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Tiff 2017 Deal: Ingrid Veninger’s “Porcupine Lake” Goes to Breaking Glass Pictures

15 September 2017 1:01 PM, PDT

Porcupine Lake

Porcupine Lake” has secured U.S. distribution. While several companies expressed interest in the project, it was Breaking Glass Pictures that snagged the rights to Ingrid Veninger’s coming-of-age drama about two 13-year-old girls. According to a press release announcing the news, negotiations began after the film’s sold-out world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film follows Kate (Lucinda Armstrong Hal) and Bea (Charlotte Salisbury), two girls who meet in small-town Ontario, Canada and develop an intense friendship that evolves into something that’s no longer platonic. After sharing secrets and participating in daredevil challenges, the pair “have irrevocably influenced each other, and the course of their lives has changed in ways they can’t yet foresee,” “Porcupine Lake’s” synopsis hints. Veninger penned the script.

“I’d like people not only to remember being 13, but actually have some kind of physical chemical reaction and feel 13 again — complete with hot flashes of uncertainty, confusion, and great beauty,” Veninger said of the film in an interview with us. “Ultimately, I’d like people to have a heart-trip.”

You can check out a clip of “Porcupine Lake” that we debuted exclusively

Veninger’s previous credits include “He Hated Pigeons,” “I am a Good Person/I am a Bad Person,” and “Only.” In 2014 she initiated the pUNK Films Femmes Lab, which fosters films written and directed by Canadian women.

Tiff 2017 Deal: Ingrid Veninger’s “Porcupine Lake” Goes to Breaking Glass Pictures was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Over Half of Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film Are Women

15 September 2017 12:01 PM, PDT

Nijla Mu’min, one of Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film: nijlamumin.com

Filmmaker Magazine has published its annual 25 New Faces of Independent Film feature and over half of the individuals profiled are female. Fifteen women—including 12 solo filmmakers and three women who are part of a unisex filmmaking duo — made the cut.

One of the female filmmakers is writer-director Nijla Mu’min, who is finishing up the post-production on her next project, “Jinn.” The movie is about a teenage girl who faces an identity crisis when her mother unexpectedly converts to Islam. “Jinn,” like much of Mu’min’s work, was influenced by her family; her parents divorced when she was young but she would often visit her father, who practices Islam.

“I really loved going to masjid and being around different Muslim people,” the “Jessica’s Mom (or the Science of Triangles)” helmer told Filmmaker. “Then I went into the public school system, where I was exposed to sexuality, pop culture, and friends who weren’t Muslim. My mom, who is not a practicing Muslim, would encourage me to be free. So, my scripts and films usually center on black women and girls straddling dual worlds.”

Beth de Araújo, another filmmaker on the list, is trying to get her first feature screenplay, “Josephine,” produced. The story centers on the titular character, an eight-year-old girl who witnesses a sexual assault while out on a jog with her father. “Josephine slowly starts to lose her mind,” de Araújo explained. “As adults try to explain what rape is to a young girl, problems emerge, and she becomes more and more cautious of the world around her.”

Also a director, de Araújo has helmed episodes of Lifetime’s “My Crazy Sex” and a short film that’s in post-production, “I Want To Marry A Creative Jewish Girl.” She’s also set to shadow on Season 3 of “American Crime Story” as part of the Ryan Murphy Half Program.

Like Mu’min and de Araújo, director Liza Mandelup also has a project in post-production, her feature debut, “In Real Life.” The documentary examines the parasocial relationship between internet stars and their teen fans. “I insert myself into people’s lives in a way that doesn’t feel professional,” Mandelup said of her directing, “and I’m fine with that.” She previously helmed “Sundown,” a short film that looks into the lives of kids who are allergic to sunlight.

Below are all the women included in Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

Laura MossNellie KluzNijla Mu’minElan Bogarin (alongside Jonathan Bogarin)Alexa Lim HaasCeline Held (alongside Logan George)Liza MandelupCirocco DunlapAna Maria VijdeaBeth de AraújoJessica KingdonIlana ColemanRachel Wolther (alongside Alex H. Fischer)Sofia SubercaseauxJa’Tovia Gary

Over Half of Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film Are Women was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Quote of the Day: Lesli Linka Glatter Says the Pool of Female Directors Is “Wide and Deep”

15 September 2017 11:01 AM, PDT

Glatter: GoldDerby/YouTube

“There aren’t enough qualified female directors.” This excuse is all too common in conversations about the lack of films and series directed by women, and suggests that the problem isn’t related to sexism or unconscious bias, it’s the fact that there aren’t enough experienced women ready to step behind the camera and take these jobs. Emmy and Oscar-nominated director Lesli Linka Glatter is calling bullshit on this ill-informed argument.

In a new interview with Variety, the “Homeland” helmer was asked about the lack of parity among female directors working in TV. “The excuse often heard from male showrunners is that there aren’t enough qualified female directors,” interviewer Debra Birnbaum observed. “I hear that all the time and I don’t understand that,” Glatter said. “There are many. The pool is wide and deep.”

Glatter recognized the importance of initiatives offering novice female filmmakers opportunities, but emphasized that a talent pool does already exist. “It’s great to nourish new talent and new directors, but there’s a whole level of midcareer directors we don’t want to forget about either,” she explained. “I have to say, I think it’s an excuse. I think if you are only looking at a handful of directors who work all the time, you’re not looking deep enough. Especially now when you can pick up a camera and make a movie.”

