Dorothy Arzner was an absolute boss who helped to pave the way for future generations of badass women in Hollywood and she joins the ranks of several other badass women who shook up the film industry and helped to move it forward.

Film has always been female: The badass bitches of old Hollywood

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Earlier this year, trailblazing industry pioneer Dorothy Arzner was paid tribute by Paramount when a dressing room building on the Melrose Avenue lot was dedicated in her name. Paramount Pictures’s CEO and chairman Jim Gianopulos shared a few touching sentiments about the phenomenal late director, stating: “Today we are doing our small part to honor her and to leave our own mark for the next generation rather than be the ones who failed to advance what she gave us.”

Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather) was actually a student of Arzner’s when she taught at the UCLA Film School and shared anecdotes about the filmmaker at the special event. Coppola praised the filmmaker’s indelible spirit with some touching anecdotes. “She was salty and sort of tough, but had a heart as big as the world. Every time she came to class, she’d bring a big box of cookies or crackers because she knew we were starving to death. We had no money, but she had stuff so we could eat.”

Not only was Arzner one of the most prolific female directors under the studio era, but she was also an unequivocal badass who helped move the film industry forward. She was an openly queer director in an era when that was simply not the done thing, but she also filled her cinematic canon with independent, female protagonists and was the inventor of the boom mic (although her idea was never patented).

In short, Arzner was an absolute boss who helped to pave the way for future generations of badass women in Hollywood and she joins the ranks of several other badass women who shook up the film industry and helped to move it forward.

Lois Weber

Weber was the first female director to make a full-length film. She was so prolific, it’s believed she made as many as 400 movies during her career, of which only 20 survive today. The actor / director / screenwriter / producer pioneered the use of split-screen and full-frontal nudity and also tackled challenging female issues such as abortion and birth control (subsequently banned under the 1930 Hays Production Code).

Asserting her rightful place within the industry, Weber once claimed being a woman was what made her such a great filmmaker. I like to direct, because I believe a woman, more or less intuitively, brings out many of the emotions that are rarely expressed on the screen. I may miss what some of the men get, but I will get other effects that they never thought of.”

Germaine Dulac

The political activist, writer, and journalist became one of the most revered visionary artists of the French Impressionist movement in the 20s. With her own production company – Delia Film – Dulac began her filmmaking career with melodramas before advancing to the avant-garde. Her 1922 movie, La Souriante Madame Beudet, is considered a groundbreaking film for the representation of women and is frequently labeled the first “feminist” film of all time.

Mary Pickford

Pickard had a lot of game, having setup the movie studio United Artists with Charlie Chaplin and husband Douglas Fairbanks so she could exert more control over her career and enjoy a bigger cut of the profits.

Within the three years of her silent movie career, Pickard hustled to become a producer on her own films, providing the actor with an uncompromising command over collaborators, scripts, and how movies were edited. Despite once proclaiming, “Adding sound to movies would be like putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo,” Pickford won her only Oscar in 1930 for the talkie flick, Coquette.

Alice Guy-Blaché

In 1896, at the staggeringly young age of 23, French filmmaker Guy-Blaché made the first narrative film in history and was the first ever female film director. Although Guy-Blaché does not feature heavily in cinematic history, she pioneered the concept of filming on location and was one of the first to utilize closeups in her work. Charmingly, Guy-Blaché made over one thousand movies after falling in love with the medium while working as the secretary of the Gaumont film studio founder, Léon Gaumont.

Tazuko Sakane

You may not have heard of Sakane, but you’ll definitely want to know more about her after reading this. As one of the first Japanese female film directors, Sakane worked her way through the stratified Japanese studio system of the 1930s where she reportedly faced repeated harassment for being one of the industry’s few women. Nevertheless, she persisted and made her first and only major movie Hatsu Sugata in 1936.

Sakane also made propaganda films in north-eastern China during Japan’s invasion of Manchuria. However, upon her return to Japan she was subsequently excluded from directing on the grounds she didn’t have a college degree. As such, Sakane was forced to reenter the industry from the bottom of the ladder as an assistant.

Twitter is a breeding ground for creative thoughts, inspirational stories, and political debate. It’s with this in mind that we’ve decided to provide you with a rundown of the best female creatives to follow on Twitter.

Girls on fire! The best leading ladies to follow on Twitter

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Who runs the world? Actually, the less fun answer is a complex web of secretive government bodies, wealthy tycoons, and illuminati shapeshifters. But we here at FutureFemme are all about fun and if we’re talking about the society we consider to be reality, we say it’s run by girls. Yes, women rule the place, including the entertainment industry that’s teaming with wildly talented femmes.

If you’re an aspiring TV writer, film producer, or acting powerhouse, you’ll likely find inspiration in the musings of the industry’s fiercest females and where better to find said musings than on Twitter? The social media platform is a breeding ground for creative thoughts, inspirational stories, and political debate. It’s with this in mind that we’ve decided to provide you with a rundown of the best female creatives to follow on Twitter. Let’s do this!

Issa Rae (@issarae)

Did we mention we’re huge fans of Issa Rae’s? No? Well let us tell you again! Rae has built quite the comedic empire from the ground up, starting out with her Awkward Black Girl web series and launching into the present with the HBO hit Insecure. The TV show creator is outspoken about racial issues in the entertainment industry and her Twitter feed is dedicated to championing actors and filmmakers of color, keeping followers updated on current projects and happenings, and posting truly funny and personable musings.

Gale Anne Hurd (@GunnerGale)

If you thought monsters, zombies, aliens, and everything else that goes bump in the night were boys’ interests, you would be sadly mistaken, as shown by Gale Anne Hurd’s eclectic resume. As producer of such sci-fi classics as Aliens and The Terminator, as well as TV shows like Fear the Walking Dead, Hurd’s passion for such genre beats is reflected in her Twitter account, which provides followers with updates on all of her new projects (between snortworthy memes that we dare you to not chuckle at).

