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1-20 of 23 items from 2017   « Prev | Next »


Sandra Bullock to Star in Post-Apocalyptic Netflix Thriller Directed by Susanne Bier

19 July 2017 11:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Sandra Bullock in “Our Brand Is Crisis

Sandra Bullock is the latest A-lister to team up with Netflix. The Hollywood Reporter writes that the “Gravity” star has signed on to topline “Birdbox,” a post-apocalyptic thriller helmed by Oscar winner Susanne Bier and penned by Eric Heisserer (“Arrival”). The film is based on Josh Malerman’s 2014 novel of the same name.

Set in the near future, “Birdbox” sees Bullock playing a mother of two “among a small group of survivors after a mysterious alien force has driven the world’s population to deadly violence,” THR summarizes. “The three must make their way on a terrifying journey — 20 miles in a rowboat — while blindfolded, with nothing to rely on but the mother’s wits and the children’s trained ears.”

Netflix film chief Scott Stuber will produce the pic, which is likely to start production in August.

Bier’s “In a Better World” took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2011. She won an Emmy last year for directing AMC spy thriller “The Night Manager.”

“Television is a popular art form that is truly global. There’s less space for the conventional, predictable assumptions of film production that dictate that, as a female director, I can only do romantic dramas and comedies,” Bier has said. She emphasized that TV is “is not a feminist utopia” and “the entire entertainment industry has much work to do to reflect the diversity of its audience. There’s still something threatening about a female vision when it strays beyond the ‘woman’s picture.’ The industry is in desperate need of new perspectives,” she stressed.

“Birdbox” marks Bullock’s first time starring in a woman-directed film since Anne Fletcher’s 2009 rom-com “The Proposal,” which the “Miss Congeniality” actress also produced. Bullock received an Oscar in 2010 for “The Blind Side.” She’ll next be seen in “Ocean’s Eight” alongside Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, and Awkwafina. The heist thriller is set to bow June 8, 2018.

Sandra Bullock to Star in Post-Apocalyptic Netflix Thriller Directed by Susanne Bier was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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

7 July 2017 11:39 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

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 »

- Michael Nordine and Anne Thompson

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

7 July 2017 11:39 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

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 »

- Michael Nordine and Anne Thompson

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'Patti Cake$' Breakout Danielle Macdonald Joins Jennifer Aniston in 'Dumplin' (Exclusive)

1 June 2017 2:24 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Danielle Macdonald, the breakout star of Sundance movie Patti Cake$, has booked her next starring role.

The Australia native will star opposite Jennifer Aniston in comedy-drama Dumplin'. The film, helmed by The Proposal and Step Up director Anne Fletcher, is based on Julie Murphy’s 2015 Ya novel that follows Willowdean Dickson (Macdonald), who was given the nickname "Dumplin'" by her former beauty queen mom (Aniston). An outspoken, plus-size teen and obsessive Dolly Parton fan, Willowdean signs up for her small-town pageant to get a rise out of her mother, who runs it. But her one-day protest takes on a life of its »

- Rebecca Ford,Mia Galuppo

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Carrie Brownstein to Make Feature Directorial Debut with “Fairy Godmother”

19 May 2017 10:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Carrie Brownstein in “Portlandia”: Augusta Quirk/ IFC

In news that’s sure to please “Portlandia’s” feminist bookstore owners, actress, writer, and Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein has signed on to direct the Chiara Atik-penned “Fairy Godmother.” Deadline broke the story. The film is a comedic revisionist take on the ubiquitous fairy tale character.

MGM acquired Atik’s “Fairy Godmother” spec script after a “competitive” bidding war last year. The film centers on a highly sought-after Fairy Godmother, Faye, who “is hired by a mind-bogglingly gorgeous teenage client, Kenzie, to find her true love with the hottest prince in the land,” according to the project’s official logline. Faye “finds herself facing an unfamiliar challenge when the prince starts falling for her instead.”

Helen Estabrook (“Whiplash”) is producing and Cassidy Lange will oversee the project for MGM.

As the source points out, “Fairy Godmother” is only the sixth film in MGM’s 93-year history to be directed by a woman. The company’s other women-helmed projects are Kimberly Peirce’s “Carrie,” Anne Fletcher’s “Hot Pursuit,” Thea Sharrock’s “Me Before You,” Stella Meghie’s “Everything, Everything,” and Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s “Valley Girl.” All of these titles have been released in the past five years.

