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by Melissa Silverstein
January 18, 2011 6:25 AM
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Melissa Silverstein is a writer and speaker with an extensive expertise in the area of women and Hollywood. She is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women and film as well as other areas of pop culture. Women and Hollywood educates, advocates, and agitates for gender parity across the entertainment industry.  She is the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Athena Film Festival -- A Celebration of Women and Leadership -- at Barnard College in NYC. The fifth annual festival will take place from February 5-8, 2015.

Melissa was selected to be a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, the major film diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State. And she recently published the first book from Women and Hollywood, In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing, which is a compilation of over 40 interviews that have appeared on the site. 

She has a regular column on, and has written for The Washington Post, NY Times, More Magazine and has been featured on CNN, the BBC as well as in Newsweek, Salon, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, NY Times, and many other publications. She was a contributor to The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Most Compelling Thriller of Our Time.

Women and Hollywood was named one of the top 100 websites for women by ForbesWoman in 2013, 2012 and 2011.  In 2011, Melissa was named one of the Top 100 Arts tweeters by the Times of London, and in 2010, she was named one of 10 film critics to follow on twitter by Flavorwire.  In 2008, Women and Hollywood was named by More Magazine as one of the “blogs to watch,” and in 2009, it was named “Best Hollywood blog” by

Melissa has experience working on social media marketing campaigns and events for a variety of films including: My Week With Marilyn, The Iron Lady, Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words, Bright Star, Revolutionary Road, Bend it Like Beckham, and The Hours. Previous experience includes work on high profile public education campaigns such as Take Our Daughters to Work Day, and she was the founding project director for The White House Project. Prior to that was the Chief of Staff at the Ms. Foundation for Women. 

In 2013, she was one of the recipients of the Susan B. Anthony Award from the NYC Chapter of the National Organization for Women. She is a member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists and NY Women in Film and TV.

Click here to book Melissa for a speaking engagement.

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  • Jo Programming | January 10, 2014 11:58 AMReply

    Hi, the London Lesbian Film Festival (Canada) would like to preview the film, Concussion. If you are not the distributor, could you please help us to get in contact with the filmmaker/distributor? Any help would be appreciated. Our festival is in London, Canada in April 2014. Please visit for our submission link and guidelines under SUBMIT FILMS (big pink box) on the home page. The form is free, simple and very short. This helps us to keep track of your film - and this is especially helpful at short list time! Thanks!

    Programming Committee
    London Lesbian Film Festival

  • Akiva | July 7, 2012 11:35 AMReply

    Nora Ephron inspires me still. I look to "When Harry Met Sally" as the greatest of romantic comedies, told in a classic New York voice. I can't understand why a movie like hers did not win her the best screenplay Oscar. I don't want to bash Diablo Cody--June was nowhere near the brilliance of WHMS. And that goes for many other screenplays. Awards aside, I will carry Ephron's style and wit inside of me and seek her legacy of good films when writing my own.

  • classycareergirl | June 27, 2012 5:35 AMReply

    Hello Melissa, just found your site on Forbes top 100 websites for woman, congrats! :)

  • Roberta Kenney | February 15, 2012 3:37 PMReply

    Fox's writers intensive published Women and Hollywood as an organization that can sponsor an applicant to their program, but I don't see anything membershipy around here, just your great blog. Where do I sign up?

  • Malcolm eshan | September 15, 2011 3:18 AMReply

    Maas is a Medis Organization, and like to make flm on women rights in Pakistan, please tell us your idea

  • Daniel Park | June 6, 2011 12:32 PMReply

    Dear Melissa Silverstein,
    I came across your blog on indieWire, and I really admire your work! Your advocacy and support of women in film is very inspiring. Your exploration of both the independent community and the glitzy studios and how women factor into that community is truly amazing!

    Based on your work and your audience, I wanted to alert you about our upcoming feature documentary, My Nose: The Bigger Version. In this film, we follow Emmy award-winning filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum as she courageously takes us into her personal life. This intimate and sometimes humorous movie shows the transformation of her relationship with her mother from Mommie Dearest to Dear Mom.

    Her award-winning short film, My Nose, about Gayle’s mother’s quest to get her to have a nose job not only introduced her to her critical mother but also launched her into being a motivational speaker. Gayle developed “The Seven Healing Tools”, teaching people how to deal with critical parents and people in their lives. She lectures and and writes on this topic (

    As we approach post-production, the support from you and your readers could not have come at a more crucial time. Through Kickstarter ( we have set a goal and offer rewards ranging from an exclusive meet and greet with Gayle, personally signed copies of the DVD to producing credits and more--all for fans who contribute!

    You can learn more about the film, view trailers and meet Gayle’s mom at the website, and follow us on Twitter, MyNoseBV!

    How can we come together to promote the campaign and encourage your readers to become involved? Our sincerest gratitude for any help you can provide! Please feel free to contact me directly. I am a lead organizer of the campaign.

    Thank you,
    Daniel Park

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