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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.

Email Melissa

Women and Hollywood

Kathryn Bigelow Covers Time and Appears on The Colbert Report

Kathryn Bigelow went on The Colbert Report for one of her most candid interviews yet. She was set to appear on the show weeks ago but admitted she had been "spooked" by the Senate investigation into the Zero Dark Thirty. She also stressed the importance of telling the story honestly and not shying away from depictions that may be hard to watch.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • January 24, 2013 1:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Kathryn Bigelow Wants You to Support Women Working in National Security

Some criticism against Kathryn Bigelow during The Hurt Locker era was lobbed against Bigelow’s statements that filmmaking for her isn’t about breaking gender roles. However, as Jessica Chastain said in her Golden Globes acceptance speech, “when you make a film that allows your character to disobey the conventions of Hollywood, you’ve done more for women in cinema than you take credit for.”
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • January 23, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Kathryn Bigelow Speaks Out About Zero Dark Thirty Criticism to Los Angeles Times

Kathryn Bigelow has decided to address the torture criticism surrounding Zero Dark Thirty in a personally written response to her critics in the LA Times.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • January 17, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

New York Times Says ‘Female Directors Gain Ground, Slowly.’ Should We Wait That Long?

The great Carrie Rickey published a piece in the New York Times this past weekend with the depressing headline ‘Female Directors Gain Ground, Slowly’. The piece reported that in 2012, by their count, women directors hit a recent high of 9% of the 250 top grossing films.  That number is up from the 2011 number of  5% reported by Martha Lauzen from the Center for Study of Women in Television at Film at San Diego State.  The number is the highest since 2000 when 11% of the top grossing films were directed by women.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • January 16, 2013 1:00 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Zero Dark Thirty Scores Number 1 at Box Office, Sony's Co-Chair Speaks Out on Torture Remarks

The Zero Dark Thirty torture conversation shows no sign of abating.  Sony’s co-chairman Amy Pascal responded to claims from AMPAS member, actor David Clennon (Miles from Thirtysomething), that Zero Dark Thirty advocates torture. Clennon said he would not vote for Zero Dark Thirty in any category because it “makes heroes of Americans who commit the crime of torture.”  He also urged other Academy voters to not vote for the film as well. Here is Pascal's response:
  • By Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
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  • January 15, 2013 10:23 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Thoughts on the Golden Globes - Girls Literally Ruled

Last night, I ended up watching the Golden Globes in real time (with the commercials too.) The reason why that was possible was because of twitter and because I was having such a good time watching the show.  It felt lighter than in years past.  I am guessing a lot of that had to do with the tone that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in their terrific opening monologue (which you can see below and is worth another watch.)  They told some really funny jokes and the one I enjoyed most was their statement of support for Kathryn Bigelow.  "When it comes to torture I trust the lady that spent 3 years married to James Cameron."  Awesome.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • January 14, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Critics and Film Lovers Respond to Kathryn Bigelow Snub

After Kathryn Bigelow’s name wasn’t announced for Best Director during yesterday’s Oscar nominations, film and entertainment critics as well as movie lovers were outraged causing a vast social media discussion of why Bigelow was snubbed.  Some mentioned sexism, the mostly male based Oscar voting body and the discussion of torture surrounding Zero Dark Thirty.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • January 11, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 13 Comments

2013 BAFTA Nominees Include Kathryn Bigelow, Judi Dench, Lynne Ramsay

On the heels of learning that 4 out of the 5 nominated for BAFTA’s Rising Star Award are women, comes the full list of the 2013 BAFTA awards nominees. Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and Zero Dark Thirty are there for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Picture, as is Jessica Chastain for Best Actress. Judi Dench is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Skyfall. Lynne Ramsay got a nomination for her short film, Swimmer. Writer/Director of I Am Nasrine, Tina Gharavi was nominated for Outstanding Debut by a British writer, director or producer.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • January 10, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

The Academy Snubs Kathryn Bigelow for History Making Second Best Director Nomination

I sit here ruminating, fulminating and seething, thinking about how Kathryn Bigelow could have been overlooked for a second best director nomination.  I'm pretty sure the people who thought Ben Affleck was also a sure thing are wondering how this could have happened to him.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • January 10, 2013 10:58 AM
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  • 12 Comments

Kathryn Bigelow Nominated for DGA Award

The Directors Guild of America announced their nominees for film today. Kathryn Bigelow was nominated for Zero Dark Thirty. Bigelow previously won the DGA in 2009 for The Hurt Locker and was the first woman to win the award.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • January 9, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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