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Judi Dench to Receive Kirk Douglas Award at Santa Barbara Film Fest

1 hour ago

Dench in “Victoria & Abdul”

The Queen is adding another jewel to her crown. Judi Dench will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film, a press release has announced.

The celebrated actress’ latest film, “Victoria & Abdul,” recently made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The period drama sees her playing Queen Victoria, whom she previously portrayed in 1997’s “Mrs. Brown.” She depicted Queen Elizabeth in 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love.” Both roles earned her Oscar nominations, and she won for the latter.

“I am especially delighted to learn that Dame Judi Dench will accept the award that bears my name,” said Douglas in a statement. “She is a consummate artist of stage and screen who is a particular favorite of mine. I wish I could have had the joy of working with her, but I am happy for the pleasure of seeing my name coupled with hers in support of the Santa Barbara Film Festival.”

Dench will be presented with the honor on November 30. Previous recipients include Jessica Lange and Jane Fonda.

“Victoria & Abdul” hits theaters September 22.

Judi Dench to Receive Kirk Douglas Award at Santa Barbara Film Fest 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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Watch: This Honest Trailer Spotlights Why We Love “Wonder Woman”

2 hours ago

Wonder Woman

Screen Junkies’ new Honest Trailer for “Wonder Woman” breaks down the charm of the much-loved film with one line: “Patty Jenkins bravely asks the question, ‘What if a female-led superhero movie wasn’t absolute garbage from beginning to end and had a powerful message for girls?’”

Sure, that’s an oversimplification of the many things to love about the $819 million-grossing (to date) flick, but it’s accurate. Audiences love the Gal Gadot-starrer because it’s fun, entertaining cinema that’s not a setback for women. Jenkins’ film is a blockbuster you can whole-heartedly enjoy without checking your feminist ideals at the door.

Plus, as the Honest Trailer points out, “Wonder Woman” smartly re-writes the usual gender roles present in superhero flicks. “Chris Pine surprises and delights,” the clip’s narrator observes, “but he’s more than just eye candy. He’s Diana’s emotional support, a voice of caution, and a love interest in constant need of rescue. Hey, they give him the role women always have to play against the male superheroes, didn’t they? I see what you did there.”

Viewers saw it, too — and seemed to dig it. “Wonder Woman” is the highest-grossing live-action film from a female director as well as the woman-helmed film with the highest domestic box office take. Plus, the movie keeps landing Jenkins in the history books. She holds the record for highest domestic opening for a female director, is the top-grossing solo female director at the international box office, and became the highest-paid female filmmaker of all-time when she officially signed on to direct “Wonder Woman 2.”

Wonder Woman” is now available on Blu-ray/DVD and VOD. You can still catch it in theaters as well. Check out its Honest Trailer, er, the real trailer for “A Justice League of Her Own” below.


Watch: This Honest Trailer Spotlights Why We Love “Wonder Woman” 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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Newly Launched BFI Filmography Reveals Stark Gender Disparity in UK Film

2 hours ago

Jodie Whittaker, one of the BFI Filmography’s most prolific actresses, in “Adult Life Skills

Today the BFI introduced the BFI Filmography, a complete, living record of all the 10,000-and-counting UK films released since 1911. While the resource is, as the BFI describes, “a treasure trove of new information,” it is also a revealing account of the pronounced gender inequality present in UK movies, both on and offscreen.

Among other issues, the filmography is plagued with gender stereotypes. The BFI found that the four character types women are most likely to portray are prostitutes, housekeepers, nurses, and receptionists. Of course, that’s when women are onscreen at all. As the filmography shows, the past century hasn’t featured much change in opportunity for female actors: women comprised 31 percent of film casts in 1913 and, so far, represent 30 percent of the casts in 2017.

Overall, female actors tend to work less than their male counterparts. For example, the most prolific male actor working today is Michael Caine, who has made 70 films to date. The most prolific actress still working is Judi Dench, who has made 41 films.

As for women in behind-the-scenes roles, the BFI Filmography includes only 23 projects with a majority-female crew, which amounts to about one percent. Just seven percent of the films made since 2000 were made by a majority-female crew. As one would expect, the number of women working on film crews has increased over the past 100 years — but the rate of change is still frustratingly slow. Women accounted for three percent of film crews in 1913, and by the early 2000s that number had grown to 27 percent. Women comprise 34 percent of this year’s film crews.

Women helmed only 4.5 percent of the BFI filmography and, like their onscreen counterparts, female directors tend to work much less than men. With 13 movies, Muriel Box (“Rattle of a Simple Man,” “The Piper’s Tune”) is the filmography’s most prolific female director. Maurice Elvey (“The Suicide Club,” “Love in a Wood”) is the most prolific male director with 151 films. That’s right: Elvey made over 11 times as many films as Box.

Director of Photography is the crew role that features the largest gender gap. Women DoPs have shot just 1.3 percent of UK films. With eight films, Nina Kellgren (“Young Soul Rebels”) is the female DoP with the most work experience.

The gender disparity of the BFI Filmography is disheartening of course, but it could also be a springboard for reform in the UK film industry — and not just for women’s representation. The lack of racial diversity in UK movies is also startling: 59 percent of the last decade’s films featured no black actors. As the BFI stated: “Whilst the BFI Filmography launches with a detailed look at gender, it is the intention to continue to build on the data, to provide a greater understanding of representation on and off screen.” Here’s hoping that studios really consider the BFI Filmography and decide that the next 100 years of cinema will be a better, more inclusive place.

Some additional stats from the filmography are below, courtesy of the BFI. Go to the BFI Filmography website to look through the new resource and find out more.

Most prolific women actors of each decade 1960–2017


Marianne Stone — 62 films


Marianne Stone — 37 films


Liz Smith — 14 films


Sadie Frost — 10 films


Shirley Henderson — 18 films


Kate Dickie — 13 films

Jodie Whittaker — 12 films

Most prolific women actors (still working)

Judi Dench — 41 films

Maggie Smith — 40 films

Vanessa Redgrave — 40 films

Sylvia Syms — 38 films

Liz Fraser — 37 films

Joan Collins — 37 films

Honor Blackman — 36 films

Jane Carr — 34 films

Julie Walters — 34 films

Helen Mirren — 33 films

4 Characters women are Most likely to play (when name/gender is unspecified)

Prostitute — 94% cast as women

Housekeeper — 91% cast as women

Nurse — 88% cast as women

Receptionist — 80% cast as women

4 Characters women are Least likely to play (when name/gender is unspecified)

Police Inspector — 0% cast as women

Police Sergeant — 0% cast as women

Steward — 0% cast as women

Taxi Driver — 0% cast as women

Most prolific women directors

Muriel Box — 13 films

Christine Edzard — 7 films

Gurinder Chadha — 7 films

Sally Potter — 7 films

Wendy Toye — 6 films

Mira Nair — 6 films

Penny Woolcock — 5 films

Beeban Kidron — 5 films

Debbie Isitt — 5 films

Mary McGuckian — 5 films

Newly Launched BFI Filmography Reveals Stark Gender Disparity in UK Film 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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Trailer Watch: Melissa McCarthy Plays to Win in “Cook Off!”

