the report,The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2010, Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D found that, "In 2010, women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents a decline of 1 percentage point from 1998 and is even with 2009 figures."

I'm not writing this blog entry to be a "Debbie downer," it's a reality check. Besides, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the wonderful professional film organizations for women that  are committed to recognizing, developing, and actively promoting the unique visions of women in film, while also providing educational and networking opportunities that seek to advance the professional status of women. My short list includes, New York Women in Film and Television; Reel Women; Women in Film and Video; Women Make Movies; and Women in Film (Los Angeles).

While I was at the 2011 Los Angeles Women's International Film Festival I met emerging women filmmakers and screenwriters struggling to crack their own glass ceilings. One of my biggest takeaways from the festival was that it gave women filmmakers a venue for our films and an opportunity to network with one another. I didn't want the connection I made to stop there. I met some really driven women who believe in the power of story and thought to myself  that we should have other outlets to highlight our films. As part of my blog, I'm going to profile a women film director. The profile will include a short bio and interview with the director.

I want to promote the women I know who are working their dream in film and look forward to sharing their stories with you. My first interview will be with Patricia Richardson. We met at this year's Los Angeles Women's Festival. She's a driven and motivated woman filmmaker who produced and directed her first feature film. I don't want to tell you to much so you'll have to wait for my profile of her feature film Detour in my a future blog. Stay tuned....

5 comments:

ChaChanna said...

Aaliyah,

I love how you are expanding your blog and creating posts for a purpose. I look forward to your interview!

ka said...

I was actually going to say the same thing as ChaChanna. I like where you're taking your blog. I think next time you're at a film festival you should definitely be pushing it when you're selling yourself to people.

dirtywater22 said...

ChaChanna and Ka thanks for the feedback. I'm looking for new ways to enhance the content:)

Don't have one said...

Aaliyah,

You are in no way a "Debbie Downer" - I appreciate learning the hard facts, sad as they may be. So wonderful to have this outlet.

Looking forward to the interview, as well.


Renee (New York)

Javier Badillo said...

Aaliyah, great topic, great writing. Here in Canada we're having a great surge of Women Feature Film Directors. Look up Katrin Bowen's "Amazon Falls" www.amazonfalls.com , Tara Johns' "The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom" http://theyeardollypartonwasmymom.blogspot.com and Penelope Buitenhuis' "A Wake" www.imdb.com/title/tt1507248 - all of them first timers, all of them award winners. I have their contacts if you'd like to interview them at some point.
Keep up the awesome work!
All my best,
Javier Badillo
www.javierbadillo.com