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Yvette Nicole Brown Reveals Experience with TV’s Gender Pay Gap
20 hours ago
It’s been television’s age-old dirty little secret: Men — white men, in particular — usually make more than their female counterparts. Though this archaic industry standard is still the status quo, it’s clear that Hollywood has overestimated the longevity of its “hush-hush” status. Now, actresses, alongside other performers of color, are beginning to talk — and they won’t stop until studios and networks listen.
After sharing her experience on Twitter for Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, television veteran Yvette Nicole Brown (“The Odd Couple,” “Community”) recently spoke with Variety about the issue. During a seemingly lighthearted conversation with fellow colleagues, Brown discovered that, as a series regular, she “was making just a smidge over what a white man was making as a Guest star.” It became clear that she was making far less than her regular counterparts “because no one was shocked by what the guest star earned.”
Brown explains that this mentality first begins at the pilot level partially due to experience. “Your [pay] quote increases when you book pilots,” she explains. However, auditioning for pilots, let alone booking them, is easier said than done. According to Variety, of the 46 lead roles available in this year’s pilot season, only 33 percent are female and only 20 percent were given to people of color.
Counterarguments regarding experience and “worth” are therefore flawed from the get-go. This becomes even more evident at the top of the financial pyramid, as even women who have “made it” on a successful, regular series continue to come in behind their male co-stars.
As we’ve previously reported, some of television’s biggest female stars have had to oust their network and fight for equal pay. “Shameless” actress Emmy Rossum” fought for a raise last December, and “Criminal Minds’” Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook have just recently begun to earn a salary “on par” with co-star Matthew Gray Gubler. “The Big Bang Theory’s” Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch have also recently held out for a pay raise.
According to the newest salary numbers from Variety, it’s clear that speaking out has worked to some effect. Emmy Rossum’s pay now matches that of co-star William C. Macy, and Mialik and Rauch have indeed received a salary closer to that of “The Big Bang Theory’s” original five.
But let’s be clear: The pay gap is a complicated issue that accounts for much, much more than gender. Pay is also “depressed by lack of demand” for roles featuring women of color. While the majority of white women who fight for equality may succeed, the on-screen pay gap is also “fused to the shortcomings in diversity and inclusion that networks and studios have made progress in addressing but failed to correct.” Despite its proven success, inclusivity still remains on Hollywood’s back-burner.
This is why Variety’s release of the latest numbers is so important. As Brown emphasizes, “I speak up because others who are coming up cannot speak up.”
Yvette Nicole Brown Reveals Experience with TV’s Gender Pay Gap was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
MoMA to Host Kelly Reichardt Mid-Career Retrospective
21 hours ago
If you can’t wait for Kelly Reichardt’s next film, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has something to tide you over. The museum will be hosting a mid-career retrospective of Reichardt’s work, entitled “Powerfully Observant,” next month. The event will include screenings of the six feature-length films Reichardt has helmed since 1994: “River of Grass,” “Old Joy,” “Wendy and Lucy,” “Meek’s Cutoff,” “Night Moves,” and “Certain Women.”
“Kelly Reichardt is a true American auteur,” the MoMA writes of the director. “You know her films when you see them. Her camera focuses on a landscape and remains, still and patient, until the most minor action occurs — and then she holds for a moment more, an audaciously minimalist style that challenges the audience to focus on light, shadow, or the merest sound. Reichardt’s films have always been preoccupied with the ordinary, tricky messes characters cook up in their daily lives, and her characters are conflicted, exhausted, inhabiting unremarkable worlds laden with broken promises.”
“Like all of [my] films, there are slices of life with people that you sort of catch up with,” Reichardt told us when we interviewed her about “Night Moves” in 2014. “Hopefully they are films that ask questions. They all have similar themes — the individual versus the group, what it means to be part of the community, that sort of thing.”
Reichardt’s most recent (and highest grossing) film, “Certain Women,” was named Best Film at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival. The drama follows the intersecting lives of several women (Reichardt muse Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Lily Gladstone) living in a small Montana town.
Next, Reichardt will work with writer Patrick DeWitt on an adaptation of his novel “Undermajordomo Minor.” The story follows a young pathological liar named Lucien “Lucy” Minor and his job as Undermajordomo (assistant to the Majordomo) at an isolated, mysterious castle.
“Powerfully Observant” will run September 12–25, 2017 at The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters in New York. The featured films and their synopses are below, courtesy of the MoMA. Head over to the MoMA’s website for more information.