3 hours ago

“Cook Off!

Contestants from all over the nation assemble to compete in the Rookle Farms Cooking Contest in a new trailer for “Cook Off!” The Melissa McCarthy-starrer sees a motley crew of characters — including a sex toy consultant, a ladybug enthusiast, and the first man to ever compete — coming together at the convention, each of them desperate to win the million dollar-prize. The mockumentary chronicles their journeys, which as you might expect, include some epic meltdowns in the kitchen.

“Tensions are running high,” an announcer says. A judge observes, “The lady in the black leather outfit is weeping into a large mixing bowl.” And McCarthy’s character has a spectacular fall while she’s racing against the clock (but her sweet potato-marshmallow abomination survives unscathed).

“Cook Off!” is directed by Cathryn Michon (“Muffin Top: A Love Story”) and and Guy Shalem (“Betty White’s Off Their Rockers”). The former adapted her own book with co-writers Wendi McLendon-Covey (“G.I.L.F.”) and W. Bruce Cameron (“A Dog’s Purpose”).

Along with McCarthy, the ensemble cast includes Michon, McLendon-Covey, and Niecy Nash (“Claws”).

“Cook Off!” made its world premiere at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Aspen in 2007. This new, re-edited version of the film will hit theaters November 17.


Trailer Watch: Melissa McCarthy Plays to Win in “Cook Off!” 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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Fall 2017 TV Preview: New Shows By and About Women to Check Out

4 hours ago

Star Trek: Discovery”: CBS Entertainment

We are officially in the throes of the fall television season — and the next couple of months will be an especially good time for women on the small screen. From now until Thanksgiving there will be a bunch of new female-driven projects to check out across broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms.

This Sunday marks premiere of the much-anticipated “Star Trek: Discovery,” a feminist prequel to the Kirk and Spock-led 1966 original. The CBS All Access series revolves around two women of color: Starfleet officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh).

October will see the bows of several women-created series. Among them are two ABC shows: Tassie Cameron’s child abduction drama “Ten Days in the Valley” starring Kyra Sedgwick, and Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters’ “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,” a dramedy about depression, faith, and life. The CW will also debut the reboot of “Dynasty,” co-created by Stephanie Savage and Sallie Patrick. The update of the classic soap will focus on the not-too-friendly relationship between a woman and her same-aged stepmother-to-be.

Three women-hosted talk shows will also kick off in October. Sarah Silverman and Robin Thede will take on politics and current events in Hulu’s “I Love You, America” and Bet’s “The Rundown,” respectively. And Amy Sedaris will instruct us on cooking and crafting via her manic, twisted worldview in the truTV series “At Home With Amy Sedaris.”

The second Margaret Atwood TV adaptation this year, “Alias Grace,” will hit Netflix in early November. Written by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron, the Canada-set miniseries follows Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant accused and convicted of murder. For lighter November fare, turn to “Smilf” and “She’s Gotta Have It,” both of which are comedies inspired by films. Frankie Shaw’s “Smilf” is about a young mother trying to find romantic and professional fulfillment, which is extra difficult since she is also raising a child. “She’s Gotta Have It,” meanwhile, sees an independent Brooklyn artist juggle relationships with three different men.

Here are just some of the new series and television projects from and about women premiering this fall.

Star Trek: Discovery” (Premieres September 24 on CBS All Access)

Star Trek: Discovery”: CBS All Access

What it’s about: Set a decade before Kirk and Spock’s adventures on the Enterprise, “Star Trek: Discovery” centers on a female Starfleet officer named Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green), her captain (Michelle Yeoh), and the rest of the crew of the USS Discovery as they encounter new worlds and beings as they travel throughout space.

Why we’re excited: While the number of black and Asian female characters on TV is slowly increasing, it’s still uncommon for a series to feature more than one woman of color, let alone two female lead characters of color. So it seems “Discovery” will be a trailblazer in that regard. Also, per an early trailer, it appears that the mentor-protege relationship between Captain Georgiou and Michael will be a main focus. We think a feminist, diverse “Star Trek” is the sci-fi project 2017 needs right now.

The Magic School Bus Rides Again” (Premieres September 29 on Netflix)

The Magic School Bus Rides Again

What it’s about: Kate McKinnon will lead this reboot of the classic kids’ series. Ms. Fiona Frizzle — younger sister of Lily Tomlin’s original Ms. Valerie Frizzle — takes the students of Walkerville Elementary on scientific, adventure-filled field trips with the help of a very special school bus.

Why we’re excited: If “Hidden Figures” taught us anything, it’s that young female viewers crave stories about women in Stem fields. “The Magic School Bus Rides Again” is both a project that will expose young women to the wonders of science and serve as a worthy successor to the “Magic School Bus” of the ’90s. Plus, with her habit of playing smart, weird, enthusiastic characters, McKinnon is the perfect actress to follow in Tomlin’s footsteps.

“Ten Days in the Valley” — Created and Written by Tassie Cameron (Premieres October 1 on ABC)

“Ten Days in the Valley”

What it’s about: Jane Sadler (Kyra Sedgwick) is the producer of a controversial television series about the police. Also a single mother, Jane’s personal and professional lives are upended when her daughter goes missing.

Why we’re excited: Sedgwick has a knack for playing skilled law enforcement officials (“The Closer,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and also had a memorable turn as a lonely widowed mother in last year’s “Edge of Seventeen.” “Ten Days in the Valley” is a drama that will bridge those two aspects of Sedgwick’s talents and could potentially provide meta-commentary on the way police cases are portrayed on TV versus the way they work in reality.

“9Jkl” — Co-Created by Dana Klein (Premieres October 2 on CBS)

What it’s about: Newly divorced actor Josh Roberts (Mark Feuerstein) returns home to New York City and moves into an apartment bookended by his parents and his brother.