This will not be the first time Brownstein steps behind the camera. The “Portlandia” star, writer, and co-creator has helmed episodes of the sketch show, “Casual,” and “Idiotsitter.” She also directed the 2016 short “The Realest Real” starring “Orange Is the New Black’s” Natasha Lyonne and “Moonlight’s” Mahershala Ali. The comedic drama, which centers on a woman’s wish for her idol to be her mother, was a X Award finalist at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

The multi-hyphenate published her memoir, “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl,” in 2015. Discussing her book with NPR’s Terry Gross, Brownstein observed: “One thing that is such a relief about art and creativity is the allowance of that as a shape in which to exist, that can be bigger than oneself, that can act as proxy to our own failings and speak to our own failings and vulnerabilities.”

Brownstein has worked on “Portlandia” since 2011. “Archer,” “Transparent,” and “Carol” are among her other acting credits.

Carrie Brownstein to Make Feature Directorial Debut with “Fairy Godmother” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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‘Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein To Make Feature Directorial Debut On MGM’s ‘Fairy Godmother’

18 May 2017 3:03 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: Carrie Brownstein, the actress, writer, musician, is getting ready to add “feature director” to her repertoire. The co-creator, writer and star of IFC's Emmy-nominated comedy Portlandia will make her feature film directorial debut on MGM’s Fairy Godmother. Take note: this marks the sixth female director that MGM has employed on its films, following Kimberly Pierce on Carrie; Anne Fletcher for Hot Pursuit; Thea Sharrock on Me Before You; Stella Meghie on Everythi… »

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Benelux buyers swoop on Cannes titles

17 May 2017 11:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Films by Todd Haynes, Lynne Ramsay and Taylor Sheridan heading to the region.

Benelux buyers have already snapped up many of the most eye-catching titles in official selection and in the Marché.

Voracious Antwerp-based outfit The Searchers, which was set up in 2015, has pre-bought Todd HaynesWonderstruck (pictured) from FilmNation, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here from Imr International), Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River from Wild Bunch, and Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn from HanWay.

The deals complement the acquisitions the company has made since Berlin. These include Jacques Audiard’s new feature The Sisters Brothers, David Robert Mitchell’s Under The Silver Lake and Anne Fletcher’s Dumplin’ starring Jennifer Aniston, all from Imr, and David Lowery’s The Old Man And The Gun, being sold by Rocket Science.

Leading arthouse distributor Cineart has also picked up several Cannes titles. These include Michael Haneke’s Happy End, sold by [link »

- geoffrey@macnab.demon.co.uk (Geoffrey Macnab)

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Johnny Depp Is John McAfee in Biopic King of the Jungle

14 May 2017 3:30 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Just days before his new movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens around the world, Johnny Depp has found his next project. A new report reveals that the actor has signed on to play McAfee anti-virus company founder John McAfee in a new biopic entitled King of the Jungle. Imr International will be handling foreign sales for the movie at the Cannes International Film Festival later this month.

Variety broke the news about this upcoming biopic, which is based on Cond&#233 Nast's Wired magazine article "John McAfee's Last Stand," by Joshua Davis, and the film will be produced by Cond&#233 Nast Entertainment, Zaftig Films, MadRiver Pictures, and Epic Entertainment. This dark comedy will be directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa from an adapted script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. It isn't clear when production will take place, or how far along the screenplay is. »

- MovieWeb

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Johnny Depp to star in 'King Of The Jungle'

14 May 2017 2:38 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Imr International will introduce dark comedy to Cannes buyers.

Johnny Depp has signed on to star in the dark comedy King Of The Jungle that Glenn Ficarra and John Requa will direct based on a true-life story from Wired magazine.

Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski adapted the screenplay from Joshua Davis’s article entitled ‘John McAfee’s Last Stand.

The story centres on the eponymous rogue tech magnate who cashed in his fortune and moved to the jungle in Belize where he established a compound of guns, sex and madness reminiscent of the character Kurtz from Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart Of Darkness.

When the interviewer goes to meet McAfee he encounters paranoia, blurry reality, and murder. 

Imr International will introduce international buyers in Cannes to the project from Condé Nast Entertainment, Zaftig Films, MadRiver Pictures, and Epic Entertainment. CAA represents Us rights.

Condé Nast’s Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler produce alongside Zaftig’s Charlie Gogolak, Ficarra »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Johnny Depp Confirmed to Star in Comedy ‘King of the Jungle’

14 May 2017 11:16 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Johnny Depp is set to star in “King of the Jungle,” a dark comedy to be directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa from a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, it was confirmed Sunday. Imr International is handling foreign sales at Cannes with CAA repping domestic rights.

