women in speaking roles

Being “Polite” Often Gets Women Killed

In late January, Kristen, a member of the My Favorite Murder podcast Facebook page, wrote a post about a woman who “probably saved my life.” She had driven to a restaurant to get some food and iced tea for dinner late at night, alone since her boyfriend was sick. After getting her order, Kristen went back outside toward her car, but a woman stopped her. “It’s so good to see you!” she said. “How have you been?” Kristen assured her that she had the wrong person; they’d never met before. The woman whispered to her to pretend that they were friends. “There’s a man hiding behind your car,” she said.

They walked over to Kristen’s car together while the woman explained that she had a bad feeling about the man who was lurking and decided there would be power in numbers. “Sure enough,” she wrote, “we get to my car and a man in a hoodie stands up from behind my passenger rear side and nonchalantly walks into the dumpster alley.”

As Kristen said goodbye, the woman smiled and said, “Stay sexy and don’t get murdered.”

For the uninitiated, this is hardly a normal way to say “you’re welcome,” but it’s a calling card of sorts for fellow “Murderinos,” which is what fans of My Favorite Murder, a hugely popular true crime podcast based out of Los Angeles, call themselves.

MFM, the weekly show hosted and researched by Karen Kilgariff, a comedian, musician, and writer, and Georgia Hardstark, a TV host for the Cooking Channel and co-host of the Slumber Party podcast, has been up and running for just over a year now. Their Facebook page is currently creeping past 100,000, and though the duo started it, fans now run it. Their live shows across the country routinely sell out and they have an extensive merchandise line with tees, mugs, and beanies bearing their own quotes. (“Stay out of the forest.”) As of writing, their iTunes rating is four and a half out of five and they’re ranked 6th under Top Comedy Podcasts, and 49th overall. (One of the very few one-star reviews suggests that the show is, “for chicks only. They may as well be talking make up [sic] and pumpkin spice.”) Intentionally or not, the show speaks to women.

Happy Playland Casting Update

Hey fandles,

We have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is, we haven’t been able to cast a disabled actress in the role of Zara. Due to several reasons (Wellington-based filming, production management, comfortable with kissing a woman, chemistry with lead, acting and singing talents…) it is something we have been unable to do for this webseries. :(
 As we feel it is important to cast disabled actors in disabled roles we have chosen to re-write the role of Zara for an able-bodied person, rather than putting an able-bodied person in a wheelchair. In future we aim to represent physical disabilities in the media we create. Because diversity and people seeing themselves on-screen is really important to us.

Now, for the good news, we have a #HPLW cast. We have a Billie, a Zara, and a Cris. We’ll tell you which actors are playing these roles very soon (before this Wednesday!), but in the meantime we wanted to address the series as a whole. It is still a musical, it is still incredibly gay, and it is still starring three women (well… generally speaking) in the roles. Our cast also show some of the ethnic diversity in New Zealand. Queer roles are played by queer actors, and this webseries looks to be as fierce, funny, and feminist as we can make it.

We’re super excited to share this story with you all,
Claris, Elsie, Minnie, Sally, and Robbie xx

people will be like hamilton isn’t problematic at all but like…. explain then why there are only 2 women with speaking roles beyond singing “and peggy!” or “you’re too kind sir/this one’s mine sir” and over 12 speaking roles for male characters and why eliza and angelica literally never get to talk about anything except how great hamilton is and why hamilton cheated on his wife but it tOTALLY wasn’t his fault, it was the fault of the woman he cheated with, because she ~seduced~ him, and why when eliza gets a song to express her feelings about her husband’s cheating, all she gets to do in the song is talk about how amazing hamilton is and not how he’s a cheating lying piece of shit. anyways my point is i guess hamilton has cool music and ~sick verses~ or whatever but actually it sucks and really failed at trying to be good representation and also i hate a lot of you


Some of the actresses of colour suggested by my mutuals for Rey*, following the news that Devery Jacobs had been up for the role. Because Star Wars needs more women of colour in non-CGI speaking roles, stat.

* This casting is based on the assumption that Rey is not Han and Leia’s daughter.