Why we’re excited: “9Jkl” is loosely based on star Feuerstein’s own experiences and was co-created and is exec produced by the actor’s wife, Dana Klein. With a woman in one of the series’ creative roles, it’s likely that “9Jkl” will be more than the typical “dude who can’t get away from his overbearing family” fare. It’s also possible that Klein’s presence behind-the-scenes will mean that the roles of Josh’s mother (Linda Lavin) and sister-in-law (Liza Lapira) will be given more depth than is usual for female characters in broad sitcoms.

The Halcyon” — Created by Charlotte Jones (Premieres October 2 on Ovation)

The Halcyon

What it’s about: This glamorous British import is set in a five-star hotel in WWII-era London. “The Halcyon” takes us into the lives of the socialites and guests who frequent the hotel as well those who work at the venue, and explores how everyone has been affected by the war.

Why we’re excited: “The Halcyon” aired earlier this year in Britain and will finally be available in the U.S. come October. Produced by the people behind “Downton Abbey” and “The Crown,” the series has the potential to become the newest obsession for Anglophiles, fans of period dramas, or anyone who appreciates well-executed costume design. And, of course, “The Halcyon’s” focus on war, politics, and class divisions will also make for some great pop culture think pieces.

“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” — Created by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters (Premieres October 3 on ABC)

“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World”

What it’s about: A self-absorbed but unhappy young man (Jason Ritter) is tasked with saving the world by a celestial figure named Yvette (Kimberly Hébert Gregory) after he moves in with his widowed sister (JoAnna Garcia Swisher).

Why we’re excited: For one, anything from former “Agent Carter” showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters is worth checking out. But “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” also stands out because it appears to be the rare project that explores faith and the role it can play in people’s lives. Considering the series’ description and the fact that ABC categorizes it as “a light drama,” “Kevin” has the potential to join “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin” in the growing comedy-with-big-ideas TV genre.

Dynasty” — Co-Created by Stephanie Savage and Sallie Patrick (Premieres October 11 on The CW)


What it’s about: This reboot of the classic primetime soap will present the epic rivalry between the uber-wealthy Carrington and Colby families through the sparring Carrington women: Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) and her very young stepmother-to-be, Cristal (Nathalie Kelley). Glamour, betrayal, conspicuous consumption, and murder ensue.

Why we’re excited: Over-the-top soap operas can be a lot of fun and “Dynasty” co-creator Stephanie Savage has a knack for building compelling shows around the equal parts fascinating and revolting lives of the crazy rich (Savage has previously worked on “The O.C.” and “Gossip Girl”). Not to mention that the best soaps are the ones whose protagonists are both villains and heroes. It seems the new “Dynasty” will have that in spades with Fallon and Cristal.

“I Love You, America” (Talk Show) (Premieres October 12 on Hulu)

What it’s about: Hosted by Sarah Silverman, the weekly series will be a balanced take on the current political climate and the 45th president. Silverman will present us the week’s most pressing topics with her personal commentary, interviews with people who don’t necessarily agree with her, and of course, many, many jokes.

Why we’re excited: In the Trump era, it can be hard to find any news outlet (comedic or otherwise) that isn’t imbued with despair. And if there’s one thing Silverman’s comedy is known for, it’s the performer’s wonder-filled, childlike persona. Optimism and lightness are in short supply right now, so it will be a relief to have a host like Silverman present the garbage fire that is the world through her trademark perkiness. It will also be interesting to see how many times per episode Silverman will manage to reference “pussy-grabbing.”

“The Rundown With Robin Thede” (Talk Show) (Premieres October 12 on Bet)

Thede: Bet

What it’s about: Robin Thede (“The Nightly Show”) will examine the latest in politics and pop culture through commentary, sketches, and parodies. As Thede told The Hollywood Reporter when news of “The Rundown” broke, “This is going to be a show that is absolutely geared to a black audience and told from a black, female perspective.”

Why we’re excited: Thede is already in the TV history books for being the first black female head writer on a late-night comedy show and she’s sure to bring the insightful, razor-sharp observations about race and gender she honed at “The Nightly Show” to “The Rundown.” Further, while there is the rare white female voice in late-night comedy (Samantha Bee and, soon, Sarah Silverman), black women have not had the opportunity to engage as much with political comedy — so it seems like “The Rundown” will see Thede blaze yet another trail.

“The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story” (Docuseries) (Premieres October 20 on Netflix)

Del Castillo: Netflix

What it’s about: Actress Kate del Castillo will share her side of the infamous del Castillo-Sean Penn-Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán story in this three-part Netflix documentary miniseries.

Why we’re excited: While the 2016 meeting between between del Castillo, Penn, and the drug lord El Chapo made international headlines, not many details are known about del Castillo’s role in the rendezvous. It was reported that she “brokered” the meeting and effectively introduced Penn and El Chapo, but the rest of her story has not yet been told. It will be interesting to learn del Castillo’s reasons for working with one of the world’s most-wanted criminals and it seems that Netflix will offer audiences information that has previously been kept from the public, including never-before-seen footage of del Castillo, Penn, and El Chapo’s interaction.

At Home With Amy Sedaris” (Talk Show) — Co-Created by Amy Sedaris (Premieres October 24 on truTV)

At Home With Amy Sedaris

What it’s about: This “Martha Stewart Living” spoof sees actress and writer Amy Sedaris cook, bake, and craft alongside guests like Jane Krakowski, Rachel Dratch, and Sasheer Zamata. Sedaris will present her expertise on the domestic arts through segments like “Entertaining the Grieving” and “The Craft of Love Making” and a song about the appropriate uses for each type of glue.

Why we’re excited: Sedaris has been stealing scenes as a guest star for years (see: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Broad City,” “Difficult People”) and it’s been 17 years since “Strangers with Candy” went off the air. Needless to say, it’s high-time she starred in her own series. Spending a half-hour with Sedaris each week will be amazing and if we learn how to make fancy, probably X-rated center pieces along the way, so much the better.

Alias Grace” (Miniseries) — Directed by Mary Harron; Written by Sarah Polley (Premieres November 3 on Netflix)

Alias Grace”: Sabrina Lantos/Netflix

What it’s about: Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s historical novel, “Alias Grace” centers on 19th century “murderess” Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), who was accused and eventually convicted of killing her employer and co-worker. After 10 years of maintaining her innocence in prison, Grace tells her story — or what she can remember of it — to a psychiatrist (Edward Holcroft).

