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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

Quote of the Day: Octavia Spencer on How Her Oscar Changed Nothing

And that's why she's moving to TV.
  • By Inkoo Kang
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  • August 5, 2014 11:39 AM
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  • 2 Comments

The Sapphires DVD Cover Controversy

The Sapphires, which was released earlier this year, is about the true story of four indigenous women from Australia who are discovered by a talent scout and are sent to Vietnam to perform for the troops. It's a film, we loved because of its smart look at racial issues and feel good spirit.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • August 5, 2013 2:00 PM
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  • 15 Comments

Disney Fans Makeover Newest Disney Princess

After the unveiling of images of Disney's latest lead, Elsa the Snow Queen in the upcoming Frozen, fans decided to make her over. Elsa, per Disney's usual whitewashing (other lead character Anna is also very white), falls in line with their usual fair skinnned, light hair, blue eyes and a glamorous but impractical gown.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • July 8, 2013 2:30 PM
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  • 412 Comments

Lucy Liu Talks About Racism in Hollywood

Lucy Liu graces the cover of online fashion magazine, Net-A-Porter's Graphic Issue. Liu discusses some of the usual interview tropes--her sense of style, relationship status and her hit CBS show Elementary, where she plays Joan Watson--a decidedly modern and most interesting twist on the typical Sherlock Holmes story.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • May 15, 2013 1:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Interview with Nancy Buirski - Director of The Loving Story

  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • December 7, 2012 2:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cross Post: Sisters in Cinema: Where are the Black Women Film Directors?

Last week, the Twitterverse was gifted a priceless nugget when film director Ava DuVernay and her guild, AFFRM, released the second trailer for her anticipated movie, Middle of Nowhere. The acclaimed project, which highlights the women and families that mass incarceration leaves behind, earned DuVernay the coveted Sundance Film Festival award for Best Director. Around the globe, women rejoiced; in a male-dominated industry, it is rare for a woman to be bestowed with such an outward validation for her work. After all, women “comprised just 18 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films in 2011,” according to the Center for Study of Women in TV and Film.
  • By Evette Dionne
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  • August 1, 2012 12:06 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Guest Post: Trouble in Hollywood - Hunger Games Fans Resort to Racist Tweets

The first installment of the highly anticipated The Hunger Games trilogy finally made its way to the silver screen, earning an historic $155 million its opening weekend. While fans cheered on Katniss Everdreen—the strong and self-sufficient blue-eyed, blond hair Anglo heroine fighting for her survival, others were disturbed by the casting of Rue, a 13-year-old-girl also competing in the futuristic gladiator-type games. Their distress wasn't because the adorable Amandla Stenberg's acting was subpar—it was because of the color of her skin.
  • By Mariana Ashley
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  • March 30, 2012 10:45 AM
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  • 6 Comments

The LA Times Confirms What We Already Know - The Academy is Old, White and Male

For some reason the folks that run the Academy have made it their business to keep the membership a secret.  You kind of know who has recently been asked to be a member because they now release lists of people given invitations, but you really don't know who the majority of the 5,765 members are.  They want it to seem like a secret society, but it reminds me more of a typical frat where they don't want the names to be revealed because then they would actually have to explain how unrepresentative they are.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • February 20, 2012 12:20 PM
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  • 9 Comments

Hollywood is So Racist That Even George Lucas Can't Get a Movie Made

George Lucas is rolling out his new film Red Tails about the Tuskegee Airmen and he went on The Daily Show to talk about how hard it was to get the film made. He didn't mince words when talking about why he couldn't get a distributor for the film.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • January 11, 2012 11:20 AM
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  • 12 Comments

Hollywood Feminist of the Day: George Clooney

George Clooney and Viola Davis (who are friends!) together cover the current issue of EW.  Davis continues to talk about race issues and women and revealed in the interview that The Help was her first lead role. 
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • January 9, 2012 12:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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