In the 2016–17 TV season women accounted for just 17 percent of directors.

As for who gets the chance to break into the industry and get their first TV directing credit, we can turn to research conducted by the DGA. In the 2015–16 season “153 directors who had never worked in episodic television were hired by employers (studios, networks, and executive producers) — 15 percent were ethnic minorities, and 23 percent were women.” The rest were white men. If hiring a first-time episodic director to helm an episode of your show is a risk, these stats paint a picture of who studios, networks, and EPs have the most faith in.

Eighty-five percent of shows in the 2016–17 season had no women directors. It’s likely that, if questioned about this fact, higher-ups working on these series would offer the “not enough qualified female directors” line. And yet shows like “Jessica Jones,” “Queen Sugar,” and “Harlots” have managed to produce entire seasons of television directed exclusively by women. And Ryan Murphy has ensured that at least half of all director gigs on his shows, which include “American Horror Story” and “American Crime Story,” go to either women or minority candidates, which he defines as people of color or members of the Lgbtq community.

There are also resources, such as The Director List, that can serve as a reference to those looking to make their sets more female-friendly.

Last year Glatter was honored by the Crystal + Lucy Awards and the American Film Institute. Her many credits include episodes of “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead,” “Nashville,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “The Good Wife,” “House,” “ER,” “The West Wing,” and “Twin Peaks,” and the feature “Now and Then.”

Quote of the Day: Lesli Linka Glatter Says the Pool of Female Directors Is “Wide and Deep” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Guest Post: Directing “Red Trees” and Discovering My Own Identity

15 September 2017 10:01 AM, PDT

Red Trees”: Cohen Media Group

Guest Post by Marina Willer

The title of my film, “Red Trees,” refers to the moment when my father discovered that he was color blind as a child, drawing trees with red leaves. It makes reference to a world where we would maybe not judge people by their color or origin. “Red Trees” tells the story of my family’s collective survival and journey to a new life in Brazil after World War II, how we went on to become a real mixture, or “fruit salad,” as my father would say.

Making “Red Trees” was my attempt to understand the shifting world we live in; looking to the past for lessons on how to deal with the ever-worsening refugee crisis. Little did I know that making this film would bring me closer to understanding my own identity as a woman of Jewish background amongst many origins — all the more surprising considering the story is told through the lens of two men, my father and his father.

My Jewish identity is defined by the trajectories of the men on my father’s side of the family: My intellectual grandfather, whose brilliance was forever getting my family in and out of trouble, and my father, a strong and remarkable man. Their stories of triumph in the face of suffering and pain came to define our identity as a Jewish family. And, as is often the case with family histories of that era, there is only space for a man’s brilliance.

The decision to use my voice for the narration of “Red Trees,” combined with the beautiful voice of the late Tim Pigott-Smith, was initially taken to provide balance to what is otherwise a male-dominated story. However, as the filmmaking process progressed, I found that my place in the narrative emerged beyond providing voiceover. I was increasingly reflecting on my personal connection to these old familial tales, weaving my own burgeoning story into the fabric of our collective family history — and subsequently redefining the way in which I understood my Jewish identity.

This new and inclusive family narrative bought me closer to my father, allowing us to break the ice on subjects that we had never previously discussed. We moved beyond the well-trodden, often sanitized stories — in other words, he opened up. We talked about what it was like to be a child during the war and explored the pain that many survivors like him have trapped inside them; pain that is buried so deep, it sometimes makes the history of the Holocaust hard to share.

Although, there were still occasions where my role as a mother, perhaps my natural place amongst the men in my family, collided with the filmmaking process in the most surreal way. On one such occasion, with the camera rolling, my father interrupted me to declare that it was time to do some grocery shopping: “There’s no food in the fridge, love, this is rubbish!” Funnily enough it was Dylan, one of my 10-year-old twin boys, who set him straight. “You have to respect Mummy as a director, not as a mummy,” he said. I think the experience of watching me make “Red Trees,” in which they both appear, has been very special for my boys; they have seen me in a completely different context, informing their perspective of their mummy’s place in the world.

I am very happy with “Red Trees.” It’s a film made completely from love. It’s a story of acceptance, hope, and light in such hard times. The real treat is when you discover strong relationships, the wonderful people who give so much time and talent and create beautiful things. There is a real magic in making art and making it together.

Red Trees” opens in NY and La today. A wider theatrical release will follow in the coming weeks. Check out the film’s website for more information.

Filmmaker and graphic designer Marina Willer was born in Brazil and is based in London. Willer’s work has been shown at Fondation Cartier in Paris, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and various international festivals. In 2003 her short film “Cartas da Mãe” won the Best Brazilian Short Film Award at the São Paulo International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Video at the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize. Her 2014 short film “Exposed” was used to introduce the Richard Rogers exhibitions at Paris’ Pompidou Centre and London’s Design Museum. “Red Trees” is Willer’s feature directorial debut.

https://medium.com/media/ee8c5f982862e7c33306a4164cc7165c/href

Guest Post: Directing “Red Trees” and Discovering My Own Identity was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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Kate Winslet to Receive Actors Inspiration Award from SAG

15 September 2017 9:00 AM, PDT

Winslet in “The Dressmaker”: Broad Green Pictures

Kate Winslet is following in the footsteps of Kerry Washington and Rashida Jones. Variety reports that the Oscar winner will be awarded the SAG-aftra Foundation’s Actors Inspiration Award, an honor previously bestowed on the respective stars of “Scandal” and “Angie Tribeca.” The award pays tribute to artists for their career achievements and charitable work.

