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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.

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Women and Hollywood

Human Rights Watch FF Women Directors: Meet Zeina Daccache (Scheherazade's Diary)

"My films are done with the minimum shooting material required (we only use daylight, the sound boom is held by the prison inmates, etc.)"
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 20, 2014 2:15 PM
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Human Rights Watch Women Directors: Meet Anne de Mare & Kirsten Kelly (The Homestretch)

"We came to the issue of youth homelessness through a theater program that Kirsten runs each fall with Chicago Public School students. She was shocked to learn that two of the bright, motivated kids she was working with were homeless. It was one of those moments in life when everything just stopped: How could this be? "
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 20, 2014 1:15 PM
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Human Rights Watch FF Women Directors: Meet Joanna Lipper (The Supreme Price)

"When I began working on my documentary several years ago, I had no way of knowing that Nigeria would be front and center in news around the world in response to the kidnapping of over 250 schoolgirls. My film aims to provide social, political and cultural context for understanding these recent developments."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 19, 2014 2:22 PM
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Human Rights Watch FF Director: Meet Blair Dorosh-Walther (Out in the Night)

"Immediately following the arrest of the women in this story, I became interested in the case when I read a headline in The New York Times that struck me: 'Man is stabbed after admiring a stranger.'"
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 18, 2014 2:00 PM
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Human Rights Watch FF Women Directors: Meet Iva Radivojevic (Evaporating Borders)

"The environment grew more intolerant each time I'd visit. The migrants from the Middle East were particularly targeted and subjected to institutional racism, attacks, and so on."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 17, 2014 1:00 PM
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Human Rights Watch FF Women Directors: Meet Rachel Beth Anderson (First to Fall)

"Only having three working memory cards, there were days I would be filming on the frontline while simultaneously transferring footage from my computer (left inside a Libyan rebel's car) onto hard drives so I wouldn't miss a moment with my guys on camera."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 16, 2014 1:00 PM
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Human Rights Watch FF Women Directors: Meet Jasmila Zbanic (For Those Who Can Tell No Tales)

"We were not allowed to shoot in Visegrad. We had to pretend to be working on a different film and my Serbian friend pretended to be the director."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 16, 2014 10:00 AM
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Human Rights Watch FF Women Directors: Meet Cynthia Hill

The documentary delves deep into why the question "Why doesn't she just leave?" is the wrong one to ask.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 13, 2014 3:00 PM
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Human Rights Watch FF Women Directors: Meet Alessandra Zeka and Holen Sabrina Kahn (A Quiet Inquisition)

"We had initially planned to make a film about the prohibition of abortion in El Salvador. Just as we were beginning to do the research, Nicaragua passed the same law. It seemed an opportunity to chronicle the impact of such severe restrictions from its first days of implementation."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 13, 2014 10:30 AM
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Human Rights Watch FF Women Directors: Meet Jennifer M. Kroot (To Be Takei)

"This film covers his experiences being imprisoned in Japanese American internment camps during his youth, his acting career, and his choice to 'come out' later in life and advocate for LGBT civil rights. It's also a romantic comedy!"
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 12, 2014 12:57 PM
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