Devery Jacobs
Jessica Sula
Lana Condor
Chloe Bennet
Yityish Titi Aynaw
Tara Emad
Sydney Park
Courtney Eaton
Hailee Steinfeld
Naomi Scott 


Fun fact: if you eliminate all the characters with facetime from the Original Trilogy (Obi-Wan, Anakin, Palpatine, the Lars family), all the characters related to them (Shmi and Padme Skywalker), and all the characters playing decoy for said characters (Padme’s decoys)…you get a staggeringly diverse cast for the prequels. Do most of the women not have speaking roles? Yes. Are there very, very few women? Also yes. Should Swan never be allowed to make collages again ever? Yeah…

But despite all of this, you can see that the casting crew–Lucas in particular–really tried to diversify.

Two major props have to go to the casting of Jimmy Smits and Temuera Morrison (and by extension, Rebecca Mendoza and Daniel Logan), who became Bail Organa and Jango Fett: one of them was the unseen-but-very-significant foster parent of Leia, and the other was the template for the most notorious background character in cinematic history. These two were icons who excited everyone with their presence in the prequels, and they went to non-white actors.

Samuel L. Jackson got to be the Jedi Master who stood beside Yoda and was only killed by the combined efforts of Darth Vader and the Emperor; Ahmed Best was cast as one of the first fully-CGI-characters in history (the discussion of the disastrous backlash from THAT is a topic for another post), Captain Panaka was the stalwart protector of Naboo, and most of the more memorable background Jedi were women. The roles of non-white characters were extremely limited by the central cast, and Lucas’s desire to expand the diversity of the Star Wars universe itself beyond human boundaries further limited a lot of these actors’ facetime (one arguable misstep is that Qui-Gon could have been played by a non-white actor, but…).

There is an admittedly surprising lack of Chinese and Japanese actors to be found here–especially considering everything Star Wars owes to Japan–but the fact remains that there was clearly an aggressive movement to diversify the Star Wars universe. The franchise would then, of course, fight to close the gender gap with The Clone Wars–Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress played central roles, while many of the once-background Jedi had their roles expanded to become major characters. Rebels continued the franchise’s quest to diversify the universe, and now The Force Awakens has taken yet another step with Rey, Finn, and Poe. 

I believe it should be noted, then, that the expansion that is being accomplished with the latest movie is not a dramatic change for Lucasfilm or the franchise, but instead the most notable step forward. Is there still work to do? Yes, but Star Wars is nothing if not tireless. 

anonymous asked:

shes preaching about representation for girls like that's her whole thing and she sucks ass at that... rogue one had 1 (white) woman in the main cast and tfa was good but like... three women had lead speaking roles compared to the million guys who did.

exactly. I dont think she would know what representation actually is even if it hit her in the face. She needs to go like asap. 

@meridorc and I did ONE FUN THING today and watched Fate of the Furious before our last final and like… SPLOOSH (the whole time I was like “this entire movie is my kink” which i acknowledge is just… weird).

but also, this movie reminded me of the franchise’s problems even though t’s my favorite superhero franchise ever (fight me)

(this is about the whole series and doesn’t spoil the newest movie)

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Hurt Culture

I’m a cis bisexual women who reads and writes fanfic.  I’m not a strong shipper but I read some ships.  I like some ships and don’t like others.  If you know me, it’s not hard to figure out my preferences.  I’m married to a straight cis man.  I’m a serial monogamist.  My fanfic preference is m/m which is weird because in life I lean slightly lesbian. (Maybe because I’m married to a man so I tend to notice what I don’t have?  It’s easy for bisexuals to end up in a heterosexual relationship because unless we really look for same sex partners, the statistical likelihood of finding one is much lower than finding an opposite sex partner.  There are a lot more straight people than there are gay or bisexual people in the population at large, you know?)  (For the record, my marriage is happy, my husband and son both know I’m bi.)

I’ve had sex with men and I’ve had sex with women so why do I read fanfic about two men having sex with each other since it’s the one sexual relationship I am never going to have?  Why am I so interested in a show about two brothers and an angel?

In my case I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with the way culture excludes women from agency.  In stories, women are support figures.  We are the love interest.  We’re fridged to motivate male characters.  To be ‘powerful’ or ‘interesting’ we have to fight like male superheros because apparently the way we live our lives and the things we find interesting aren’t powerful or interesting.  43% of speaking roles in television were women.  30% of those roles included ‘sexy attire’.  7% of men’s roles involved ‘sexy attire’.  20% of the characters in the background (walking down the hall, sitting at desks, paramedics, etc) were women.  

