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

Blockbusters with Young Action Heroines Mean Pink Weapons for Girls

The New York Times credits the success of films like "The Hunger Games," "Brave," and "Divergent" for increasing the popularity of toy guns and archery kits in every shade of pink and purple.
  • By Inkoo Kang
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  • March 24, 2014 1:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment

2012 The Year in Review

We took a look back on the news for women in and around Hollywood in 2012 and here are the topics we think resonated this past year. Let us know what you think and if we missed any big news of the year.
  • By Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
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  • December 28, 2012 10:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Cross Post: Sexism in Hollywood: Where Are the Women in Argo?

Ben Affleck’s Argo is shaping up to be this year’s biggest success story. With a near-win for the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival, stellar reviews across the board and an A+ CinemaScore rating from audiences, Argo is destined to be a huge hit at the box office and redemption for its once ostracized director. After an astounding string of critical and commercial disasters with an astounding amount of career-enders (Gigli, Reindeer Games and Jersey Girl among them), Affleck has been quietly generating buzz as an up-and-coming director with sleeper hits like Gone Baby Gone (2007) and The Town (2010). The latter pulled in almost $100 million at the box office, which Argo seems likely to best. In its third weekend, Argo topped the box office for the first time, taking in $12.4 million, and has now earned $60.8 million total. The movie is the first to do so in its third weekend since 2010’s True Grit, a huge sleeper hit that grossed $171 million stateside.
  • By Nico Lang
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  • November 9, 2012 12:30 PM
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  • 7 Comments

The Princess Archetype in the Movies

What kind of “princess” is better off in the woods than at home? A princess who is more like the archetype of Artemis than of Aphrodite.  In three recent films, we’ve seen a shift in the “princess” archetype in popular culture. In the past, the princess, a key character in fairy tales and myths, was depicted in films as a love interest, or even as a prize to be won, such as in Tangled, Enchanted, Shrek, and The Princess Bride, to name a few. The main focus of the princess’ sphere and her agency was in regards to love, relationships and marriage. But in The Hunger Games, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Brave, the heroine-protagonists are not interested in courtship; they have much more pressing problems to solve, and they all involve an exile or escape through a “enchanted” wilderness.
  • By Laura Shamas
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  • June 28, 2012 12:15 PM
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  • 8 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

Hunger Games Backlash: Jennifer Lawrence Doesn't Look Hungry Enough

As of two days ago The Hunger Games' domestic gross was up above $173 million dollars.  It will clearly be above $200 million before the weekend.  It's a success so the nitpicking has started.  We've seen the posts on the racist tweets and now there are people complaining that Jennifer Lawrence looked a bit too healthy playing a character who was supposed to be poor and hungry.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • March 29, 2012 12:20 PM
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  • 30 Comments

The Hunger Games

I spent most of the beginning of The Hunger Games kind of holding my breath in hopes that the movie would live up to all the hype I put on it.  I loved the books A LOT.  I also put a whole heap of unjustified responsibility on it and felt that it just had to hit a certain level so that the conversations about female protagonists who are strong and active in their lives could move to a new level. 
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • March 23, 2012 1:04 PM
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  • 11 Comments

Interview with Nina Jacobson: Producer of the Hunger Games

Nina Jacobson is poised to have a really great weekend.  She's about to open The Hunger Games which if tracking and advance sales hold will be one of the best opening weekends ever.  She answered some questions by phone as the film gets ready to roll out
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • March 22, 2012 11:37 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Will The Hunger Games Be The First Real Female Franchise?

In a little less than two days the film based on the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy will hit the big screen.  Already over 2,000 screenings on Thursday night are sold out and theatres are adding 3am screenings to accomodate the huge appetite for this film.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • March 21, 2012 11:04 AM
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  • 37 Comments

Producer Watch: Nina Jacobson at the Premiere of The Hunger Games

Nina Jacobson has been around Hollywood for a while. She's one of a handful of women to run a studio having run Buena Vista Studios at Disney until 2006.
  • By Melissa Silverstein
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  • March 14, 2012 10:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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