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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

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

New Research: Females Are of Lesser Value Than Males

New research from Stacy Smith and Marc Choueiti of USC's Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism has tracked women on screen and behind the scenes in the top 100 grossing films of 2008.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • April 28, 2011 2:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
More: Research

Research Alert: Changing the Status Quo - Industry Leaders’ Perceptions of Gender in Family Films

Anyone who has been to a G, PG, or PG-13 (and of course R rated films but they are not included in this study) knows that when they look up on the screen there are many more male characters than female characters with speaking roles. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has been tracking that representation and found that since 1990 that amount of female characters in these films has gone from 28.7% to 29.3%. That's not even one percentage point of improvement over almost 20 years.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • April 25, 2011 5:14 AM
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  • 14 Comments
More: Research

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