I fantasize about stories happening to me.  But I don’t see that much on television.  I also don’t identify with most of the men on television because I don’t share their experiences.  But I do share the experience of feeling excluded.  Of feeling like the people who are having the real experiences (mostly straight men) are not me.  I could cite studies on the ways in which women are perceived as talking too much even though men talk more than women.  I could cite studies on all sorts of male/female behavior in school and in the work place.  Lets just say that there is good evidence that my sense of being excluded is not paranoia and that that sense only increases if someone is a person of color, disabled, or queer.

As Sam says, “A motel is not actually part of the town that it’s in. It’s not part of anywhere.”  A lot of us are living in a motel.  Weirdly enough we are watching television about two white guys who the show claims are straight (and many of us are writing a narrative that says they are queer.)

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i saw rogue one and liked it but what stuck out horribly to me was the lack of women. the lack of women in major roles. the lack of women in supporting roles. the lack of women in background and environmental roles.

like, besides jyn i’m pretty sure mon mothma is the only other woman who’s even in more than one scene? and the only other women with distinct speaking roles i can remember are jyn’s mom and the rebel senator pamlo (whose name I had to find on imdb). there were a couple of female pilots that were maybe on screen for five seconds. 

other than that? nothing. not even a single random imperial engineer or rebel soldier. and it shows how even in films with a female protagonist you can be shown a world that is still completely dominated by men.

women with speaking roles in the lotr films:

  • eowyn
  • galadriel
  • arwen
  • that woman who told her kids to go to edoras
  • there’s the little girl named freda*
  • rosie says one line*
  • some female hobbits say “yeah!” at bilbo’s bday party*
  • old woman says “we are safe my lady” at helm’s deep*
  • shelob (does she have a speaking role??? i have no idea)*
  • ??? what the fuck

* = update

Mission Impossible

Hey so really enjoyed this film, but did anyone else notice there were like zero authority figures who were women? Speaking roles or extras? The congressmen. CIA, prime ministers? All dudes.
I pointed this out about the last Star Trek movie too. Wassup with this Bad Robot? One lady badass character is cool, but a whole world-scape does not make.


You were talking earlier about Sleeping Beauty. Look at the gender stereotype within kid’s films, if you want to start right at the very beginning, and I think it’s amazing - ha pregnant brain again I’m forgetting the name, Geena Davis! With what she’s been doing. She’s actually finding statistics on how many speaking roles there are for women, this is how many women are in kid’s films that aren’t just the mum. (x)

Female speaking roles in top movies hasn’t changed in 70 years

According to Lauzen’s findings, which looked at more than 2,300 characters appearing in the top 100 grossing domestic films of 2013, the number of female-speaking roles has barely changed over the past 70 years. Women totaled just 30% of all speaking roles in 2013 (and this number “includes major and minor characters”). And only half of these speaking parts were as leading characters.

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anonymous asked:

Why do you hate rebels?

I don’t hate it. But I will criticize story choices when the writers take the easy way out (honestly the worst thing I’ve said is that the writers jump at the chance to blow Kanan. Other than that I keep it in check.)

Please don’t confuse criticism for hate. And because I’ve seen it in the fandom: Please don’t seek to silence valid criticism

But, to answer your question, I’ve got like 6 or 7 bulletin points of why this whole show falls short on the storytelling front. That’s way too many to put in this post, so I’ll focus on the biggest frustration for me.

The Gender Imbalance

Star Wars Rebels is unique in that it’s not bound as tightly by established canon. It’s a tad connected to the PT and only a smidge connected to the OT, but SWR is always creating new canon as it goes. The 100% male writers of this show are only limited by their biased imaginations.

Think of most any male character created for SWR, from the Grand Inquisitor to Commander Sato and consider: they didn’t have to be male. Kanan, Fifth Brother, Gall Trayvis, Tseebo are some of the men who could’ve all been females. 

What if the entire crew of the Ghost were women and Ezra was the only boy? Is that a strange concept?