Reichardt’s debut feature, first screened at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the tale of Cozy, a small-town girl who thought marrying her high school sweetheart would fix her brokendown life. Named after her father’s favorite drummer, Cozy Cole, she is so starved for attention that she does cartwheels and back flips in her small Florida home and pretends to wave at a nonexistent audience. In some way, her life begins when she meets a stoner named Lee and they go on the lam. But…from what?
Tues, September 12, 7:00Pm T2
Sat, September 23, 7:00Pm T2
Kurt and Mark are old friends whose lives have taken various twists and turns since their last meeting. Mark has a house, a job, and a pregnant wife who isn’t thrilled with him running off for a weekend at an Oregon hot springs with the idle Kurt. Kurt reminisces about their town and Mark breaks the news that many of those mom and pop stores are now serving smoothies or overpriced coffee. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest is comes to the fore in extended passages of verdant landscape and silence between the men. Based on a short story by Jonathan Raymond, a frequent Reichardt collaborator.
Weds, September 13, 7:00Pm T2
Fri, September 22, 7:00Pm T2
Film critic Roger Ebert’s 2009 review of “Wendy and Lucy” begins with a prescient comment: “I know so much about Wendy, although this movie tells me so little.” Perhaps Wendy’s story is all too familiar? She’s out of work, has a cool relationship with her family, thinks moving to Alaska will be a panacea, and loves no one but her dog Lucy. Wendy keeps every disappointment, slight, and anxieties bottled up inside, only reacting when Lucy goes missing. Michelle Williams was nominated for several industry awards for her role as Wendy, winning the Toronto Film Critics Association prize.
Thurs, September 14, 7:00Pm T2
Sun, September 24, 5:00Pm T2
As three families head west on the Oregon Trail in 1845, it soon becomes apparent that their guide, Stephen Meek, is lost and their lives are in danger from possible attack, exposure, and lack of water and food. This is an uncommon Western tale, focusing on the women who, for lack of a permanent home, fuss over and adjust the meager belongings stored inside their wagons. As the journey becomes more arduous, they must shed tangible links to their past, such as heirloom furniture that weighs down the unwieldy wagons. Alone on the vast plains, the tormented travelers have few options for survival.
Fri, September 15, 7:00Pm, T2
Thurs, September 21, 4:00Pm T2
The environmental thriller “Night Moves,” about a trio of eco-terrorists deep into a plot to blow up an Oregon hydroelectric dam, represents a monumental shift in Kelly Reichardt’s filmography. Each protagonist has a private backstory — dropout, trust-fund baby, exmilitary — that tumbles out in the quiet moments of the film. As in many of Reichardt’s films, the primordial, verdant Oregon landscape often acts as a hushed character in the narrative.
Sat, September 16, 7:00Pm T2
Tues, September 19, 7:00Pm T2
The lives of four very different women intersect in a small Montana town — but none of them pause to realize how they intersect with one another. If they did, they would resolve some personal issues and maybe bring some consolation into their lives. A frazzled attorney carries on a passionless affair; a married couple decides to build a weekend cabin but realize their
marriage is crumbling; and Beth, a young lawyer, drives four hours in each direction to teach an adult-ed class about some mundane aspect of the law. Actress Lily Gladstone, as the lonely rancher who becomes enamored of Beth, is the true standout in this film. Her face, with its benevolent smile, is as open as the Montana landscape. When her heart breaks, so will yours.
Sun, September 17, 7:00Pm T2
Weds, September 20, 7:00Pm T2
MoMA to Host Kelly Reichardt Mid-Career Retrospective was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Apply Now to the SouthMed Women in Audiovisual Program
22 hours ago
Credit: SouthMed WiA
While Hollywood continues to overlook its blatant disregard for inclusivity, programs around the world are working towards leveling the playing field. Women in Audiovisual in the Southern Mediterranean (SouthMed WiA), a project funded by the European Union, is the latest to get on board.
SouthMed WiA aims to enhance the role of women in the audiovisual profession, specifically throughout the Mediterranean’s southern region. Targeted countries include Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia.
Per its website, by funding six to eight female-led projects, SouthMed WiA hopes to “contribute to sustainable development and cultural diversity by enhancing the image of women in the film sector.”
Beneficiaries will undergo “research activities, training, and awareness training and advocacy.” In addition to a monetary amount, participants will also receive “capacity building, networking activities, and continuous coaching.”
Beneficiary commitment to SouthMed WiA will run from this October to February 2019. During this timeframe, SouthMed WiA will simultaneously produce campaigns to promote gender equality, a documentary on young female filmmakers, and a regional final event.
Projects are chosen based on relevance, potential and feasibility, proposed budget, previous experience, and communication and dissemination.
