Month: March 2016

About Women, By Women

Here Is a Treasure Trove of News Writing About Women, By Women

Here Is a Treasure Trove of News Writing About Women, By Women

Legacy institutions like The Washington Post have massive archives full of truly amazing stuff. And increasingly, their current employees are going digging for cool finds to revisit—for instance, a new project to highlight coverage of women written by women.

Poytner reports on the WaPo effort, which started with the notion of picking out profiles of women, before developing the concept a little further:

On Tuesday, #womenbywomen debuted with social cards, a hashtag and a new presence on the Web. There’s Donna Britt on Alice Walker from 1989, Sally Quinn on Alice Roosevelt Longworth from 1974 and Lynn Darling on Maya Angelou from 1981. There’s also Martha Sherrill on Madonna from 1991, Marjorie Williams on Sandra Day O’Connor from 1989 and Elisabeth Bumiller on Gloria Steinem from 1983.

In a Medium post announcing the move, the Post’s Julia Carpenter encourages readers to go hunting for additions to the list and share them on Twitter under the hashtag. If you want to get really wild, you can expand your explorations to the Google newspaper archive. Just don’t forget to come up for air every once in a while, of course.

Article Source Jezebel


A minority, women owned globally focused distribution platform for multicultural independent filmmakers

FilmCloud Distribution Announces Independent Film Signings during South by Southwest Film, Music and Interactive Event

AAHollywood(TM) Market Films Now Available on FilmCloud Distribution’s Global Streaming Platform

Austin, TX – FilmCloud Distribution, LLC announced at SXSW that it has acquired several new titles during the film festival from indie filmmakers, adding to the platform’s growing library of multimedia content. Independent Filmmakers are excited about FilmCloud’s distribution model and their ability to generate revenue from distributing their films through FilmCloud Distribution.

Indie filmmakers are excited and encouraged by the new distribution model. “FilmCloud looks good,” proclaims Fedor Lyass (Moscow, Russia by way of LA) filmmaker and director of photography of the highly anticipated Hardcore Henry. “You are doing the right thing!” Dallas’ award winning director Jacolby Percy (Richetus Cry) agrees, “I really like the layout. The overall look is sleek, easy to use, and doesn’t have a lot of clutter like most streaming sites. Being able to navigate and find what you’re looking for is always a priority when your film is shown on any platform.”

FilmCloud has opened its AAHollywood market segment for FREE viewing during SXSW and through April 1, 2016. A limited number of quality independent films are immediately available for streaming on any device, anywhere in the world.

AAHollywood(TM) is FilmCloud’s trademarked market designation for its “All Americans’ Hollywood” or North American market, representing the diversity of the independent filmmakers throughout America; specifically African-American, Latin American, Native American, Asian-American, as well as independent filmmakers of European descent who support and tell the stories of America that are inclusive of All Americans.

Go to www.myFilm-Cloud.com and click on the North American continent to see the current and growing library of films. FilmCloud has a backlog of films currently under quality review. Those approved will proceed to contract and then on to FilmCloud’s global distribution platform.

FilmCloud Distribution LLC will be hosting its second event for independent filmmakers in Austin, Texas during SXSW at Coopers Old Time Bar-B-Que, 2017 Congress Ave, 78701. Come out and learn about the FilmCloud’s platform, Saturday, March 19th, at 11am – 12:30 pm.

Filmmakers may add their independent film to FilmCloud’s streaming platform today at no cost.

About FilmCloud Distribution LLC

FilmCloud is a minority, women owned company that operates a globally focused distribution platform for multicultural independent filmmakers. They are intensely focused on helping the filmmaker generate revenue and viewers for their films.

Article Source Dallas Weekly

New Initiatives for diversifying Hollywood

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 02:35 PM CST
Justin Lin: If we want more diversity in Hollywood, “the general public has to demand it”
The “Fast & Furious” director’s plan to support Asian American artists is one of several new diversity programs
Paula Young Lee

In 2016, the fact that Hollywood made a sequel to #OscarsSoWhite has energized longstanding conversations regarding systemic racism and sexism in the entertainment industry. In its wake: a rash of new initiatives aimed at diversifying television, film, and theater. As the squeaky wheels of progress turn inside the Hollywood machine, a few film directors are doing their part to pull it into the 21st century.