Why we’re excited: Well, if “The Handmaid’s Tale” is any indication, adaptations of Atwood’s work tend to make great TV. As in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Alias Grace” centers on a woman trapped in a terrifying, misogynistic system. What makes “Alias Grace” even more chilling is that it is based on the true story of Grace Marks and it’s unclear whether Grace herself is a patsy or a sociopath. And, of course, the upcoming Netflix show is written by “Away from Her” and “Stories We Tell” helmer Sarah Polley and is directed by “American Psycho’s” Mary Harron. There’s no way we’re missing a project that boasts talented women on and offscreen.

Smilf” — Created by Frankie Shaw (Premieres November 5 on Showtime)

Smilf”: Mark Schafer/Showtime

What it’s about: Frankie Shaw stars in, writes, directs, and produces this comedy about a young single mother who finds it’s hard to balance the duties of motherhood with an active sex life, relationships, and a career. “Smilf” is based on Shaw’s 2015 short film of the same name.

Why we’re excited: “Smilf” appears to be a spiritual spinoff of another one of our favorite shows, “Catastrophe,” the Amazon comedy about a couple navigating the ugly realities of parenthood and marriage. With her sexual frankness, her awkward conversations with her gynecologist, and intense love for her kid, Shaw’s “Smilf” character, Bridgette, could be Sharon Morris’ younger, slightly more insecure American sister.

“Danica” (Documentary) — Directed by Hannah Storm (Premieres November 8 on Epix)

Danica Patrick: Nascarking/Wikimedia Commons

What it’s about: Racecar driver and mogul Danica Patrick looks back on her career in the male-dominated world of racing — and provides viewers a glimpse into her life off the speedway — in this documentary from sports broadcast journalist Hannah Storm.

Why we’re excited: Most people who have heard of Danica Patrick know that she’s a Nascar driver, but probably couldn’t tell you too much else about her. Storm’s doc presents a full picture of Patrick as a person, not just as one of the few women in a sport that’s especially male-driven. We’re confident that Storm’s vision will make “Danica” a particularly compelling story. After building a successful career in the man’s world of sports journalism, the director herself is surely familiar with being known as the only woman in the room.

Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars” (TV Movie) (Premieres November 23 on PBS)

Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars

What it’s about: This sequel to the 2016 TV movie “Anne of Green Gables” sees Anne Shirley (Ella Ballentine), now 13 years old, struggling to support her family as her guardian Matthew’s (Martin Sheen) health begins to fail. Anne also discovers she has romantic feelings for Gilbert (Drew Haytaoglu), which threatens her close friendship with Diana (Julia Lalonde).

Why we’re excited: Between last year’s “Anne of Green Gables” and the Netflix series “Anne with an E,” L.M. Montgomery’s beloved heroine seems to be making a major comeback. Which makes total sense: Anne is headstrong and true to herself, and must face plenty of hardships at home and at school. That’s something most 13-year-old girls can personally relate to. Keeping that in mind, “The Good Stars” could make for the perfect family — and feminist — Thanksgiving entertainment.

“She’s Gotta Have It” (Premieres November 23 on Netflix)

“She’s Gotta Have It”: David Lee/Netflix

What it’s about: Based on Spike Lee’s 1986 romantic comedy of the same name, “She’s Gotta Have It” centers on artist Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) as she splits her time between building her career and spending time with her friends and three lovers (Cleo Anthony, Lyriq Bent, and Anthony Ramos).

Why we’re excited: Sex-positive depictions of women on TV have increased in the past few years, but it’s still fairly rare to see a female character who is, on the whole, unconcerned with having a monogamous relationship. Also, “She’s Gotta Have It” seems like the perfect show to fill the “Insecure”-shaped hole in our lives. Like the ladies of Issa Rae’s HBO series, Nola is an intelligent, flawed black woman trying to carve out a space for herself in both the professional and social spheres. And we definitely could see Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany attending one of Nola’s art shows.

Fall 2017 TV Preview: New Shows By and About Women to Check Out 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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Jamie Lee Curtis to Star in, Co-Write, and Produce CBS Funeral Home Comedy

5 hours ago

Six Feet Under” fans, take note: A new series about a family-run funeral business is in the works. Deadline reports that Jamie Lee Curtis has signed on to star, co-write, and executive produce “Quality of Life,” a multi-camera comedy that’s currently in development at CBS.

Described as a “multi-generational sitcom” about the family’s funeral home and “the unique perspective that growing up in a funeral home gives you,” the pilot will be co-written by Curtis and Janis Hirsch (“Will & Grace,” “Murphy Brown”).

While “Quality of Life” sounds like a lighter, more network-friendly take on the family biz than “Six Feet Under,” we can still expect some dark humor given its subject matter. It’s also great to see a series led by an actress who’s nearly 60 (Curtis is 58). As a recent study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film reported, “Few characters of either sex age into their 60s and beyond.” In the 2016–17 season, just four percent of male characters and two percent of females were 60 or above on broadcast network series.

Curtis starred in Ryan Murphy’s “Scream Queens” from 2015–16. The comedic horror anthology series ran on Fox for two seasons before being cancelled. She earned an Emmy nod in 1998 for her role in “Nicholas’ Gift,” a TV movie.

Less than a week ago Curtis made headlines with the news that she’ll be returning to the “Halloween” franchise, reprising her iconic role as Laurie Strode. The latest installment of the horror series will bow October 19, 2018.

Jamie Lee Curtis to Star in, Co-Write, and Produce CBS Funeral Home 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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Trailer Watch: Alicia Vikander Saves the World in “Tomb Raider”

6 hours ago

Tomb Raider

An action-packed trailer for the Alicia Vikander-led “Tomb Raider” reboot has landed. It’s clear that there’s plenty of violence, chase scenes, and CGI in the potential franchise, but the spot kicks off with Lara Croft (Vikander) making a quiet promise to her father (Dominic West, “The Affair”).

Lara’s father, an adventurer, is missing. When she finds her way into his secret quarters, a video is waiting for her. “If you’re listening to this, then I must be dead,” her father says. “I found something — a tomb called the Mother of Death. If Trinity succeeds, our world is in danger. Promise me you will stop them.” “I promise,” Lara says, looking at the image of her father. And just like that, the fate of humankind rests on her shoulders.

The heroine heads off to a destination her father has marked on a map, an island that, according to the film’s official synopsis, “might be somewhere off the coast of Japan.” To get there Lara will have to travel right in the middle of what’s called the Devil’s Sea. The trailer shows just how worthy of that nickname the sea is.

