Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Columbia's Women Filmmakers, from Holofcener to Cholodenko: Not as Easy As It Looks (Video)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 14, 2012 at 6:42AM

The elephant in the room at last week's oddly titled Columbia University Film Festival panel "What Glass Ceiling? The Remarkable Success of Columbia's Women Filmmakers," showcasing filmmakers Lisa Cholodenko, Nicole Holofcener, Shari Springer Berman and Cherien Dabis was how tough it is for these indie filmmakers to be successful at all.

Holofcener admitted that she came to blows over casting a movie and was willing to let it die because "the studio and I couldn't agree on anybody. I'd rather not make it. Then we finally agreed."

Holofcener thanked producer Ted Hope for backing her early on with "Walking and Talking." At the start "I worked harder than I had to to prove to everyone on the crew that knew what I was doing because I cared about that. Now I don't do that at all."

She loves writing for Keener, knowing that she'll tell her if something is "dumb or corny, or stupid." On set Keener looks at Holofcener in her eyeline "to help her access what I need from her. She's crying on screen, I'm crying off screen. She's accessing what I once felt."

Dabis, the youngest of the group, worked as a staff writer on "The L Word." She raised Sundance lab film "Amreeka"'s micro-budget from various foundations as well as the Middle Eastern community. The film played the director's fortnight at Cannes and won the FIPRESCI prize. "The second movie is a bitch," said Dabis, who wasn't expecting to go through the same trouble all over again raising financing. "I have to accept that it's never going to be easy, it is what it is, and keep going."

Check out the video below:

Video streaming by Ustream

This article is related to: Women in Film, Video, Festivals, Festivals

E-Mail Updates

Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.