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Tuesday, November 09, 2004  
Hollywood Directors
Nicole Holofcener, "Lovely & Amazing"
Catherine Hardwicke, "thirteen"
Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translatio"
Lisa Cholodenko's "Laurel Canyon"
Christine Jeffs' "Sylvia"
Audrey Wells' "Under the Tuscan Sun"
Mimi Leder "Pay It Forward"

Independent TV
Dawn Parouse, head of Original TV ( Neal Moritz and Marty Adelstein's)
Vivian Cannon and Jessika Borsiczky head of Pariah (Gavin Polone's)
Stephanie Savage at Wonderland Sound and Vision (partner with director-producer McG)
Robyn Nash of Nash Entertainment (her father, Bruce Nash's)

2:30 PM

Woman Owned Media Conglomerate

When Geraldine Laybourne stepped down from running Disney/ABC Cable Networks to launch Oxygen Media in 1998, it wasn't the thought of building a brand from scratch that she found daunting. (She essentially had done that as head of Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.) It was the prospect of collecting the necessary capital to begin the endeavor that intimidated her.

"It always seemed like such an impossible task to raise money," Laybourne remembers.

In the end, she gathered more than $500 million in seed money and launched the first female-owned and -operated TV network in the country with fellow founders Oprah Winfrey, Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Caryn Mandabach. After four years, the network is now in more than 50 million homes and will turn a profit this year. Her decision to strike out on her own is one she says she has never regretted.

Laybourne -- and Winfrey, Carsey and Mandabach, for that matter -- are in many ways the pioneers for women in entertainment. They are charting the new frontier of our times: media ownership.

"Oprah, Martha Stewart, Madonna, they really are at the forefront of this," says Amy Pascal, vice chairman Sony Pictures Entertainment and chairman Columbia Pictures. "Women owning entertainment companies, that's when things will really be equal. (As heads of studios), we are still employees."

Not surprisingly, women have made more progress as owners through developing their own enterprises than from working within the corporate system. The coveted No. 1 slot of media companies -- whether privately owned or publicly traded -- has largely eluded women.

"Being an owner and being an executive are two very different things," Laybourne says. "When you are an executive, you are part of a company, and your responsibility is to perform against the goals of that company. When you are an owner, you craft the vision, you set the goals."

Looking at The Hollywood Reporter's power list today, it is clear that women have reached unprecedented representation in the industry's highest offices. "It's a very good time for women," Paramount chairman Sherry Lansing notes. "We've come a long way. Now several women are running the studios and the networks."

But when it comes to climbing further up the parent-company ladder, many top showbiz women say they personally are not interested in being the next Rupert Murdoch or Michael Eisner.

"I aspire to it for women in general," Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group president Nina Jacobson says. "But I, myself, have no interest in having that role. I love the movies and I love my family, and I want time to spend with both of those."

Her sentiment is echoed among Hollywood's top echelon. "Most of my generation got into the movie business because we wanted to make movies," Lansing says. "I love making movies, and I am still extraordinarily excited about the movies I am working on today."

"I never will move away from the creative side of filmmaking," agrees Pascal, who took over more corporate responsibilities as SPE co-chairman when chairman and CEO John Calley stepped aside this fall. "I see the job as expanding, not changing."

"I love being close enough to the product," ABC Entertainment president Susan Lyne says. "I would fight to keep that connection -- and that's hard when you get too much further up the ladder."

Fox Broadcasting president of entertainment Gail Berman says, "I enjoy what I do, and I love the creative process." But adds, "I would be happy to serve in any capacity this company would see fit."

"Running a studio and running a parent company are different propositions," offers Jim Wiatt, head of WMA. "Perhaps it will be (eBay CEO) Meg Whitman who comes over to run Disney rather than it coming from inside the industry."

Most have no doubts that a woman will one day run a media conglomerate; the only question is how soon. "We've come from very far behind," Berman notes. "We can't expect it to happen overnight. But it's all inevitable."

"Progress is incredibly slow going," Jacobson admits. "In the ownership role, it's still all about the white guy." She adds that minorities in the industry still face substantial barriers that many white women have overcome. "I would like to see the advancements made for women start to be mirrored for people of color. It's still a ridiculously white business."

Although women are well represented in Hollywood's executive ranks, they still have a long way to go before they reach parity at the top of the corporate hierarchy, according to recent studies.

"Fortune" magazine reported this year that just 8% of top executives in American business are women (those with the title of exec vp and above). The Annenberg Public Policy Center reported last year that fewer than one in five board members of major media companies are women.

As for the parent companies that own Hollywood -- Time Warner, NBC Universal, Disney, Fox, Sony and Viacom -- all are steered by men. "We have not moved beyond tokenism in the number of women in top leadership positions or serving on the boards of communications companies," says Susan Ness, director of the information and society section of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the time the report was released in 2002.

The path to ownership is clearly not free of obstacles, but part of the problem is that, after three decades of feminism, pinpointing what those obstacles are has become increasingly difficult.

"The barriers are subtler than they have ever been, but they are still significant," says author and erstwhile gubernatorial candidate Arianna Huffington. "They have to do with women holding themselves back for fear of being seen as aggressive."

"Just judging myself," Laybourne says, "I think the barriers can be largely in women's minds."

Lansing concurs that women must first recognize their own potential. "I realized it was my view of myself that was holding me back," she says of her early career.

"I had to believe that I deserved equal pay; I had to believe that I could run a studio before others could let me." Lansing, of course, became the first woman to hold the studio-chief title, making international headlines in 1980 when she was named president of production at 20th Century Fox.

"Is there a glass ceiling? Obviously, I don't look at it that way," says Berman. "I believe women can achieve their goals. It's much more about putting one foot in front of the other. If you have passion and if you have commitment to your product, generally speaking, it will turn into a successful venture for you."

"Women need to understand that they are capable of holding these positions," echoes Nikki Rocco, president of distribution at Universal Pictures and the only woman to hold that post at a major studio. "It was much more difficult 15 years ago. And 37 years ago when I started at Universal, I would never have thought I would be where I am."

"The biggest barrier we face today is people think that women's equality has already been taken care of," suggests Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Boxer cautions against taking the gains of the women's movement for granted, whether the topic is female representation in government or the status of reproductive rights and knows all too well how far women have come; she lost her first bid for office in 1972 when voters wrote letters to the editor complaining that she would be abandoning her children if she were elected to the part-time post of Marin County supervisor.

"A decade ago, there was more intensity about wanting to right the balance," she says. "1992 was called 'the year of the woman' when we went from two (female) senators to six. Now there are 13. We don't want to be considered unusual, but we are still too unusual."

The women who run major corporations today, including Hewlett-Packard chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina, eBay CEO Whitman, Avon Products chairman and CEO Andrea Jung and Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, are the exception to the rule. Huffington argues that when women can be merely "good" and still succeed, they will be on a par with men. "The exceptional woman, the exceptional African-American woman always rises to the top," she says.

"The question is creating conditions that make it possible for good, smart, hardworking women to rise to the top without them having to be so utterly extraordinary."

As women do reach the highest positions, they are able to provide inspiration and sometimes direct assistance to other women.

In 2002, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was elected by her peers in the House of Representatives to the post of Democratic Leader. As the most powerful Democrat in the House and the first woman ever to hold that position, Pelosi took it upon herself to lift women up in Congress. "We waited over 200 years for this," the veteran legislator from San Francisco says. "I put the first African-American woman on the Ways and Means Committee, the first Latina on the Judiciary Committee, the first Latina on the Energy and Commerce Committee. As a woman in power, to me it was obvious, not only did I have the opportunity to do it, but I had the responsibility to do it."

Elevating women, she says, is beneficial to society as a whole. "The impact of women running for office has been more wholesome for this country than any initiative you can name."

The final frontier for women in politics is still the office of the White House, says Sen. Boxer. "I think once we elect a female president -- and within the next 15 years, we will -- that's going to be a tremendous breakthrough," says the senator from California. "Because that will eliminate from the discussion that there is anything a woman can't do."

Wiatt, who was honored in 1998 by Women in Film with a Martini Shot Mentor Award for supporting the careers of women, argues that promoting women to positions of power sends a statement to the rest of the industry. "It sends a message to everyone in the business that success is based on your abilities and there are no barriers to being in a responsible position." he says. And he's a man of his word, having recently named literary agents Suzanne Gluck and Jennifer Rudolph Walsh to WMA's board of directors earlier this year.

The role of male mentors has been extremely critical to women's progress in the industry.

"I have been mentored by a lot of men," says Berman, "Suan Rose, Melvin Estrin, Sandy Gallin, David Matalon, Peter Chernin, all of these men taught me an enormous amount."

Universal's Rocco agrees, "Everybody needs a mentor. Lew Wasserman was an amazing mentor to me."

CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, who appointed (among others) Dawn Ostroff to run UPN and Nancy Tellem to run CBS Entertainment, says that he looks beyond gender to the person most qualified for the job. "I have always enjoyed working with women. But most of it is I don't notice the difference between male and female executives," he says, "and I mean that positively."

Many women do take that as a compliment, as they prefer to be judged on the merits of their work not their gender. "I have always taken the point of view that you promote the people who are talented," says CBS Entertainment president Tellem. "If you promote by virtue of their gender, you are doing a disservice to what we are trying to achieve."

Viacom Entertainment Group chairman Jonathan Dolgen points out that having talented women in high places can only positively affect a company's business and bottom line. "If the products we make are dreams, how can you make dreams for everyone based on the dreams of half? It's not good business sense, it's not good social policy, and it's not good ethical policy."

There is certainly a feeling among the peers of these power-list women that nothing could hold them back from their professional goals. "Sherry Lansing is one of those people who could be successful at anything she wants to do," Dolgen says. "Her extraordinary love of movies married with her skills and focus make her an executive without par."

"If (Universal Pictures chairman) Stacey Snider aspires to my job one day, nothing would make me happier than to see her get it," Universal Studios president Ron Meyer says. "I would do everything I could to make sure she does."

"Both Nancy and Dawn are capable of enormous things," says Moonves of Tellem and Ostroff. "I hope they stay where they are for a while, though, because I need them!"

The good news for the future is the deep bench of talent that supports the women who are at the top.

Insiders point to such executives as 20th Century Fox Television president Dana Walden; Universal Pictures president of production Mary Parent; Columbia Pictures exec vp production Amy Baer, exec vp production Andrea Gianetti, Screen Gems' exec vp marketing Valerie Van Galder and Columbia TriStar president worldwide music Lia Vollack ("Really astonishing, great women," Pascal says); Paramount co-presidents production Michelle Manning and Karen Rosenfelt, exec vp marketing creative affairs Nancy Goliger and exec vp worldwide publicity Nancy Kirkpatrick; CBS exec vp productions Maria Crenna, executive vp drama series development Nina Tassler and senior vp comedy series development Wendi Trilling ("They are all terrific leaders and terrific people," Moonves says); and Buena Vista vp production Kristin Burr ("She's a new vp, and she has impressed the hell out of me," Jacobson says).

This touted bunch, combined with the promise of a fearless young generation, has industry insiders feeling upbeat about women's prospects of obtaining the highest jobs in American media.

"There are women starting out today who want to be Sumner Redstone -- and they will be. Our opportunities are unlimited," Lansing says.

For proof, look no further than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who are media moguls at a mere age 17, barely old enough even to be considered women. This year alone, the duo's Dualstar Entertainment conquered tween and teen retail, selling more than $1 billion in videos, books, apparel and accessories, and a big-screen crossover is in the works this year with Warner Bros. Pictures' "New York Minute."

The trails of media ownership are being blazed by the likes of Laybourne, Winfrey and the twin teens, and more women will certainly follow in their footsteps.

But as Laybourne says, why wait? "The predominant thing that went through my mind when I finally did take the plunge was, 'Damn! Why didn't I do this sooner?'"

Published Dec. 02, 2003

2:01 PM


A Positive Take on Women in Hollywood by Actress Swoosie Kurtz

Chat Excerpt

<>Welcome to Premiere's annual Women in Hollywood luncheon, and the launch of AOL's Premiere Online. We're coming to you live from the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, where Hollywood's elite have gathered to honor the accomplishments of women in the film industry.

Question: Do actresses in the film business experience different pressures from male actors?

SKurtz:Yeah sure, I think we're expected to look better, for one thing. We're expected to be in terrific shape, and it all has to look effortless We always have to get there earlier than the guys do.

Question: In your experience, how have things changed in the past 5 years or so for women in the industry?

SKurtz: Definitely. As with any minority, it has taken a long, long time to get a foothold, but women are finally being taken seriously as directors, producers, screenwriters.It's finally beginning to happen, and they're tapping into what we do best!

Question: What do you see happening in the years ahead for women?

SKurtz: I think it's going to mushroom. More producers, more directors, more writers, better roles for women. It's always going to be struggle, but I think we're finally breaking through the boy's club.

Question: Is there more pressure on women than men to do nude scenes?

SKurtz: I wouldn't know! I would imagine! I don't think there's all that much desireto see men nude. I think that tradition will never change: The female body being more in demand.

Premie2095: Thank you Swoosie Kurtz!

SistersTV® is brought to you by:
Renate DeRoch and Cowlip Productions - Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman

Whether on stage, screen, or television, award-winning supporting, character, and occasional leading actress Swoosie Kurtz has the rare gift of stealing almost every scene in which she appears. The daughter of a U.S. Air Force colonel, she was named after her father's WWII plane, which in turn was named after a popular Kay Kyser song.

1:49 PM


a history of women's media in the U.S.

It has been noted there was a backlash towards women in hollywood in the 1980s (covered extensively in books like Women Who Run the Show by Mollie Gregoy). A sweeping oversimplification perhaps, but, was this caused by he 'battle of the sexes' in the 1970s? And what can we surmise form history and what is happening now, with the drop in numbers of women in hollywood since the 1990s? I've taken an excerpt from: The Development of Communication Networks Among Women, 1963-1983.

Chapter7- Film
Closely related to women's efforts to build communication networks through video were the efforts that women made in film. But there was a major difference. While the potential audience might be larger, the costs were so much greater as to limit any broad participation in this medium. And the opportunities for disaster and destructive harassment were also much more serious. Women filmmakers found it difficult, expensive and time-consuming to defend their work against giant corporations with great financial resources. They also found the distribution problems to be more serious than in the case of video or other media forms.

For example, Liane Brandon's "Anything You Want To Be," a film on sex stereotyping made in 1970-1971, was pirated by Extension Media Center, University of California, which sold and rented some 3,000 films. "In response to a growing demand for films about women," declared the Court in Brandon's suit against the Extension Media Center (EMC), the EMC "screened approximately fifty-five films, recommending that EMC purchase a dozen of them, including plaintiff's film." Ms. Brandon declined to sell them a print for rental purposes in October 1972. EMC then in 1974 obtained a film that had been made nearly identical, even to having the similar title "Anything They Want To Be" and marketed it. Liane Brandon's suit was a long and costly battle but resulted in an injunction against further sales by EMC of its imitation and a judgment of approximately $13,000 for Ms. Brandon, plus her legal costs. A.T. & T. had made a similar film, with the very same title, "Anything You Want to Be," but would not settle. Brandon then also had to sue A.T. & T. After nearly two more years, A.T. & T. agreed to pay damages and cease using her title.

"Ten years ago no large commercial distributor had a category that included women's films, nor were they willing to handle them," wrote Freude Barlett, a film director, in Camera Obscura, A Journal of Feminism and Film Theory.

"As a result, small specialty companies were formed to fill the gap and to insure that the films were promoted in a manner in keeping with the ideological spirit of the content. In recent years its become much more typical to find filmmakers going into distribution themselves.
"Most distribution companies handle films for which there is a ready market and immediately recognizable need for the subject matter contained in the film. Though the Women's Movement has brought about changes in the last 10 years -- some significant, some merely attitudinal -- it remains difficult to convince the public and university libraries that more than one or two titles are necessary for their collections to significantly represent the many issues to which feminist filmmaking addresses itself."

Despite difficulties in film production and distribution, more than 53 women's film groups came into existence during the years up through 1983. One of the earliest, and one still in existence, was the aforementioned Women Make Movies, founded in 1972 by Ariel Dougherty and Sheila Page to teach women production and script writing skills, produce films, and distribute women's films. In 1975 Women Make Movies, with several other women's media groups in New York, coordinated a national conference of women media organizations. "That [the Conference] is how we started to document that there were so many women's media organizations," stated Ariel Dougherty. "The focus was on organizational development more than individual artists and their development." The strengthening of the media organizations and the networking among them were seen as vital needs in the mid-1970's.

Women Make Movies was fortunate in obtaining funding grants and was able to pay its founders, who were the organization's key activists, as well as a woman who taught filmmaking classes and workshops. The need for training women and producing films relevant to women was constantly evident. Women Make Movies, for instance, received this letter illustrating the need for communication networks in film:

"I am a medical social worker for a Health Department in the rural Mississippi delta area and work extensively with poor, Black, unmarried pregnant women. I also counsel with teens (in schools and family planning clinics) concerning sex education, birth control and adolescent relationship issues.
"The films we have available through the Health Department are out of date, sexist, and boring. They depict white middle-class husband and wife gleefully awaiting the birth of their much-wanted child, and responsible and conscious white middle-class adolescents discussing sexuality and birth control in scientific terms. They never attack the real issues involved or present viable alternatives.
"... I need realistic, down-to-earth films with which the women in this area can identify: films on parenting, pregnancy, breast-feeding, birth control, sex education, relationships, education, identity, self-esteem, etc. They need to be about poor women, Black women -- films that reach the core of pride that all women possess."

New women's film groups continued to arise to answer this kind of need for women's communication. Michigan Women Film Makers, for example, produced an award-winning film in 1981 for the hearing-impaired to be able to enjoy a music festival. "See What I Say" featured feminist folk-singer Holly Near sharing the stage with interpreter Susan Freundlich. "This synchronized performance heightens the impact of her vision of a better world," explain the filmmakers. "As the film closes, Holly, Susan, and the concert audience sing and sign 'Harbor Me,' a ballad about women supporting one another. Holly then asks the audience to sign without singing. With the last piano refrain and an audience applause, See What I Say ends with a sense of shared communication between hearing and deaf cultures."

Artemisia, working with Women Make Movies, produced, in 1981, a film Surviva about rural women artists by Carol Clement and Ariel Dougherty. "This group of women, playing themselves in the film, share and support each other's artwork [and] organize the first women's show. Surviva reveals the evolution of [one artist's] life and her work from an isolated artist to one collaborating on projects in the community."

In order to make it possible for more people to see the films being produced by women, a National Women's Film Circuit organized in 1977. The nonprofit collective of five women based in Washington, D.C. dedicated themselves "to building a strong, self sustained feminist media." The National Women's Film Circuit was a project of Moonforce Media, a non-profit company formed to promote, distribute and produce films by and about women. They selected films for the First Circuit packages from over 100 entries and were seen in 40 different cities from New York to Los Angeles and from Maui, Hawaii to Athens, Georgia.

Becoming increasingly aware of the need for networking for survival, women's film groups continued to arise during the 1970's. The Women's Film Co-op (Women's Image Takeover, Inc.) in Northampton, Massachusetts distributed women's films and a catalog of all films relevant to women, which included a bibliography of articles on media and film festivals. Filmwomen of Boston in Cambridge was a resource center/clearinghouse for women involved in all aspects of film and video production. Eggplant Productions in Hartford, Connecticut offered creative production of film, video and still photography, communicating women's history, issues and interests. In New York City alone numerous film groups emerged, including Women's Film Collective, Herstory Films, Women/Artist/Filmmakers, On the March Productions, Pandora Films, Texture Films, Climbing Irons, Cinema Femina, and Women's Independent Film Exchange.

In Washington, D.C., the International Women's Film Project focused on films on the role of women in Latin America. Women in Film and Video, a professional organization committed to increasing opportunities for and recognition of women working in film and videotape, affiliated with chapters in New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta. In Minnesota, a collective that was organized in 1970 for women to learn filmmaking and share ideas was incorporated in 1976 as Femme Films for the purpose of distributing their own and other Minnesota women's films. The New Mexico Feminist Filmmakers Collective in Santa Fe produced films, including pre-production work, about women and by women of all ages. Their apprentice program was designed especially for Chicano and Indian women.

In Hollywood, the Women's Film Educational Project, later called Myth America in the Movies, disseminated information in the 1970's on women's contributions to film, both in front of and behind the camera. The women produced a slide/lecture presentation on stereotypes, as well as a monthly film bulletin. A women's film production company called Big Time Film Productions arose in the San Francisco Bay area to produce progressive films about women. Femedia III (Feminist Media Third-World), directed by producer Marta Segovia Ashley, was a feminist film/video collective that programmed dramas on rape, mental health and women's issues for educational television. IRIS Films, first operating in Los Angeles, and by 1979 out of Berkeley, produced and distributed women's films. Also in Berkeley, Godmother Productions was a women's company making feature films, as well as films for television. The Santa Cruz Women's Media Collective was a group of filmmakers and video creators producing films and video programs on cable television.

Women's multi-issue periodicals, as well as the film and media periodicals, promoted the efforts of filmmakers to show and distribute their films. Women's film festivals, such as the First Women's International Film Festival held in 1973 in Washington, D.C., were reported in detail. The purpose of a two-week local festival held in Washington, D.C., was to "show the reality of women in a male-dominated world and through the camera lens to find reflections of ourselves." The periodical off our backs printed the experiences of the festival producers for the benefit of other women who might wish to undertake similar projects.

The continued existence of women's film groups became more difficult as funding to the arts was cut in the 1980's. For example, from 1982 to 1983 the National Endowment on the Arts funding of women's arts organizations, which included film, dropped by 35 percent. The decline in support for filmmaking by women, so important in such an expensive medium, affected the survival of numerous groups.


Women attempted to increase their outreach by creating networks of their networks, and by availing themselves of technology not previously utilized by feminists. While there was some success at one level, such as producing broadcast and video programs, films, recording companies and albums, at another level women were unsuccessful at taking the next step of obtaining radio or TV stations, or cable channels, or breaking into the distribution sphere necessary for significantly increasing outreach.

Women's media, in all its various forms, was at a threshold in its development, strong at the level that existed as of 1983, but unable to break into mass markets with their messages. Women were excited about the tremendous progress that had taken place in less than two decades in building networks in the many media forms. However, the awareness of how difficult it was to break into the mass markets in any of the media forms women had tried, with their severe financial limitations on their undertakings, were all too evident throughout these two decades of building communication networks. The effort to add broad outreach through non-print media provided a significant dimension to the communication networks developed 1963 to 1983, affecting the very nature of the women's movement. Without the women's music, without the books women published, without women's video and film, the women's movement would not be what it is today.

© Copyright 1988 by Martha Leslie Allen

1:44 PM


The Power 100

1. Amy Pascal, vice chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment; chairmain, Columbia Pictures
2. Stacey Snider, chairman, Universal Pictures
3. Nancy Tellem, president, CBS Entertainment
4. Sherry Lansing, chairman of the motion pcture group, Paramount Pictures
5. Gail Berman, president of entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Co.
6. Oprah Winfrey, chairman of Harpo Inc., Harpo Prods. Inc.
7. Nina Jacobson, president, Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group
8. Susan Lyne, president, ABC Entertainment
9. Dana Walden, president, 20th Century Fox Television
10. Judy McGrath, president, MTV Networks Music Group
11. Nikki Rocco, president, Universal Pictures Distribution
12. Michele Anthony, exec vp, Sony Music Entertainment
13. Julia Roberts, actress and head of Red Om Films
14. Carole Black, president and CEO, Lifetime Entertainment Services
15. Mary Parent, president of Production, Universal Pictures
16. Dawn Ostroff, president of Entertainment, UPN
17. Anne Sweeney, president, ABC Cable Networks Group and Disney Channel Worldwide
18. Laurie MacDonald, co-head, DreamWorks Motion Pictures Division
19. Dawn Taubin, president of domestic marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures
20. Helene Hahn, COO, DreamWorks SKG
21. Carolyn Strauss, exec vp Original Programming, HBO
22. Elizabeth Gabler, president, Fox 2000 Pictures
23. Meryl Poster, co-president of production, Miramax Films
24 Laura Ziskin, head of Laura Ziskin Prods.
25. Terry Press, head of marketing, DreamWorks SKG
26. Mindy Herman, president and CEO, E! Networks
27. Michelle Manning, co-president of production, Paramount Pictures
Karen Rosenfelt, co-president of production, Paramount Pictures
28. Pamela Levine, president of domestic theatrical marketing, 20th Century Fox
29. Laurie Younger, president, Buena Vista Worldwide Television Dist.
30. Sylvia Rhone, chairman and CEO, Elektra Entertainment Group
31. Helen Murphy, exec vp and CFO, Warner Music Group
32. Ann Daly, head of feature animation, DreamWorks SKG
33. Nancy Josephson, co-president, ICM
34. Shari Redstone, president, National Amusements Inc.
35. Sheila Nevins, exec vp original programming, HBO
36. Terry Curtin, head of marketing and distribution, Revolution Studios
37. Kathy Nelson, president of film music, Universal Music Group and Universal Pictures
38. Lia Vollack, president of worldwide music, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
39. Marcy Carsey, partner and exec producer, Carsey Werner Mandabach
Caryn Mandabach, partner, Carsey Werner Mandabach
40. Kathleen Kennedy, producer and partner, the Kennedy/ Marshall Co.; president, Producers Guild of America
41. Bonnie Hammer, pesident, Sci Fi Channel