Nina Jacobson (@ninajacobson)

As a former studio exec for Disney, Nina Jacobson’s been involved in films like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Sixth Sense, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. When she was fired from the media powerhouse, did Jacobson let that get her down? Fuck no! She went on to create her own production company, Color Force, and ended up producing the Hunger Games movies, because that’s the level of badassery we’re dealing with here. As Raindance put it, “Her Twitter is informative (bringing attention to the mistreatment of women, LGBTQ, people of color in both the film industry, and society as a whole) and fun (she was sorted into Ravenclaw by Pottermore).”

Abbi Jacobson (@abbijacobson)

Yas queen!! Making up half of the Broad City duo (the one with that sweet angel ass) is Abbi Jacobson a.k.a. the Val of our hearts. Her Twitter page is an exciting mix of Broad City posts, news on her upcoming projects, political news stories, and TV show updates. Informative and entertaining, all at once!

Indya Moore (@IndyaMoore)

As many have outlined on Twitter and beyond, Ryan Murphy’s 80s ballroom show Pose shows what happens when trans actors are given a foot in the door. With the wildly talented and outrageously beautiful Indya Moore taking the role of the sweet Angel among a cast of five trans actors, her Twitter page is filled with updates on the show, as well as plenty of posts of portraits and artwork. With a face like that, who wouldn’t self-promote?

Ava DuVernay (@ava)

As one of the most influential and important filmmakers in the industry today, Ava DuVernay is the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at Sundance Film Festival (Middle of Nowhere), the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award (Selma), and first woman of color to direct a live-action film with a budget of over $100 million (A Wrinkle in Time). With so much under her belt and her influence only set to grow, DuVernay’s Twitter page is worth a follow if you’d like to stay updated on her latest projects and news about diversity and political issues in Hollywood.

Shonda Rhimes (@shondarhimes)

If you’re interested in the TV industry in any way, Shonda Rhimes is a great one to follow on Twitter. As the producer & screenwriter responsible for hit shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal, Rhimes is a great one to follow as she keeps everyone updated on all of her projects, while promoting news about people of color in the entertainment industry.

Patty Jenkins (@pattyjenks)

A wonder woman in her own right, director Patty Jenkins helmed one of 2017’s most successful blockbusters – the remake of DC’s Wonder Woman. With the Gal Gadot-starring sequel on the way, you’d be worth following her on Twitter for the updates alone.

Trace Lysette (@tracelysette)

The stunningly talented Trace Lysette has blown us away with her acting talents in such hit shows as Amazon’s Transparent and FX’s recent Pose (which you should totally add to your watchlist if you haven’t already). If you’re looking for updates on the finest LGBTQI talent as well as trans issues in the entertainment industry, Trace Lysette’s Twitter page is a fountain of information. Give her a follow!

Although the nomination announcements are less than 24 hours away, we thought we’d turn our attention to the fierce females of TV today who without a doubt deserve an Emmy Award of their very own.

A plea to the Emmys: Female stars who deserve a nomination

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We’re one day away from the 2018 Emmys nominee announcement, and we can’t help but wait on the edge of our seats in apprehension. As is often the case with such prestigious awards ceremonies, this year’s event will no doubt be another exercise in predictability and – as the Emmys is famous for – some rather questionable categories (in no world does it make sense to shove drama and comedy series into one box).

While the organization has certainly improved over the years by increasing the number of nominations in some categories and shaking up its voting processes, as Vox so bluntly put it: “They (Emmys) still stink when it comes to variety, and they make a lot of bad choices.” Notably, there have been many women left out of the running over the years –  and with numerous actresses of the small screen today showing new levels of badassery across the genres, we have no doubt the 2018 nominations will contain some hefty disappointments and glaring holes.

So although the nomination announcements are less than 24 hours away, we thought we’d turn our attention to the fierce females of TV today who without a doubt deserve an Emmy Award of their very own.

Tessa Thompson

An Emmys Best Villain category should be created purely for Tessa Thompson’s depiction of Delos’s Charlotte Hale in HBO’s sci-fi series, Westworld. Thompson depicts a subtle level of evil that rots right to the core with a performance that is surely deserving of one of those little, gold statuettes. Surely.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

The title of Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series basically belongs to Phoebe Waller-Bridge for her outstanding comedic voice in the Brit dramedy Fleabag. (Perhaps an alternative Emmy should be handed to Olivia Coleman for her role in the show too, as the complete bitch of a Godmother-turned-stepmother who throws out some of the nastiest insults hidden behind that Cheshire cat smile of hers. She’s a comedic genius, we tell you!)

Issa Rae

Issa Rae

Can two people win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series? If so, we think the second honor should be handed to our primetime fave, Issa Rae, for her HBO hit Insecure. This woman is having her moment and we’re with her every step of the way.

Amy Adams

Amy Adams

We’re 100% jumping the gun with this one, but we don’t care – Amy Adams has proved her serious acting chops in a number of drama films since her jump from romcoms to thrillers, similar to that of Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). And just like McConaughey, she’s now the center of a gritty noir crime-drama with HBO’s recently released Sharp Objects. If she doesn’t deserve at least a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, we don’t know who does.

Alia Shawkat

Alia Shawkat

Did we mention we love Alia Shawkat and her leading performance in the hilariously dark millennial satire Search Party? Someone give this girl an award – hell, give her all the Emmys! We certainly wouldn’t complain.

Eva Green

Eva Green

It’s been a while since Eva Green wowed us with her turn as the haunting and haunted Vanessa Ives in Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, but we thought she’s worth a mention if only to highlight the glaring holes in the Emmys voting process, as Green has never even been nominated. As critic April Neale wrote: “Her work was breathtaking and exemplary for this white-knuckler TV series, and she should have at the very least earned an Emmy nom.”

