Women of color badly underrepresented even as number of female directors of top-grossing films reached historic high in 2019

Women of color badly underrepresented even as number of female directors of top-grossing films reached historic high in 2019

Stacy L. Smith and her cohorts at  University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative have revealed more about the status of female filmmakers in the movie business. Their “Inclusion in the Director’s Chair? Analysis of Director Gender & Race/Ethnicity Across 1,300 Top Films from 2007 to 2019” reveals a 20 to 1 ratio of male […]

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Oscar nominations create controversy with lack of diversity, exclusion of female directors

Oscar nominations create controversy with lack of diversity, exclusion of female directors

Male-dominated titles dominated the Oscars field when the nominations were revealed Monday: Todd Phillips’ R-rated smash “Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix as a failed mentally ill comedian who turns to crime and eventually becomes Batman’s nemesis, nabbed a leading Oscar 11 nominations and became just the second comic-book movie nominated for best picture, following 2018’s “Black Panther.”

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Nancy Meyers to receive Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement at Writers Guild Awards

Nancy Meyers to receive Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement at Writers Guild Awards

Over the course of her successful, decades-long career, multi-hyphenate filmmaker Meyers has created a body of work that explores modern relationships in all their nuances, delivering a string of literate, sophisticated films that have become worldwide box-office hits.

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Female filmmakers hit ‘historic highs’ in 2019 but still are ‘so far from parity’

Female filmmakers hit ‘historic highs’ in 2019 but still are ‘so far from parity’

The study also indicated why the hiring of women is so important, especially when it comes to reaching any semblance of parity: Films with female directors are much more likely to hire women in key roles than films directed just by men.

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Sundance Film Festival close to gender parity with 2020 edition

Sundance Film Festival close to gender parity with 2020 edition

This year’s lineup includes 118 full-length feature films, representing 27 countries and 44 first-time feature filmmakers. Of the 65 directors in the four competition categories – which total 56 films – 46 percent are women, 38 percent are people of color and 12 percent are LGBTQ+.

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Octavia Spencer to be presented Producers Guild of America’s Visionary Award

Octavia Spencer to be presented Producers Guild of America’s Visionary Award

Kenya Barris received the 2019 Visionary Award, and past winners include Ava DuVernay, Plan B Entertainment, Chis Meledandri, Laura Ziskin and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll.

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Ellen DeGeneres to receive the Carol Burnett Award at Sunday’s Golden Globes

Ellen DeGeneres to receive the Carol Burnett Award at Sunday’s Golden Globes

Plus, her production company, A Very Good Production, is producing NBC’s game show “Ellen’s Game of Games,” NBC’s new special event series “Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways,” NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” Netflix’s “Green Eggs and Ham” and Discovery Channel’s “Wildlife Warriors.”

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Several tentpole movies directed by women coming in 2020, including ‘Black Widow,’ ‘Mulan’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

Several tentpole movies directed by women coming in 2020, including ‘Black Widow,’ ‘Mulan’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

First, Cathy Yan’s “Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” is due out on Feb. 7. The “Suicide Squad” spinoff sees Harley Quinn (Oscar nominee Margo Robbie) splitting with the Joker and joining DC Comics superheroes Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

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Annette Bening to receive AARP Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award

Annette Bening to receive AARP Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award

She joins a prestigious list of previous AARP Movies for Grownups Career Achievement honorees, including Shirley MacLaine, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon and Sharon Stone.

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Record number of movies directed by women added to National Film Registry

Record number of movies directed by women added to National Film Registry

The 2019 registry selections span a century of filmmaking, from 1903 to 2003. The oldest film in this year’s class depicts footage of immigrants arriving in New York at Ellis Island, and the newest film on the list is the documentary “Fog of War,” in which former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara reexamines his role in shaping American military and foreign policy.

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Laura Dern, Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger to be honored at Palm Springs International Film Festival

Laura Dern, Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger to be honored at Palm Springs International Film Festival

Other honorees who will be lauded at the Film Awards Gala will include Zack Gottsagen, Rising Star Award, for “The Peanut Butter Falcon”; Antonio Banderas, International Star Award, Actor, for “Pain and Glory”; Joaquin Phoenix, Chairman’s Award, for “Joker”; and Martin Scorsese, Sonny Bono Visionary Award, for “The Irishman.”

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‘Frozen II’ continues to set box-office records as it crosses $1 billion mark

‘Frozen II’ continues to set box-office records as it crosses $1 billion mark

Set three years after the icy and dicey events of the first film, “Frozen II” continues the adventures of Queen Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), her younger sister, Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), Anna’s awkward yet affable ice harvester beau Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and the magical snowman Olaf (Josh Gad).

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Golden Globes again snubs all female directors

Golden Globes again snubs all female directors

In the 77-year-history of the Golden Globes, only five women have been recognized for directing; just one has emerged victorious: Barbra Streisand, in 1984, for helming “Yentl.” Streisand was nominated again as director in 1992 for “The Prince of Tides.”

