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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

The Big O: Looking at the Women of Oscars Past, Present, and Future

The Oscar derby often offers interesting, if disturbing, insights into how women are treated in the world of film.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • December 19, 2013 11:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Directing the Future Panelists Are Beating the Odds

According to an oft-cited statistic, women comprise only 9% of directors in the film industry. But the participants of the "Directing the Future" panel at Pepperdine University School of Law's Women in Hollywood: 100 Years of Negotiating the System symposium haven't let those numbers stop them.
  • By Lauren C. Byrd
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  • November 19, 2013 1:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Disney Renders Merida Even More Unrecognizable

Remember when we all felt some vague relief while we briefly thought that Disney had pulled the new, sexy Merida due to protests. Brave creator, Brenda Chapman, called Merida's makeover "atrocious" and the petition to get rid of the new Merida received over 229,000 signatures. That is a huge amount of signatures. People are pissed.
  • By Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
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  • May 22, 2013 10:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Brave Director Brenda Chapman Responds to Merida Coronation

  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • May 13, 2013 9:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Disney Crowns Brave's Merida a Princess

In completely baffling and disturbing news, Disney has decided to make Brave heroine, Merida into their 11th Disney Princess.
  • By Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
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  • May 7, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 8 Comments

Women Deserved Better at the 2013 Oscars

With Seth McFarlane hosting the Oscars, we here at Women and Hollywood weren’t expecting much. But the sexist, racist, homophobic and completely unfunny spree that McFarlane hosted was even worse than imagined.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • February 25, 2013 2:43 PM
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  • 27 Comments

Emmanuelle Riva, Lynne Ramsay and Juno Temple Win at 2013 BAFTAS

On Sunday, the BAFTAS held their annual awards ceremony. As awards season comes to a close, there weren’t many upsets but a couple interesting things of note. Emmanuelle Riva won lead actress for Amour. Brenda Chapman won for best animated film with Brave. Lynne Ramsay’s short film Swimmer won. And Juno Temple won the EE Rising Star Award.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • February 11, 2013 12:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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

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

2 Women Directed Animated Features on Oscar Shortlist

21 animated features have made it to the Oscar shortlist for best animated feature. Since over 16 films were submitted, a maximum of 5 films can be nominated. However, of these 21 animated features—that range from major animated features such as Wreck-It Ralph to independent animated films like Zarafa—only 2 of these 21 films were directed by women.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • November 6, 2012 11:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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