Constance Wu

Constance Wu

There was a furore a couple of years back when actress Constance Wu from Fresh Off the Boat presented the Emmy Awards, yet wasn’t nominated for an award herself. Her comedic chops on the small screen have been proved time and again and yet still she’s not taken home the gold – there’s always this year to make up for it. Here’s hoping!

Kaitlin Olson

Kaitlin Olson

For some reason, over the years the Emmy voters have forgotten that Kaitlin Olson has been kicking ass as “Sweet Dee” Reynolds on the hit comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. As critic Tim Surette pointed out, this is made all the more frustrating by the fact that the award ceremony seems to have a tough time padding out its Lead Actress in a Comedy category. With another season of the show on the way, there’s still time for this mistake to be rectified – just maybe not this year.

Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham

She might be currently covering the voice for Oxana Hauntley in the kids animated show Vampirina, but we (and many others in the industry) are still of the view that it’s a fallacy Lauren Graham never received even a nomination for her role as the quick-witted Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore Girls, despite the fact that she so clearly deserved one. It’s okay though, because Graham took home the honor of our hearts instead.

Keri Russell

Keri Russell

Okay, so The Americans star has been nominated twice. But as IndieWire pointed out: “She should be spending her weekends repeatedly fixing the mantle above her cozy cottage fireplace because it can’t hold the weight of her six goddamn Emmys.” The woman shouldn’t be able to walk through her house because of all the statuettes blocking her way. Come on, Emmys – sort your shit out!

All the creepy AF #MeToo allegations that have been swept under the rug

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Backstreet’s back – a term that no doubt ignites a sense of nostalgia for many. It’s also a statement that continues to ring true as the iconic 90s boy band has continued its reign since its inception in the 90s. No pop group has lasted as long as the Backstreet Boys, who recently dropped their first single in five years – “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” – which they performed at the CMT Music Awards before announcing plans for an upcoming world tour.

While this might be good news for lovers of all things pop, for actress & singer Melissa Schuman (The Hollow) it’s a reminder that her ordeal is far from over. As The Daily Beast outlined in a recent feature, Schuman alleged Backstreet Boys band member Nick Carter – who is under an ongoing police investigation – raped her back in 2003. The story was first shared in a November blog post in which Schuman recalls a shocking account of abuse and rape at the hands of a “famous singer” and how it affected her psychologically, but also professionally. Carter later came out with his own statement outlining how he was “shocked and saddened” by the accusations.

In December, Schuman appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, where she elaborated on her story and how she was told she didn’t have the money, the clout, or access to an attorney who was powerful enough to stand up against Carter’s legal counsel.

The story is just one of many examples highlighted since the emergence of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Whether the allegations are true is by the by – the fact is that the Backstreet Boys continue to thrive without any active conclusion over the allegations made against Carter. While police may be reported to be “actively investigating” the case, how many other active investigations are currently underway while the alleged perpetrators continue to work in the entertainment industry? In an attempt to shed some light on this glaring question, here are a number of other allegations that appear to have been swept under the rug in the wake of #MeToo.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman

Early last month it was reported Morgan Freeman was back at work amid a series of sexual assault allegations made against him. The Oscar-winning actor was spotted filming scenes in Georgia for his new movie The Poison Rose with co-stars John Travolta (Pulp Fiction) and Famke Janssen (X-Men) amid his ongoing legal battle with CNN over its report that he sexually harassed and was inappropriate towards eight women. According to the Economic Times, the most physical of the allegations involved Freeman lifting up a production assistant’s skirt on the set of Going In Style back in 2015. It’s yet to be seen what the outcome of this “investigation” will be, but rest assured that Freeman is clearly not worried about it at all. Call it a hunch, but we’re guessing we’ll be waiting for the outcome for quite some time.

Jeffrey Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor

Although actor Jeffrey Tambor was ousted from his central role in the charming Amazon series Transparent amid sexual misconduct allegations, former fans were shocked to see him feature in the fifth season of the resurrected Netflix comedy Arrested Development. And yes, apparently he will be a part of this year’s Emmys race. In the runup to S5’s release, further revelations about Tambor’s misbehavior came to light, this time regarding the mistreatment of his on-screen wife (played by Jessica Walter) during what he described as a “blowup”.

The revelation was made during a New York Times roundtable interview which went viral and led Netflix to cancel all future interviews supporting the show. The incident was problematic in many ways, notably that it highlighted how Netflix had continued working with Tambor despite the many allegations made against him. Creator Mitchell Hurwitz pointedly said that “accusations are very different than proof”. Meanwhile, actor and Arrested Development star David Cross (Megamind) said that he would “stand behind” Tambor. However, as The Guardian pointed out, “The disastrous yet enlightening New York Times roundtable showed that much of the trauma attached to figures such as Tambor remains unresolved.”

Emile Hirsch

Emile Hirsch

Emile Hirsch (Milk) was recently booked by Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) to star in his upcoming Charles Manson movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Yes, this is despite the fact that the actor was charged for abusive behavior after physically attacking a woman at Sundance Film Festival just three years ago. Actress Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) called out the questionable casting with the following Twitter post:

While the case was investigated and Hirsch was charged, what it does show is how quickly Hollywood is willing to move on from such incidents, allowing perpetrators like Hirsch to continue working and thriving within the industry despite their previous actions.

Nate Parker  

Nate Parker

It was announced back in March that director Nate Parker was invited to helm a new LAPD detective drama entitled Black & Blue in his first project since The Birth of a Nation. The latter film was mired in controversy after it emerged Parker had been charged with rape back in 1999 along with co-writer Jean McGianni Celestin while they were students at Penn State university. Although Parker was acquitted from the crime, Celestin was convicted of sexual assault and what made the case so harrowing was that the alleged victim committed suicide in 2012. As The Guardian outlined, Parker is just one of many accused of misconduct making a slow creep back into the spotlight.