In addition to her Oscar statuette, Winslet is also the owner of an Emmy, three Golden Globes, three BAFTAs, and many other awards. She reached international stardom after playing Rose Dewitt Bukater in 1997’s “Titanic,” one of the highest-grossing films of all time. “Mildred Pierce,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Holy Smoke!” “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Heavenly Creatures” are among her other credits.

The Mountain Between Us,” Winslet’s latest film, just made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The drama centers on two strangers who survive a plane crash but are left stranded on a remote snow-covered mountain.

As for her work off-screen, Winslet co-founded the Golden Hat Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to “[changing] the way people on the autism spectrum are perceived, by shining a light on their abilities and emphasizing their great potential.” She’s also worked with UK charities including Cardboard Citizens, a theater company that works with those who have been or are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless.

“Kate has been a game changer and role model in our industry, setting a sterling example for all artists and leaders to use their influence to give back to the greater welfare of others,” said SAG-aftra Foundation President JoBeth Williams in a statement. “We look forward to presenting her with this award for all she has accomplished, and all she has given back.”

The trophy will be presented at SAG-aftra’s Patron of the Artists Awards celebration, set to be held November 9 in Beverly Hills.

Kate Winslet to Receive Actors Inspiration Award from SAG was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Trailer Watch: Sally Hawkins Faces Off Against Michael Shannon in Fairy Tale “The Shape of Water”

15 September 2017 8:01 AM, PDT

The Shape of Water

Excitement is building for “The Shape of Water.” Described by many critics as a fairy tale for adults, “Pan’s Labyrinth” writer-director Guillermo del Toro’s latest film just won the Venice Film Festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, and scored rave reviews out of Telluride and the Toronto International Film Festival. For those of us who haven’t been able to catch the film at a fest, a newly released red band trailer will help tide us over until the thriller hits theaters December 8.

Set against the backdrop of Cold War era U.S. circa 1963, “The Shape of Water” stars Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”) as Elisa, a lonely and isolated woman who works at in a hidden, high-security government laboratory. The film’s first trailer revealed that she’s “mute and can hear everything, and that Elisa forms an intense connection with a mysterious creature (Doug Jones, “Hellboy”) being held captive in the lab for classified experiments. But much stands between Elisa and the creature’s happy ending — including the fact that one particularly awful lab employee, Strickland (Michael Shannon, “Loving”), is determined to take the creature apart to learn how it works.

This new spot gives a clearer impression of just how menacing Strickland is. “You deliver. That’s what you do. Right? Right?” he says to his reflection in the mirror. We also catch a glimpse of him interrogating Octavia Spencer, who plays Elisa’s co-worker and friend. “He’s coming for you,” she tells Elisa. “You’ve gotta go now and you’ve gotta take that thing with you.”

“It’s monster-led but it’s more ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ as it were,” Hawkins has said of “The Shape of Water.”

The highlight of the trailer comes when Elisa sends Strickland a well-deserved message. Check out the video to see what’s on her mind.

Vanessa Taylor (“Game of Thrones,” “Hope Springs”) co-wrote “The Shape of Water” with del Toro.

https://medium.com/media/c68cffdc8ebbdfca0d566d87f28900e8/href

Trailer Watch: Sally Hawkins Faces Off Against Michael Shannon in Fairy Tale “The Shape of Water” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Trailer Watch: A Grieving Family Searches for Answers in Lucy Cohen’s “Kingdom of Us”

15 September 2017 7:01 AM, PDT

“Kingdom of Us”

One of the subjects of Lucy Cohen’s doc “Kingdom of Us” recalls an interaction she had with her father the morning before he killed himself. “He told me he had nobody left and that I was his last hope. My response to him was, ‘Dad, I’ve got to get ready for school,’” she tearfully remembers in the film’s trailer. “I really wish that I’d just been a little bit older to understand.”

She isn’t the only one who constantly looks back to that day. Filmed over three years, “Kingdom of Us” follows the widow and seven children who were left behind after the suicide. One of the younger kids admits that she feels as if her father was never really there — she’s just created memories from the stories she’s heard about him. The siblings’ mother observes that, in spite of everything, she’s grateful that her husband left her the gift of their children.

Another daughter discusses how hard it is to move on. “I think we’re all so used to saying like, for six years, ‘We’re okay.’ But there are some days when I’m like, ‘It’s not okay. I’m not fine about what happened.’”