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Kristin Chenoweth to executive produce, star in Disney+ series ‘The Biggest Star in Appleton’

Kristin Chenoweth to executive produce, star in Disney+ series ‘The Biggest Star in Appleton’

“The Biggest Star In Appleton” will star Chenoweth as Carol Dannhauser, a devoted Wisconsin mom and wife who works as a waitress but finds fulfillment as the star at the local community theater. Her small-town star status is threatened when Tara Hubley, a struggling New York chorus girl, moves back home with her own dreams.

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Riley Keough, Niki Caro to rock Amazon original series ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’

Riley Keough, Niki Caro to rock Amazon original series ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’

Director Niki Caro (“While Rider,” Disney’s upcoming live-action “Mulan”) is on board the show, based on the best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Caro will direct multiple episodes, including the initial installment, and will work as executive producer alongside Reese Witherspoon.

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‘Frozen II’ sets records with its box-office bow

‘Frozen II’ sets records with its box-office bow

The first “Frozen reigned as the highest-grossing animated film in history as well as the highest grossing musical film before it was overtaken this year by Disney’s CGI remake of “The Lion King.” It was also the highest-earning film with a female director on the domestic box-office books, until it was overtaken by “Wonder Woman” (which was surpassed this year by “Captain Marvel”).

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Jessica Chastain to star in comedy-drama ‘Losing Clementine’

Jessica Chastain to star in comedy-drama ‘Losing Clementine’

The story follows renowned, razor-tongued artist Clementine Pritchard (Chastain) who has decided she’s had enough of life. After ditching her prescriptions, she gives herself 31 days to tie up loose ends – finish one last painting, make nice with her ex-husband, find a home for her cat – before she kills herself.

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Mother-daughter filmmaking team of Swati Bhise and Devika Bhise share the story of an Indian icon with ‘The Warrior Queen of Jhansi’

Mother-daughter filmmaking team of Swati Bhise and Devika Bhise share the story of an Indian icon with ‘The Warrior Queen of Jhansi’

Devika Bhise told NBC News she had always heard about her mother’s lifelong interest in the historical figure. She said the film also provides an important opportunity to show viewers a different side of India, since many Western depictions of South Asia could be described as “poverty porn.” But she noted that in the 1800s India had one of the strongest and wealthiest economies in the world.

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Filmmaker Cheryl Eagan-Donovan named Oxfordian of the Year

Filmmaker Cheryl Eagan-Donovan named Oxfordian of the Year

The documentary is about Shakespeare’s identity and the life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, who traveled in 1575-76 to Venice and throughout Italy, where he collected the experiences that are reflected in the works of Shakespeare.

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Kate McKinnon to star in, executive produce TV series based on strange case of Joe Exotic

Kate McKinnon to star in, executive produce TV series based on strange case of Joe Exotic

Joe Exotic – whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, but he is also known as Joe Schreibvogel – was convicted in April of  twice hiring someone to kill Baskin, an animal sanctuary operator whose nonprofit organization successfully sued him for in excess of $1 million for trademark infringement and more.

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Renee Zellweger to receive American Riviera Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Renee Zellweger to receive American Riviera Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival

“Judy,” which first debuted at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, where Zellweger received repeated standing ovations, has established her as a front-runner in the Best Actress competition for the 2020 Academy Awards.

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Netflix adding short film ‘Sitara: Let Girls Dream,’ from two-time Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, to growing slate of animated titles for families

Netflix adding short film ‘Sitara: Let Girls Dream,’ from two-time Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, to growing slate of animated titles for families

Known for her work in films that highlight the inequality of women, Obaid-Chinoy is the only female director to have won two Academy Awards by the age of 37, and her work has been screened around the world. “Saving Face” (HBO), which chronicles the lives of survivors of acid violence, won the 2012 Oscar for Best Documentary Short, earning Pakistan’s first Academy Award. “A Girl in the River: The Price for Forgiveness” (HBO), which delves into honor killings in Pakistan, won the 2015 Oscar for Best Documentary Short.

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Lady Gaga to star in fact-based Gucci murder movie

Lady Gaga to star in fact-based Gucci murder movie

The movie will be based on Sara Gay Forden’s book “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed.” Four-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott, whose credits include “The Martian,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator,” “Thelma & Louise,” is directing. Roberto Bentivegna is writing the story.

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Spanish filmmaker Sonia Sebastian casts Penelope Ann Miller and Dermot Mulroney in ‘The Virgin of Highland Park’

Spanish filmmaker Sonia Sebastian casts Penelope Ann Miller and Dermot Mulroney in ‘The Virgin of Highland Park’

Now based in Los Angeles, Sebastian premiered her second directorial effort, “Freelancers Anonymous,” an English-language feature produced by Full Spectrum Features in Chicago, and recognized with the gender-parity stamp from ReFrame and IMDbPro.

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Disney Animation aims for diversity with four new directors on the slate

Disney Animation aims for diversity with four new directors on the slate

Disney Animation already has on its slate “Raya and the Last Dragon,” an original Southeast Asian-inspired animated feature that will star Awkwafina as Susi the Dragon and Cassie Steele as Raya.

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