Charlie Rose & Tom Brokaw

Charlie Rose

Last week it was reported that while Harvey Weinstein was left off the invite list, veteran news anchor Charlie Rose and former NBC correspondent Tom Brokaw were still asked to attend Allen & Co.’s high-powered Sun Valley conference a.k.a. “The summer bootcamp for billionaires”. This is despite both industry figures facing a slew of sexual harassment allegations. With regards to Rose, eight women made claims the presenter sexually harassed them with nudity, groping, and lewd calls. Meanwhile, Brokaw was accused by three women of acting inappropriately towards them, with one claiming he made an unwanted advance to her numerous times. In addition to their warm invites to the Sun Valley conference, it was recently reported Rose is being pitched as the host of a new show that would see him speak to other men accused of similar misconduct. Yikes – it’s unlikely the show will ever actually get passed, but if it does we have no doubt it’ll go down like a shit sandwich.

In the wake of #MeToo, we’re taking a look at some of the best charities and organizations out there helping female filmmakers to progress and flourish within the film industry.

The organizations helping female filmmakers in the wake of #MeToo

By News

It’s been a strong year for the leading ladies of the big screen, with three of the past year’s most major blockbuster hits – Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Beauty and the Beast – seeing female actresses front and center. However, behind the scenes it’s a different story. Although female directors would surely help project female perspectives more strongly in movies, recent statistics show that “so far this year only one film in the top 20 box office grossers worldwide was directed by a woman: Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time.” Another recent study by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film discovered women held just 18% of behind-the-scenes film jobs including directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers.

Rather than sitting back and groaning at such dismal figures, there are a number of companies looking to make changes within the industry. In the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, there has been an increased focus on women in film with regards to how they are treated and the roles they are given. During this period of introspection, we’re taking a look at some of the best charities and organizations out there helping female filmmakers to progress and flourish within the film industry.

Women In Film

Women In Film is an organization that advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries. On its website, you’ll find helpful lists of scholarships and grants that you can apply for along with links to production and writing labs, a mentoring programme, and a film finishing fund.

New York Women in Film and Television

NYWIFT advocates for equality in the moving image industry and supports women in every stage of their careers. Per the NYWIFT website: “As the preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT energizes women by illuminating their achievements, presenting training and professional development programs, awarding scholarships and grants, and providing access to a supportive community of peers.” It also has over 15,000 members and produces over 50 innovative programs and special events annually, including the Muse Awards for Vision and Achievement, which honors women in front of and behind the camera, and Designing Women, which recognizes costume designers, makeup artists, and hair stylists in the industry.

Chicken and Egg Pictures

Chicken & Egg Pictures supports female nonfiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change. Per the company’s website, “We envision a world in which women filmmakers, representing a range of experiences and backgrounds, are fully supported to realize their artistic goals, build sustainable careers, and achieve parity in all areas of the film industry.” Since 2005, Chicken & Egg Pictures has awarded $6.2 million in grants and thousands of hours of creative mentorship to 285 filmmakers. Films supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures have won numerous awards, including Academy and Emmy Awards.

Women Make Movies

According to the Women Make Movies team, “From cutting-edge documentaries that give depth to today’s headlines to smart, stunning films that push artistic and intellectual boundaries in all genres, Women Make Movies – a non-profit feminist social enterprise based in New York – is the world’s leading distributor of independent films by and about women.” Its Production Assistance Program assists female directors with their productions from concept through completion with fiscal sponsorship, consultations, and other technical assistance.

The Director List

The Director List is a centralized hub for finding female directors and their work. At the heart of the company is its database, where executives and agents search through a list of over 1,000 female directors with demonstrable experience in film, TV, commercials, and music videos. In addition, the site offers news, multimedia, and a community section for holding fundraisers and campaigns in an aim to raise awareness about female talent. In short, this company wants to cut out the middleman and offer women a space to promote their capabilities and experience.

Film Fatales

Fed up with an industry where less than 5% of the top box office films are directed by women, a group of female directors & writers formed in order to find new ways to bring women to the screen. In addition to its monthly meetups where women can share resources and advice, Film Fatales organizes a range of events, panels, and workshops, often partnering with other institutions. Previous collaborations include Film Independent, the Film Fatales annual Sundance party, as well as networking events for directors and producers in collaboration with Gamechanger Films and Women Make Movies. Organizations such as the Tribeca Film Institute, IFP, AFI Directing Workshop for Women, and NBC Universal have partnered with Film Fatales too, to connect industry figures with female film & TV directors.

An earlier version of this article was published at Film Daily.

Marvel is apparently moving forward with its 'Black Widow' film. Here’s our ranking of the seven female filmmakers we’d most like to see in the director's chair.

The female filmmakers we think should direct the ‘Black Widow’ movie

By News

Marvel is apparently moving forward with its Black Widow film and Deadline has reported an update on the female directors who are being considered to make it. According to the publication, Cate Shortland (Lore) is reportedly the favorite to direct the film, with Kimberly Pierce, Amma Asante (Belle), and Maggie Betts (Novitate) also in the running.

These directors were apparently whittled down from a list of 49, with Shortland, Assante, and Betts reportedly even meeting star Scarlett Johansson (Lucy) and Marvel’s Kevin Feige recently. While we can see the appeal of all four directors handling the material, there are seven specific female directors who we think could land a knockout with the Black Widow movie if given a chance. Here’s our ranking of the seven female filmmakers we’d most like to see direct the Black Widow movie.

7. Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Ergüven’s 2015 breakthrough coming-of-age movie Mustang proved her to be a talent on the rise, while her 2017 Halle Berry (X-Men) and Daniel Craig (Spectre) led movie Kings suggested she can masterfully maintain tension. A big budget superhero movie could give the filmmaker an opportunity to refine her style for a wider audience.

6. Drew Barrymore

We realize Barrymore is a far-fetched choice considering she hasn’t directed a movie since 2009’s Whip It, but god damn we love that film and continue to believe she could do great things with a Black Widow movie if given the opportunity. Barrymore could really bring out the dry, acerbic wit of the character while providing bombastic, fun action scenes.

