Sundance Bound: We are thrilled to see so many NYWIFT members headed to Sundance with films this year! We’ll be announcing a panel in Park City soon – stay tuned for more info.
Annenberg Study: For the first time in over a decade, both the number and percentage of women working as directors on some of Hollywood’s biggest feature films have increased according to the latest study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. 12 women directed one of the top 100 films in 2019. While certainly not representative of the overall population, this is the first time we have seen a notable shift in hiring practices. Progress.
Celluloid Ceiling: Meanwhile, the latest Celluloid Ceiling Report from Dr. Martha Lauzen and the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University found that women are still largely unrepresented in more than just the director’s chair. Of the top 250 grossing films last year, 85% had no women directors; 73% had no women writers; 44% had no women executive producers; 31% had no women producers; 71% had no women editors, and 95% had no women cinematographers, with 31% having no women or only one woman working in any of those roles.
NYWIFT member Caitlin Gold is the Co-Founder and Co-Head of Film, a private equity fund dedicated to financing narrative and documentary films directed by women. The fund’s tagline is “Films by women make more money, but Hollywood isn’t making them….” Thanks to Gold and her colleagues, that very well may change! Their most recent feature is the Australian film Shayda, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in the World Dramatic Competition and won that category’s Audience Award. Gold spoke to us about Shayda’s path to the screen, funding work by women, and what’s next on her horizon.READ MORE
Developed in partnership with Sundance Institute and Founded by Hartbeat CEO Thai Randolph and Head of Film Candice Wilson Cherry, WOMEN WRITE NOW is a comedic writing fellowship designed to champion the next generation of Black women in comedy through mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition. Now in its second year, this year’s fellowship brought in three emerging writers, Mayanna Berrin, Kianna Butler Jabangwe, and Danielle Solomon to develop and produce their comedic short scripts under the guidance of some of the most influential Black women in comedy. The resulting projects were then brought into production by Hartbeat studios. Cherry and the writers spoke to us about their experience.READ MORE
Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment presents the “Indie Director’s and Creator’s Spotlight” in celebration of diversity in filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival 2023. Featuring a day of education, industry networking and panels, its evening activation will transform into a Neo Soul lounge with the sultry sounds of 3x Grammy Award-nominated R&B/Neo Soul Singer Angie Stone as the headliner.READ MORE
NYWIFT Advisory Board Member Annetta Marion produced Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie that is premiering at Sundance this month. The film incorporates documentary, archival and scripted elements to recount Fox’s story of personal and professional triumphs and travails in his own words. Annetta and Kathryn O'Kane spoke about the film that explores what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease.READ MORE