WEEK IN WOMEN: New Proof of Concept Accelerator Program is accepting applications – Brandy McDonnell reports

Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and Emmy Award nominee Coco Francini, along with Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, have launched the Proof of Concept Accelerator Program, which is now taking applications for 2024. Supported by Netflix, the program’s goal is to identify the next generation of filmmaking talent whose stories promote the perspectives of women, transgender and nonbinary people. Proof of Concept is designed to challenge the three most significant barriers these directors face as they navigate the industry: funding, mentorship and exposure. As many as eight filmmakers will be selected for the program’s inaugural cohort. Each of these filmmakers will receive $50,000 in funding to create a short film that can serve as “proof of concept” for a feature film or television series.

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SOPHIE HYDE on Moviemaking, Sex and Representation

Australian director Sophie Hyde has utilised the notion of sex as a means to gain self-knowledge in her three feature films, 52 Tuesdays, Animals, and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Hyde works not only as director in film and television but also as a producer with her company Closer Productions bringing a variety of stories to life. Nadine Whitney had the opportunity to speak to Sophie about equity and representation on screen in Australia and the international film and television industry..

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Berlin Film Festival 2023: Female Filmmaker Wrap – Serena Seghedoni reports

The Berlinale has been publishing a gender evaluation since 2004, and though the festival hasn’t reached gender parity yet, their inclusivity has significantly improved since 2019. If from 2002 to 2018 their percentage of female-directed films in competition amounted to 5-22%, in 2019 they almost reached gender parity with 41%, and the percentage has exceeded 30% every year since then. Their internal organization also reflects their desire to be inclusive, as they have achieved gender parity in almost all of their committees, juries, and even festival directors.

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Sundance Film Festival: Feminist Overview – Leslie Combemale reports

This year over 50% of films in nearly all categories of the festival are directed by folks who identify as women: 61% in the US Dramatic Competition, 63% in the US Documentary, 58% in the World Dramatic Competition, and 46% in the World Documentary, to be precise. Of all the feature films announced, 53% are directed or co-directed by female-identifying creatives. That’s a lot to sift through, but we at the Alliance of Women Film Journalists are here to help.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Woman-directed films win big at Sundance 2021 – Brandy McDonnell reports

Director and screenwriter Siân Heder’s family drama Coda won four awards in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category: the grand jury prize, the directing prize, the audience award and a special jury prize for best ensemble. Coda is the first film in the history of the Sundance Film Festival to earn all three U.S. Dramatic top prizes.

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Sundance FF 2021: Supporting Women Above and Below the Line – Leslie Combemale reports

Sundance has been progressive enough to commit to inclusive programming, with 50% of programmed films directed by one or more women, as well as 50% directed by one or more artists of color. Beyond that, though, how are these productions supporting parity? Are they telling stories centered on subjects that haven’t seen themselves enough onscreen? Do they have women working on the crew? In order to effect change, that’s what filmmakers and film fans need to support. Here’s what’s happening at Sundance 2021.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Nia DaCosta to helm CAPTAIN MARVEL 2 – Brandy McDonnell reports

Nia DaCosta will become the first Black woman director in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as she has been tapped to direct “Captain Marvel 2” for Marvel Studios. She becomes the fourth woman to direct a Marvel Studios blockbuster, following Boden, Cate Shortland (Black Widow, currently due out Nov. 6), and Chloé Zhao (Eternals. currently slated for Feb. 12), as Marvel continues to broaden the horizons of the director it hires for its superheroic films,

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Filmmaker Anu Menon chats SHAKUNTALA DEVI – Mythily Ramachandran interviews (Guest Post)

Indian filmmaker Anu Menon busts Bollywood stereotypes, Known for films with stories about strong female characters, her latest feature is Shakuntala Devi, a biopic that chronicles the life of the legendary female mathematician known alternatively as the ‘wizard of India’ and the ‘human computer.’ Menon chats with Mythily Ramachandran about the titular character and making the film.

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Sundance 2020: Black Women Directors Prevail – Kathia Woods reports

Sundance Film Festival featured many films directed by black women. Each film had a different theme and inspiration. Each of the filmmakers had a different point of entry into filmmaking. Some went to film school others went out on a whim, but each brought a strong personal vision and compelling story to the screen, showing that the black experience is not monolithic, but very global. That’s the beauty of filmmaking.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: New Stats show drop in WoC-directed films – Brandy McDonnell reports

Female director representation may be the highest it’s been in 13 years, but the number of women of color is still low. The percentage of underrepresented directors reached 16.8% in 2019, a drop from 2018’s high watermark of 21.4%. Just four women of color directed a top 100 movie in 2019.

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