WEEK IN WOMEN: Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander women in the lead – Brandy McDonnel reports

Despite promising signs of improved representation, the movie business clearly has plenty of work to do on behalf of Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. With the exception of blockbusters starring Dwayne Johnson, a new study found that Hollywood’s most popular movies have rarely featured Asians or Pacific Islanders in leading roles.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Gabourey Sidibe to direct PALE HORSE – Brandy McDonnell reports

Academy Award-nominated actor Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) will make her feature film directorial debut with the psychological thriller Pale Horse, which is scheduled to lens in autumn. Set in the Pacific Northwest, Pale Horse centers on Naia, a reclusive African-American author who writes celebrated books for young adults but is living with multiple sclerosis. She becomes tangled up a sinister mystery when she provides shelter for the man who escaped captivity with her long-missing brother.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Women achieve historic wins at 2021 Academy Awards – Brandy McDonnell reports

At the 2021 Academy Awards ceremonies, women earned a record 17 trophies, the most in Oscar history. Considering the ceremony awarded 30 male winners, that means women received 36% of the statuettes awarded in the 23 competitive categories. Compare that to 2020, when a third of the 39 winners were women, and 2019, when 15 of the 54 winners were women, which is 27.8%.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Reba McEntire’s two upcoming Lifetime movies – Brandy McDonnell reports

Country Music Hall of Famer and Golden Globe-nominated actress Reba McEntire — along with her familiar powerhouse voice — is joining Lifetime’s 2021 original holiday movie slate as the star of Christmas in Tune, the first project in a two-picture deal that the multi-hyphenate recently signed with Lifetime to star in and produce films for the cable network.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Women Costumers Score Top Awards – Brandy McDonnell reports

Women creatives took top prizes for their work on films about female characters at the 23rd annual Costume Designers Guild Awards, where some winners addressed the need for more equitable pay for their work. The prolific Roth moves into the front-runner position for this year’s best costume design Oscar when the Academy Awards.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Melanie Addington redirects from Oxford to Wichita – Brandy McDonnell reports

Melanie Addington, longtime executive director of Mississippi’s Oxford Film Festival, has accepted the executive director position at the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, Kansas. Under Addington’s guidance, Oxford Film Festival became one of the first film festivals in the country to offer in-person screenings and successfully rolled out a new branding of the overarching organization as “OxFilm,” reflecting its growth as a year-round entity with programs the local filmmaking community and film fans have embraced

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Youn Yuh-jung makes SAG history – Brandy McDonald reports

Minari star Youn Yuh-jung made history when she won this year’s Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, April 5, 2021. Youn becomes the first Asian winner and first Asian woman winner in any individual SAG movie category.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Toni Collette to direct WRITERS AND LOVERS – Brandy McDonnell reports

Oscar-nominated actor Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Hereditary, Knives Out) will make her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Lily King’s 2020 novel Writers and Lovers. Along with helming, Collette will produce the film under her Vocab Films banner and write the script with Nick Payne (Wanderlust, The Crown). Weiters and Lovers is King’s fifth novel and a New York Times bestseller.

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