Marielle Heller to Receive Inaugural Moms-in-Film Award

Marielle Heller: Sundance Institute

Moms-in-Film (MiF), an organization for working parents in film and TV, is celebrating its first anniversary by honoring “Diary of a Teenage Girl” writer-director Marielle Heller. Heller will receive the inaugural Moms-in-Film Award tonight, the organization announced in a press release.

Heller will be celebrated in a ceremony at The Players Club in New York. Director Ana Asensio (“Most Beautiful Island”) and actress Emily Bergl (“Shameless”) will be among the event’s speakers. Broadway star Kat Cunning (“Paramour,” “Les Liasons Dangereuses”) will provide the entertainment.

MiF fights for “the rights of working parents of all genders in the film and television industry,” by providing community, funding, and advocacy. The organization’s most recent initiative was arranging free childcare for filmmakers at SXSW this year.

The needs of working parents in Hollywood is something that Heller seems to be passionate about. When asked about the media’s treatment of working mothers in Hollywood versus working fathers, she told Vogue: “I definitely don’t think the answer is not asking those questions, pretending somehow that we’re not trying to juggle motherhood and directing. That’s been the position women directors have been in for the last 30 years.”

“It’s time for us to be more honest that we are in a more difficult position,” she continued. “The majority of parenting responsibility tends to fall onto women, whether or not we’re in wonderful equal partnerships. I think we can be more honest about what that looks like.”

Heller was nominated for a DGA Award for the Sundance hit “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” her directorial debut. Based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, the film traces a young woman’s (Bel Powley, “Carrie Pilby”) sexual awakening as she embarks on an affair with her mother’s boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”). The film won Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2016 and was nominated for Best First Screenplay.

Among Heller’s other credits are episodes of “Casual” and “Transparent.” She is currently filming the Melissa McCarthy-starrer “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” The dark comedy is an adaptation of celebrity profile writer Lee Israel’s memoir. Next, Heller is set to write and direct “Kolma,” a fantasy thriller led by “The Force Awakens’” Daisy Ridley, and a feature based on HBO’s award-winning gay rights doc “The Case Against 8.”

Marielle Heller to Receive Inaugural Moms-in-Film Award was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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