Angelina Jolie previously led a “Tomb Raider” franchise, starring in 2001’s “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” and 2003’s “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.” The films are based on one of the best-selling video games of all time.

Vikander’s “Tomb Raider” hits theaters March 16, 2018. She can currently be seen in “Tulip Fever,” a period romance in theaters now. The Oscar winner had two films screen at this month’s Toronto International Film Festival, Lisa Langseth’s “Euphoria,” a drama about two sisters, and “Submergence,” a story of two lovers who embark on dangerous missions across the globe from each other.

Check out the trailer and a feature about what playing the iconic character means to Vikander below.


Trailer Watch: Alicia Vikander Saves the World in “Tomb Raider” 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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Watch: A Runaway Bride Weighs Her Options in Exclusive “Different Flowers” Clip

7 hours ago

Different Flowers

“You don’t leave a man at the altar then grovel at his feet. Woman up,” Emma (Hope Lauren, “Supergirl”) urges older sister Millie (Emma Bell, “The Walking Dead”) in our exclusive clip of “Different Flowers.” Millie is a runaway bride — she fled her lavender-themed Kansas wedding and her fiancé, who was waiting for her at the altar. And now she’s left dealing with the aftermath of her decision.

When Millie considers whether she should give the would-be groom a call, Emma is quick to reject the idea and offer one of her own. She thinks that Millie needs to get rid of her engagement ring.

Different Flowers” marks Morgan Dameron’s feature directorial debut. She also penned the script, which sees the sisters setting off on an adventure together. You can catch the comedy in theaters September 29.


Watch: A Runaway Bride Weighs Her Options in Exclusive “Different Flowers” Clip 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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Shonda Rhimes’ Lifestyle Website Shondaland.com Has Arrived

19 September 2017 1:01 PM, PDT

Shonda Rhimes: Film School Online/YouTube

Now we all have the chance to a part of Shondaland. According to Variety, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” creator and mogul Shonda Rhimes has officially launched her lifestyle website. Created in partnership with Hearst, the site is called Shondaland.com, in reference to Rhimes’ production company.

Shondaland.com includes content about activism, style, pop culture as well as interviews and features about real-life women. Rhimes is also working with Dove — who she has collaborated with before on the Real Beauty Productions film series — to “create additional custom content, such as an interview series with Rhimes,” Variety writes.

“We’re excited to partner with Shonda Rhimes to bring her unique voice and vision to our highly engaged audience of more than 200 million users a month,” stated Troy Young, global president, Hearst Magazines Digital Media. “As an empowering and inclusive platform for women, we know that Shondaland.com will become a must-read for her passionate and growing community of fans.”

As the Rhimes-penned mission statement of Shondaland.com reads, the website’s goal is to provide its readers a “place to hang out. To spend time with your people. With your tribe. Your gladiators. Your warriors.” She added, “Simply put: Shondaland is not just our home. It’s your home, too.”

Rhimes recently signed a multi-year deal with Netflix, which will see the writer-director-producer develop new projects exclusively for the streamer. Shondaland’s current shows — including “Grey’s,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder” — will continue to air on ABC.

Both “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away with Murder” will return Thursday, September 28. “Grey’s” will begin its 14th season, while “Htgawm” will enter its fourth. Season 7 of “Scandal” will bow October 5.

Shonda Rhimes’ Lifestyle Website Shondaland.com Has Arrived 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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Annette Bening to Receive BAFTA Career Retrospective

19 September 2017 12:01 PM, PDT

Bening in “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”: Tiff

Annette Bening’s career spans 30 years and includes four Oscar-nominated performances, so it comes as no surprise that The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has opted to host a retrospective of her renowned body of work. The “20th Century Women” star will discuss her experiences in the industry at a “BAFTA A Life in Pictures” event to be held in London on October 12, The Hollywood Reporter writes.

Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, and Emma Thompson are among the stars who have been hosted by BAFTA’s “Life in Pictures” series.

“Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” doesn’t hit theaters until December, but Bening is already considered among the frontrunners to score a Best Actress nod at the upcoming Oscars for playing Hollywood star Gloria Grahame in the film. She scored rave reviews out of Telluride, where the romance made its world premiere.

Bening received Academy Award nominations for her breakout role in “The Grifters” as well as “American Beauty,” “Being Julia,” and “The Kids Are All Right.”

Last year Bening accepted the Career Achievement Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and was honored at AFI Fest.

Annette Bening to Receive BAFTA Career Retrospective 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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Maria Callas Documentary Acquired by Sony Pictures

19 September 2017 11:01 AM, PDT

Callas: medici.tv/ YouTube

Maria By Callas: In Her Own Words” has secured distribution. Sony Pictures Classics acquired all rights for the documentary in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, a press release has announced. Described as the “definitive doc on the life and work of the Greek-American opera singer,” the film includes never before seen or heard footage and performances of Callas.

Maria Callas, her voice, and story are illustrious. We’re thrilled to be able to help expand this icon’s prodigious following with ‘Maria By Callas: In Her Own Words,’” said Sony Pictures Classics.

Callas’ prodigious talents led to her being nicknamed La Divina, or The Divine.

“The Zookeeper’s Wife” director Niki Caro has a Callas biopic on the way. Noomi Rapace (“Prometheus,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) will play the soprano, who died in 1977. According to IMDb, the project, titled “Callas,” is currently in pre-production.

No word on when to expect “Maria By Callas: In Her Own Words.” The film marks Tom Volf’s directorial debut.

Maria Callas Documentary Acquired by Sony Pictures 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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Trailer Watch: Blake Lively Regains Her Vision in “All I See Is You”

19 September 2017 10:01 AM, PDT

All I See Is You

Blake Lively plays a woman who regains her vision and gets a new perspective on her relationship in “All I See Is You.” A trailer for the Marc Forster (“World War Z,” “Finding Neverland”) drama has dropped. “Does it ever bother you having to take care of me?” Gina (Lively, “The Shallows”) asks her husband James (Jason Clarke, “Zero Dark Thirty”) in the spot. “No. It makes me feel special,” he says.

Gina survived the nearly fatal childhood car crash that killed her parents and left her blind. She “depends on James to be her eyes — a dependence that appears to solidify their passionate relationship,” the film’s official synopsis details. The pair live in Bangkok, Thailand and “it seems the only real hardship this loving couple faces is difficulty conceiving a child.”