The pic is based on a true story first published in Condé Nast’s Wired magazine by Joshua Davis. The film is from Condé Nast Entertainment, Zaftig Films, MadRiver Pictures, and Epic Entertainment.

Based on the Wired article “John McAfee’s Last Stand,” the film tells the true story of tech magnate John McAfee, creator of the McAfee Antivirus software, who cashed-in his fortune, left civilization, and moved to the jungle in Belize. There, he set-up a “Colonel Kurtz-like compound of guns, sex and madness,” according to a statement. In the film, a Wired magazine investigator “accepts what he thinks is »

- Leo Barraclough

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Imr International to sell Jacques Audiard's 'The Sisters Brothers' starring

8 May 2017 2:01 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Darkly comic Western story to shoot in Europe next month.

Imr International will introduce Cannes buyers to The Sisters Brothers directed by Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Western joins a prestige slate that features Lynne Ramsay’s competition selection You Were Never Really Here starring Phoenix, and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Kings with Halle Berry and Daniel Craig.

John C. Reilly and Riz Ahmed, riding high on rave reviews for his role in HBO’s The Night Of, round out the key cast.

The Sisters Brothers is scheduled to begin principal photography in Spain and Romania next month and is based on Patrick deWitt’s darkly comic novel about a pair of brothers who wreaked havoc during the California Gold Rush.

Phoenix and Reilly play the eponymous killers – one of whom enjoys his murderous lifestyle while the other longs for a quieter life.

Everything changes »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Imr International to sell Jacques Audiard's 'The Sisters Brothers'

8 May 2017 2:01 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Darkly comic Western story to shoot in Europe next month.

Imr International will introduce Cannes buyers to The Sisters Brothers directed by Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard and starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Western joins a prestige slate that features Lynne Ramsay’s competition selection You Were Never Really Here starring Phoenix, and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Kings with Halle Berry and Daniel Craig.

John C. Reilly and Riz Ahmed, riding high on rave reviews for his role in HBO’s The Night Of, round out the key cast.

The Sisters Brothers is scheduled to begin principal photography in Spain and Romania next month and is based on Patrick deWitt’s darkly comic novel about a pair of brothers who wreaked havoc during the California Gold Rush.

Phoenix and Reilly play the eponymous killers – one of whom enjoys his murderous lifestyle while the other longs for a quieter life.

Everything changes »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Barbra Streisand Started Directing Because She “Couldn’t Be Heard”

1 May 2017 11:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Barbra Streisand in “The Guilt Trip”: Paramount Pictures

Barbra Streisand didn’t mince words when Robert Rodriguez interviewed her at the Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend —of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way. The famously outspoken megastar had some choice words about how women directors are treated in Hollywood and how little things have changed since she made her own directorial debut with 1983’s “Yentl,” a story about a woman (Streisand) posing as a man in order to study the Torah.

According to Variety, Streisand spoke candidly about her lack of directing Oscar nods for “Yentl” and 1991’s “Prince of Tides.” She believes sexism from both men and women stopped her from receiving recognition from the Academy. “There were a lot of older people. They don’t want to see a woman director,” she told Rodriguez. “I don’t know how many women wanted to see a woman director.”

Streisand’s lack of directing nominations does seem like a blatant snub, as both “Yentl” and the romance “Prince of Tides” racked up a bunch of other nods. “Prince of Tides” in particular was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, which often go hand-in-hand with a directing nod.

As Streisand revealed, her work on Sydney Pollack’s 1973 romantic drama “The Way We Were” was the catalyst for her directing career. She disagreed with Pollack’s vision and was “horrified” when he cut “scenes that [Streisand] felt illustrated why her on-screen relationship with Robert Redford’s character ultimately disintegrated,” Variety details. Her lack of creative control is what drove her to helm her own movies.

“I directed because I couldn’t be heard,” Streisand emphasized.

While she wouldn’t be credited as a director until 1983, Streisand first demonstrated her artistic vision on the 1976 drama “A Star Is Born.” The film, which sees Streisand as a rising music star in a doomed relationship with past-his-prime rock star Kris Kristofferson, was directed by Frank Pierson. But Streisand told Rodriguez that she had the final cut. “That was tough because I was blackmailed into hiring [Pierson],” she said, per Deadline. “I hired him to write and he said he wouldn’t do it unless he directed. I had final cut rights. I told him he could have all the credit, but that he had to allow my vision to be there. He would agree, but then I’d show up and the cameras would be in [the wrong places].”

