Ava DuVernay to adapt Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed new book ‘Caste’ for Netflix

Ava DuVernay to adapt Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed new book ‘Caste’ for Netflix

Titled “Caste,” the film version of Wilkerson’s book will use a multiple-story format to analyze the “unspoken system that has shaped America and chronicles how our lives today are defined by a hierarchy of human divisions dating back generations.”

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Hollywood Commission, led by Anita Hill, finds men ‘appear to inhabit a parallel universe’ in perceptions of progress in diversity and inclusion

Hollywood Commission, led by Anita Hill, finds men ‘appear to inhabit a parallel universe’ in perceptions of progress in diversity and inclusion

“Men in Hollywood appear to inhabit a parallel universe when it comes to their overwhelmingly positive perception of progress in welcoming and valuing diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives,” the Hollywood Commission said in releasing its second report from an industry survey.

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Janelle Monae horror-thriller ‘Antebellum’ to premiere as a Premium On-Demand release

Janelle Monae horror-thriller ‘Antebellum’ to premiere as a Premium On-Demand release

In “Antebellum,” successful author Veronica Henley (Monáe, “Hidden Figures,” “Moonlight”) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality that forces her to confront the past, present and future – before it’s too late.

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Lizzo signs first-look TV deal with Amazon Studios

Lizzo signs first-look TV deal with Amazon Studios

Earlier this year, Lizzo won three Grammy Awards, for best pop solo performance for “Truth Hurts,” for best traditional R&B performance for “Jerome” and for best urban contemporary album for “Cuz I Love You.” Her music has exceeded 4 billion global streams to date, and she has quickly become a household name.

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Ava DuVernay to executive produce and narrate ‘One Perfect Shot’ docuseries for HBO Max

Ava DuVernay to executive produce and narrate ‘One Perfect Shot’ docuseries for HBO Max

Each episode arms one acclaimed director with an arsenal of visual tools to pull back the curtain on their most iconic shots. Using state-of-the-art technology, the directors will literally enter each shot, walking through the scene in 360 moments that allow viewers to join an immersive exploration of moviemaking.

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Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Netflix hit ‘The Old Guard’ boasts predominantly woman post-production team

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Netflix hit ‘The Old Guard’ boasts predominantly woman post-production team

Gina Prince-Bythewood ( “Love & Basketball,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “Beyond the Lights”) became the first Black woman to direct a Hollywood comic-book-themed movie with “The Old Guard.” Plus, Terilyn A. Shropshire (“Eve’s Bayou”), who has collaborated with the helmer since 2000’s “Love & Basketball,” became the first Black woman to edit one.

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Martha Coolidge’s ‘Real Genius’ celebrates its 35th anniversary – and holds up better than many other ’80s movies

Martha Coolidge’s ‘Real Genius’ celebrates its 35th anniversary – and holds up better than many other ’80s movies

On of my favorite movies of the 1980s turns 35 this month, and unlike many coming-of-age stories of its era, Martha Coolidge’s “Real Genius” is a quotable comedy that provides big laughs without the discomfort of wildly inappropriate material. As I noted in my column for the film’s 30th anniversary, Coolidge’s film about two teenage […]

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Ava DuVernay selected as first woman filmmaker to receive Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize

Ava DuVernay selected as first woman filmmaker to receive Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize

The Gish Prize is given each year to a highly accomplished artist from any discipline who has pushed the boundaries of an art form, contributed to social change and paved the way for the next generation. The selection committee for the 2020 Gish Prize chose DuVernay from nearly 60 outstanding finalists in the fields of visual and performing arts, literature and arts administration.

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Nia DaCosta to helm ‘Captain Marvel 2,’ become first Black woman director in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Nia DaCosta to helm ‘Captain Marvel 2,’ become first Black woman director in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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).

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PBS celebrating 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment with home release of ‘American Experience: The Vote’

PBS celebrating 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment with home release of ‘American Experience: The Vote’

Directed by Michelle Ferrari, “The Vote” tells the dramatic story of the epic and surprisingly unfamiliar crusade waged by American women for the right to vote. Focusing primarily on the movement’s final decade, the film charts American women’s determined march to the ballot box and illuminates the myriad social, political and cultural obstacles that stood in their path.

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Inaugural rePRO by mama.film virtual film festival to explore women’s reproductive healthcare, bodily integrity and more

Inaugural rePRO by mama.film virtual film festival to explore women’s reproductive healthcare, bodily integrity and more

All feature films playing the festival are directed by women, and all filmmakers, including the shorts filmmakers, are being paid to screen their films. The pay-what-you-can film ticket proceeds for films at the festival will be converted to donations to be split evenly among five beneficiary nonprofit organizations: SisterSong, Endometriosis Foundation of America, Center for Reproductive Rights, URGE and Trust Women.

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‘Of a Certain Age’ filmmaking grant established in memory of Lynn Shelton

‘Of a Certain Age’ filmmaking grant established in memory of Lynn Shelton

Lynn Shelton often spoke of feeling inspired after seeing filmmaker Claire Denis speak at Northwest Film Forum and learning that Denis did not make her first feature until age 40. Shelton went on to make her own first feature film – 2006’s “We Go Way Back” – at the age of 39.

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‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ to make PBS debut on ‘American Masters’ June 23

‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ to make PBS debut on ‘American Masters’ June 23

“Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” is one of the “American Masters” documentaries premiering this summer as part of PBS’ summer-long celebration of female trailblazers in honor of the women’s vote centennial.

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Three new documentary projects are planned about the Tulsa Race Massacre – and two of them will be directed by African American women

Three new documentary projects are planned about the Tulsa Race Massacre – and two of them will be directed by African American women

As the event’s 2021 centennial approaches, multiple film and television projects are telling the story, which is still timely in the midst of national protests about racial injustice following the May 25 death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd while in police custody.

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First Asian American movie star Anna May Wong featured in PBS’ ‘American Masters – Unladylike2020’

First Asian American movie star Anna May Wong featured in PBS’ ‘American Masters – Unladylike2020’

Born in Los Angeles to second generation Chinese Americans, Wong was the first Asian American female movie star. Her long and varied career spanned silent and sound film, stage, radio and television, in an era when Chinese protagonists in Hollywood movies were typically performed by white actors in yellow face.

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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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