Director Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) founded the film distribution collective, Array, and hired women and people of color for the currently-filming production of the OWN network television series “Queen Sugar.” “Star Trek: A New Hope” director J.J. Abrams’s production company, Bad Robot, will henceforth require that women and people of color be submitted for writing, directing and acting jobs in proportion to their representation in the U.S. population. A new non-profit, We Do It Together, aims to finance and produce films, documentaries, TV and other forms of media that will challenge stereotypes regarding women, and its advisory board includes directors Catherine Hardwicke, Hany Abu-Assad, Amma Asante, Marielle Heller, Katia Lund, Małgorzata Szumowska, and Haifaa Al Mansour, among others.

In 2010, YouoffendmeYouoffendmyFamily (YOMYOMF), the Asian-centric blog and entertainment website founded by director Justin Lin (“Fast and Furious” series, currently filming “Star Trek Beyond”) initiated a competition, “Interpretations,” which asked aspiring Asian-American filmmakers to develop and shoot a 3-minute short around a four-line script. A resounding success, it is being run again this year, with a script written by Tony-award winning playwright David Henry Hwang. The four lines are:

Don’t do that.
Of course.
I have my doubts.
What is it?

(Confused? Here is a funny example of how it works.) The winners get the opportunity to craft a project for the initiative’s lead sponsors, Comcast and NBC Universal (NBCU).

In a recent interview, Lin told me the more the public gets behind these works and artists—both in front of and behind the camera—the more we’ll see things start to change.

“After I made ‘Better Luck Tomorrow’ and started taking meetings in Hollywood, I quickly learned that Asian Americans weren’t even in the conversation as a minority, since there wasn’t even a significant enough audience, and especially an audience for Asian American content,” he said. “I think it’s changing now with shows like ‘Dr. Ken,’ ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and ‘Master of None,’ but obviously when we look at the film side, there’s still a lot to be done.”

“Interpretations” is the first initiative for the nonprofit YOMYOMF Foundation, which supports Asian American talent, and more programs are on the way. Lin says he started the foundation because he knows talented artists are out there, they just need opportunity and mentorship.

“I’m the child of immigrants. My Taiwanese parents came to America with no money and supported my brothers and me as small business owners in Orange County, which is close to L.A. but about as far away from Hollywood as you can be. I didn’t know anyone in the industry, but had a great deal of people help me along in my path,” said Lin. “I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but feel incredibly lucky to be in the position I am now and to be able to play a small part in trying to support talented, aspiring young filmmakers out there through a program like ‘Interpretations’ who, like me, had the desire and passion, but no connections to the industry.”

Lin also says if we want to see more diversity in film, “the general public has to demand it.”

“It’s about supporting the many talented artists and filmmakers out there trying to create work from that marginalized point of view,” he said. “Go out and buy tickets to their movies and plays, support their crowd sourcing campaigns, show the industry that there is a viable audience for this work.”

The pronounced under-representation of Asian-Americans in the entertainment industry has not gone unremarked. The Asian American Arts Alliance of New York, for example, just announced the launch of a new theater fellowship aimed at supporting young artists and directors of Asian descent by providing them with a stipend, mentorship, and other forms of support. When marginalized groups have limited access to opportunity, it shows up in various ways, including the ongoing drama of #OscarsSoWhite. As the Economist explains:

Oscar nominations have not dramatically under-represented black actors. Instead, they have greatly over-represented white ones. Blacks are 12.6% of the American population, and 10% of Oscar nominations since 2000 have gone to black actors. But just 3% of nominations have gone to their Hispanic peers (16% of the population), 1% to those with Asian backgrounds, and 2% to those of other heritage.

Given that Asians are not only are 60 percent of the world’s total population but Asian-Americans are also the highest income and fastest growing racial group in the U.S., it is statistically improbable that they are barely a blip at the entertainment industry’s most prestigious award ceremony.

YOMYOMF announced the second “Interpretations” competition this past weekend at the annual film fest organized by the Center for Asian-American Media in San Francisco. CAAM Fest, explains YOMYOMF creative director Phil Chung, “has been supportive of Justin from the very beginning when he came here with his UCLA feature, ‘Shopping for Fangs’,“ and so there has been a longstanding connection between Lin and the organization. “Seeing the packed 1,400 seat Castro Theater for CAAMFest’s opening night,” Chung tells me, “was a visceral reminder that there is a huge audience out there hungry for Asian American content–stories by, for and about our communities.”

 

A few television executives have already figured out that this audience is out there. Karen Horne is Senior Vice President of Programming Talent Development & Inclusion for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television. For many years, she explains, Comcast and NBC Universal have supported CAAM Fest, so partnering with “Interpretations” was a natural segue. The company’s diversity push (opportunities linked here) date back to 2000, when NBC “initiated a diverse staff writer initiative that has given start to many people like Mindy Kaling, Alan Yang, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel and many, many more,” she emphasizes. “Our initiatives go far beyond my department as well. It is company-wide and is a part of our DNA.” The winners of “Interpretations” will be featured at NBCU’s Short Film Festival finale in October.