5. Chloe Zhao

Zhao was speculated to be one of the filmmakers being considered by Disney for the Black Widow movie back in April. The filmmaker would be an interesting choice as her style is more understated and thoughtful than the average superhero movie seems to feature. But having garnered critical acclaim for her two feature dramas Songs My Brothers Taught Me & The Rider, the director could surprise us all with her versatility by going big for her next feature with Black Widow.  

4. Dee Rees

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker does wondrous things with stories centered around female leads as seen in her debut feature Pariah. Her Netflix Originals hit Mudbound further highlights Rees as a director who can handle the demands of an ensemble cast and a big story without sacrificing her rich visual palette. Just imagine a Black Widow movie from this woman! We can and it’s stupendous.

3. Amma Asante

The actor-turned-filmmaker has been rumored as a top choice for the film since April and has a bold eye for presenting emotionally charged, complex narratives. Asante recently wowed critics with her interracial marriage story A United Kingdom, but she truly made herself a name to look out for with the period drama Belle – a rare movie that interrogates the racial tensions of 18th century aristocratic England. If chosen to direct Black Widow, Asante could assuredly peel back the layers on Natasha Romanoff’s cool exteriors to reveal the complexity of the character.

2. Karyn Kusama

One of the most versatile independent filmmakers today, Kusama has made a name for herself as a confident risk-taker with an eye for genre storytelling. Her 2000 breakthrough movie Girlfight proved her prowess for action scenes with an emotional core to them while Jennifer’s Body showcased her grasp of both horror and comedy. However, it’s her 2015 film The Invitation that remains the most impressive, revealing Kusama to be the sort of taut storyteller who could infuse the Black Widow movie with tension but also lashings of wit and action to maintain Black Widow’s vibe.

1. Lexi Alexander

We don’t care what anyone says – Punisher: War Zone remains one of the greatest R-rated superhero movies ever made. Alexander utilizes the most cartoonish displays of violence and explosions possible to really bring the comic books to life and it absolutely works. The film was foolishly maligned upon release, but it has rightfully become a cult classic – arguably the filmmaker was way ahead of her time. Since then, Alexander has continued to work as a genre director on superhero shows like Arrow and Supergirl, which suggests she’s more than ready to approach another big budget superhero movie and we think the Black Widow movie should be it.

Aside from your raw talent, one of the most essential components of filmmaking is finding funding. Luckily there are numerous initiatives out there offering funding for female filmmakers.

Female filmmaker in need of funding? Apply for these grants today

By News

Aside from your raw talent, one of the most essential components of filmmaking is finding funding. It’s also one of the most difficult parts of the process – after all, what struggling filmmaker has tens of thousands of dollars lying around? Luckily there are numerous initiatives out there offering funding for female filmmakers, and as the industry turns its focus towards getting more women behind the camera, the number of initiatives is growing. Here’s a collection of the best grants for women looking to fund their on-screen projects.

The Queen Collective

With a name like The Queen Collective, you know you’ve come to the right place. At this year’s Cannes where there was a notable focus on women in film as the festival entered the post-Weinstein era, Queen Latifah (Chicago) announced a partnership with P&G for the launch of this initiative designed to promote racial and gender equality behind the camera by funding films from female directors. The Queen Collective aims to fund and distribute the work of female filmmakers in TV, film, and commercials and will work with brands like HP and Smirnoff and companies including United Talent Agency Marketing and Tribeca Studios to raise funding for these projects. The only downside is it’s early days, meaning there are no specifics at the time of writing. However, with the talents of Latifah and such big-name brands on board, no doubt The Queen Collective will be taking on a slew of female talent in no time at all – watch this space!

Women in Film Finishing Fund

The Women In Film Finishing Fund gives grants to filmmakers working in both short and long formats in all genres — narrative, documentary, animated, and experimental. All you need to do to apply for the Finishing Fund is to have completed 90% of the principal photography of your film and have a rough cut at the time of application. The project is funded by Stella Artois, which will provide four $25,000 grants for fiction and documentary films that inspire social change. If this sounds like a bit of you, apply today, and if you’re film’s not ready for the 2018 cut off, there’s always next year!

Chicken & Egg Accelerator Lab

Unfortunately, the submission deadline for the 2019 Chicken & Egg Pictures Accelerator Lab is closed. However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t be an early bird with your application for the next round and we thought the initiative’s worth a mention as it’s a fantastic program. The Accelerator Lab is focused on identifying and supporting female nonfiction directors working on their first or second feature-length documentary. This year it is selecting ten directors who will receive $35,000 in grant funding for the production of their film, monthly mentorship with members of Chicken & Egg Pictures’s senior creative team, three creative retreats focused on career sustainability and creative development, industry meetings at a major documentary film festival, and peer support from the Accelerator Lab cohort. So if you’re a budding or established female doc filmmaker, get to planning and be sure to apply for the next round!

Female Film Force

For female filmmakers across the pond, Bumble recently announced the launch of its Female Film Force – a new grant scheme for aspiring female filmmakers. In partnership with Women in Film & TV, the initiative will give five applicants in the UK and Ireland a £20,000 grant to make their own shorts, each focused on female empowerment, equality, and kindness. In addition to the funding, the selected filmmakers will receive guidance and bespoke mentoring over the production period. To apply, go to the Bumble Bizz or Bumble BFF app and match with the in-app card which will link you through to an online application where you will be prompted to outline who you are. Detail any relevant experience and provide a summary of concept for your female focused film and cross those damn fingers in the hope that your movie gets selected. Good luck!

Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund

In association with the Tribeca Film Institute, the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund provides finishing funds to feature-length documentaries which highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world. According to No Film School, the fund supports four to ten feature-length documentaries with between $10,000 to $25,000. This year, several additional grants will be provided for docs about extraordinary women.

