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Gamechanger Films to Fund Women Directed Films

by Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
September 27, 2013 2:00 PM
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photo via LA Times credit: Carolyn Cole Gamechanger Team L-R: Mynette Louie, Mary Jane Skalski, Julie Parker Benello, and Dan Cogan

A new movie fund, Gamechanger Films, is set to fund women directed films only. It's the first fund to specifically focus on women directors.

Organizers of the fund have said that the idea for it grew out of the many studies that have shown that women directors are underrepresented in the industry. Gamechanger plans to partially or fully finance up to 10 narrative features directed by women in the coming years with budgets ranging between $1-5 million dollars.

Gamechanger believes by financing women directed narrative features that are successful at the box office they can change the perception of women directors in the industry.

Things are already moving forward.  One film is in production in Iceland, and two more are currently about to begin. They are also planning to look at genre based material--such as science fiction and horror--where women directors are scarce.

While box office success is important to Gamechanger, it's not the only thing on their minds. Mary Jane Skalski, a film producer, who is serving as the senior adviser for Gamechanger, says that it's also about making women directors more visible: 

When creative executives get in a room and go down the list of possible directors for a movie that's already financed, they simply don't see many women to choose from. If we get more women making movies, there will be more people to consider from that list. On some level it's simply a numbers game. 

Skalski also says that the goal is to get women directors to direct films that aren't just about women.

We don't feel that the goal here should be more stories about women, or more stories about women in particular genres. Would you say 'Yes, women should be doctors but they should only be gynecologists?'

We also don't feel that women need to direct only movies about women, but we also feel strongly that women should be making movies about women because we know from the statistics that it is always harder to make a movie about women.  It would be really unfortunate if this fund doesn't help us see more films by and ABOUT women.  But I trust these folks and I know that they are looking at a diversity of projects.

Money for Gamechanger was raised by Chicken & Egg Pictures and Impact Partners. Ellen Barkin, Geena Davis and Julia Ormond will sit on the Gamechanger board. 

But DO NOT SEND YOUR SCRIPT.  They aren't taking unsolicited submissions, instead they are mining the industry for projects. 

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  • Taraq Qureshi | October 1, 2013 12:05 PMReply

    I hope they dont just look at American women. It would good if they could take a gander across the pond and visit the British cousins

  • Kate Burke | September 30, 2013 4:12 AMReply

    Thanks for the update. This is a real chance to make it the way you want it. Just because there are horror movies and violence doesnt mean to say thats whats going to change the world for the even better. "You cant change the world(if you want ot chnage it) with the same consciousness that created it) Someone has to be strong and say, theres a real reason why some humans arent into making horror movies even when they have the opportunity. Its like women going to combat just to equal the guys. Its the women that need keep taking a stand and ensure no human has to murder to protect... and save the guys from having to do so. After all men came into this world through women.... But beyond the women men issue, is what is best for humankind inner freedom for the outer world and inherent wisdom prevailing. Thanks and best with the making it. :-)

  • Siba Shakib | September 28, 2013 10:04 AMReply

    Thank you dear Melissa for sharing this great news. Will try to get a foot in there, as I am looking for help and funding for my feature film playing in Afghanistan.
    All the best

  • Bridget | September 27, 2013 4:47 PMReply

    Awesome news. Sharing with my fellows at film school.

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