The “Funny Girl” star also brushed off Rodriguez’s suggestion that her work as a director “shattered a glass ceiling for other female filmmakers,” Variety notes. Acknowledging how few opportunities female directors receive in Hollywood, Streisand responded, “Not enough women are directing now.” In other words, the glass ceiling might have a crack or two, but it’s still very much intact.

Among Streisand’s other directing credits are the 1996 feature “The Mirror Has Two Faces” and three documentaries of her concert performances. She is also set to direct an untitled film about the affair between photographer Margaret Bourke-White and author Erskine Caldwell. She has received two Oscars: one for her performance in “Funny Girl” and another for Best Original Song for “A Star Is Born.”

Fittingly, Streisand was the person who presented Kathryn Bigelow the Oscar for Best Director in 2010 for “The Hurt Locker.” After opening the envelope with the winner’s name, Streisand said, “Well, the time has come,” in reference to the fact that a woman had never received the award before. To date, Bigelow remains the only woman to have won the Academy Award for Best Director.

Streisand was last seen in Anne Fletcher’s 2012 mother-son comedy “The Guilt Trip.”

Barbra Streisand Started Directing Because She “Couldn’t Be Heard” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Chapman’s 18th Annual Women In Focus Coming on April 7th

30 March 2017 8:49 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Directors Niki Caro, Sydney Freeland, Kelly Fremon Craig, Catherine Hardwicke and Haifaa Al-Mansour Headline; Susan Cartsonis Moderates

Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, recognized as one of the premier film schools in the United States, will focus on Hollywood directors with the theme ‘In the Director’s Chair’ at the 18th Annual Women in Focus Conference.

The Women in Focus Conference will feature Academy Award®-nominated director Niki Caro (“The Zookeeper’s Wife”, “Whale Rider”, “North Country”); acclaimed director Sydney Freeland (“Deidra & Laney Rob a Train”, “Drunktown’s Finest”, “Her Story”); award-winning screenwriter and film director, Kelly Fremon Craig (“The Edge of Seventeen”, “Post Grad”, “Streak”); critically-acclaimed director, Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”, “The Twilight Saga”, “Thirteen”); and the first female Saudi Arabian filmmaker, Haifaa Al-Mansour (“Mary Shelley”, “Wadjda”).

The panel will be moderated by producing veteran Susan Cartsonis (“Carrie Pilby”, “What Women Want”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer »

- Sydney Levine

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What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 5: 2000–2017

24 March 2017 2:02 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Mira Nair and Ava DuVernay: Wikimedia Commons/IndiaFM/Bollywoodhungama/usbotschaftberlin

by Carrie Rickey

This five-part Truthdig series by Carrie Rickey is published in partnership with Women and Hollywood. The series considers the historic accomplishments of women behind the camera, how they got marginalized, and how they are fighting for equal employment. Specifically, this series asks, why do females make up between 33 and 50 percent of film-school graduates but account for only seven percent of working directors? What happened to the women directors in Hollywood?

Female filmmakers greeted the 21st century with optimism. By most measures, movies by women were garnering increased respect in the industry and at the multiplex. Their makers cracked glass ceilings, created new genres, and established new box-office records.

With “Nowhere in Africa” (2001), Caroline Link became the second woman to direct the Oscar-winner for the year’s best foreign film. With “Lost in Translation” (2003), Sofia Coppola was the third woman to receive a best director nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And with “The Hurt Locker” (2009), Kathryn Bigelow was the fourth woman nominated in the directing category — and the first to win. The following year, Danish filmmaker Susanna Bier directed the winner in the best foreign film category, “In a Better World.”

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “Love & Basketball” (2000), Karyn Kusama’s “Girlfight” (2000) and Gurinder Chadha’s “Bend It Like Beckham” (2003) created what might be called the “Title IX” movie, celebrating female athletes on the court, in the ring, and on the field. These are sports movies that celebrate the female body — not for its sex appeal, but for its power. These films inspired younger women (and their mothers were thrilled to take them to movies that didn’t objectify women).

