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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

Do You Think There is a Glass Ceiling for Women Directors?

Apparently Columbia University's film school doesn't think so.   They are holding a panel at their 25th anniversary film festival on May 9 entitled: What Glass Ceiling? The Remarkable Success of Columbia’s Women Filmmakers.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • March 29, 2012 9:52 AM
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  • 4 Comments

To The Academy: Consider the Women

It's that time of year, The Academy Awards, the "Super Bowl for Women." It's the night where we all get catty about whose dress doesn't work, who's got a new boyfriend or girlfriend, and who looks like they haven't eaten all month.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • February 23, 2012 10:54 AM
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  • 11 Comments

In My Humble Opinion- The Best Female Directed Films of 2011

It goes without saying that women made all kinds of films this year.  But the reality is that most made indie films.  Only a couple made studio films.  And the numbers of women directing films is still abysmally low. 
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • December 26, 2011 11:59 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Talking Oscars and Feminism with Scott Feinberg of the Hollywood Reporter

Check out this audio interview I did with Scott Feinberg - Oscar analyst at the Hollywood Reporter. We talked about the Oscar race with a feminist slant. I really enjoyed the conversation.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • December 9, 2011 11:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Women Directed Movies in 2011

Yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter roundtable on directors made me crazy, but it also made me think.  While I will give them no leeway on the ridiculous comment asking the directors to name a major movie directed by a woman this past year, I thought it would be good to look at ALL the movies directed by women this year in order to get a decent assessment of where we are going on two years after Kathryn Bigelow won the best director award.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • November 18, 2011 10:49 AM
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  • 21 Comments

A Film That Is Making a Difference - The Whistleblower

A couple of months ago I participated in a Q&A with Amy Kaufman one of the producers of The Whistleblower. I asked her if the people at the UN had seen the film and her reply was that she didn't think that they would be so into it because the film takes a harsh stand on the peacekeepers who trafficked women.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • September 8, 2011 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Whistleblower - directed by Larysa Kondracki and written by Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan

When I was growing up the thing that scared the crap out of me was nuclear war. For many years I was convinced that we were all going to radiated away. So when I saw Silkwood it resonated with me in a profound way.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 5, 2011 3:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Interview with Larysa Kondracki - Director of The Whistleblower

Women and Hollywood: How did you come up with the idea for the film? Larysa Kondracki: I am a Ukrainian Canadian, and the issue of sex-trafficking was very much being discussed in my community. My mother handed me a book, and I was very much drawn to the subject. But it was when I read about Kathy's story that I was blown away by how widespread a crime this was. The corruption and cover-up within the UN, US State Department and other international governments was stupefying. I couldn't believe a film hadn't already been made.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 5, 2011 2:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: The Whistleblower - Directed by Larysa Kondracki

The Whistleblower is a film that hits you right in the gut. It's based on the true story of a real life whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac a cop from Nebraska who volunteered to go be a peacekeeper in the Balkans to make some quick good cash so she could be near her daughter who her ex had relocated. Little did she know that she would be walking into an international scandal of epic proportions -- the trafficking of women -- which the peacekeepers are involved in. She decides to stand up for these women who she is there to protect and gets herself fired and gets her life threatened. This is an important film that is a tough watch, but worth it.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 2, 2011 3:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Human Rights Watch Film Festival: The Women

Women directors are dominant in the upcoming Human Rights Watch Film Festival in NYC from June 16-30.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • May 16, 2011 1:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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