Study: For the first time, family films had as many women and girls in lead roles as men and boys in 2019

Study: For the first time, family films had as many women and girls in lead roles as men and boys in 2019

“Media images have a huge impact on how we see ourselves and judge our value,” said Geena Davis. “When you see someone like yourself reflected, you take in the message: ‘There’s someone like me, I must belong.’ This is why it’s vital for children to see — from the beginning — fictitious worlds that reflect the real world.”

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Study: More women and people of color were lead characters in movies in 2019

Study: More women and people of color were lead characters in movies in 2019

Despite the increase of lead characters for both women and people of color, Smith and her cohorts noted that the percentages still don’t reflect census data: Women comprise 51% of the U.S. population, and people of color make up 39.6% of the nation’s population.

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Despite more female leads in 2019, men still get two-thirds of cinematic speaking roles

Despite more female leads in 2019, men still get two-thirds of cinematic speaking roles

“We have now seen two consecutive years of substantial gains for female protagonists, indicating the beginning of a positive shift in representation,” said Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, the report’s author and the executive director of San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

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Cate Blanchett named president of Venice International Film Festival jury

Cate Blanchett named president of Venice International Film Festival jury

Led by the Australian actor/producer, the jury will decide on the Golden Lion for best film and other awards. The decision was made by the board of directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, based on the recommendation of festival director Alberto Barbera.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Mira Sorvino to be honored at Catalina Film Festival, starting today

Mira Sorvino to be honored at Catalina Film Festival, starting today

Along with working on several in-progress film projects, Sorvino has been an active part of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, speaking out against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein and alleging that he sexually harassed her. Filmmaker Peter Jackson subsequently revealed that Weinstein told him not to consider Sorvino for a role in the blockbuster “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy because she was difficult to work with.

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Michelle Williams calls for equal pay while accepting Emmy for ‘Fosse/Verdon’

Michelle Williams calls for equal pay while accepting Emmy for ‘Fosse/Verdon’

Co-starring Sam Rockwell as influential choreographer and director Bob Fosse, the dance biopic “Fosse/Verdon” offered an inside look at the romantic and creative partnership between Fosse and Verdon, whose role in helping Fosse developing his now-iconic style has often been overlooked.

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Femme-centric spy thriller ‘355’ gets 2021 release date

Femme-centric spy thriller ‘355’ gets 2021 release date

Directed by Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Dark Phoenix”), “355” is a passion project for Chastain, who has been one of the most vocal movie stars on gender-equity issues. In addition to starring, the two-time Oscar nominee is producing through her Freckle Films banner.

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Gemma Chan: ‘We’ve still got a lot of work to do’ to have more equitable representation in movies

Gemma Chan: ‘We’ve still got a lot of work to do’ to have more equitable representation in movies

“I know the perception is that it’s got a lot easier to make films by or about minorities or women, but it’s actually still difficult. I would like to see a real increase in the diversity of people who are in a position to make decisions,” Chan told British Vogue.

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Natalie Portman to become the female Thor in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

Natalie Portman to become the female Thor in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

Chris Hemsworth, who has played the god of thunder in all the “Thor” and “Avengers” films, and Tessa Thompson, who played Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok,” appeared alongside Portman and Watiti at Comic-Con.

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Gina Rodriguez to executive produce, play recurring role and direct first episode of Disney+ series ‘Diary of a Female President’

Gina Rodriguez to executive produce, play recurring role and direct first episode of Disney+ series ‘Diary of a Female President’

The “Jane the Virgin” star is executive producer of the series, which is to be produced by her I Can and I Will Productions, according to Deadline. Emily Gipson also serves as executive producer, along with creator Ilana Peña and showrunner Robin Shorr.

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences achieves gender parity in 2019 class

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences achieves gender parity in 2019 class

Elisabeth Moss, Letitia Wright, Claire Foy, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Tom Holland, Tracy Letts, Olivia Williams, Gemma Chan, Will Poulter, Lady Gaga and Adele are among the actors and musicians invited to become part of the academy’s class of 2019.

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Singer/actor Halle Bailey cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’

Singer/actor Halle Bailey cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’

Despite her obvious talent as a singer, Bailey has been a controversial pick among some Disney fans, for the simple reason that she isn’t a white redhead like the animated character. Although many people have praised the casting, some fans even have gone so far as to launch the hashtag #NotMyAriel and start online petitions calling for Disney to remove Bailey as “The Little Mermaid’s” new star.

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Charlize Theron to receive 2019 American Cinematheque Award

Charlize Theron to receive 2019 American Cinematheque Award

“The American Cinematheque is extremely pleased to honor Charlize Theron as the 33rd recipient of the American Cinematheque Award at our celebration this year,” said American Cinematheque chairman Rick Nicita. “Charlize Theron is making a significant contribution to the art of motion pictures while breaking through outmoded limitations on what an actress and producer can do.”

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Female film critics still outnumbered by male critics almost 2 to 1

Female film critics still outnumbered by male critics almost 2 to 1

“Male film critics outnumber female critics by almost 2 to 1, and continue to dominate the conversation about film across every type of media outlet and about every film genre,” Lauzen said in the study. “In this gender myopic movie world, not only do men comprise the majority of our filmmakers, they are also more likely to have the last word on the quality of our films.”

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Julianne Moore advocates for quotas for reaching gender parity at Cannes Film Festival

Julianne Moore advocates for quotas for reaching gender parity at Cannes Film Festival

“We will have to make major changes to reach parity. That’s just a fact. So, I do believe in quotas. I really do,” added Moore. “I believe in trying to level the playing field for everybody regardless of their gender or their culture or ethnicity. You have to open doors.”

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‘Black Panther’ star Letitia Wright added to cast of Agatha Christie adaptation ‘Death on the Nile’

‘Black Panther’ star Letitia Wright added to cast of Agatha Christie adaptation ‘Death on the Nile’

Wright is set to star alongside Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer and Kenneth Branagh, who again will direct following 2018’s “Murder on the Orient Express” while also reprising his role as the memorably mustachioed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

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Queen Latifah using new initiative The Queen Collective Shorts to build up women filmmakers

Queen Latifah using new initiative The Queen Collective Shorts to build up women filmmakers

Latifah personally mentored both of the winning directors for the collective’s initial year, Haley Anderson and Brittany Fennell. Anderson directed “If There Is Light,” a look at one family’s move out of the shelter system, while Fennell helmed “Ballet After Dark,” which trails a black Baltimore woman who survived abuse and now using ballet as therapy.

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