Comedies by women continued to make serious box office, proving the Hollywood wisdom that “funny is money.” Nancy Meyers’ “What Women Want” (2000), starring Mel Gibson as a player briefly given the power to hear what women think about him, made $374 million. Sharon Maguire’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001), in which the title character says what she thinks about womanizers and prigs, brought in $282 million. Movies like these permitted men and women to laugh at men’s foibles.

From Patricia Cardoso’s “Real Women Have Curves” (2002), which introduced America Ferrera as a college-bound Latina, to Julie Taymor’s biopic “Frida” (2003), with Salma Hayek as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, to Patty Jenkins’ “Monster” (2003), with Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos, audiences saw realistic women — as opposed to human swizzle sticks with breasts — in movies by women.

Many critics hailed Niki Caro’s “Whale Rider” (2003), about a Maori preteen who challenges her tribal patriarchy and becomes the new chief, as a harbinger of the triumph of female filmmakers over the status quo. Others pointed to the fact that for the first time since records had been kept, in 2000 women made 11 percent of the top 250 box office films. For women who make movies, the new century felt like a new day.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Sadly, that encouraging percentage turned out to be a fluke. After 2000, the number dwindled. It remains stuck in the 6 to 9 percent range, says Martha Lauzen, professor of communications and head of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. Since 1998 Lauzen has tracked women working in the industry in her annual “Celluloid Ceiling” report.

“When I started this, I thought it was merely an issue of people not knowing how low the numbers were,” Lauzen said ruefully. “I didn’t know how slow social change is.”

Lauzen’s reporting represents one of three vital resources for understanding the triumphs female filmmakers have made and how far they need to go to achieve parity with men. The others are Stacy Smith’s Media Diversity and Social Change Institute at USC’s Annenberg School and The Bunche Center at UCLA.

Collectively and individually, these creators of annual good news/bad news reports have kept the issue of representation in the public eye.

The Good: For Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”), the late Nora Ephron (“Julie & Julia”), and Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “The Intern”), the 21st century has been a fruitful time. So, too, for younger female moviemakers. Consider Lisa Cholodenko (“Laurel Canyon,” “The Kids Are All Right”), Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “13th”), and Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” “The Namesake”).

Consider also that Catherine Hardwicke established a franchise with “Twilight” (which made $393 million), Sam Taylor-Johnson created another with “50 Shades of Grey” ($571 million), and that Anne Fletcher’s “The Proposal” made $317 million and Phyllida Lloyd’s “Mamma Mia!” earned $609 million.

Additionally, filmmakers like Dee Rees (“Pariah”), Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”), and Lone Scherfig (“An Education”) broke into the market with unique visions and eyes for new talent, including Adepero Oduye, Jennifer Lawrence, and Carey Mulligan. Significantly, Vicky Jenson (“Shrek”), Jennifer Lee (“Frozen”), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda 2”), and Brenda Chapman (“Brave”) staked a place for women in animation.

The Bad: For every woman appearing onscreen in movies in 2015 there were 2.3 men, according to Stacy Smith’s Media Diversity & Social Change Initiative.

The Ugly: When Walt Hickey, culture reporter for the website fivethirtyeight.com, goes to the movies and sees the screen population is 69 percent male, it just looks wrong to him. “It’s like something apocalyptic has happened, like a parallel universe — a man’s world,” he says.

Both Lauzen’s and Smith’s data show that when a woman is behind the camera and/or screenplay, 39 percent of protagonists are female. In movies by male directors, only four percent of the lead characters are female.

A century ago, male dominance behind the camera and on the screen was not the norm. For women behind the camera, it’s been the norm since 1920. And for women onscreen, it’s been the norm since 1950. Because of this, moviegoers have a distorted picture of America as predominantly male and predominantly Caucasian, when it is neither. (For finer-grain data on minority representation, see this annual report from UCLA’s Bunche Center.)

The Force Reawakens

The Hollywood Dream Factory tailors the majority of its product to the measurements of the men in the audience. This troubles those who want their daughters to partake of the same professional opportunities, cultural representation, and dream lives as their sons. While “Nine to Five,” “Norma Rae,” and “Erin Brockovich” show that studios love stories of women who triumph over the odds, there is less obvious love for female filmmakers trying to beat the odds stacked against them in their professional lives.

Since the Original Six filed suit against two studios in 1983 (see Part 3), female filmmakers have met, strategized, and troubleshot. So much so that in one of her final essays before her death in 2012, Nora Ephron made a list of “Things I Won’t Miss.” Near the top: “Panels on Women in Film.” Many women in film felt as though they were running in place.