“Kingdom of Us” will make its world premiere October 7 at the BFI London Film Festival and stream on Netflix beginning October 13. Check out the film’s trailer and poster below.

https://medium.com/media/454e1f4d1ff7b9492d1db7870e8af54f/href

Trailer Watch: A Grieving Family Searches for Answers in Lucy Cohen’s “Kingdom of Us” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Tatiana Huezo’s “Tempestad” Is Mexico’s Foreign-Language Oscar Pick

14 September 2017 1:01 PM, PDT

Tempestad

Another film from a female director has been selected to compete for a best foreign-language film nomination at the 2018 Academy Awards. “Tempestad,” a documentary about the human trafficking trade from Tatiana Huezo, has been selected as Mexico’s Oscar submission, The Hollywood Reporter writes. The doc is also Mexico’s pick to compete for the best foreign picture prize at Spain’s Goya Awards, which will be held in February.

Tempestad” centers on two women, Miriam and Adela, who have been personally affected by human trafficking. “A morning on a quite normal day: Miriam is arrested at her workplace and is accused, without proof, of ‘people trafficking,’” the doc’s official synopsis summarizes. “The violence she suffered and was exposed to during her imprisonment has left a profound gap in her life. Adela works as a clown in a traveling circus. Ten years ago, her life was irreversibly transformed; every night during the show, she evokes her missing daughter, Monica. ‘Tempestad’ is the parallel journey of two women. Mirror-like, it reflects the impact of the violence and impunity that afflict Mexico.”

Huezo’s previous work includes several shorts and the award-winning 2011 feature documentary “El lugar más pequeño.” “El lugar” focuses on the residents of a village in El Salvador as they share their memories of the country’s civil war and commemorate the loved ones they lost in the conflict.

Other women-helmed films selected for the Oscars’ foreign-language race include Agnieszka Holland’s crime drama “Spoor,” Petra Volpe’s women’s rights drama “The Divine Order,” Ildikó Enyedi’s unconventional romance “On Body and Soul,” Ana Urushadze’s psychological thriller “Scary Mother,” and Annemarie Jacir’s “Wajib,” a dramedy about a father and his estranged son.

Tatiana Huezo’s “Tempestad” Is Mexico’s Foreign-Language Oscar Pick was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Trailer Watch: Teen Bloggers Become Murderers in “Tragedy Girls”

14 September 2017 12:01 PM, PDT

Tragedy Girls

X-Men: Apocalypse’s” Alexandra Shipp and “Deadpool’s” Brianna Hildebrand leave the superhero world behind for a “Heathers”-esque take on the slasher genre in “Tragedy Girls.” A trailer has dropped for the dark comedy-horror film that earned strong reviews out of SXSW, where it made its world premiere back in March.

“Sometimes I just feel like nothing I do matters — like I’m not special,” Sadie (Hildebrand) tells her Bff McKayla (Shipp) in the spot. She later observes that McKayla has only received one retweet that day, and it came from her mom. Feeling invisible, the highschoolers decide to ask a social media star to give their blog a shout-out, and when he declines, describing their project as “off-brand” for his “15 million followers,” Sadie and McKayla decide to take action. The girls stab him to death. They aren’t particularly competent murderers — McKayla complains, “You’re just hitting bone, dude,” as Kayla aims for his heart — but they manage to get the job done, and their lives change overnight.

The murder is all their town can talk about, and the girls use the fear, anxiety, and excitement to their advantage. “Anybody could be next, even you,” McKayla tells a classmate. Sadie reassures the terrified girl by telling her, “You can find more information on our Tragedy Girls Twitter page.” To keep their social media followers — and to gain more — the girls become serial killers.

Shipp’s previous credits include “Straight Outta Compton,” Showtime’s “Ray Donovan,” MTV’s “Awkward,” and the titular role in the Lifetime movie “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.” Shipp portrayed Storm in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” a character made famous by Halle Berry.

Hildebrand is best known for playing Negasonic Teenage Warhead in “Deadpool,” a role she’ll reprise in “Deadpool 2.” “First Girl I Loved” and “Prism” are among her other credits.

Tragedy Girls” hits theaters October 20.

https://medium.com/media/9bb884915a4980805ea1fd315c6982fa/href

Trailer Watch: Teen Bloggers Become Murderers in “Tragedy Girls” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Pamela Adlon on Being Inspired by Lena Dunham and Saying Goodbye to Over-Pleasing

14 September 2017 11:01 AM, PDT

Adlon in “Better Things”: Colleen Hayes/FX

Pamela Adlon has added even more to her plate on “Better Things” this season. The comedy’s sophomore run debuts on FX tonight, and the series’ co-creator, star, showrunner, writer, and executive producer helmed all 10 episodes. She directed two episodes of the critically acclaimed show’s first season, which centers on the professional and personal life of a divorced actress raising three daughters. What inspired Adlon to get into the director’s chair — and make “Better Things” — was seeing another woman take the reins on a particular TV project.

“I never had the ambition to be a director and do all of this, nor was it on my radar,” Adlon told Variety in a new interview. “When I saw Lena Dunham, when I saw an ad for ‘Girls,’ I was like, ‘What is that?’ Then I watched it. I was like, ‘Oh, my God. Are you kidding me? She’s half my fucking age, and she’s running that shit?’ That was a head-cracking moment for me,’ she recalled. She realized it was time to take the lead and tell her own stories. And based on her decades of experiences on other people’s sets — particularly ones run by men — she was sure of what she wanted to avoid on her own.