If you think that’s weird, flip the genders. Would Luke, Lando, Han and Chewie— 4 males— on a ship with Leia, the lone girl, be a strange concept?

No. That’s Star Wars.

Almost every time a prominent girl has been introduced to SWR, a man has also come into the story to balance her out. Hera and Sabine: Zeb and Kanan. Maketh: Kallus. Ahsoka: Sato. Seventh: Fifth. Ezra’s mom: Ezra’s dad (low hanging fruit, I know). I’d even argue Leia: Bail. Ketsu is the only girl to break this pattern so far.

But I am in no way saying that the representation in the show is equal. As of “Princess on Lothal,” the ratio of female to male roles is 10:34 (info taken from @sildae’s tracker, which only counts named characters with speaking roles). Throw in the Concord Dawn guys, and that gap will be even wider.

That means for every one female to appear in the show, there are three males there to outnumber her. This is hardly representative of the current population percentages, where women outnumber men in America.

Tangentially, we’ve had very few “lady-centric” episodes (I count 4 out of 26), but in those episodes, the boys impacted the plot.

Out of Darkness: the women are stranded because the boys didn’t finish the ship diagnostic.
Wings of the Master: Kanan volunteered Hera to get the B-wing in a spectacular “I know what’s best for you” explanation straight out of the 1950s.
Blood Sisters: Ezra was in half the episode.
Concord Dawn: Kanan featured just as much as Sabine.

(However, we get guy-centric episodes like Future of the Force where we never see Hera and Sabine and nobody mentions them.)

…Now that I’m thinking of it, have we had an episode yet where there have been more than 3 prominent women? (Prominent=named, with speaking roles)

Every member of the Ghost crew is important, that’s why they were written into the story. So why aren’t we getting more footage of Hera and Sabine? Why are their backstories such safeguarded secrets than can only be divulged in “lady-centric” episodes? This show would be a lot stronger and feel a lot more fleshed out if each of its main characters was built up to the same well-rounded level that Kanan and Ezra have already attained. 

Yeah, I get that SWR is Ezra and Kanan’s show. But neither of them had to be men in the first place, because the SWR writers are literally making everything up as they go. And for whatever reason, the creators feel like piling more guys into this story and outnumbering the very few women. They’re definitely keeping the backwards feel of the male-dominant OT alive, in an era where Kathleen Kennedy called for more female focus.

Star Wars Rebels is not delivering on this focus. They’re not even trying.


No shade to Pinto but I find it REAL odd that a movie about centered around Blackness has a non-Black woman as the lead. Once again, movies like this are centered on Black men and not the women that COLLECTIVELY hold them down when shit pops off. I’ve never seen a film centered on Black brits and their struggles executed in the UK (if you know some past them my way) but the one time I do, I see not ONE Black woman present with a speaking role. Lawd…

Feminism and Man of Steel

For the record, I think that Man of Steel is the most feminist superhero movie SO FAR. I think that sets the bar a little lower, which is something we need to do in the first place because when I’m looking for a feminist movie I’m not really going to reach first for a movie starring a man that is really more of an alien-othered sci-if thriller. For this particular genre though, Man of Steel is startlingly and refreshingly feminist, in the way that the female characters are handled, in the way that masculinity is portrayed and performed, and in the thematic bones themselves of the film. It’s a little frustrating to have to defend why a Superman movie is feminist in the first place because a Superman movie SHOULD be. The source material itself demands a feminist lense, it demands the presence of multiple kinds of social justice, and given my view of the canon I would argue that any adaptation lacking those particular elements is not a success.

Man of steel is about a man, but the women in this movie are equally complex and interesting, and fill multiple roles. Martha rises to extraordinary challenges in terms of motherhood, and in my opinion is one of the bravest characters in the whole film, Lara (the scientist) conspires with her husband in defiance of the law and custom of their planet to have the first organic conception and live birth in what might have been centuries, and then is finally the person who launches him toward his new home. Since the movie is so thematically focused on fatherhood when it comes to legacy, it’s easy to overlook these intentional moves to show both of Clark’s mothers as vibrant spirits of their own. And it’s not just mothers, it’s warriors, professionals, subordinates, and natural leaders like Lois Lane filling out the character list.