Women’s Fund for Film and Theatre

Back in April, the New York City Mayor’s Office and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment revealed a new $5 million grant program for film and theater projects by, for, or about women with an aim to target the underrepresentation of women in the entertainment industries. “It’s incredibly discouraging that while women comprise 52% of the city’s population, less than 10% of the top grossing films are directed by women,” declared MOME Commissioner Julie Menin. “I hope that our efforts pave the way for others to follow suit, and look forward to seeing these initiatives make a substantive impact on filmed entertainment in New York City.” Although submission dates for the grants have not yet been announced, any of you talented gals who are interested can sign up for information updates at the MOME website.

Artist Emergency Fund

American Documentary (AmDoc) has announced the launch of an innovative new program called the Artist Emergency Fund, “aimed at providing emergency financial assistance to filmmakers facing unexpected and substantial personal, health, or property needs or losses including those caused by accidents or natural disasters.” So if you live in America, you’re lumped with an unexpected medical, and you have produced and / or directed at least one nonfiction project that has been publicly exhibited, you can apply for a one-time award of up to $1,000. Justine Nagan – executive producer and executive director of AmDoc – announced, “Our aim is to make AmDoc as supportive to filmmakers as possible, while also helping build a more inclusive industry that supports the most vulnerable among us . . . This is a first step towards greater sustainability for professional filmmakers.”

It’s that time of year again when the most lit members of the TV and movie world gather at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica to make Kardashian jokes and hand out those cute little golden popcorn trophies.

How “what she wore” red carpet coverage has destroyed awards season

By News

It’s that time of year again when the most lit members of the TV and movie world gather at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica to make Kardashian jokes and hand out those cute little golden popcorn trophies. That’s right – last night we were treated to the annual MTV Movie & TV Awards.

There were many big wins of the night, Black Panther receiving highest honor for Best Movie and Stranger Things bagging Best Show. Elsewhere, Lena Waithe (Master of None) received the Trailblazer Award (good shout), Michael B. Jordan won Best Villain for his role in Black Panther, and host Tiffany Haddish took on this year’s Kardashian jab my likening the family to the Star Wars franchise. Double burn?

But forget movie stars and TV shows and all those involved in shipping to content to our greedy eyeballs. Because before people had sat their perfectly glossed butts down on the seats, a far more dominant competition was underway: the red carpet fashion showdown. Yes, once again in the hangover haze, the raucous and shameless energy of the tabloid press has dominated the headlines to discuss who the real winners of the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards were – the ones who looked on fleek on the red carpet. Jezebel summed it up perfectly in its coverage by stating, “The MTV Movie & TV Awards, for a famous person nominated or someone just looking for something to do on a Saturday in June, appears to be a very difficult event to get dressed for!”

Yes, no one seemed dress for the same event, but does that even matter? How have we reached this point where the fashion statements are more heavily regarded than the content itself? Awards season is dominated with red carpet fashion coverage that acts as a smokescreen for the fact that no one really has a clue what they’re doing or even really cares.

Faux pas

Tiffany Haddish

Let’s look at the Oscars – the yearly event where Hollywood’s A-listers give themselves a proverbial pat on the back and for some reason keeps on going despite the fact that it’s run by a bunch of old, white dudes*. The idea is to highlight the world’s top talent in cinema; the reality is the Academy Awards, along with other major award ceremonies, are simply an afterthought to the production companies and their eye-wateringly expensive marketing campaigns. Which is perhaps why the prestigious event has a dirty history of bribery, release date tactics, and voters not even watching the damn film they’d voted for.

When it finally comes round to it, the world is distracted by the glitz and glamour of it all. The most depressing of all is the emphasis on “what she wore” coverage and the many alleged fashion mishaps that are evidently considered more important than the fact that the Oscars is a practice in shuffling money around and into the pockets of Hollywood’s top execs. For example, Vanity Fair’s coverage of actress & singer Rita Moreno (West Side Story) proved that you quite literally can’t wear an outfit more than once without someone writing an entire feature about it – even if the last time you wore it was in 1962.

However, fashion fails do not apply when you’re Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) a.k.a. the golden boy a.k.a. the Oscars darling. He can do no wrong – even when wearing an all white tux. Whoa, slow down there boy! The Thrillist agreed, citing his “moment” in the spotlight thanks to a somewhat “sexy” appearance on the cover of GQ. Same goes for the “Executives (and their dates) on the red carpet”, as The Hollywood Reporter’s photo gallery was titled as it presented the “heroes” of the industry, their multi-thousand dollar suits, and their doting wives – in brackets.

Fashion statement

A similar fawn fest unfolds each year at the annual Golden Globes awards as paps capture pictures of celebs hoping to make it into the best dressed category. This year the coverage took a weird turn as confused journalists attempted to morph reductive fashion coverage with the ongoing sexual harassment scandal that engulfed Hollywood over the last year. What resulted is this weird phenomenon where wearing an LBD is considered an act of defiant protest. “The Golden Globes’ red carpet has seen many iconic fashion moments,” wrote Harpers Bazaar, “but none have quite stood out as much as this year’s sea of LBDs in recognition of #MeToo and #TimesUp.”

In similar vein, The Spec noted how thanks to a red carpet dyed black by actresses dressed in a color-coordinated statement, “the Golden Globes were transformed into an A-list expression of female empowerment in the post-Harvey Weinstein era.” And of course, let’s not forget the men’s role in this admirable show of activism – wearing Time’s Up pins on the lapels of their Prada suits.

Weirder still, this idea morphed further at the Oscars when journalists, in a state of panic and further confusion, started actually categorizing colors in relation to social statements. The Guardian’s take on the Oscars was even more reductive than the concept of a dress code protest itself, stating, “not all protests have to be monochrome. Film stars struck blows for feminism at the Academy Awards in dresses of pink, gold, red, yellow, and furry slippers.” So remember A-listers, you don’t have to wear black if you want to enforce change within the industry. You can don pink, furry slippers too!