“I know what it’s like to sit and whittle your life away on a set watching men — people — waste so much time and money indulging themselves,” she said. “It’s insane. It doesn’t have to be that way. This whole season was an experiment in ‘Things can be great and comfortable.’ You don’t have to scrape the marrow off your bones.”

The wide-ranging interview also sees Adlon sounding off on the dangers of seeking approval. “I used to worry so much about what people thought about me and be over-pleasing, and it was exhausting,” the “Louie” alumna recalled. “When you stop worrying about that kind of stuff, you actually start focusing and doing the good work. The work that you’re meant to do.”

Adlon is up for an Emmy this year for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. The ceremony and telecast will take place this Sunday, September 17.

Pamela Adlon on Being Inspired by Lena Dunham and Saying Goodbye to Over-Pleasing was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Trailer Watch: A Buddhist Priest Helps People Find the Will to Live in Lana Wilson’s “The Departure…

14 September 2017 10:01 AM, PDT

Trailer Watch: A Buddhist Priest Helps People Find the Will to Live in Lana Wilson’s “The Departure”“The Departure

A Japanese punk-rocker-turned-Buddhist-priest provides much-needed hope to suicidal people seeking counsel in “The Departure.” A trailer has dropped for Lana Wilson’s new documentary and sees Reverend Ittetsu Nemoto taking calls from people who tell him that they “fail at everything” and “should just disappear” — Nemoto has made it his mission to convince them otherwise. But his calling is taking a toll on his own well-being.

“I take on so much of their suffering when I’m counseling,” Nemoto says in the spot. “I can never show them how draining it is.” He’s told, “You’re speaking to others when you’re weak yourself… you can’t have good results with that.”

Wilson told us that she wants audiences who see the film to “to think about the meaning and value of their own lives. What’s most important. What there is to be grateful for. What it is that we’re seeking out when we try to connect with other people. Where that impulse to ‘do good’ comes from. How we can both forget and remember our sense of self when we’re immersed in the experiences of others.”

In 2015 Wilson won an Emmy for co-directing “After Tiller,” a documentary about doctors who provide third-trimester abortions for women in the U.S.

The Departure” made its world premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and opens in New York October 13 and in La October 20. A national release will follow.

https://medium.com/media/fd8a9ad3ea867314a8cea5ef278d3618/href

Trailer Watch: A Buddhist Priest Helps People Find the Will to Live in Lana Wilson’s “The Departure… was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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You’re Invited: Women and Hollywood’s 10th Anniversary Celebration in La

14 September 2017 9:31 AM, PDT

Women and Hollywood will be hosting one of its 10th anniversary celebrations in Los Angeles on October 25. As we honor a decade of educating, advocating, and agitating for greater gender diversity in film, we will also be presenting the Trailblazer Awards, sharing the 10th anniversary video, and screening the First-Time Female Filmmaker Contest winners. Please purchase tickets to the La event or find donation and sponsorship opportunities via the link below. Hope to see you there!

Check out the La event details and how to R.S.V.P. below.

Click here to purchase tickets to the La celebration and/or to find donation and sponsorship opportunities.

Remember, Women and Hollywood will also be hosting a celebration in New York City on October 17. You can find NYC invite and link for tickets/donation/sponsorship opportunities below.

Click here to purchase tickets to the NYC event and/or to find donation and sponsorship opportunities.

You’re Invited: Women and Hollywood’s 10th Anniversary Celebration in La was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Angela Robinson to Co-Adapt “Strangers in Paradise” with Its Creator

14 September 2017 9:01 AM, PDT

An issue of “Strangers in Paradise”

Angela Robinson’s “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival less than a week ago, and the writer-director has already announced her next project. A press release revealed that she’s teaming up with cartoonist Terry Moore to adapt his long-running, award-winning graphic novel series “Strangers in Paradise” for the big screen.

The story centers on “Katchoo, a beautiful young woman living a quiet life with everything going for her. She’s smart, independent, and very much in love with her best friend, Francine. Then Katchoo meets David, a gentle but persistent young man who is determined to win Katchoo’s heart. The resulting love triangle is a touching comedy of romantic errors until Katchoo’s former employer comes looking for her and $850,000 in missing mob money,” the press release details. “As her idyllic life begins to fall apart, Katchoo discovers no one can be trusted and that the past she thought she left behind now threatens to destroy her and everything she loves, including Francine.”

“I’ve been wanting to adapt Strangers in Paradise for over a decade, since the first time I read it and couldn’t put it down,” Robinson said in a statement. “Terry Moore writes real female characters with such breathtaking sensitivity. With ‘Strangers in Paradise’ he pulls off the nearly impossible — a sexy, stylish crime story with tons of heart. I look forward to our collaboration!”

Moore added, “Angela and I have known each other for years and I greatly admire her creative vision. From Day One our common goal was to bring ‘Strangers in Paradise’ to the screen. It’s a complex story that took years to write and Angela gets it on every level. I can’t wait to get started!”

While the press release doesn’t specify, it seems likely that Robinson and Moore will co-write the screenplay and the former will direct.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” hits theaters October 13. Inspired by true events, the film tells the story of “Wonder Woman” creator Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans, “Beauty and the Beast”) and the women who inspired the iconic character: his wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall, “Vicky Christina Barcelona”), and lover, Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote, “Man in the High Castle”). The biopic traces their polyamorous relationship and the role it played in “Wonder Woman’s” creation and reception.