Visit SouthMed WiA’s website to apply and find out more. Applications will be accepted until September 15, 2017.
Apply Now to the SouthMed Women in Audiovisual Program was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
Trailer Watch: A Grieving Father & Son Face Off in Natalia Garagiola’s “Hunting Season”
23 hours ago
The trailer for Natalia Garagiola’s new feature film clearly establishes two worlds: the one within the home and the one outside. “Hunting Season” (“Temporada de Caza”) follows the tumultuous relationship between an estranged father and son as they are pushed together through loss and grief.
As the synopsis explains, Nahuel’s father makes his living as a hunter in the Patagonia forests. Under his father’s authoritative grip, “Nahuel will discover love and his capacity to kill.” This ensemble cast features newcomer Lautaro Bettoni, German Palacios (“Xxy”), and Rita Pauls (“Inseparables”).
Garagiola’s debut feature as a solo director is a co-production between Rei Cine, Augenschein Filmproduktion, Les Films de l’Étranger, and Gamechanger Films.
Gamechanger films exclusively funds feature films directed by women. According to Screen Daily, “Hunting Season” marks the first time the New York-based fund “has co-financed a film outside the U.S.” Recent Gamechanger films include Sarah Adina Smith’s “Buster’s Mal Heart,” So Yong Kim’s “Lovesong” and Karyn Kusama’s “The Invitation.”
It is one of four female-helmed films scheduled to play during Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, which will be held August 30-September 9. “Hunting Season” will debut September 14 in Argentina.
Trailer Watch: A Grieving Father & Son Face Off in Natalia Garagiola’s “Hunting Season” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
Rebecca Thomas Will Direct Sci-Fi Thriller “Intelligent Life”
22 August 2017 7:01 AM, PDT
Rebecca Thomas will be taking the reins on another sci-fi film. The “Stranger Things” director — who signed on for the sci-fi action-thriller “Malignant” earlier this month — will helm Amblin Entertainment’s “Intelligent Life.” The Hollywood Reporter broke the story.
Originally written by “Jurassic World” scribes Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, “Intelligent Life” follows a Un worker who manages to communicate with a woman — who is possibly an alien — as he surveils outer space. Jay Roach (“Game Change”) was hired last year to touch up Trevorrow and Connolly’s script, and Thomas will also reportedly be contributing some re-writes.
“Rebecca beautifully captured the alienation we often feel amongst our fellow humans in her first feature [‘Electrick Children’],” Trevorrow and producer Frank Marshall said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see her explore those themes further in a story about our place in the universe.”
Based on the Boom! Studios comic “Malignant Man” and written by Zak Olkewicz, Thomas’ “Malignant” will center on a terminally ill patient who is tasked with fighting a secret army after finding out his tumor is actually an alien parasite.
Thomas has a number of high-profile films in the works, including a live-action telling of “The Little Mermaid” starring Chloe Grace Moretz (“If I Stay”), and an adaptation of beloved John Green Ya novel “Looking for Alaska.” In March she signed on to bring Cheryl Della Pietra’s semi-autobiographical novel “Gonzo Girl” to the big screen.
She made her feature debut with 2012’s “Electrick Children,” a drama about a Mormon teen who thinks she was impregnated by listening to music. Shorts “Ivan Sings” and “Las Vegas, West,” and an episode of Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s “Sweet/Vicious” are among her other credits.
Rebecca Thomas Will Direct Sci-Fi Thriller “Intelligent Life” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Trailer Watch: Two Friends Face Trauma and Grief in Liz W. Garcia’s “One Percent More Humid”
21 August 2017 11:01 AM, PDT
“This is a moment right before everything falls apart,” a serious Iris (Juno Temple) tells her forbidden lover, Gerald (Alessandro Nivola). “You just have to keep walking and trying not to fall down for as long as possible.”
As writer-director Liz W. Garcia told Women and Hollywood, “This is a film about grief. Sorry! There are some laughs, too, and it’s sexy, I promise. But essentially, this is a movie about the effect of grief on the friendship of two young women.”
The Tribeca award-nominated “One Percent More Humid” features Temple (Jill Soloway’s “Afternoon Delight”) and Julia Garner (“Grandma”) as two friends who return home for the summer. Instead of the lighthearted summer they originally planned, they become overwhelmed with respective forbidden love affairs. Eventually, the two are finally forced to confront the trauma and grief they’ve spent so much time trying to repress.
Garcia explains that “One Percent More Humid” was 15 years in the making. “This particular idea begged to be written because I wrote it when I was the age of these characters, and I set it the world I grew up in. It was about lust I felt, loneliness I felt, and the places in the natural world that moved me.”
