THE WEEK IN WOMEN news roundup: Filmmaker Liz W. Garcia on how to get more women behind the camera, Diane Keaton to receive AFI honor, Miranda Lambert joins comedy’s creative team

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Filmmaker Liz W. Garcia's latest movie is the coming-of-age drama "One Percent More Humid." Photo provided

Filmmaker Liz W. Garcia’s latest movie is the coming-of-age drama “One Percent More Humid.” Photo provided

Filmmaker Liz W. Garcia believes the key to getting more women behind film and television cameras is to stop accepting Hollywood excuses like “Not enough women apply for jobs,” “The man we went with just seemed like a better fit” and “Women just can’t handle that type of work.”

“I think that people in the business need to be more comfortable calling each other out, saying, ‘That’s a lame excuse for why this woman can’t direct this film.’ or ‘Have you ever actually watched her work?’ or ‘Why aren’t you more familiar with female directors?’” Garcia told Bustle in an interview for her new drama “One Percent More Humid.”

“Because too often, executives and people that are in positions of hiring are making lame excuses that just disguise the sexism.”

“Everyone is so afraid of losing their jobs, falling into a bad favor with someone,” Garcia added. “So I think essentially what Hollywood needs is more courage about holding each other to higher standards.”

Garcia started her career in the 1990s as a writer for the television drama “Dawson’s Creek,” and she’s since written for the TV series “Wonderfalls,” “Cold Case” and “Memphis Beat.” She made her feature film directorial debut with the 2013 drama “The Lifeguard,” starring Kristen Bell. Her new film, One Percent More Humid, about two college-aged friends (Juno Temple and Julia Garner) dealing with grief over a tragedy, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

So, she’s hardly a show-biz novice and has experience her share of sexism.

“I am perpetually frustrated by what it is to be a woman in Hollywood,” Garcia told Bustle. “But what I’ve made an effort to do is tell the difference between the stories that I want to be able to tell, and the stories that women broadly should be allowed to tell. In other words, women directors should have access to all genres and all scales of films. They shouldn’t be pigeonholed… I wish (the pigeonholing) didn’t exist, but my effort is to make the movies that I want to make that I’m interested in and make sure that female content is taken seriously.”

The good news is that Garcia said she sees encouraging signs of change, like the Netflix series “Jessica Jones,” which she called “an incredibly complex, expressive, lovable woman who is not just a male character played by a woman, which is something I’ve seen for a while.”

“I’ve seen now that executive agents are there and they’re making more of an effort to talk about opening up the lists, making sure that women are on the lists, that women are getting interviewed,” she said.

“More and more, outlets opened have up so that you actually have more content being created and available, and that means more people are being invited to the table to tell their stories,” she added. “And by virtue of that, you have a little bit more diversity in stories.”

According to Bustle, Garcia’s next project is penning the script for the third “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movie, based on the 2011 book “Sisterhood Everlasting.”

Diane Keaton to receive AFI Life Achievement Award

Diane Keaton will receive the American Film Institute’s 45th Life Achievement Award during a gala tribute June 8 in Los Angeles.

According to the Associated Press, the star-studded ceremony will air as a special on TNT later in June.

Keaton, 71, previously won an Academy Award for playing the title character in “Annie Hall” and has three other lead actress Oscar nominations.

Previous recipients of the AFI’s highest honor include George Lucas, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Mel Brooks and Jane Fonda.

Country music superstar Miranda Lambert has, for the first time, signed on to a film as an executive music producer. Photo provided

Country music superstar Miranda Lambert has, for the first time, signed on to a film as an executive music producer. Photo provided

Miranda Lambert joins comedy’s creative team

Country music superstar Miranda Lambert has, for the first time, signed on to a film as an executive music producer, reports Deadline.

The two-time Grammy winner will oversee the music curation and write an original song for the friendship comedy “Something in the Water,” which is being created through Lionsgate digital.

YouTube sensation Grace Helbig, who boasts a top podcast with “Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig” and recently provided the voice of Sugar Cookieloaf in “Trolls,” has been tapped as one of the stars in the story, which centers on five women in the South who challenge their men to a bass fishing competition.

Co-written by Cindy McCreery and Trey Fanjoy, “Something in the Water” will mark the feature film directorial debut for Fanjoy, one of the most popular country music video helmers in Nashville. She has collaborated with Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire and has worked with Lambert for more than a decade, racking up numerous awards.

“Strong, amazing women are at the heart of this story and they’re also at the center of this film creatively,” Fanjoy told Deadline. “Grace is in the zone comedically and at the top of her game and so is Miranda, artistically and musically. I’m thrilled to have so many wonderful creative collaborators.”

Deadline notes that bass fishing is one of the most popular sports in the Midwest and in the South but is, surprisingly, also popular in Asia. Lionsgate has been keen on finding content that will play well in China.

-BAM

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