Horne couldn’t promise me that NBC Universal would pick up where ABC left off and build a new comedy around John Cho, of the late, lamented sitcom “Selfie,” but did affirm that casting for new shows under development is “still underway, and I’m enthusiastic that this year, we will see more diversity across the board.”

The key phrase is diversity across the board. When all the other factors are taken into account, the tiny number of Asians in popular media is especially egregious, but Natives and people of Middle Eastern descent are so marginalized they often don’t even get mentioned in “diversity” conversations. The point is that Lin, DuVernay, Abrams and other directors are implementing their convictions, taking financial risks, and using their focused spheres of influence to change cultural perceptions. The result? Great visual storytelling and fantastic entertainment. Let’s demand more of this.
Paula Young Lee is the author of “Deer Hunting in Paris,” winner of the 2014 Lowell Thomas “Best Book” award of the Society of American Travel Writers. She is currently writing outdoor adventure books for middle grade and young adults. Follow her on Twitter @paulayounglee

Black Women Who Have Broken Ground in Entertainment

8 Dynamic Black Women History-Makers In Film, Television and Theatre

Celebrating Women’s History Month with bold and brazen trailblazers in entertainment

hattie mcdaniel

BlackEnterprise.com is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month by commemorating those bold and brazen black women who have broken ground in film, television, and on the stage.

These women left legacies that make it possible for the thriving we see of the African American woman on screen today. Pay homage to these women through and beyond the month of March, as their contributions are worthy of championing each day of the year. Let’s celebrate these history-makers below.

[Related: ‘Black Actress’: Andrea Lewis Takes Matters Into Her Own Hands]

1. Diahann Carroll

We all know the legacy of the diva, herself, Diahann Carroll. And if you don’t know let’s pretend that you do. Diahann Carroll is the first black woman to win a Tony Award for best actress in 1962 for her role of Barbara Woodruff in the musical No Strings. She is also the first African American actress to star in her own television series, Julia, in 1968.

2. Viola Davis

In 2015 Viola Davis became the first African American woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Annaliese Keating in Shonda Rhimes’ ABC hit drama How to Get Away with Murder.

3. Halle Berry

Halle Berry made history in 2001 as the first African American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role as Leticia Musgrove in Monster’s Ball.

4. Whoopi Goldberg  

The GOAT, or should we say EGOT, Whoopi Goldberg, is the first African American to hold each of  the most highly-coveted film, television and stage accolades–Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Not only is she toting every award your favorite actresses hope for, but she also makes history as the first African American woman to win the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture.

5. Juanita Hall

Juanita Hall is the first black woman to win a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress, in 1950, for her role as Bloody Mary in South Pacific.

6. Oprah Winfrey

Self-made billionaire, Lady O, is the first African American woman to host a talk show leading to her position as the first African American woman to appear on Forbes’ billionaire list.

7. Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel is the first African American, male or female, to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1940 for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind.

8. Ethel Waters   

First African American actress to be featured in a sitcom for her role in Beulah which debuted in 1950. She later went on to quit the series due to the stereotypical portrayal of African Americans. She is also the first African American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award in 1962.

Source of Article Black Enterprise

Workshops to Increase Diversity

Warner Bros. Launches Directors Workshop for Underrepresented Directors

Women and Hollywood By Laura Berger | Women and HollywoodMarch 14, 2016 at 12:00PM

"Wonder Woman"
“Wonder Woman”

Last year, a study conducted by the Los Angeles Times revealed that, among the major studios, Warner Bros. hired the least women directors. An embarrassing claim to fame, period, but especially in light of the increasing number of headline-dominating conversations about gender in Hollywood. The studio behind Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” is taking a step towards making their company more inclusive by launching a program for new and underrepresented directors.

The Warner Bros. Emerging Filmmaker Workshop is a nine-month intensive fellowship program where the aspiring directors will have a chance to hone their skills and talent. They’ll be partnered with Warner Bros. executive mentors who will guide them throughout the film production process. At the end of the program, the filmmakers will unveil their work in a film festival on the Warner’s lot. Attendees will include agents and executives from the industry.