Trailer Watch: Two Friends Face Trauma and Grief in Liz W. Garcia’s “One Percent More Humid” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
Movies Announced from Directors St. Vincent, Emily Harris, & Brittany Poulton
21 August 2017 10:01 AM, PDT
Several new women-directed films are on the way. According to recent reports, we can expect the feature directorial debut from musical artist St. Vincent as well as Emily Harris’ first solo feature. In addition, Brittany Poulton will write and direct her first feature film alongside Daniel Savage.
Per Variety, Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) is set to direct a gender-reversal of Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” from a script by David Birke (“Elle”). The original 1890 novel follows a bon vivant who stays young while his portrait ages. Clark’s project will see a woman play the titular role.
Clark made her directorial debut earlier this year with “The Birthday Cake” segment of the all-women-directed horror anthology “Xx.” The film also featured segments from Karyn Kusama (“The Invitation”), Roxanne Benjamin (“Southbound”), and Jovanka Vuckovic (“The Guest”). Clark co-wrote and scored “The Birthday Cake,” which follows a mother (Melanie Lynskey) who tries to keep her husband’s death a secret during her daughter’s birthday party.
Emily Harris’ first feature as a solo director will be “Carmilla,” a gothic love story starring Jessica Raine (“Call The Midwife”). The film will be adapted from the 1872 vampire novel by Sheridan Le Fanu. ScreenDaily broke the story.
Raine will portray Miss Fontaine, a governess whose ward is the isolated teen Lara (Hannah Rae, “Broadchurch”). “Struggling to find an outlet for her burgeoning sexuality, Lara is enchanted by the mysterious Carmilla (Devrim Lingnau, “Under Suspicion”) and the pair strike up a passionate relationship,” the source summarizes. “However, with rumors and superstition rife and with the exhortation of the family doctor (Tobias Menzies, “Outlander”), Carmilla’s presence in their home begins to strike fear into those around her.”
Principal photography on “Carmilla” will begin mid-September in East Sussex.
“‘Them That Follow’ is a dramatic thriller set deep in the wilds of Appalachia, where a Pentecostal pastor, Lemuel Childs, and his believers handle venomous snakes to prove themselves before God,” Deadline writes. “The tale focuses on Lemuel’s daughter, Mara (Alice Englert). She holds a secret that threatens to tear the church apart: her romantic past with a nonbeliever, Augie (Thomas Mann). As Mara’s wedding to a devoted follower looms, she must decide whether or not to trust the steely matriarch of their community, Hope (Olivia Colman), with her heart and life at stake.”
Production is scheduled to begin in October.
Englert has previously worked with female directors like Hannah Cowley (“Flame of the West”), Sally Potter (“Ginger & Rosa”), and Alison Maclean (“The Rehearsal”). Next, Englert will appear in “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” the Sundance series created and co-directed by her mother, Jane Campion. The Elisabeth Moss-starring show returns September 10.
Movies Announced from Directors St. Vincent, Emily Harris, & Brittany Poulton was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Women Sizzle at an Otherwise Not-So-Hot Summer Box Office
21 August 2017 9:01 AM, PDT
All in all, it’s been a rough summer for movie theaters. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this season’s box office is “pacing 12.4 percent behind last year” and it’s predicted that it may be the “first time since 2007 [that box office numbers don’t] clear the $4 billion threshold.” Despite these overall dismal projections, one thing has consistently continued to shine and sell: female-centric films.
“Wonder Woman” is, without a doubt, the most successful film of the summer. As we’ve previously reported, Patty Jenkins’ superheroine film has surpassed the domestic $400 million mark and continues to reign over both summer blockbusters “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Its international takeaway of over $800 million has designated Jenkins as the top-grossing solo female director of all time.
Though an exciting anomaly in its own right, “Wonder Woman” is not the only female-centric winner of the summer. In fact, films released as early as May arguably established this trend. Stella Meghie’s teen romance “Everything, Everything” broke even — and then some — during its opening weekend. According to Box Office Mojo, this $10 million film has now grossed just over $34 million.
“Everything, Everything” was recently surpassed by “Girls Trip” as the highest grossing domestic film about women of color this year. A $19 million comedy written by Tracy Oliver and Kenya Barris, “Girls Trip” follows four best friends (Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith) on a weekend trip to New Orleans. Per Variety, it had the “largest opening of any live-action comedy this year,” and it has now grossed almost $104 million.
