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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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The Hollywood Reporter Announced the Top 50 Showrunners

The Hollywood Reporter has announced their 50 power showrunners of 2013 for comedy and drama. 12 women out of 50 were on the list. And four women of 10 were on the 2014 Showrunners to Watch list.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • October 22, 2013 1:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

New Clip from Mara Brock Akil's Being Mary Jane - Starring Gabrielle Union

We reported back in September that powerhouse Mara Brock Akil with husband/development partner Salim Akil were creating a new show for BET, Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • May 29, 2013 2:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil's Being Mary Jane Will Open Urbanworld Film Festival and Air on BET

Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil’s, Being Mary Jane, is opening the 16th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • September 13, 2012 12:39 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Sparkle on Nightline

Producer Debra Martin Chase and star Jordin Sparks talked to Deborah Roberts about Whitney Houston's last film Sparkle which is opening on Friday. Martin Chase and Houston were producing partners and friends for over a decade and Sparkle was supposed to be Houston's comeback role. Sadly, the movie will be her final role.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 14, 2012 10:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

New Trailer for Sparkle written by Mara Brock Akil

Film hits screens on August 17th.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • August 5, 2012 9:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Top 50 TV Showrunners: The Women

The Hollywood Reporter has compiled a list of the top 50 showrunners in comedy and drama.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • October 13, 2011 2:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Woman Power Fuels Disney Channel's Lemonade Mouth

This Friday, Disney Channel will launch a new feel good TV movie, Lemonade Mouth about a tween band that comes together and motivates kids to stand up for themselves. The press material says: "As they learn about music and about life, the group must surmount obstacles including their own lack of confidence, a rivalry with the popular band Mudslide Crush and a school administration that just doesn't understand them."
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • April 12, 2011 4:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Debra Martin Chase to Produce Sparkle Remake at Sony

Producer Debra Martin Chase has teamed up with The Game showrunners and creators Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil to produce a remake of the 1976 film Sparkle which originally starred Irene Cara. The film is loosely based on the story of the Supremes and there are three plum roles for African American actresses in this remake. Kind of feels like it could be a lot like Dreamgirls which was a big hit. Maybe there are even roles for both Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce in this film too.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • March 24, 2011 2:02 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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