Tag Archives: Women in film

Celebrate Cognac’s Birthday and the Launch of the “Ladies Behind Lenses” Film Festival!

28 May

Come Out to Celebrate Cognac’s Birthday & the Launch of the “Ladies Behind Lenses” Film Festival!

Clear your calendar for Wednesday, June 8th! The Women’s Mafia and the team of creatives at Rocketlight Films and ChickMakesFlicks are hosting a super-hip Fundraiser for the upcoming Ladies Behind Lenses Film Festival and the event will also celebrate the Birthday of Intrepid Celebrity Reporter, Cognac Wellerlane.

Cognac is well known for covering high-profile media events like the Emmy’s, the Tribeca Film Festival, The Hamptons Film Festival and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. She will be presented with the first annual Women’s Mafia Boldness Award, the first of many awards that will be presented in the Film Festival to women who contribute to high quality Film-Making, Directing, Acting, Cinematography, Writing and more!

Wednesday June 8th
The Polar Lounge, 201 East 24th Street, New York
Pink Champagne Bar 7:30 – 9:00pm
Appetizers and Dancing till 11pm and later

Get your tickets and early bird Film Festival Passes here, securely through PayPal, by clicking the links below!

$30 Online, $40 at the Door (as space permits), $95 ticket and VIP Festival Pass.

Press and media can RSVP to Marcy@womensmafia.com

$30 Ticket

Ticket with Early VIP Festival Pass $95


Red Riding Hood: For Your Consideration, A Reason To See It!

18 Feb

Director Catherine Hardwicke’s new film, Red Riding Hood, arriving in theaters March 11th, has two female editors, a female cinematographer and two female producers. It seems a rarity on any film, let alone one made within the “Hollywood” system, to have so many women working in positions of such prominence and importance to the creation of a motion picture!

According to research done by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Films, the percentage of women directors at the helm of major motion pictures declined from 9% in 1998 to 7% in ’09 and ’10. Women made up 15% of all executive producers and 24% of all producers in 2010, 18% of all editors, 10% of all writers, and only 2% of all cinematographers in that same year.
And apparently this isn’t really that different from years gone by…
“These numbers are just remarkably stable,” one Dr. Martha Lauzen, told TheWrap.
Dr. Lauzen, the Executive Director at the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, oversees the teams of researchers, who, for over a decade, have been tracking the “glass ceiling” or, as it’s known in Hollywood, the “celluloid ceiling.” Dr. Lauzen’s study analyzed the employment of over 2,600 people working on the top 250 domestic-grossing films of 2010. She describes her various studies on their website thusly:

“Every year, The Celluloid Ceiling tracks the employment of women working as directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, and editors on the top grossing films. Another annual study, Boxed In, follows the employment of behind-the-scenes women in prime-time television. A new study, Independent Women, regularly monitors women’s behind-the-scenes employment on films appearing at high-profile film festivals in the U.S. Still other studies investigate the representation of women and men as film critics and writers (Thumbs Down); and compare the budgets, box office grosses, and DVD sales of movies made by women and men filmmakers (Women @ the Box Office).”

Having the empirical data provided by Dr. Lauzen’s study just seems to show that the exceptions do not prove the rule!

What do I mean by that? Well, lets use women directors for this example…
Some of Hollywoods most noted directors are women!
Women like Mira Nair, Nora Ephron, Sophia Coppella, even Cathrine Hardwicke won critical acclaim with films like Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown. Then, last year Kathryn Bigelow won an Acedemy Award for her work on The Hurt Locker — But just because I can site examples of women who have “made it,” who have done outstanding work, and risen to the top in their field, doesn’t truly mean anything…
Not when being refused even a shot at some particular job is a possibility, based solely on someone’s lack of a Y chromosome! Just last week I read, as Hardwicke shared her story with TheWrap, of her attempt to get the directorial job on the film, The Fighter. Here is an excerpt:

Kathryn Bigelow won the “Best Director” Oscar last year but it’s still a man’s world in Hollywood — especially behind the camera.
Just ask Catherine Hardwicke. She directed 2008’s “Twilight,” the first in the hugely successful vampire franchise, but Hardwicke told TheWrap she was prevented from even pitching to direct “The Fighter.”

“I couldn’t get an interview even though my last movie made $400 million,” she said to TheWrap. “I was told it had to be directed by a man — am I crazy?” said Hardwicke, who also noted she liked what David O. Russell did on the film. “It’s about action, it’s about boxing, so a man has to direct it … But they’ll let a man direct “Sex in the City” or any girly movie you’ve ever heard of.”