This seasons’s shark survival thriller, “47 Meters Down,” has also enjoyed drastically successful returns. As Variety reports, the Mandy Moore and Claire Holt-starrer was originally slated for a DVD release. For a multitude of reasons, distributor Fyzz Facility decided to give the $5.5 million film a theatrical route, and it more than paid off. So far, the film has earned over $43 million at the domestic box office. That’s over $4 million more than Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” which cost $175 million to make.
Summer’s other thriller, “Annabelle: Creation” took first place during its opening weekend. The fourth installment in the “Conjuring” series beat Christopher Nolan’s war drama “Dunkirk” by over $25 million despite a similar theater count. It has now grossed over $64 million domestically.
The indie circuit has been no different. According to Deadline, Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” — which earned her Best Director at Cannes — just surpassed $10 million domestically. This makes it “one of the only summer specialities to reach the eight-figure threshold.” July’s rom-com “The Big Sick,” which is co-written by Emily V. Gordon, has also reached this milestone.
As the summer comes to a close, female-led summer specialties continue to dominate. “Ingrid Goes West,” a hyper-millennial dramedy starring Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) and Elizabeth Olsen (“Captain America: Civil War”), opened with “$141,216 from just three screens.” It has now grossed roughly $438,700 across 26 theaters.
“Patti Cake$” — the second-highest movie buy at this year’s Sundance Film Festival — had “the highest absolute gross among new specialities this weekend,” Deadline reports. This drama following a female rapper is expected to draw even more crowds as its theatrical run expands over the coming weeks.
The box office numbers speak for themselves. Even in the roughest of summers, female-led content continues to prove its worth where others fall short. This can only mean one thing: audiences like what they’re seeing onscreen and demand more of it. It’s no accident that this year’s box office leaders — “Beauty and the Beast” at $504 million and “Wonder Woman following close behind — are female-led.
The industry itself therefore needs to catch up and accept these clues at face value. Take it from us: If you bet on women, you’ll win every time.
Women Sizzle at an Otherwise Not-So-Hot Summer Box Office was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
Trailer Watch: Neither Zoë Kravitz nor Lola Kirke Is Safe in “Gemini”
21 August 2017 8:01 AM, PDT
The movie star’s fears aren’t unfounded: the next time Jill the assistant reports to work, she finds Heather dead, the victim of a violent crime. Even worse? The murder weapon is the gun Jill loaned to Heather.
Written and directed by Aaron Katz (“Land Ho!”), “Gemini” co-stars John Cho (“Star Trek” franchise) as a detective who believes Jill is somehow involved in the murder. He’s not the only one. “Motive, opportunity, capacity,” a friend (Nelson Franklin, “Veep”) tells Jill, presumably spelling out why she’s the prime suspect. “You two were, like, freaking best friends — people like that kill each other all the time.”
Kravitz was last seen in the hit HBO miniseries “Big Little Lies” and in Lucia Aniello’s ensemble comedy “Rough Night.” Kirke most recently appeared as a young army recruit in love with a married woman in Deb Shoval’s “Awol.” She is also a series regular on Amazon’s New York Symphony-set series, “Mozart in the Jungle.”
“Gemini” is scheduled for a spring 2018 release.
Trailer Watch: Neither Zoë Kravitz nor Lola Kirke Is Safe in “Gemini” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Jennifer Yuh Nelson to Helm “Bittersweet Life” Remake
21 August 2017 7:01 AM, PDT
Jennifer Yuh Nelson: Dp/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood/YouTube
As we previously reported, “Kung Fu Panda 2” director Jennifer Yuh Nelson has begun to direct live-action work alongside her already-prestigious animation career. Now, per Deadline, Nelson will join forces with “Creed” star Michael B. Jordan, Fox, and production company 21 Laps to remake “A Bittersweet Life.”
Originally a Korean cult action flick, “The Bittersweet Life” follows a longtime mobster who becomes emotionally torn between his boss and the mistress he’s been ordered to kill. The newly Americanized version, which will star Jordan, will be a “high-concept, character-driven genre film with franchise potential.”
Nelson’s background is predominantly in animation as both a storyboard artist and director. Her directorial debut, “Kung Fu Panda 2,” and its successor, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” received Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Picture.
Alongside “Frozen” co-director Jennifer Lee, Nelson is one of very few women directors in animation. Even though women make up roughly 60 percent of college animation programs, they represent only about 20 percent of the creative workforce.
Nelson’s live-action adaptation of “The Darkest Minds” is still in production. Featuring Mandy Moore (“This is Us,” “Tangled”), Amandla Stenberg (“Everything, Everything”), and Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”), the sci-fi thriller follows a group of supernatural children on the run from the government. It is expected to hit theaters in 2018.
Jennifer Yuh Nelson to Helm “Bittersweet Life” Remake was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore