Last weekend, Refinery29 journeyed to Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival, a fest that celebrates independent, boundary-breaking film. (It was at Sundance that The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon's Oscar-nominated film, found a distributor.) Refinery29, in partnership with Dove, hosted a brunch specifically for women at Sundance on January 22. A number of speakers took the stage, including Pat Mitchell (former President and CEO of the Paley Center), Angela Robinson (consulting producer, How to Get Away with Murder), Abigail Disney (director, The Armor of Light), entertainment attorney Nina Shaw, Westworld actress Tessa Thompson, and Mindy Grossman. The goal of the event was to make a plan of action to ensure a better future for women in Hollywood.
"I have strived to use my voice and my platform to inspire people not only to believe that diversity is a business imperative, but also to motivate them to take action," said Mindy Grossman, President and CEO of Weight Watchers International, at the event. Refinery29's Chief Content Officer Amy Emmerich also spoke.
In case you missed it, women in film, especially behind the scenes, have yet to take their rightfully earned place. In 2016, only 7% of the top films were made by women. Refinery29 seeks to move that number with its Shatterbox Anthology, a series of films made entirely by women. Last year, the Shatterbox Anthology produced the films Lucia: Before and After and Kristen Stewart's directorial debut Come Swim. (Gabourey Sidibe and Chloe Sevigny also made their directorial debuts with Shatterbox.) This year, the Shatterbox Anthology took End of the Line, a short film directed by Jessica Sanders, to the 'dance.
Speaking to Refinery29 last week, Sanders explained that getting more women behind the camera isn't about encouraging women to try it — it's about giving women the opportunity to direct.
"What needs to change is that women directors actually need to be hired," Sanders said. "It isn't for any lack of female talented highly-qualified directors. It's just that hiring practices need to be more equitable."
Just 7% of 2016's top films were directed by women. Refinery29 wants to change this by giving 12 female directors a chance to claim their power. Our message to Hollywood? You can't win without women. Watch new films every month on Refinery29.com/Shatterbox.
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