42. Nancy Peretsman, managing director, Allen & Company Llc.
43. Marjorie Scardino, CEO, Pearson Plc.
44. Janice Marinelli, president, Buena Vista Television
45. Julie Greenwald, president, Island Records; Exec. VP, Island Def Jam Music Group
46. Diane Warren, founder, RealSongs
47. Sue Kroll, president of marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures International
Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, president of distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures International
48. Kathleen Dore, president, IFC Cos.
49. Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, partner and head of New York operations, Revolution Studios
50. Karen Kehela Sherwood, co-chairman, Imagine Films
51. Robin Russell, senior exec vp and general manager, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
52. Bernadine Brandis, exec vp, Walt Disney Motion Picture Group
53. Paula Wagner, producer and partner, Cruise/Wagner Prods.
54. Jane Rosenthal, producer and partner, Tribeca Prods.
55. J.K. Rowling, author, "Harry Potter" novel series
56. Jessica Reif Cohen, managing director, senior media and entertainment analyst, Merrill Lynch & Co.
57. Nancy Utley, president of marketing, Fox Searchlight Pictures
58. Roxanne Austin, president and COO, DirecTV
59 Stacey Sher, producer and partner, Double Feature Films
60. Jo Ann Ross, president of sales, CBS Television
61. Pat Mitchell, president and CEO, PBS
62. Angela Bromstead, exec vp, NBC Studios
63. Lauren Shuler Donner, producer and partner, The Donner's Company
64. Cyma Zarghami, exec vp and general manager, Nickelodean
65. Risa Gertner, co-head motion picture literary department, CAA
Tory Metzger, motion picture agent, CAA
Beth Swofford, motion picture agent, CAA
66. Judy Girard, president, Food Network
67. Madonna, co-founder, Maverick Entertainment
68. Camela Galano, president, New Line International Releasing
69. Beth Berke, exec vp and CAO, Sony Pictures Entertainment
70. Tracey Jacobs, partner and co-head motion picture talent department, UTA
Sue Naegle, partner and co-head TV department, UTA
71. Suzanne Gluck, co-head of literary dept. and member of board of directors, WMA
Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, co-head of literary dept. and member of board of directors, WMA
72. Tracey Edmonds, president and CEO, Edmonds Entertainment Group
73. Risa Shapiro, senior vp motion picture department, ICM
Toni Howard, senior vp motion picture department, ICM
74. Cynthia Pett-Dante, managing partner, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment
75. Hylda Queally, senior vp motion picture dept., WMA
Susan Brooks, senior vp & head of TV business affairs, WMA
76. Marion Edwards, exec vp, 20th Cent. Fox TV Dis.
Daniela Welteke, exec vp intl. programming & co-production, head of operations, Fox World
77. Paula Madison, president and general manager, KNBC; L.A. regional general manager, NBC/Telemundo, NBC/Telemundo
78. Lucy Fisher, co-head, Red Wagon Entertainment
79. Kelley Avery, head, DreamsWorks Home Entertainment Worldwide
80. Judith McHale, president and COO, Discovery Communications, Inc.
81 Leslie Siebert, senior partner, co-head talent department, management board member, The Gersh Agency
82 Gale Anne Hurd, chairman, Valhalla Motion Pictures
83. Christina Norman, general manager, VH1
84. Mary-Kate Olsen, founder & principal, Dualstar Entertainment
Ashley Olsen, founder & principal, Dualstar Entertainment
85. Melanie Cook, partner, Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie & Stiffelman
86. Ruth Vitale, co-president, Paramount Classics
87. Geraldine Laybourne, chairman, CEO and founder, Oxygen Media
88. Lauren Zalaznick, president, Trio Networks; exec vp Network Enterprises, Universal TV Networks
89. Melissa Gilbert, president, Screen Actors Guild
90. Nina Shaw, founding partner, Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka & Finkelstein
91. Roberta Mell, exec vp marketing, Fox Broadcasting Co.
92. Sharon Morrill, exec vp, DisneyToon Studios
93. Christine Vachon, partner, Killer Films
94. Suzan Bymel, partner, Management 360
Evelyn O'Neill, partner, Management 360
95. Abbe Raven, executive vp and general manager, A&E Network
96. Jeanne Newman, partner, Hansen, Jacobsen, Teller, Hoberman, Newman & Warren
97. Victoria Riskin, president, WGA West
98. Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, CEO and founder, The Gotham Group
99. Penney Finkelman Cox, exec vp, Sony Pictures Animation
Sandra Rabins, exec vp, Sony Pictures Animation
100. Kathy Vrabeck, president, global publishing and brand management, Activision