“I came at this from the starting point of being a Wonder Woman fan,” Robinson has said of the project. “It was really important for me to tell the story of the Marstons and also honor and respect the character that they actually created.” She explained, “To me it was always a love story. I did a ton of research and I thought about the Marstons so much. And at the end I just tried to make a film about three people falling in love and I wanted you to feel like you feel when you fall in love.”

Robinson’s previous credits include “How to Get Away with Murder,” “The L Word,” and “Herbie Fully Loaded.”

Angela Robinson to Co-Adapt “Strangers in Paradise” with Its Creator was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Trailer Watch: Jennifer Lawrence Uses Her Body & Mind as Weapons in “Red Sparrow”

14 September 2017 8:01 AM, PDT

Red Sparrow

Jennifer Lawrence re-teams with Francis Lawrence, who directed her in three installments of “The Hunger Games” franchise, for “Red Sparrow.” A trailer has arrived for the anticipated spy thriller, and in its first few seconds Lawrence seems to be playing a role very unlike Katniss Everdeen. She’s wearing a glamorous red dress with perfect hair and make up, and is sitting passively on a bed when a man enters the room, puts cash on the nightstand, and orders her to take off her dress. But there’s more to the picture. And it quickly becomes clear that like Katniss, Lawrence’s character in “Red Sparrow” has a lot going on under the surface — and she’s a fierce force to be reckoned with.

“When I was in Moscow I heard about a program,” a voiceover explains. “Young officers trained to seduce and manipulate. To use their bodies. To use everything. Call them Sparrows — that’s what she is.”

Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova, who is, according to the film’s official synopsis, “many things. A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit. A master of seductive and manipulative combat. When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced.”

Now Dominika is left figuring out how to reconcile the past and the present,

“the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.”

It looks like Dominika is going to kick a lot of ass in “Red Sparrow,” and while the trailer may cause some to roll their eyes — yes, another movie where a female spy relies heavily on her sexuality — it seems as though Dominka won’t just be portrayed as a pretty face who knows her way around weapons. And it’s not unlikely that “Red Sparrow” will tackle the fact that, as the film’s summary details, Dominka was manipulated into using her body as a Sparrow.

Red Sparrow” bows March 2, 2018. Joel Edgerton (“Loving”), Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”), and Mary-Louise Parker (“Weeds”) co-star.

Lawrence’s “mother!” hits theaters this Friday, September 15. The controversial movie sees Lawrence and Javier Bardem playing a couple living in a remote house who receive uninvited guests.

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Trailer Watch: Jennifer Lawrence Uses Her Body & Mind as Weapons in “Red Sparrow” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Girl Seeking Girl: September’s VOD and Web Series Picks

14 September 2017 7:01 AM, PDT

Fear of Water

We need better representation of the Lgbt community in TV and film — especially when it comes to lesbians. The women behind this month’s VOD and web series picks have taken things into their own hands and directed, written, and created stories focusing on the lives, loves, and drama of contemporary lesbian women.

Kate Lane directs “Fear of Water,” a film that places two young women together during a summer of self-discovery, family drama, and love. They learn things about themselves and take risks for something they don’t completely understand. Creators and writers Kallie Tenney and Sarah Soderquist continue this trend of self-discovery with a comedic twist in the web series “Gal Pals.” The chemistry and high jinks of the two female leads ground the show, while the setting and additional cast tell a tale of letting go and unearthing something new about ourselves.

We follow this comedy, “Twenty,” starring, written, and directed by Lily Richards. While it shares some of the comedic elements of “Gal Pals,” this web series follows a young woman trying to break bad habits and find love at the same time. It plays as an honest and intimate look at the seldom-seen dating life of lesbian women.

Kirsten Strough rounds things off with web series “Animal Warmth.” Like all the stories above, it’s a story grounded in romance. The twist is that the one taking a chance on love is utterly afraid of human contact and the most awkward woman you’ve ever met.

Here are Women and Hollywood’s VOD and web series selections for September.

VOD

Fear of Water” — Directed by Kate Lane

Fear of Water

Kate Lane’s tells the story of a summer that changed everything for two young women from distinct socio-economic backgrounds. Alexia (Lily Loveless) is a bold, working class girl while Eleanor (Chloe Patridge) is naive and leads a sheltered life. As they grow closer during the summer they begin to lean on each other through their family dramas and experience a sexual awakening and profound happiness.

It’s a “portrait of self-discovery” for both women that feels real and easy to connect to. At the end of the day, no matter where we come from or what our background is, we just want to be happy and understood. Despite their upbringings, Alexia and Eleanor find that with each other in “Fear of Water.”

Rent or buy “Fear of Water” on Vimeo.

Web Series

Gal Pals” — Created and Written by Kallie Tenney and Sarah Soderquist; Directed by Kallie Tenney

Gal Pals

Gal Pals” is a new comedy created and written by Kallie Tenney and Sarah Soderquist. Self-described as “‘The L Word’ for the ‘Broad City’ generation,” it tells the story of a self-destructive and proud lesbian named Bee (Katie Lynn Stoddard) and her roommate, Olivia (Skarlett Redd), a neurotic and honest woman who has no problem calling out Bee’s habit of catfishing straight women.

