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

Female Protagonists Underrepresented Onscreen Five to One

Wonder why you only see movies about men? Why the multiplex is full of superheroes? Why male role models dominate our airwaves? It's because men make up 71% of all protagonists.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • March 11, 2014 10:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

UCLA Releases Scathing Report on Diversity in Film and TV

Just when you thought it was safe to be hopeful again, here comes another reality check.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • February 14, 2014 11:30 AM
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  • 9 Comments

No Meaningful Change Over Time in Female Filmmaker Participation at the Sundance Film Festival Among New Research Released Today at Sundance

Women in Film and the Sundance Institute released the next stage of research on female filmmakers.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • January 20, 2014 1:00 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Women Make Small Incremental Gains Onscreen and Behind the Scenes

As the new TV season starts, we get the annual look Boxed In: Employment of Behind-the-Scenes and OnScreen Women in 2012-13 Prime-time Television from Dr. Martha Lauzen at San Diego State (god bless her, she's now done this for 16 years since 1997-98) that shows how women fared behind the scenes and onscreen.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • September 6, 2013 5:35 PM
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  • 2 Comments

UN Women and Geena Davis to Partner on Global Study on Representation of Females in Family Films

UN Women is partnering with The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to analyze the representations of female characters in family films globally. This is the first time a study of this nature has been done.
  • By Kerensa Cadenas
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  • July 3, 2013 11:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Quote of the Day from CinemaCon

CinemaCon is underway in Las Vegas. It is the annual event where the theatre owners are presented with the blockbusters that they will be showing in their theatres this summer.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • April 17, 2013 12:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments

2012 Celluloid Ceiling Study Results Are In. Spoiler Alert: They Aren't Great

Following the Sundance Institute & Women in Film’s unveiling of their new groundbreaking study of women directors during the Sundance Film Festival, comes Dr. Martha Lauzen's annual Celluloid Ceiling study, which looks at how many women worked on the top 250 films of the year.
  • By Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
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  • January 25, 2013 12:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance Institute and Women in Film Release Unprecedented Study on Women Directors

This morning, here in Sundance, a new ground breaking study of women directors "Exploring the Barriers and Opportunities for Independent Women Filmmakers" was released.  The study is the most comprehensive look to date examining the gender disparity women directors face in the film industry.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • January 21, 2013 2:09 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Guest Post: We Want More Female-Written Plays! by Katherine Bowman

The Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative (LA FPI) recently conducted a study on the number of female-written plays produced in LA. The number is a disappointing yet unsurprising 20%.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 23, 2011 1:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Only One African American Woman Directed a Top Grossing Film in 2008

When you see these numbers it shows the difficult road women of color directors have ahead of them, but at least we have some numbers to looks at. Dr. Stacy Smith and Marc Choueiti recently released a report "Black Characters in Popular Film: Is the Key to Diversifying Cinematic Content held in the Hand of the Black Director?" and there are a couple of interesting points in the report.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • June 7, 2011 2:22 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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