Their marriage takes a sudden turn when a corneal transplant restores Gina’s vision. Suddenly, James doesn’t feel so “special” anymore. Gina is dramatically more independent, and he’s left desperately trying to claim control over her, questioning who she’s talking to and judging the clothes she wears. “I just felt like I knew everything and now I don’t,” Gina says.

Lively’s upcoming projects include “The Rhythm Section,” a spy thriller directed by Reed Morano, and “Bruised,” an action-drama about an Mma fighter.

All I See Is You” made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016 and hits theaters October 27.


Trailer Watch: Blake Lively Regains Her Vision in “All I See Is You” 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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Horrible Misogyny in the Film World Is Surfacing, But Are We Really Surprised?

19 September 2017 9:01 AM, PDT

Sörn/ WikiCommons

This week has been quite the shitshow in the film community. A lot of ugliness came to the surface via the Alamo Drafthouse and Cinefamily debacles, but how many women in the industry can really say they are surprised? We all know this type of behavior is rampant and typically goes unchecked.

Back in October, Birth.Movies.Death editor-in-chief Devin Faraci was publicly accused of sexual assault. He resigned from the site, which is owned by Drafthouse. While it seemed like this particular entitled dude in the film world, who supposedly supported women and was seen as a feminist ally, actually faced consequences for his actions — which is rare — we weren’t being told the whole story. It turns out his employment continued. Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League kept him on the payroll. He had been quietly working for Drafthouse as a copywriter — until this fact became public knowledge last week. People flipped out, and rightfully so. Now Faraci has resigned once again.

This problem is bigger than Faraci, though his actions are particularly odious. Todd Brown, a programmer for Drafthouse-owned Fantastic Fest, succinctly summarized the wider context. He resigned from the fest, and in a post on Facebook, explained, “Anyone who has ever suggested that Fantastic Fest and the Drafthouse is just the geek friendly equivalent of the classic Old Boys Club, you have just been proven correct. There it is, the Club utterly ignoring the victim while it creates a protective ring around the perpetrator.”

In the aftermath of this controversy, League acknowledged in a Facebook post that “a culture of sexual harassment and gender inequality persists in our society and specifically within the film industry, and much work remains to fix this problem.” He continued, “by engaging in dialogue about these issues, and by holding people responsible for their actions, we can begin to bridge the gap between where we are now, and where we need to be. Without question, sexual misconduct is impermissible. The question is whether there is any path to redemption, and if so, what that path looks like.”

This is not what that path looks like. And that can’t even be up for debate. Faraci’s employment was kept secret for a reason. League knew how the news would be received.

“Devin has spent the time since this allegation examining the choices he made that led to it,” League wrote. “He has recognized and acknowledged his struggles with substance abuse; after stepping down, he immediately entered recovery and has been sober ever since. This is an important step in the right direction. His departure from Birth.Movies.Death meant losing his job, his livelihood, his career, and his place in the film community, but Devin has started the work to rebuild himself first with the understanding that all else is secondary. Seeing the work that Devin has been doing to acknowledge his faults, to address his addiction, and to better himself, I thought it was important to contribute to his recovery process by helping him with some means to earn a living. Once it became clear that his efforts were sincere, I offered Devin copywriting work at Alamo Drafthouse and have recently expanded that to include writing blurbs for our Fantastic Fest festival guide. He does not hold any leadership position at Alamo Drafthouse or Fantastic Fest and is not involved with Birth.Movies.Death. in any capacity.”

But what about the recovery process of the women who were impacted by Faraci’s words and actions? Twitter user spacecrone, someone who has personal experience with Faraci, has made her feelings clear. Check out this thread. It’s essential reading. Some highlights:

the film industry won't be "good for women" until y'all make some compassionate boundaries about what kinds of behavior is acceptable

 — @spacecrone

i get it. i totally get loving your friend and feeling at a loss that he is freaking out so much that his "career is ruined.

 — @spacecrone

But Here'S The Thing: He Hurts People

 — @spacecrone

and when you put me, and everyone else, in the position to have to care more about devin's wellbeing than our own or the people he's hurt,

 — @spacecrone

You Are Contributing To The Atmosphere That Results In Women Not Coming Forward About These Things

 — @spacecrone

When League said that “there’s some discomfort with the idea that Devin is once again employed by the Alamo Drafthouse,” all he really did was minimize the damage. Faraci’s employment sends such a disappointing, disturbing message to the film community. You can treat women this way and get away with it.

The second recent example focuses on the Indie La film venue Cinefamily which made news last month when an anonymous email was sent to many members of the organization as well as other members of the film community. As Variety summarized, the message cited “a 2014 harassment case against Cinefamily co-founder and executive director Hadrian Belove that ended in a settlement, as well as accusing Shadie Elnashai, vice president of the board of directors, of ‘raping multiple women.’” Belove and Elnashai resigned shortly after.

Cinefamily released a statement addressing the situation and revealing that they would “temporarily suspend” all activities to “allow for the investigation and necessary restructure of management and the board.”

“Recently, claims were made alleging improper behavior by one of more members of the organization,” the release read. “The Board of Directors of The Cinefamily has no tolerance for any form of behavior that does not conform to the high standards demanded by our members and staff and that of common human decency.”

Now we have more details about exactly what went down.

Yesterday La Weekly published an all-too-familiar account of what happened at Cinefamily — and how little was done about it. In August of 2016, former employee William Morris “was walking from the theater’s back patio to its front door when he claims to have seen Shadie Elnashai, then vice president of Cinefamily’s board, drunkenly wrap his arms around a female employee who was working the concession stand. Morris says he watched Elnashai ‘putting his hands on this person and then putting his hands off, taking a step back, and then laughing and doing it again’ — even after she told him to stop.”

And that wasn’t the first time Morris witnessed Elnashai behaving this way. He saw him “touch a young female employee in a way that seemed inappropriate” 10 months prior, in October 2015. He observed “Elnashai drunkenly wrap his arms around an employee, Melanie Ghaffari, during a Cinefamily Halloween party that was open to the public.” “He put his hands on this person’s waist and then they pushed him away,” Morris recalled. “Then he came up again and slid his hands a little bit further up and then [they] pushed him away.”

“Morris is not the only employee to claim that women were treated inappropriately at Cinefamily, but he is one of the few who complained to management in writing,” La Weekly writes. “On Sept. 5, 2016, less than a month after he witnessed the second incident, Morris sent a complaint to Cinefamily’s executive managing director, Trevor Jones, alleging that employees had been inappropriately touched and describing the work environment as a ‘thriving rape culture.’”