Right away, the most fascinating and fun part of this series is the chemistry between the two leads. Yes, there’s a new love interest named Dylan (Anna Wyatt) who starts a friendship with Bee and questions her sexuality. But the real heart of this series seems to be the best friends with their inside jokes and their constant quarreling. Love, friendship, and laughs — “Gal Pals” has it all!

You can watch the entire first season of “Gal Pals” on YouTube.

Twenty” — Written and Directed by Lily Richards

Twenty

Lily Richards stars, writes, and directs the YouTube web series “Twenty.” It follows the story of Maya, a young musician who throws herself into spur-of-the-moment romances left and right, while supporting a group of friends who “offer little in return.” And as she’s trying to break out of her bad habits, we see a young woman trying to understand herself and what she wants, in a world that has decided who she is already.

Twenty” isn’t afraid to show the weird, awkward, and funny sides of romance, while at the same time making its intimate scenes tender and familiar to anyone who’s felt a connection to their partner.

Check out new episodes of “Twenty” every Monday and Wednesday on YouTube.

Animal Warmth” — Co-Created by Kirsten Strough

Animal Warmth

Yesii Henriquez stars as Jenna, an awkward artist on the hunt for love and acceptance, in creators Kirsten Strough and Joshua Ray Malan’s “Animal Warmth.” Things would be easier for Jenna if she wasn’t deathly afraid of any human interaction or didn’t practically turn into a statue at the smallest sign of interest from another woman.

Despite her fears, Jenna continues to try her luck at love and ends up speaking to the shy girl in all of us who wants to take the risk, but is afraid of what love and dating really entails.

You can watch “Animal Warmth” on YouTube.

Girl Seeking Girl: September’s VOD and Web Series Picks was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Lyra H.

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Trailer Watch: A Trans Activist Is Remembered in “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”

13 September 2017 1:01 PM, PDT

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992 and 25 years later the case remains cold. “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” investigates what may have happened to the trans icon — and why so little has seemingly been done to solve what very well may be a murder case.

Described as “the Rosa Parks of the Lgbt movement” in a new trailer for the Netflix documentary, Johnson played an influential role in the Stonewall riots. She also helped form the world’s first trans-rights organization, Star (Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries). “I have been beaten. I have been thrown in jail. I have lost my job for gay liberation. Revolution now!” Johnson demands in the trailer.

When Johnson’s body was discovered, the NYPD classified the situation as a suicide and refused to investigate. “Now, a quarter century later, at a time of unprecedented visibility and escalating violence in the transgender community, Marsha’s old friend and fellow activist Victoria Cruz has taken it upon herself to reexamine what happened to Marsha,” Netflix’s official synopsis teases. “Dipping deep into jaw-dropping archival footage of another era of New York City life, ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’ follows as this champion pursues leads, mobilizes officials, and works to tell the story of Marsha’s life and get to the bottom of Marsha’s death.”

The doc made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. You can catch it in select theaters and on Netflix beginning October 6.

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Trailer Watch: A Trans Activist Is Remembered in “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Quote of the Day: Taraji P. Henson Wants to Inspire Little Black Girls

13 September 2017 12:01 PM, PDT

Henson in “Hidden Figures

Taraji P. Henson knows the legacy she’d like to leave behind. “I love black people. I love telling stories,” the “Empire” star said in a new interview with Marie Claire. “I want these little girls to study me like I studied Meryl and Bette Davis and Carol Burnett. I want them to study my work, because I put a lot of work in, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.”

The trailblazing Oscar nominee wants to serve as an example and provide inspiration, and she’s always approached her career accordingly. Following her breakout role in 2001’s “Baby Boy,” Henson said, “I just knew [I’d be typecast]. They are going to think this is all I can do,” she recalled. “So I was like, ‘Never again a ghetto role. I’m not saying I can’t do it later, but right now, I have something to prove.” Henson explained, “My mission became showing that I’m a character actress. I can give them as many different performances as Meryl Streep — who is the one they look up to? Meryl Streep. Watch this. You think black women can’t do it? I’m trained just like she is.”

The “Person of Interest” alumna also emphasized how invested she is in supporting other women in the industry. “How can we get ahead if we’re feuding and hating on each other all the time?” she asked. “I made a pact years ago that I would never hate on another female, ever, especially in this industry.”

Henson was most recently seen on the big screen in box office hit “Hidden Figures.” Inspired by a true story, the drama shines a well-deserved and long-overdue spotlight on Katherine G. Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), brilliant black women who played an instrumental role in the space race while working at Nasa. The film, which has grossed more than $231 million worldwide and received three Oscar nominations, has already inspired a number of initiatives recognizing girls and women in Stem.

Quote of the Day: Taraji P. Henson Wants to Inspire Little Black Girls was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Watch: Gemma Arterton Yearns for More from Life in Exclusive Clip of “The Escape”

13 September 2017 11:01 AM, PDT

The Escape

A chance encounter with a book may lead to life-changing consequences in “The Escape.” The drama follows Tara (Gemma Arterton, “Their Finest”), a stay-at-home mom who is struggling with depression. Our exclusive clip of the film, which is now screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, finds Tara sharing her discovery — and the epiphany it leads to — with her businessman husband, Mark (Dominic Cooper, “Preacher”).

