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Shonda Rhimes’ Lifestyle Website Shondaland.com Has Arrived
13 hours ago
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
Annette Bening to Receive BAFTA Career Retrospective
14 hours ago
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.
“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.
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
Maria Callas Documentary Acquired by Sony Pictures
15 hours ago
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.
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.
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
Trailer Watch: Blake Lively Regains Her Vision in “All I See Is You”
16 hours ago
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.
“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
Horrible Misogyny in the Film World Is Surfacing, But Are We Really Surprised?
17 hours ago
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
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.
But Here'S The Thing: He Hurts People
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,
You Are Contributing To The Atmosphere That Results In Women Not Coming Forward About These Things
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
Elisabeth Moss to Topline Film About Underground Abortion Network
18 hours ago
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.
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
Trailer Watch: A Native American Woman Takes to the Stage to Tell Her Story in “Te Ata”
19 hours ago
“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.”
“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
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.”
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.”
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
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.
“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
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.”
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
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series
Outstanding limited series
Outstanding lead actress in a limited series
Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie
Outstanding writing for a comedy series
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