This year’s fellowship will include five filmmakers, and each of their budgets will be around $100,000.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that, according to the studio, “the program is designed to recreate the features production process on a micro level. The workshop will have participants pitch, write or work with a screenwriter and develop a script for a short film (3-10 minutes). Once they have a final script, filmmakers will work with physical production to prep, create a budget, cast, shoot on the lot and edit with a full post-production process. The studio will cover all production costs and salary for filmmakers for the duration of the Workshop.”

This sounds like an amazing opportunity for burgeoning filmmakers who need a foot in the door.

“We wanted to have more diverse voices; it’s a better way to connect with our diverse audience and with the world,” said Greg Silverman, president, creative development and worldwide production, Warner Bros. Pictures. He then acknowledged the fact that structural inequality affects the hiring process, and explained how the program aims to address this issue: “There were logjams way down the line before we even saw people.We wanted to start at the first step and give people a leg up, to address the system holistically.”

To be clear, the Warner Bros. Emerging Directors Workshop is not for women exclusively (unlike the recent class of the Fox Global Directors Initiative). In this case underrepresented seems to refer to both gender and race. People of color are of course underrepresented behind the camera, particularly women of color, and we applaud any efforts to increase the number of women of color directors.

This is important for many reasons, especially the fact that when an underrepresented director is at the helm of a film or a scripted episode on television the diversity onscreen increases 17.5% (according to new research from USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative).

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

Op-Ed: Riding the Conversation Wave about Diversity

by Sheree L. Ross

All of the diversity talk since the Oscars is a very good thing. Already new production companies are being formed in Hollywood by women deciding to own our narrative, but it will barely be much more than just a conversation unless we see greater action out of studio executives and powers that be, that isn’t just predicated upon the momentum of bad press. 

It is great to see our allies – like high profile filmmaker  J.J. Abrams  and Women Filmmaker’s of Color like Queen Latifah  making concerted efforts to change the paradigms around Hollywood’s overwhelming diversity problem, yet let’s take a second and expand this conversation to include not only what’s going on in Hollywood but the diversity of location.

Diversity thinking (as it relates to our domestic film and television industry) should also start to include filmmakers, production  companies and studios all throughout the United States. This country learned an important lesson a few decades ago about company towns. Detroit and the people who worked for those car companies could never have imagined the long term economic devastation that continues to have withering effects. I believe those who run Hollywood aren’t imagining, nor can fathom, the long-term effects of their blockbuster spending, monopoly mind-set, and narrow parameters around casting, production location and story lines.

With the increasing affordability of making movies and media, the plethora of exhibition platforms and ever increasing media innovations the powers-that-be of Hollywood can’t continue to ignore what is clearly a shifting paradigm. There are so many talented filmmakers who live all over the US by choice or by economics. Many of us don’t want to live in Hollywood for varying reasons, and yet it often feels impossible to think of any levels of success without doing so. And just before you think I am off the subject of diversity, believe me this is a conversation about diversity most of all. Any industry that is disproportionately dominated by white men gathered in one geographic location has a severe diversity problem.

And again, yes, there are waves of change happening in small ways in Hollywood every day. Certainly Channing Dungey, the first black woman to be president of a major network is  an incredible move forward, but it’s 2016, this shouldn’t be as big a deal as it is.

What if Hollywood were to open itself up to be more like other big industries, where it doesn’t demand it be the sole beacon to riches and success? Every actor, producer, director and Broadway wannabe doesn’t have to move to New York to fulfill their dreams of the stage and make a living (it’s a bonus, not a requirement). In fact, there are few industries I can think of that control their product with such a myopic segregationist viewpoint. Even in tech you can live in your parents basement or college dorm, create something and become a billionaire overnight-ish, you don’t have to move to Silicon Valley or Austin in order to thrive. 

I do realize that there are successful companies outside of Hollywood –  Harpo and Troublemaker Studios are at the top of these success stories. But I think most would agree that there is something inherently screwy about a system that has the deck stacked so in favor of just the Hollywood big boys.

It is definitely time for a new paradigm. If those of us in this industry work towards more diversity – in casting, on sets and when writing our screenplays – and stop holding Hollywood as the Mecca to all things film (which ultimately dilutes talent pools in Indie communities) then the economic structures of sustainability and profitability can change. I believe that this could eventually even impact television, which as we all know is nearly an impossible dream unless you want to live in Los Angeles or New York. These shifts in thinking and action will help the economics of filmmaking communities of color, women, LGBT – all independent filmmakers.  Sure, it’s not going to happen overnight, but these conversations are inroads. Let’s continue the conversation but add lots of action, great ideas and solutions so we, as independent filmmakers, can create a diverse and sustainable industry for us all.

 

 

Sci-Fi is for Women of Color too!

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