“Instead of holding a million panels about it,” Christine Vachon, producer of “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Carol,” exclaimed at the 2016 Sundance Festival, “let’s do something about it!”

Someone had. She is Maria Giese, director of the feature films “When Saturday Comes” and “Hunger.” In February 2013 she brought a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Eeoc) in Los Angeles. Her contention was that the cohort of working filmmakers in the Directors Guild of America (DGA), of which she is a member, was overwhelmingly male.

(While the number of women in the guild directing episodic television amounts to 17 percent, the DGA 2015 census of female filmmakers registered 6.4 percent. That’s lower than the nine percent of female coal miners, and fractional next to the 32 percent of practicing physicians and 36 percent of practicing lawyers who are women).

The Eeoc, which collects data on employer/employee relations for each calendar year, was reluctant to take on a class-action suit.

In April 2013, Giese contacted the Aclu of Southern California and showed the evidence to Melissa Goodman, director of its Lgbtq, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project. For the next two years Goodman and her colleague Ariela Migdal took testimony from more than 50 female directors. In May 2015 they sent the Eeoc an extraordinary letter that counted the ways in which “female filmmakers are effectively excluded from directing big-budget films and seriously underrepresented in television.” A compelling argument in their letter: “The entertainment industry employs many people and makes products that profoundly shape our culture and the perception of women and girls.” Later in 2015, the Eeoc commenced its own investigation.

In January 2017, based on a high-level internal DGA leak received by Giese, Deadline Hollywood reported that after a federal investigation spanning a year that included testimony from over 100 women directors, the Eeoc recently served charges of sex discrimination and unfair hiring practice against all six major studios. While the federal agency does not comment on active cases, Gillian Thomas and Melissa Goodman of the Aclu wrote in an editorial that they had no reason to doubt the veracity of the leak.

A key factor contributing to Giese’s success in getting this issue to the Aclu and Eeoc was her ability to expose the structural obstacles female filmmakers face, from a guild that puts female and minority filmmakers in the same category, to the studios that question the fitness of women to direct.

Myths and Continued Underrepresentation

Over the 25 years I’ve reported on female filmmakers, I’ve interviewed two generations of movie executives. Most, but not all, were male. Most took seriously my questions about the apparent exclusion of women behind the camera, both on the screen and their forthcoming line-up.

Without exception, all of them retold one or more of the “Three Hollywood Myths.”

Myth #1) “Women don’t want to direct action movies and those are the films which are making money.”

Untrue. See: Martha Coolidge’s “Real Genius” (1985), Kathryn Bigelow’s “Point Break” (1991), Mimi Leder’s “The Peacemaker” (1997) and “Deep Impact” (1998), Lexi Alexander’s “Punisher: War Zone” (2008), and Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” (2009) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012).

What is true is that Patty Jenkins was hired to direct “Thor: The Dark World” (2013) and left due to creative differences. She is now working on the forthcoming “Wonder Woman.”

What is true is that Mira Nair was offered a “Harry Potter” film and chose instead to make the family drama “The Namesake” because the material was more important to her, and that Ava DuVernay was offered “Black Panther,” the film version of the Marvel Comics series, and declined for similar reasons.

Myth #2) “Movies by women don’t make money.”

Untrue again. Some movies by women don’t make back their investment, just as some movies by men do not. What is true is that many movies by women make major bank. Catherine Hardwicke’s little $37 million film “Twilight” grossed $393 million and launched a billion-dollar franchise.

Hardwicke told me by phone that she hears all the time from studios that films by women are poor investments. “And every time you say, ‘Well, this one made money, that one made money,’ they say, ‘This one made money because it was based on a best-selling book,’ or ‘That one made money because of its hot actress.’”

Here are six more films by women and their box-office grosses. They made money because they powerfully connected with audiences.

Bend it Like Beckham” (Gurinder Chadha). Cost: $6 million/Gross: $77 million“Frida” (Julie Taymor). Cost: $12 million/Gross: $56 million“Frozen” (Jennifer Lee). Cost: $150 million/Gross: $1.2 billion“The Proposal” (Anne Fletcher). Cost: $40 million/Gross: $317 million“Selma” (Ava DuVernay). Cost: $20 million/Gross $67 million“Lost in Translation” (Sofia Coppola). Cost: $4 million/Gross $120 million

Myth #3) “A woman behind the camera means women on the screen and no men in the audience.”