Lois, in this movie, by the way, is all Lois. Adam’s performance is a different flavor from actresses of the past in this role, she brings something softer that naturally complements a rather introverted and troubled Superman, but she’s still right there in the middle of things, Clark or not. What is the first half of this movie without Lois Lane? She’s involved in his business practically before he gets involved in his business, and she continues to roll the plot along until we get to Zod, the ultimate agent of action in this film. Lois is the character who jumps out of planes without parachutes, and that is extra extraordinary in this film because she has no expectation that Superman is going to swoop out of the sky to catch her. Maybe the implication in this movie is that she really never does.

The diversity among the actresses in Man of Steel could certainly stand to improve but given where the bar is set in the genre, we are forced to call two women of color in speaking roles progress, and casting Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer as Kal El’s mother was a breath of fresh air compared to what is typically cast a ridiculously and inexplicably European planet of Krypton. In fact, we finally have a probable explanation for Krypton’s historically awkward homogeny: enforced genetic engineering. The crowd shots on the planet earth, in contrast, meet a diversity bar that few major Hollywood productions do, edging toward an actual realistic level of diversity that we are unaccustomed to seeing on screen. This movie also manages to cast four speaking roles for characters of color without once maiming or killing a single one of them, which, if you’ve been watching TV at all lately, seems like an impossible feat for white people.

I’ve talked a little about the way masculinity is handled in Man of Steel but I just want to highlight how incredibly incredibly important post modern masculinities are in our superheroes. Superheroes are to masculinity what Disney princesses are to femininity, they model the gender tools and they hand out the roles. Which means that superheroes who either reject or even undermine toxic masculinity or embrace parts of the traditionally feminine are just as powerful to the culture as ambitious or ass kicking princesses are. This often gets overlooked because, surprise surprise, we are much more focused on how we can change women’s behavior in the name of feminism than how we change men. A canon superman in live action is so powerful because Clark embodies a new masculine ideal focused on protection, true justice, patience, and kindness.

His expressions of sorrow in Cavill’s performance swing from explosive to helpless. We get tears from Clark, we get fear, we get to watch his heart break not once but twice. We get a hero for whom the safety and protection of others comes before ego. This particular Jonathan Kent doesn’t get enough credit for modeling those behaviors, either. This Jonathan is not withholding, he doesn’t deal with his fears for his son by keeping him on a short leash or teaching him obedience the way that Kents of the past have when written by obviously conservative “spare the rod spoil the child” writers. Instead, he shows Clark who he could be through patient explanation and consistent love and affection. He models doubt, he models devotion, and he models faith in ways that have profound effects on who Clark becomes as a person.

Much has been said about the themes of fatherhood and religion in this film, but for all the trumped up horror about the destruction in the third act, very little actual analysis has been done on those scenes to try and figure out what they mean. I think the relationship between feminism and violence is a really complicated one because we have so many feminists out there arguing that feminism and violence are antithetical to one another. I just don’t think that’s true, and I think it’s so flawed because as an oppressed group women are held more responsible for their violent reactions to oppression than the violence against them, culturally and institutionally. So when we have a fictional portrayal of violence, we can’t just write that off as unfeminist unless we examine why the violence is happening and what the cause is.

What Zod and the rest of the Kryptonians are doing to the planet Earth in this movie is nearly the literal application of colonization. In order to inhabit the planet, they could do as Kal has done and assimilate to the dominant culture and live among the human beings there, but instead they want to literally change the land and destroy its people in order to meet their specific needs. They’re not just taking what they need, either, because Kryptonians have a ridiculously unsustainable culture of mass rapid consumption that led to their demise in the first place, they are taking the entire planet in order to repopulate it with Kryptonians who haven’t even been born yet. In order to protect these unborn Kryptonians, this idea of Krypton in his head, Zod is more than willing to commit genocide against the entire planet. There is SO much there that is political, and once you start dissecting the metaphors and pulling apart the themes, putting these particular villains up against Superman can’t help but become a very feminist move.