Cinefamily’s founder, Belove, likely had more than a little to do with fostering this environment. “According to former volunteer coordinator Jenny Ryan, Belove told her she ‘needed to be hiring cute young girls that he would want to fuck’ and that he ‘would grumble if I hired someone that he found unattractive,’” La Weekly writes. “Former director of operations Nedjelko Spaich says Belove instructed him to fire employees who were not attractive enough. Longtime volunteer Karina Chacham claims to have witnessed Belove receiving oral sex from a Cinefamily volunteer. Former director of development Tina Poppy sued Belove and Cinefamily in 2014 for gender discrimination, sexual harassment, assault, and battery, among other complaints. And two former employees — Hayley Pogue and Mario Muñoz — claim they too were physically assaulted by Belove.”

The Faraci and Cinefamily situations are particularly visible blights on the film community, but they are not the only ones. Sometimes misogyny is super explicit and visible, but oftentimes bro culture is insidious. And some of the men who perpetuate it pretend to be progressive and get away with treating women unacceptably. If you needed a brutal, disheartening reminder of this fact, this week served to do just that. The upside is that there are men like William Morris standing up for women and the clear public outcry is making it impossible for Cinefamily and Alamo Drafthouse to sweep these scandals under the rug. There are many people talking and watching that we won’t be silenced.

Horrible Misogyny in the Film World Is Surfacing, But Are We Really Surprised? 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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Elisabeth Moss to Topline Film About Underground Abortion Network

19 September 2017 8:01 AM, PDT

Moss in “The Handmaid’s Tale”: George Kraychyk/Hulu

Elisabeth Moss is pivoting from one women’s rights narrative to another. The star of the feminist dystopian drama “The Handmaid’s Tale” has signed on to topline Simon Curtis’ (“My Week With Marilyn”) indie film “Call Jane,” Variety reports. The project will center on the Jane Collective, a real 1960s underground abortion network. Moss’ character is a married woman who, after realizing she is pregnant, goes to the collective for help.

Hayley Schore (“Black Box”) and Roshan Sethi (“Code Black”) penned the “Call Jane” screenplay. Robbie Brenner, Jeff Kwatinetz, and Kevin McKeon are producing.

While it’s great to see Moss lead another project about women resisting the patriarchy — between this, “Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Top of the Lake,” she’s becoming the actress to watch if you crave feminist stories — we wish the producers of “Call Jane” had hired a female director. A story about women who were forced to go underground to attain safe abortions — because, you know, the male-run government failed to address their family planning needs — seems like it’d be better served with a woman behind the camera.

Rachel Carey’s “Ask for Jane,” also about the Jane Collective, went into production this summer. Carey’s film is a female affair onscreen and off: she wrote the script and star Cait Johnston is producing alongside Caroline Hirsch. “Ask for Jane” is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2018.

Moss received the Emmy for best actress in a drama series for “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Sunday. She plays Offred (formerly called June) in the Hulu series, a woman trying to survive Gilead, a society where fertile women are repeatedly raped and forced to bear children for its most powerful men. Moss also starred in Jane Campion’s mystery series “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” which aired on Sundance last week.

Elisabeth Moss to Topline Film About Underground Abortion Network 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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Trailer Watch: A Native American Woman Takes to the Stage to Tell Her Story in “Te Ata”

19 September 2017 7:01 AM, PDT

Te Ata”: The Chickasaw Nation

“What do you have to say?” a professor challenges college student Mary Thompson Fisher aka Te Ata (Q’orianka Kilcher, “The New World”). “What stories do you have to tell? What could you show me that I haven’t seen before?” These questions prompt Te Ata, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, to write and star in a play about the Chickasaw culture and people. And that’s just the beginning.

As a new trailer for Nathan Frankowski’s “Te Ata” hints, the titular character’s college play is the first of many successful turns onstage. She stars on Broadway, tours across the U.S. and even performs for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. However, Te Ata and her family still encounter violence and prejudice, even as her success as an actress and performer grows.

The young woman even faces resistance from her own father (Gil Birmingham, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), who can’t understand why Te Ata is so adamant about leaving home. “I have to go so that I can tell our stories,” she explains.

Te Ata’s journey to find her true calling led her through isolation, discovery, love, and a stage career that culminated in performances for a United States president, European royalty, and audiences across the world,” the film’s official synopsis summarizes. “Yet of all the stories she shared, none are more inspiring than her own.”

Written by Esther Luttrell (“Lithium Springs”), “Te Ata” co-stars Cindy Pickett (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”), Brigid Brannagh (“Army Wives”), and Mackenzie Astin (“Scandal”).

Te Ata” will open in Oklahoma theaters on September 29 and hit NY and La October 13 with additional cities to follow. Check out the film’s new trailer and poster below.


Trailer Watch: A Native American Woman Takes to the Stage to Tell Her Story in “Te Ata” 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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Christine Boylan to Write Jessica Chastain-Starrer “Painkiller Jane”

18 September 2017 12:01 PM, PDT

Chastain in “Molly’s Game”

Jessica Chastain’s “Painkiller Jane” adaptation has found a scribe. Lotus Entertainment has hired Christine Boylan to pen the script, Deadline reports. Boylan’s writing credits include “Once Upon a Time,” “Castle,” and “Constantine.”

Based on the comic series of the same name, “Painkiller Jane” will see two-time Oscar nominee Chastain play Jane Vasko, “a New York City street cop who gets recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a major NYC drug and human trafficking ring,” the source summarizes. “In a near-death experience, Jane develops exceptional regenerative abilities that give her a unique indestructible advantage. With nothing to live for and no way to die, Painkiller Jane becomes an unstoppable force of nature seeking revenge to those who destroyed her life as she leaves a path of death and destruction in her wake.”

Chastain and Kelly Carmichael (“My Week with Marilyn”), the president of production and development at Chastain’s Freckle Films, are among the project’s executive producers.

No word on who will direct “Painkiller Jane” just yet, but Chastain has been a vocal supporter of women directors.

“I’m looking to work with a female filmmaker every year,” the “Miss Sloane” actress has said. “That’s my goal. They’re not given the same opportunities so if I have any influence in choosing a film or a script or finding a director I’m absolutely going to make a difference. That doesn’t mean I’m excluding men — it means I need some balance in my life.”