The smoke screen is clearing

We’re at a point in history when the smoke screen is clearing. Awards ceremonies are proving themselves to be as the old guards of Hollywood, as outdated as the red carpet coverage we’re subjected to each year. The proof is in the ratings, which continue to plummet year on year as viewers favor the hundreds of scripted TV shows and movies available online and SVOD services over these tired televised events. As Rotten Tomatoes (an organization that is far better at judging the success of content than a televised awards ceremony) put it, “The Emmys and Oscars . . . are largely unchanged since at least the 1970s: people in gowns and tuxes reading stiffly off TelePrompTers. Awards for categories no one cares about. A massive orchestra playing people off even if their speeches are entertaining.”

Such ceremonies are a practice in traffic direction, sticking to a safe formula year on year. So long as this format is followed, not a lot can change. Which is perhaps why movie and TV fans are increasingly ignoring the awards fanfare and sticking to what they love best – good content.

*An LA Times study revealed 91% of members were white, while 76% were male.

Here’s a handy recap to remind you of who all the gorgeous ladies of wrestling are ahead of the S2 premiere of Netflix's 'GLOW'.

Recapping who all the gorgeous ladies of wrestling are in ‘GLOW’

By News

You’d better be fixing up your finest spandex costume and sticking to that training regime because S2 of GLOW returns to Netflix on June 29 and you’re gonna want to jump straight into the ring and bingewatch it in full the second it drops.

Since we still have a fair few days left to wait for the new episodes – and your memory is likely hazy from all those power slams you’ve been practicing lately – here’s a handy recap to remind you of who all the gorgeous ladies of wrestling are ahead of the S2 premiere.

Carmen “Machu Picchu” Wade (Britney Young)

Carmen “Machu Picchu” Wade (Britney Young)

Coming from a family of wrestlers who don’t want their baby girl entering the same business, Carmen is rebellious but loveable, simply looking to find her place in the world. The character is initially a little shy and awkward and doesn’t quite fit in, making her eventual position as one of the most essential women in GLOW – the one who can teach them all the best moves – all the more satisfying by the end of S1.

Reggie “Vicky the Viking” Walsh (Marianna Palka)

Reggie “Vicky the Viking” Walsh (Marianna Palka)

Despite a legit professional athlete, poor Reggie gets the pivotal role of Liberty Bell taken away from her because she doesn’t seem “all-American” enough and is then lumped with a minor role as Vicky the Viking.

Jenny “Fortune Cookie” Chey (Ellen Wong)

Jenny “Fortune Cookie” Chey (Ellen Wong)

In one of the many racial stereotypes Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) forces upon the gorgeous ladies of wrestling, poor Jennie is forced to inhabit the most heinous of sweeping “Oriental” stereotypes by wearing a conical hat and declaring herself “cute like panda, fast like dragon!” Jenny is actually Cambodian-American and is probably one of the biggest Valley Girls in the entire ensemble.

Melanie “Melrose” Rosen (Jackie Tohn)

Melanie “Melrose” Rosen (Jackie Tohn)

Melrose is essentially one of those background babes you’d see in a 80s hair metal video but with a slammin’ look and the ability to slam other wrestlers down in the ring. The party girl can be playful and fun but also vindictive and bitter when crossed.

Justine “Scab” Biagi (Britt Baron)

Justine “Scab” Biagi (Britt Baron)

The punk rock teenager is revealed to be Sam’s daughter towards the end of S1 and so it remains to be seen what sort of an impact that might have on her involvement in all the wrestling antics of S2. One thing’s for sure – she’s definitely going to be kicking up a ruckus either way.

Arthie “Beirut the Mad Bomber” Premkumar (Sunita Mani)

Arthie “Beirut the Mad Bomber” Premkumar (Sunita Mani)

Indian-American Arthie is given the most distasteful and offensive wrestling persona by Sam, who glibly urges her to present herself as a “terrorist or genie or some sort of other evil Arab.” The character didn’t enjoy a gigantic arc in S1, but we’ll hopefully be seeing a lot more of her in S2.

Stacy “Ethel Rosenblatt” Beswick & Dawn “Edna Rosenblatt” Rivecca (Kimmy Gatewood & Rebekka Johnson)

Stacy “Ethel Rosenblatt” Beswick & Dawn “Edna Rosenblatt” Rivecca (Kimmy Gatewood & Rebekka Johnson)

Sorry, but these come in a pair and stay in pair. The hairstylists are hilarious and bring some serious comedy hijinx to the wrestling ring as elderly ass-kickers Ethel and Edna. Outside of the ring, the dynamic duo pull pranks, cackle their butts off, and ham it up wherever they can.

Rhonda “Britannica” Richardson (Kate Nash)

Rhonda “Britannica” Richardson (Kate Nash)

Allowing the character to live out a flip side to her own ditzy personality, Britannica is the smartest woman in the world whereas Rhonda is happily coasting on her good looks and rockin’ body. But what she lacks in a superior intellect, she more than makes up for with heart, including having actual feelings for Sam – and not just sleeping with him for perks – and coming up with that offbeat white girl rap in the S1 finale that most definitely made you cry. No point denying it.

Sheila “The She-Wolf” (Gayle Rankin)

Sheila “The She-Wolf” (Gayle Rankin)

Be still, our beating hearts! Sheila is easily one of the sweetest and most passionate wrestlers in the ring with one of the most authentic personas. To quote Suicide from Return of the Living Dead, it’s not “a fucking costume, it’s a way of life!” As a result, Sheila lives her wolfy truth and is one of the most fascinating characters in the show for it.

Tammé “The Welfare Queen” Dawson (Kia Stevens)

Tammé “The Welfare Queen” Dawson (Kia Stevens)

S1 of the show saw Tammé wrestling not just with her fellow gorgeous ladies, but also with the idea that her persona is more of a racist caricature than the subversive satire Sam makes it out to be. As Buzzfeed described her, “She’s a boogeywoman right out of Reaganite rhetoric” and we imagine those questionable dimensions of her persona could prove to be challenging for Tammé once more in S2.