Depressing Facts About Women In the Media

(This is an excerpt and reflection)


  1. Jennifer Lawrence makes $11 million less than Adam Sandler.
  2. The highest-paid female movie star, Angelina Jolie, makes about the same per movie as the two lowest-paid male stars. 
  3. Female representation in newsrooms has budged very little since 1999.
  4. Women are vastly underrepresented in sports journalism.
  5. Women were quoted in only 19% of news articles in January and February of 2013.
  6. Women are faring worse at making movies in 2013 than they were in 1998.
  7. Women had fewer speaking roles in movies in 2012 than in any year since 2007.
  8.  Our columnists are still overwhelmingly old white men
  9. Only 33 directors of the 500 top-grossing movies from 2007 to 2012 were black (and only two were women).

Here is just the main aspects of an article written by Charlotte Alter on February 19th, 2014. The article is able to be viewed on the Times new website. This article addresses the fact that most people fail to notice. Women aren’t given the same “perks” as their male components. Women shouldn’t be treated less than men. It isn’t right. 

Most people probably didn’t know these depressing facts about women in the media. I’ll be honest that I did not either until I found this article and read it. Maybe now we can change this! 


Agents of SHIELD’s ladies in 4x05: Lockup

The Hidden History of Women in Film: How Director Karen Day Sheds Light on Forgotten Trailblazer Nell Shipman

By Rana Good

A recent study conducted by USC Annenberg professor Stacy Smith and her team of researchers concluded that only 1.9 percent of the directors of the 100 top-grossing films of 2013 were female. Yes, you read that correctly. 

1.9 percent.

What if I told you that 100 years ago, film production was dominated by women? That women filled the majority of roles in film production from acting to directing to screenwriting. One such a pioneer was Nell Shipman, a cinematic tour de force who left Hollywood to run her own film production company in Northern Idaho in 1921. Not only did she direct and act, she also had her own wildlife zoo and did all her own stunts.

I learned all of this through director Karen Day (pictured below with her crew) the mastermind behind the movie Nell Shipman: Girl From God’s Country, a documentary film about Shipman’s largely uncovered but highly interesting career. We spoke to her about Shipman’s unparalleled path and how women today are underrepresented in film — something this movie aims to change. 

What initially attracted you to do a film on Nell Shipman?

Karen Day: One hundred years ago, Nell Shipman, a well-known silent film star lived in the wilderness of Idaho shooting film with crank cameras. She wanted to make films where heroines were self-reliant, films in which they could take care of themselves.

She was also one of the first animal advocates in Hollywood. She wanted to make sure animals were treated well and she took a zoo of animals into Northern Idaho, [thereby] giving up a seven-year contract with Sam Goldwyn. It was a huge deal, and she just said “Nope, I’m going off on my own.” So she had a real chutzpah, 100 years ago, in the wilderness. 

We got eight of her restored films, they are beautiful and also crazy — she did her own stunts and she performed the very first nude scene in 1918. This woman was definitely a kickass broad.

You had to go deep into archives to find information about her. How did you go about finding all the information, and when did you conclude that you had enough to tell her story? How did you decide on what you would show of her?

The real synchonicity was that I was writing a history book about Idaho. When I was at the Idaho State Historical Society I started asking, “who is this woman?” and they told me I had to go to Boise State University. There was a university professor in the 1980s that discovered Nell Shipman when he was writing a history of film in Idaho. He’s collected her film archives and her life story. Boise State is in the same town as I am, so I went there and there was everything from her birth certificate to her death certificate, to eight of her restored films. His name was Tom Trusky, we got some footage of him in the ‘80s when he had died suddenly of a heart attack. Before Nell could get really get known she sunk back into obvlivion.

This is my 11th documentary, I make mostly films in the third world, mostly focused on women’s and girl’s issues, in Afghanistan, Iraq and 14 countries in Africa. When I first got this I felt it was a bit frivolous because no one is going to live or die. When I found out more, I realized that her life that had been doomed mirrored the lives of women filmmakers from Russia, Czech Republic, South America, they had all disappeared, so it became this two-year sleuthing project.

One of my co-producers is at Columbia University, The Women Film Pioneers Project, it just went online last year. They’ve been amassing this information for 20 years, when I came to interview with them, particularly professor Jane Gains, they put me onto these stories of these women. The really great part is that because we were a small, all-female crew, super micro-budget ($100,000) we got people to start donating these assets that would normally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. They realized how committed we were. I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for these women, but they had just been forgotten.  

