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Women and Hollywood


Melissa Silverstein 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 also the co-founder and Artistic Director of The Athena Film Festival. The 5th annual festival will take place from February 5-8, 2015 at Barnard College in NYC.

Melissa 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.

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Women and Hollywood

'To Be Takei' Director Jennifer Kroot on George Takei's "Singular Personality" and the Takeis' "Functional-Dysfunctional" Marriage

"I really admire that George has faced a range of obstacles (internment, discrimination against Asian American actors, being "closeted" for most of his career) throughout his life and that he's remained relentlessly optimistic."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 21, 2014 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

'May in the Summer' Writer-Director Cherien Dabis on Hiring Herself to Star in Her Film

"Authenticity was very important to me, and I was having a really difficult time finding someone who really embodied the spirit of the character, and also brought that cultural, linguistic authenticity."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 20, 2014 12:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Abuse of Weakness' Director Catherine Breillat on How to Blackmail Isabelle Huppert Into Starring in Your Film

"I made it impossible for [Huppert] to say no."
  • By Anne-Katrin Titze
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  • August 14, 2014 10:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Lyle Director Stewart Thorndike on Making the Lesbian Version of Rosemary’s Baby and the Need for Feminist Horror

“I think if more women are making horror, we'll see brand-new scary stuff. There's a whole world of untapped stuff that is complicated and frightening and dreadful.”
  • By Kelcie Mattson
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  • August 12, 2014 12:10 PM
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Director Mitra Farahani on Legendary Painter Bahman Mohassess and the Artist's Plight in Iran

The "Fifi Howls from Happiness" director welcomed filmmaking instructions from her documentary subject as a collaborative process.
  • By Alice Thorpe
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  • August 8, 2014 11:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance Award-Winning Rich Hill Director Tracy Droz Tragos on the Injustice of Rural Poverty and How Motherhood Can Open Doors to Documentarians

"Rich Hill"
"We saw how many families were living on so very little and truly struggling, [and] we wanted to give them a voice.”
  • By Kelcie Mattson
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  • August 1, 2014 11:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Director Leigh Silverman on Mounting the Broadway Musical Violet and Working with Sutton Foster

"Design-wise, it all starts with [Violet's] scar as metaphor -- we don't see the scar, but every character on stage reacts to it."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • July 31, 2014 11:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Very Good Girls' Naomi Foner on What She Learned as a First-Time Filmmaker and Why There Are So Few Women Directors

"Very Good Girls"
"Women are largely missing from our screens except for sidekicks and girlfriends. I can't remember an American film where I saw a realistic version of this transition from a female point of view."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • July 25, 2014 11:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Amanda de Cadenet on Becoming the Newest Women in Late-Night TV and How Chelsea Handler Opened Doors for Her

"Some people would say having a feminist perspective is political, but I don't think it is. I think it's just having a female perspective."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • July 24, 2014 12:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment

A Five-Star Life Director Maria Sole Tognazzi on Rejecting the Trope of the Selfish Career Woman

"My mother’s family owned many historic hotels in Rome, so the idea of ​​making a film entirely in hotels fascinated me."
  • By Kelcie Mattson
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  • July 18, 2014 1:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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