2/26/2005

Reindeer Games

The Fund for Women Artists emailed to let me know that as per usual, women directors are under-represented in tonight's Academy Awards.

This kind of news surprises nobody. Film and television rank up there with the military as fields that are heavily male-dominated. It's changing, of course, just more slowly than some other areas.

FWA suggests that we do our part to tip the scales by seeking out and watching great films made by women. I can't argue with that logic, so I'm posting their suggestions here.

Rent movies made by women
For a list of movies by women since 2000, go to: www.moviesbywomen.com/moviesbywomenfilms.htm

You can also rent great, hard-to-find movies by women from Women Make Movies at www.wmm.com, the premiere distributor of films by women directors.

See a movie directed by a woman at a local theatre.
You can see a full list of movies that are in theatres now at: www.Womenarts.org/news/Feb 2005 Movies

Buy opening weekend tickets for films by women.
Show the big studios that there is an audience for films by women by going as soon as they open! Find out what women's films are opening by signing up for the First Weekenders newsletter at www.moviesbywomen.com

Find Artists To Help Through the WomenArts Network!
Sheila Margaret Sofian, Kagendo Murungi, and Ruth Sergel are just three of the 150 filmmakers on the WomenArts Network. And more join every day! Search the WomenArts Network at www.WomenArts.org to discover filmmakers and other artists in your region who are doing great work, then contact them directly to find out about local events, works in progress, and ways you can help!


BACKGROUND:

It's Oscar Time - Where are the Women?

The Academy Awards ceremony is upon us, and once again, women's films are completely absent.

There are no Oscar nominations for a woman-directed film for Best Picture, none for Best Director, or Best Original Screenplay. There is only one woman in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, Julie Delpy, who shares a credit with Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke for “Before Sunset.” Even the Best Foreign Language Film category doesn't include any woman-directed films.

Women do much better in the nominations for Best Documentary: “Tupac Resurrection” is directed by Lauren Lazin and Karolyn Ali; “Born Into Brothels” is co-directed by Zana Briski; and “The Story of the Weeping Camel” is co-directed by Byambasuren Davaa. (And Vicky Jenson shares the director's billing for “Shark Tale,” a nominee for Best Animated Feature Film.)

The full list of Oscar nominees is at: www.oscars.com

The Same Old Story

When Sofia Coppola was nominated last year for “Lost in Translation,” she was only the third woman in history to be nominated for Best Director. The other two were Lina Wertmuller for “Seven Beauties” in 1977 and Jane Campion for “The Piano” in 1994 - a total of three nominees in the entire 76-year history of the awards!

No woman of color has ever been nominated for Best Director and no woman has ever won. After last year's high-water mark -- eleven women directors or writers won nominations for themselves or their stars -- this year we're back to the same old, same old: women are practically invisible.

In 2003, women directed fewer than 10% of the 250 top-grossing Hollywood movies. More than 20% of the films released in 2003 did not employ any women directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, or editors. You can read Martha Lauzen's study, The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women in the Top 250 Films of 2003 in the Advocacy section of our website at: www.WomenArts.org/advocacy/CelluloidCeiling2003.htm

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