As Tara explains to Mark, the book explores medieval tapestries in Paris and different aspects of the self — and it inspires her to explore herself. “I saw this book and it made me think what I need to do,” she says. “Because I think I need to, like, get out and do something with my life that’s not just being here. And I thought maybe I could do this art course.”

Check out the clip to see Mark’s reaction to his wife’s sudden burst of inspiration. “The Escape” is written and directed by Dominic Savage (“Freefall”).

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Watch: Gemma Arterton Yearns for More from Life in Exclusive Clip of “The Escape” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Rebel Wilson Receives Record Settlement in Defamation Lawsuit

13 September 2017 10:01 AM, PDT

Wilson in “How to Be Single

Rebel Wilson won a landmark sum in her lawsuit against Bauer Media, the publisher behind Woman’s Day and the Australian Women’s Weekly. Wilson, who had brought a libel case against Bauer, received a settlement of “more than $4.5m [approximately $3.6m in Usd] in damages, plus interest and court costs” from the Melbourne supreme court, The Guardian confirms. The “Pitch Perfect” actress had argued that Bauer Media attempted to permanently damage her reputation by knowingly publishing lies about her around the release of “Pitch Perfect 2.” Bauer’s publications had written several pieces suggesting that Wilson had been dishonest about her age, name, and upbringing.

The “Bridesmaids” star also claimed that Bauer’s stories had cost her job opportunities, specifically roles in Dreamworks’ “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “Trolls.” “You’re not popular for long in Hollywood, you have a few years until you go out of fashion,” the actress explained. “They took those two years away from me doing what I love, which is entertaining people and making people laugh.”

After hearing both sides’ evidence, a six-person jury found in Wilson’s favor in June. The jury was asked to consider “40 questions and eight claims of defamation relating to a series of articles accusing Wilson of being a serial liar.”

Justice John Dixon’s judgment specified that Wilson was due “substantial” payment. The actress was granted “$650,000 in general damages, including aggravated damages, and $3,917,472 in special damages for opportunities of screen roles lost because of the articles.” Wilson will also receive interest and legal cost reparations sometime in the future.

Dixon’s decision also found that the usual $389,500 ceiling on Victorian defamation cases “did not apply because Wilson’s case warranted an award of aggravation.”

According to tweets from Wilson, her settlement marks an Australian record, but the case was never about money. “I’m looking forward to helping out some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industry with the damages I’ve received,” she added.

Justice Dixon has awarded me a record sum and I'm extremely grateful for that. It is 4 times the Australian record.

 — @RebelWilson

To me though, this case wasn't about the money.

 — @RebelWilson

I'm looking forward to helping out some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industry with the damages I've received.

 — @RebelWilson

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” and “How to Be Single” are among Wilson’s recent screen credits. You can catch her reprise the role of Fat Amy in “Pitch Perfect 3,” set to bow December 22. Wilson is also set to star opposite Anne Hathaway in the gender-swapped “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” reboot “Nasty Women.” Wilson and Hathaway will portray two con-women trying to fleece a tech prodigy for all he’s worth.

Rebel Wilson Receives Record Settlement in Defamation Lawsuit was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Agnieszka Holland & Kasia Adamik to Direct Netflix’s First Original Polish-Language Series

13 September 2017 9:01 AM, PDT

Holland: telewizjaKinoPolska/ YouTube

It’s been quite a week for Agnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik. Just days ago Poland announced their collaboration “Spoor” as the country’s pick in the foreign-language Oscar race, and now comes word that the two directors are re-teaming for Netflix’s first original series in the Polish language. A press release revealed that the pair will direct the debut eight-episode season of an as-yet untitled alternative history series.

According to the streaming giant’s official synopsis, the series “takes place in a world where the Iron Curtain never fell. Now, in 2002, 20 years after a devastating terrorist attack in 1982 that halted the course of Poland’s liberation and the subsequent downfall of the Soviet Union, an idealistic law student and a disgraced police investigator stumble upon a conspiracy that has kept the Iron Curtain standing and Poland living under a repressive police state. After two decades of peace and prosperity, the leaders of the regime enact a secret plan that was made with an unlikely adversary in the 1980s that will radically transform Poland and affect the lives of every citizen in the nation — and the world. What these two men discover has the potential to ignite a popular revolution and those in power will stop at nothing to keep it a secret.”

“We are really happy that we’ll be able to combine the wonderful experience of the Netflix team, our great American producers and writer, with Polish talent and a Polish sensibility,” Holland commented.

The new series will shoot in Poland and is expected to launch on Netflix in 2018.

In Darkness” and “Europa, Europa” are among Holland’s previous feature credits. She received an Oscar nomination for writing the latter, and scored an Emmy nod in 2010 for directing an episode of “Treme.” She’s also helmed episodes of series such as “House of Cards,” “The Killing,” and “The Wire.”

Adamik, who served as collaborating director on “Spoor,” made her feature debut with this year’s crime thriller “Amok.” She’s helmed episodes of “The Border” and “Without Secret.”

Agnieszka Holland & Kasia Adamik to Direct Netflix’s First Original Polish-Language Series was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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