Cherry “Junkchain” Bang (Sydelle Noel)

Cherry “Junkchain” Bang (Sydelle Noel)

The ex-stuntwoman is clearly the low-key leader of the ladies and one of the main forces who encourages everyone to train harder, push further, and go bigger with their performances. Unlike some of the other ladies, Cherry has no grand delusions as to what GLOW may be at its basest – a cocaine fever dream on a flimsy budget.

Ruth “Zoya the Destroya” Wilder (Alison Brie)

Ruth “Zoya the Destroya” Wilder (Alison Brie)

She’s obnoxious, desperately needy, and way too theater kid for anyone’s tastes, but Ruth is also endlessly endearing and one of the most passionate characters about the whole project. Her Russian villainess Zoya chews the scenery and laps up every boo the audience launches at her.

Debbie “Liberty Belle” Eagan (Betty Gilpin)

Debbie “Liberty Belle” Eagan (Betty Gilpin)

In the ring, Liberty Belle is an all-American hero complete with dazzling smiles, shining blonde hair, and an impossible sense of togetherness and strength. Out of the ring, Debbie is a single mom and former soap opera star grieving the simultaneous disintegration of her marriage and her close friendship with Ruth (who slept with her husband).

What with the first 'Wonder Woman' reboot seeing such success in 2017, it’s no surprise the fandom is getting a sequel. Here's why we're pumped for the movie's release.

All the reasons we’re excited for ‘Wonder Woman 2’, ranked

By News

You could argue 2018 has been the year of Marvel domination, with the likes of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Deadpool 2 hogging a significant chunk of box office sales and audience buzz over the past few months. However, there’s one superhero from the DC Extended Universe preparing for an almighty comeback who’s likely to smash every single cape-wearer out of the water and into the stratosphere with her ferocious female power – that superhero is Wonder Woman.

What with the first Wonder Woman reboot seeing such success in 2017, it’s no surprise the fandom is getting a sequel. Although Wonder Woman 2 won’t be dropping until November 1 2019, Warner Bros. Pictures is already rousing our inner warriors with the release of some first-look production photos. With this in mind, we think it’s about time we went for a ride on the hype train by ranking all of the reasons we’re excited for the movie’s release. The future of justice begins with her!

Gadot returns

Gal Gadot

You might argue the news that Gal Gadot (Furious 7) reprising her role as Wonder Woman is the most exciting news, but since we’ve already knew this, we think it deserves to be at the top of this list to make way for more exciting updates. (That’s not to say you can’t do a little celebration dance at Gadot returning as the former Amazon Princess – we won’t judge!)

Jenkins also returns

Patty Jenkins

Yes, director Patty Jenkins (Monster) – who was at the helm for the first Wonder Woman – will continue her role behind the camera for the sequel. Since last year, she’s been working hard crafting the story and screenplay with Geoff Johns and Dave Callaham. In a tantalizing tease of the sequel, Jenkins described it as an enjoyable fun movie, but one that turns to some very big issues in the third act that will aim to add weight and profundity. “Because that’s a formula that I really like, and I like the idea of taking somebody on a very solid, great journey but that arrives at a bigger question being answered.”

Wonder Woman’s got stiff competition

'Captain Marvel'

We’re excited to see how Wonder Woman 2 will fare next to the release of the female-fronted Captain Marvel, also set for release in 2019. The buzz surrounding the latter movie has been louder than a thousand tribe calls, meaning the Amazon princess has got some stiff competition coming her way. It’s the ultimate female-led Marvel vs. DC showdown and we’re going to be living for it!

Wonder Woman, meet Javier

Pedro Pascal

We were stoked at the recent news Narcos’s Pedro Pascal – who plays the DEA agent Javier Peña in Netflix’s crime drama – has landed a role in the Wonder Woman sequel. His character details are being kept under wraps, but either way we have no doubt he will slay in whatever role he takes on.

A Cheetah never changes its Wiig

Kristen Wiig

First up, you should know that in the second instalment, Wonder Woman will be up against her comic book enemy Cheetah. Secondly, you should know that the role of Cheetah will be filled by none other than comedy star Kristen Wiig (Downsizing). No doubt she’ll bring some lighthearted humor to the role.

First-look photos reveal Pine’s return

Chris Pine

Yes, the first-look photos released by Warner Bros. today reveal the movie will indeed feature the return of Chris Pine (Star Trek) as Diana’s love interest from the first film, Steve Trevor. The news we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived via some photos of Pine looking rather sheepish in some 80s getup. Speaking of which . . .

The sequel’s set in 80s America

'Wonder Woman 2'

We had you with the whole Wonder Woman 2 thing – this week, Jenkins revealed the official title is Wonder Woman 1984 and the film will be set in 80s America. The director did a fantastic job at portraying the WWI setting next to the lush hidden paradise of Themyscira in the first instalment, so we can only imagine what she’s got in store this time round at a time when the turmoil between the United States and the Soviet Union was brewing.

As Refinery29 pointed out, the logo clearly echoes George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984, suggesting the film could well cover themes of authoritarianism and government control. Either way, this new setting and time frame will give the movie the chance to explore new ground and pose new challenges for Wonder Woman to overcome.  

She’s an important role model for women worldwide

'Wonder Woman'

The prevailing reason we’re so excited Wonder Woman is making a return is because she’s an important role model for women worldwide. For years, female superheroes have taken a backseat to the male leaders, with 2017’s Wonder Woman being the first ever female-led superhero movie of the modern era. The character is a fresh, new protagonist who inspires audiences by breaking social norms and showing women can have just as much strength, determination, and confidence as their male counterparts. The 80s setting will make for the perfect time period as Gadot’s character will be given the chance to dominate as a woman in a male-centric world. Once again boys and girls will be shown the true value of her character. Not just for her gender, but as a powerful superhero to look up to.