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2 items from 2017

Inaugural Half Fest Directors Showcase to Highlight Women and Minorities in Hollywood

19 July 2017 7:06 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Director Jennifer Lynch will speak at the showcase: movieweb/YouTube

Ryan Murphy is expanding the work of the Half, a foundation within his 20th Century Fox-based production company. Launched in the summer of 2016, Half aims to diversify Hollywood by offering mentorships to underrepresented groups in the industry and committing to more mindful hiring practices.

The “Glee” co-creator committed to having 50 percent of all director gigs on his shows — including “Scream Queens,” “American Crime Story,” and “American Horror Story” — go to either women or minority candidates, which he defines as people of color or members of the Lgbtq community. His self-imposed deadline to achieve this goal was the end of 2016, but he surpassed it. As of December 2016, 60 percent of his directing gigs were going to women. And now the Emmy winner has announced the Half Fest Directors Showcase, a free two-day event at La’s Skirball Cultural Center. A press release revealed that “attendees will have the opportunity to watch short films by the first cohort of Half Foundation mentees, as well as attend Q&As and talks on how to succeed in Hollywood.”

“I’m pleased that the public will have a chance to view the work of rising talented directors,” remarked Murphy. “The Half directing mentees range from college students to professionals and have created worthy short films.” The Half Directing Mentorship Program has already mentored nearly 30 emerging directors — all women, people of color, and/ or members of the Lgbtq community — since it was launched a year ago.

The event will include a panel discussion — with industry execs from Half, Fox, NBC, CBS, and Warner Bros. — about various director programs available and how applicants can make their submissions stand out. Directors Jennifer Lynch (“Quantico,” “Boxing Helena”) and Nelson Cragg (“American Crime Story”) are scheduled to speak at the event.

Check out more information about the Half Fest Directors Showcase over at Skirball’s website. Reservations are now open.

Inaugural Half Fest Directors Showcase to Highlight Women and Minorities in Hollywood 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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‘Feud’: Inside Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon’s Take on a Hollywood Battle Royale

15 February 2017 9:45 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Dressed in a black ensemble topped by a long brown coat, Ryan Murphy darts back and forth between two rooms in the chilly Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. On this January day, a cramped space in this deliciously retro complex houses the monitors for Murphy as he directs an episode of his new FX series “Feud: Bette and Joan” that is set at the 1963 Academy Awards.

It’s a pivotal moment in the famous rivalry between legendary actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Having co-starred in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” both women wanted the career boost of appearing on the Oscar podium. While it’s tough to spoil an event that happened more than five decades ago, let’s just say it was, to quote Davis, a “bumpy night.”

Feud” — which debuts March 5 — mines that decades-old conflict to tell a modern and highly relevant story about Hollywood, sexism, and survival.

Unfailingly »

- Maureen Ryan

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