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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 4th annual festival took place from February 6-9, 2014 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

Further Breaking Down the Sight and Sound Numbers by Gender

One reader Miran Terzic did some serious work breaking down gender votes in the Sight and Sound Top 50 film poll. If the 197 (I had 196) voted three women would make the top 50, not just one. The ones that would make it would be: Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles directed by Chantal Akerman; Meshes of the Afternoon directed by Maya Deren/Alexander Hammid and Beau Travail directed by Claire Denis. Neither Meshes of the Afternoon nor Beau Travail made it onto the full top 50 list.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 20, 2012 11:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sight and Sound Magazine Expands List of Top Films of All Time to 250 and Just Seven Women Directors Make It

It's not enough that we had to deal with the first reveal from Sight and Sound Magazine a couple of weeks ago when only one woman made their top 50 Greatest Films of All Time, now they have expanded the list to 250 and just 7 women make it to this full list.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 17, 2012 12:45 PM
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  • 9 Comments

New York Film Festival Includes Seven Women Directed Films in Its Lineup

With one fell swoop the team of men and women who program the New York Film Festival stuck a pin in the eye of the dudes at Cannes by programming seven, yes seven films directed by women at the upcoming New York Film Festival. That's almost 22%. The total amount of films being screened in 32, and one of the women directors is a male-female collaboration.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 17, 2012 11:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Miley Cyrus Cuts Hair and the World Thinks She's Gone Crazy

What is it about young Hollywood women and their hair?  A couple of years ago I wrote a piece about the reaction to Emma Watson's haircut that got page views for months and months.  People were shocked that the young woman who was required to have her hair long for the Harry Potter movies would want to exhibit a sign of independence and closure from that chapter in her life by cutting her hair. 
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 16, 2012 10:40 AM
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  • 20 Comments

How Can Women Gain More Influence in Hollywood? A NY Times Forum Debate

Head on over to the NY Times Opinion forum for a debate I co-curated on how we can get more women into power positions in Hollywood.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 15, 2012 10:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Linda Bloodworth Thomason and Jodie Foster Take On New Directing Projects

Two new exciting female directed projects were announced yesterday.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • August 14, 2012 3:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Feminist Pussy Riot Band on Trial in Russia

Something horrific is going on in Moscow that needs a lot more attention.  Three women who are members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot were jailed several months ago for "hooliganism" and "inciding religious hatred" for staging an peaceful protest action at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. 
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 13, 2012 12:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment

The LA Times Talks to Three Women Directors - Where is the Female Equivalent of Woody Allen?

Check out the LA Times piece on Ava DuVernay, Jullie Delpy and Leslye Headland.  While things still suck for women directors, it kind of feels like the conversation is shifting.  Maybe I am being too optimistic, but I am forever hopeful.  I will be interested to see the statistics at the end of 2012 to see if any movement has been made.  Here at Women and Hollywood we are keeping track of all the films released directed by women on pinterest.  Right now it is just features.  We will also work on a documentary plage.  Please let us know if we missed any films.  We will update as often as possible.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 10, 2012 1:03 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Three Female Screenwriters Considered for Fifty Shades of Grey Adaptation

We previously reported that the producing duo from The Social Network, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti would be producing the film adaptation of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and we hoped that this duo would do right by women this time around in both their writing and directing choices.
  • By Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
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  • August 9, 2012 10:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Olympics Watch: Yo Geno Had It Not Been for Feminists You Wouldn't Have Your High Paying Coaching Gig

I've had very mixed feelings about Geno Auriemma the women's basketball coach at the University of Connecticut.  He's bred many wonderful players and now this week he is leading the US Women's Olympic basketball team which is routing its opponents on the way to another gold medal.  Personally, I think when one team destroys another team that makes for a very boring game.  Maybe that's why I haven't really cared about watching women's basketball much during this past week.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 8, 2012 10:30 AM
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  • 6 Comments

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