Chastain has already worked with women directors such as Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Niki Caro (“The Zookeeper’s Wife”), and Susanna White (“Woman Walks Ahead”). When serving as a juror at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, she stated, “I think if we include more female storytellers, I hope we have more women that I see in my own day-to-day life. They just don’t react to the men around them. They have their own point-of-view.”

Upcoming comic adaptations with women in directors’ chairs include Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” sequel, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “Silver & Black,” and “Captain Marvel,” co-directed by Anna Boden.

Christine Boylan to Write Jessica Chastain-Starrer “Painkiller Jane” 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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Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father” Chosen to Represent Cambodia at Oscars

18 September 2017 11:01 AM, PDT

“First They Killed My Father”: Tiff

Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father” is officially an Oscar contender. The drama has been chosen to represent Cambodia at the 2018 Academy Awards in the foreign-language category, Variety reports.

An adaptation of human rights activist Loung Ung’s 2000 non-fiction book, the drama follows a five-year-old girl’s experience of the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror. Newcomer Sareum Srey Moch stars.

“First They Killed My Father” made its North American premiere at Telluride earlier this month, and also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is earning Jolie’s best reviews as a director and is being warmly received by audiences. She co-wrote the script with Ung.

In 2011 Jolie made her feature narrative directorial debut with “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” a romance set during the Bosnian War. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Golden Globes. Her other directing credits include “Unbroken” and “By the Sea.”

Jolie, who holds dual U.S. and Cambodian nationality, won an Oscar in 2000 for her role in “Girl, Interrupted.” She also received an Academy Award in 2014 for her humanitarian work.

Other women-directed films in the foreign-language race include Ildikó Enyedi’s “On Body and Soul,” an unconventional romantic drama, Annemarie Jacir’s “Wajib,” a dramedy about a father and his estranged son, and Agnieszka Holland’s “Spoor,” a crime drama about a woman seeking revenge after hunters kill her dog.

Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father” Chosen to Represent Cambodia at Oscars 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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Emmys 2017: “Big Little Lies,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and Lena Waithe Win Big

18 September 2017 10:01 AM, PDT

Kidman won best lead actress in a limited series for “Big Little Lies”: CBS/YouTube

The 2017 Emmy Awards were a great night for women in television. Not only did the two biggest awards go to women-centric series — “The Handmaid’s Tale” took home the best drama series statuette and “Veep” was named best comedy — the ceremony marked several Emmys firsts for women. “Master of None’s” Lena Waithe is now the first black woman to win an Emmy for best comedy writing, for example. What’s more, winners like Waithe, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Elisabeth Moss used their speeches to honor women’s stories and the social issues women face every day.

Here are some of the highlights from last night’s ceremony:

Nicole Kidman Shines a Light on Domestic Abuse


Kidman, who won best lead actress in a limited series for portraying “Big Little Lies’” Celeste, a woman caught in an abusive marriage, took a moment from her speech to acknowledge the pervasiveness of domestic abuse in the real world. “Sometimes when you’re acting you get a chance to bring a bigger message,” the Oscar-winning actress observed. “We shine a light on domestic abuse [in “Bll”]. It is a complicated, insidious disease. It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know. It is filled with shame, secrecy, and by you acknowledging me with this award it shines a light on it even more.”

Lena Waithe Thanks Her Lgbtqia Family


Waithe and Aziz Ansari shared an Emmy for writing “Thanksgiving,” an episode of “Master of None” that traces the years-long coming out story of Waithe’s character, Denise. Waithe used her time at the podium to recognize her “Lgbtqia family.” “I see each and every one of you,” she gushed. “The things that make us different — those are superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there an conquer the world, because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”

Waithe, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Reed Morano Blaze Some Trails


As mentioned, last night’s ceremony saw many firsts for women in TV. Louis-Dreyfus became the first performer to win six consecutive Emmys for the same role. Until this year’s Emmy Awards, Louis-Dreyfus had been sharing the record with “Murphy Brown’s” Candice Bergen.

Perhaps most exciting is Reed Morano’s outstanding directing for a drama series victory for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The “Meadowland” helmer is the first woman in 22 years to take home the honor. The last time a woman was recognized in the category was in 1995, when Mimi Leder won an Emmy for directing an episode of “ER.” This honor couldn’t be more well-deserved, but damn, 22 years is a depressing amount of time to go without a woman winning this award, so as sweet as this victory is, it’s a powerful reminder of how little recognition women directors have received.

Women-Centric Series Dominate the Night


All three of the “best series” prizes went to women-driven shows: “The Handmaid’s Tale” won outstanding drama series, “Veep” outstanding comedy series, and “Big Little Lies” outstanding limited series. If that wasn’t exciting enough, “Handmaid’s Tale” also saw wins for Morano and stars Elisabeth Moss and Ann Dowd. Adding to “Bll’s” success was Kidman’s win and Laura Dern’s for best supporting actress in a limited series or movie.

When “Bll” was named best limited series, stars Kidman and Reese Witherspoon both called for more stories about women on the small screen. “Bring women to the front of their own stories, make them the hero of their own stories,” Witherspoon emphasized. Kidman added that her creative partnership with Witherspoon on “Bll” came from “a frustration because we weren’t getting great roles. So, now, more great roles for women, please.” (It must be noted, however, that “Bll” was written and directed by men. As important as it is for women to get great roles, we also need to ensure they get great roles behind-the-scenes too.)

During her speech Moss specifically thanked Margaret Atwood, who wrote “The Handmaid’s Tale” novel. “Thank you for you did in 1985 and thank you for what you continue to do for all of us,” Moss said. The author appeared onstage — and received a huge reaction from attendees — when “The Handmaid’s Tale” was named outstanding drama series. She’s credited as a supervising producer on the dystopian drama.

“Well, one take-away would be ‘never believe it can never happen here,’” Atwood herself told the La Times about the underlying message of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” About the series’ Emmy win, she said: “In a way, you can say the handmaids have escaped. They’re out there, and they’re coming to you again in Season 2!”

All of the female winners at the 2017 Emmy Awards are below. List adapted from CNN.

Outstanding drama series

“The Handmaid’s Tale”

Outstanding comedy series


Outstanding lead actress in a drama series

Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series

Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series

Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live

Outstanding limited series

Big Little Lies

Outstanding lead actress in a limited series

Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies

Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie

Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies

Outstanding writing for a comedy series

Lena Waithe, “Master of None” (with Aziz Ansari)

Outstanding directing for a drama series

Reed Morano, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Emmys 2017: “Big Little Lies,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and Lena Waithe Win Big 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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