In this years Oscar race, none of the directors nominated for an Academy Award for direction in the feature films category this year are women… And though two of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture are directed by women  (The Kids Are All Right and Winter’s Bone,  Lisa Cholodenko and Debra Granik, respectively) the academy couldn’t seem to find their way to nominating one of them… I hear they are both well deserving…


Remember those stats I sited earlier? You do? Cool!

Okay, how many movies do you think get made in Hollywood every year?

How many directors do you think there are in total?
(and btw’s, there’s always a new one arriving everyday)

Now, do you remember what percent of all directors are women?

7%… That’s it, just 7% of aaaalllll the directors of aaalllll the major films that came out of Hollywood in 2010…

So maybe even if it’s not your particular cup of tea, perhaps Red Riding Hood is still a film to support, if only to send Hollywood a messege; that women in roles of substance behind the camera, are just as important to us, as the women in front of it or the men behind it…

Watch the two officially released trailers for Red Riding Hood:


Girl on Girl crime: What’s the source of competition in the bizz.

5 Feb

Okay, so it’s no surprise to anyone that Hollywood is a rough business that can get downright nasty.  And for the ladies behind the scenes, the power struggle against the “good ol’ boys’ club” is well documented.

However, I wonder would this fight for power and position be made easier if all women, especially those who have managed to wield some kind of power, came together as a totally united front? You know what I’m talking about too!

Girl fights.
The backstabbing.
The gossiping.
The sabotaging.
The bitchy things we think, say, and do to fellow women in the workplace.
If this cuts too close to home,  I challenge you to read on.

A little friction is good for ya!

Sure, there are plenty of groups, boards, and coalitions that summit and commit strong words to making change… but why isn’t there enough of this coveted change?  Yes, money plays a big factor! Dollars and “a name” will get your movie made, even if the script sucks — Trust me, I’ve been a witness!  And 95% of the time, those women who are established studio filmmakers, will get their projects funded, but for a budget much less than their male counterparts.  Surely, there are high-ranking ladies running the top production studios in Hollywood… so why can’t they look out for their fellow FlickChicks? Not every female director is asking to direct the next “Fried Green Tomatoes”, great film all the same, but still a niche “chick-flick”. So what is it?

I often speculate that; when ladies in the bizz finally get some money, power, and position, after years of (maybe) not having it, the thought of sharing it with, and/or fighting other women for it, may conjure up the fear of losing what took so long to get. No matter how delusional the notion may be!  And maybe that’s why there is such a disparity of “female protegés”, whether they be directors, producers, writers, or what have you.  Am I right in what I’ve come up with? In the way I have found to explain this to myself?

This distinct lack of protégés business doesn’t affect the men of Hollywood like it plagues its women. On this, I am 100% sure, for instance, some definite & specific examples quickly come to mind, of Spielberg protégé’s.  Famous directors, such as Robert Zemeckis, M. Night Shyamalan, and James Moll, Spielberg’s personal in-house documentarian — man,  that is a sick job!  The only rarity I could add to that line up, that now makes Spielberg a pioneer (and one you can’t totally resent), is Drew Barrymore.  However,  with her last name and long running history with the “berg” it’s no surprise.

Even Spielberg was the protegé of someone. And that someone was Francis Ford Coppola.  He’s a nice fella by the way. Come on, even Martin Scorsese mentored Spike Lee, so you can’t say it’s a race thing….Or is it?  Are women competitive with each other along the basis of races?  Can the same be said about competition between women within the same race, especially minority groups? That’s a touchy subject that I will no doubt touch on another time.

And in this game, the generation gap, though a factor that some may want to throw in a person’s face, is an argument that holds no weight.  In this land, 40 is the new 30, and 30 the new 20, and 20 is the new “Beiber”, the younger you are the more valuable.

So, I’m lead to believe that this whole thing of not enough women truly lifting up one another, no matter what, even for the sake of a legacy (something the men seem to do just fine) comes from FEAR!

Success for ladies in power positions is such a rare thing, like the last water skin in the desert… it’s survival of the fittest.

But does it have to be this way?  Like our argument to this country’s oil barons, whom we are fighting now for clean energy, more people can get around and make it if we learn how to distribute the wealth. Right?  So if this idea were adopted, would the playing field for women in film be leveled a bit?

What do you think?