Zora Neal Hurston’s family trust allowed me to use her only existing footage of her documentary. Miriam Wong, the first Chinese-American filmmaker in 1914, her family let us use footage from her first film which they had been keeping in a basement of their family home. I’ve become very committed to making sure these women get the recognition they deserve. It’s what led me to Geena [Davis] and what led me to Bentonville Film Festival, the first film festival that serves as a platform to promote the films made by women and minorities. I looked at the gender disparity and realized that history is just perpetuating itself. This film illuminates that path and says that we have to change it.

How did you select your crew?

Well first of all, I live in Idaho. There were only two female filmmakers in Idaho and they were commercial filmmakers. I knew them through working in television for NBC Nightly News and Plum television. It was the first time I brought them onto one of the documentary film crews. It was a big learning curve because one of them shoots for ESPN Extreme Sports shooting things like snowboarding all over the world, but she’s only shot in 720, she’s never been to 1080. She never had to look at the technical aspects so it was a big learning curve.

You mentioned you were on a tight budget, how did you make things work for the film?

Oh it was hysterical! The voiceover was done by our director of photography, she was an actress before she went into videography. For Bentonville we sent in our application, they said we were disqualified and we were like “how is this possible? We’re what this festival is about! They said “your film is,” I’m not lying, “64 seconds short.” So in ten days we found a 1926 biplane, an actress, a film crew and shot a whole other scene. We had to edit in the voiceover, and we didn’t have anymore studio time because we had already used it. So we went to record the voiceover in in a closet!

Another example is when we needed [to show] women’s suffragette because Nell drives from town to town in the Mojave desert to get support. I wanted to get suffragette footage so I went to Getty. They wanted $8000 and I was like “our entire film budget is $100,000.” I had to appeal to them and say it’s an educational documentary with a tiny, indie crew. We had to be transparent and show that we were motivated by the story and this wasn’t for profit. I was working for free! 

What did the more junior directors take away from working with you?

That to be a producer you have to be a little bit crazy. That to be a female producer you have to be really crazy. To be a female director you need to do everything a man does and promote yourself at the same time. I was on the plane here watching the first episode of Black-ish and she was talking about how women can bring in cupcakes and never be recognized, and if the dad brings them in he’s like a God. It’s the same thing with being a female director.

Women talk about being discriminated in Hollywood. I was discriminated against because I’m not in Hollywood — also by women. I went to Katherine Bigelow, Catherine Hardwicke, Sophie Coppola and Jane Campion because I wanted a living female director to speak in the movie but I couldn’t get through their agents. I really want to get one of them. When people ask me if the movies is done I say “it needs one more thing!”

What are some of your hopes for women?

I have four kids, my youngest is nine my oldest is 36. My daughter just got her white coat as a doctor. She was raised to believe she could do whatever she wants, but she’s still going to face challenges. 

If we can’t get equality and can’t even get it in the crowd scenes in movies subconsciously women’s capabilities are still being demeaned. This documentary is a great way to do it because people learn, they are fascinated by these women, almost every time people say, “I just didn’t know.” For this film, I hope it’s picked up and shown to audiences across the world. I want people to think about how often they see women in movies, and ask themselves do they have a speaking role? So people start to have a dialogue, especially the younger generation.

tfa thoughts, finally

I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS and im finally writing them down, and this is really incoherent and i meant to finish this ages ago but whoops, the point is: here goes

I’m deliberately sticking with all of the GOOD, because I’ve seen so many criticisms and while criticisms can be and are valid, they’re all grinding my gears because they completely seem to dismiss the revolutionary nature of this film and


This is really incoherent, kind of unstructured, and full of loud yelling, but

Let’s roll

(NOTE: THIS IS FULL OF TFA SPOILERS. MAJOR SPOILERS. DON’T READ IF YOU’VE NOT SEEN THE FILM. Tagging @cogito-ergo-dumb  and @mlder bc i explicitly remember them yelling at me to let them know when I post this, and rn I’m in a lot of pain and don’t have the energy to scour through my inbox to find everyone else who requested they be tagged. I’m so, so sorry. I’ll come back and add u to this later, peeps. anyway, here goes:)

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