Untrue, if taken literally. Sometimes movies by women have a lower percentage of men in the audience, just as sometimes movies by men have a lower percentage of women in the audience. Take, for example, the 2015 films, “Bridge of Spies” by Steven Spielberg and “The Intern” by Nancy Meyers.

According to Paul Dergarabedian of comScore, the research company’s “PostTrak” data shows the audience gender breakdown at “Bridge of Spies,” a ’60s-era political thriller starring Tom Hanks, was 54 percent male and 46 percent female. For “The Intern,” a contemporary workplace comedy co-starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, it was 41 percent male and 59 percent female. Spielberg’s film grossed $165 million; Meyers’ $194 million. His budget was $40 million; hers was $35 million.

Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” the story of the 1965 march for voting rights led by Martin Luther King and starring David Oyelowo, had an audience gender breakdown of 47 percent male and 53 percent female. The assumption that movies come gendered with a blue or pink ribbon is a canard that still lingers in Hollywood, perhaps a vestige of the target marketing that began in the 1980s.

Speaking from the set of “Queen Sugar” in 2016, DuVernay observed, “We’re in a place right now where every other film is about a comic book superhero. We’re top-heavy with testosterone.”

How did Hollywood, a century ago a place where female directors thrived and prospered, come to this?

Stacy Title, director of “The Last Supper” and “The Bye Bye Man,” points the finger at “unconscious bias.”

Mira Nair, who was born in India, suspects chauvinism. “I’ve always remarked at the irony that the percentage of female directors is higher in India than in the United States,” she explained in a phone conversation. “India is supposed to be the traditional chauvinist culture,” she observes. Nair wonders if the historic examples of female prime ministers in South Asia — Indira Gandhi in India, Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan — may have broken the glass ceiling for all professional women there. “Their examples don’t exist in the U.S.”

DuVernay looks forward to the outcome — and hoped-for positive resolution — of the Eeoc investigation. “It’s a systematic problem and it requires radical change,” she said. “If it’s not happening organically, systems should be put in place.” Like many female filmmakers, DuVernay hopes the Eeoc can reconfigure what Giese calls the “vertical playing field for women” into a level one.

“One thing I’m heartened by,” said Nair, who’s been making features for nearly 30 years, “is that the variety and confidence of female filmmakers today is inspiring.”

Do others think it’s changed for the better for women since the 1980s?

“For me, there’s no comparison between the ’80s and now,” reflected Nancy Meyers, whose six films as a director or writer/director have grossed more than a billion dollars. By email she wrote:

Men were still getting used to us being on set in the ’80s. (Men used to have photos of pinups on the set in the ’80s! I’m not kidding.)The only women around back then worked in costumes and hair and makeup. Today women are in every department and often department heads. There are still very few women in the camera department and that’s a shame. That seems to still be a real boy’s club. Today, most crew members are far more comfortable working for and with women.

Yet one thing has not changed: “Now, getting the job to be the director — that’s still an uphill battle,” Meyers said.

In addition to writing film reviews and essays for Truthdig, Carrie Rickey has been a film critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Village Voice, and an art critic at Artforum and Art in America. Rickey has taught at various institutions, including School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, and has appeared frequently on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” MSNBC, and CNN.

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 5: 2000–2017 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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Anne Fletcher’s Comedy Dumplin’ Taps Jennifer Aniston To Headline

16 March 2017 2:41 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Jennifer Aniston has located her next project – and it’s moving at a brisk clip.

First reported by Deadline, the actress has signed on for Dumplin’, a music-driven comedy said to be similar in tone to that of Pitch Perfect and Bring It On. Anne Fletcher (Hot Pursuit, 27 Dresses, The Proposal) is behind the lens, directing a script from Kristin Hahn. Aniston, meanwhile has reportedly landed the role of Rosie, a former beauty pageant queen who now runs the local Texas pageant.

Despite initially finding a home at Disney, Dumplin’ has now uprooted for the indie route, with Deadline noting that Michael Costigan’s (Ghost In the Shell) Cota Films is attached to produce. Any other project would have struggled to gain a sense of momentum, but now that Aniston has climbed aboard, it’s understood Fletcher and Co. are eyeing a summer shoot ahead of a theatrical release in »

- Michael Briers

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Well, Hello Linky

16 March 2017 11:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Playbill Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh got their Sardi's caricatures this week

BFI Pedro Almodóvar recommends 13 Spanish films, some classics and some recent, including Jamon Jamon, Blancanieves (♥︎), and Peppermint Frappé

McCarter want to see Murder on the Orient Express on stage before the big screen remake later this year? A new production just opened in Princeton with a pretty great cast that includes Veanne Cox, Julie Halston and gorgeous Max Von Essen who should've won the Tony two years back for An American in Paris

Jezebel "Carol Without Women" boring crap or still beautiful abstraction? Must watch!

Mnpp Sam Claflin will costar in the next film from brilliant Babadook director Jennifer Kent

Interview talks to the new Iron Fist Finn Jones

Ashlee Marie shows you how to make a standing Lego Batman cake

Shudder a new streaming service for horror fans is streaming Ken Russell's notorious and brilliant and »

- NATHANIEL R

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Jennifer Aniston and Anne Fletcher Team Up for Teen Comedy

16 March 2017 10:02 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Jennifer Aniston in “We’re the Millers”

Jennifer Aniston played a Prom Queen and Homecoming Queen in “Friends,” and now she’ll take on the role of a former beauty queen. Variety reports that the expert tiara-wearer has joined the cast of “Dumplin,’” an indie teen comedy directed by Anne Fletcher (“27 Dresses”).

Based on Julie Murphy’s 2015 book of the same name, the Texas-set story follows “a confident teen girl — named Dumplin’ by her former beauty queen mom (Aniston) — taking a job at the local fast-food joint,” the source summarizes. “She meets a former jock whom she likes and he seems to like her back, but when she begins to doubt herself, she sets out to take back her confidence by entering a beauty pageant and gaining respect for her mother.” No word on who will play Dumplin’.

Kristin Hahn, who penned Catherine Hardwicke’s next movie, “Stargirl,” adapted the script and is producing along with Michael Costigan (“Stoker,” “Ghost in the Shell”) of Cota Films.

“Dumplin’” marks Fletcher’s first foray into the teen genre. She most recently helmed “Hot Pursuit,” an action comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. “The Guilt Trip,” “The Proposal,” and “Step Up” are among her other credits.

Aniston’s recent films include “Mother’s Day,” “Horrible Bosses 2,” and “Cake,” the latter of which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

“The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty,” Aniston wrote in a candid essay published by The Huffington Post last summer. On that note, we’re betting “Dumplin’” won’t depict an idealized version of beauty pageants.

Jennifer Aniston and Anne Fletcher Team Up for Teen Comedy was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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‘The Savages’ Director Tamara Jenkins to Helm Molly Shannon-Starring Netflix Drama ‘Private Life’

16 March 2017 9:49 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

It’s been exactly 10 years since Tamara Jenkins made her last feature film, “The Savages.” Now, the director returns with “Private Life,” as reported by Variety. The Netflix drama stars Molly Shannon, who just won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female for her role in “Other People,” where she plays a mother dying of cancer.

Read More: John Krasinski to Direct Emily Blunt in Supernatural Thriller ‘A Quiet Place

Per the film’s official plot synopsis, the film follows “Richard and Rachel, a couple in the throes of infertility, [who] try to maintain their marriage as they descend deeper and deeper into the weird world of assisted reproduction and domestic adoption. When their doctor suggests third party reproduction, they bristle. But when Sadie, a recent college drop out, re-enters their life, they reconsider.” Read More: Jennifer Aniston Joins Cast of Anne Fletcher’s ‘Pitch Perfect’-Esque Indie Teen Comedy

Written by Jenkins, »

- Yoselin Acevedo

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Jennifer Aniston Joins Cast of Anne Fletcher’s ‘Pitch Perfect’-Esque Indie Teen Comedy

16 March 2017 8:46 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Anne Fletcher (“Step Up,” “27 Dresses,” the massive box office juggernaut that was “The Proposal”) is getting back behind the camera with an all-new indie offering: “Dumplin,'” based on the well-received Ya novel by Julie Murphy.

Dumplin'” follows Willowdean, the daughter of Rosie, a former beauty pageant queen who now runs the local Texas pageant. To get back at her (very different) mother, Willowdean and her friends ban together to join the pageant and presumably throw it into disarray. What begins as a prank for Willowdean suddenly turns into her leading a group of misfit teenagers into the vicious realms of pageantry. The film is reportedly “music-driven” and in the realm of “Bring It On” and “Pitch Perfect.”

Read More: Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston Star in ‘Saturday Night Live’ Sketch That Takes On Women in Film – Watch

Deadline reports that Jennifer Aniston has now joined the project as Rosie. »

- Kerry Levielle

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