Making the cut
In ranking women for the Power 100, we considered the following criteria:
  • Each woman's position within their company (to whom she reports, how many employees report to her and if she runs her own company or enjoys a stake in a larger corporation)
  • Whether she has the power to greenlight projects. If not, how much influence she has with the person who has that power
  • What she has achieved this year. While a proven track record is a consideration, no Power 100 woman was allowed to coast on past accomplishments.
  • How much money she controls (and, by extension, how many people she hires or causes to be hired)
  • Force of personality: how much impact she has on the industry around her
The purpose of this list is to highlight the achievements of female executives. A committee of editors and reporters determined the names and ranks after thorough field research and evaluation of hundreds of submissions. We don't expect everyone to agree with us. In addition, because of a shift in executive positions and new names added to the list, some women might have dropped in ranking in the Power 100; that doesn't necessarily reflect a loss of power. Rankings are based on each woman's executive position at press time.

1:39 PM

Does sexism explain the "underrepresentation" of women in Hollywood?

Does sexism explain how Martha Coolidge recently became president of the Directors Guild of America, an organization that represents 12,000 directors?

Does sexism explain Vicki Riskin, the first female president of the Writers Guild of America, West, representing 8,500 writers?

Does sexism explain the election of Melissa Gilbert, formerly of "Little House on the Prairie," as president of the Screen Actors Guild? Gilbert became the third woman to head the organization, which represents 98,000 actors.

Does sexism explain the females who now run Hollywood studios? Stacy Snider is chairman of Universal Pictures, Sherry Lansing is chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, and Amy Pascal is chairman of Columbia Pictures' Motion Picture Group. A woman, Kathleen Kennedy, runs the Producers Guild of America. At the Motion Picture Editors Guild, Lisa Zeno Churgin serves as president.

Women dominate the television entertainment divisions. At ABC, Susan Lyne is executive vice-president of movies and miniseries; at CBS, Nancy Tellem is at the helm; at Fox, Gail Berman is president of entertainment; and Dawn Tarnofsky-Ostroff is president of UPN Entertainment.

Sexism? But critics still maintain that a sexist Hollywood shuts out women.

Not necessarily. New Line Cinema's president of production, Toby Emmerich, offered this real-world explanation. "I'm actually surprised that those percentages don't look any better," he said. "I don't think I've ever heard anybody say that they would favor a writer or director because of gender. On chick flicks, like "The First Wives Club," you tend to think, 'Let's get a woman director.' And I suppose there's kind of a big testosterone action picture where you tend to hire 'shooters,' and the 'shooters' tend to be men that come from the worlds of video and commercials and tough, cool stuff. Outside of those genres, I've never paid attention to whether the person is a man or a woman."

Even liberal activist and Oscar award-winner Jane Fonda does not blame sexism for the lack of working over-40 female actresses! "On a big screen, seeing wrinkled lips kissing wrinkled lips, it's not as appealing," said Fonda. "We older, wrinkled-lip people have other things to do. Like being wise."

So what to do about this "underrepresentation"?

Coolidge, the head of the Directors Guild, promises to "pressure, embarrass, prepare, and educate our members and the employers." But with women already in high positions of authority, with the power to hire and fire, the "pressure" already exists – to make money, that is.

In 1997, Fortune magazine ran a cover story on successful business executive Darla Moore, entitled "The Toughest Babe in Business." Fortune received complaints from women upset that the magazine, in their title, used the term "babe." In response, Moore wrote, "I have this to say to the women who find the use of the word 'babe' inappropriate or even horrifying: I seriously doubt, as long as you retain this attitude, that you will ever appear on the cover of Fortune – or that you will ever accomplish enough in business to merit this distinction. True sensitivity means not getting all wound up in a bundle every time you think you hear an insult. Anyone who wants to play in the big leagues of business has to learn to focus on what's important – and not be thrown off by smaller things. You also have to accept, as a woman, that men are never going to treat you like another guy, because – guess what – you aren't another guy."

Certainly women in Hollywood face special challenges, but so does everybody attempting to enter a highly competitive, bottom-line oriented business where failures dramatically exceed successes. As actor Morgan Freeman put it, "I think Hollywood lives and dies on greed."

But that is probably an "underrepresented" point of view.

Posted: May 8, 2002 1:00 a.m. Eastern

Larry Elder, controversial radio talk-show host from Los Angeles, is the author of the libertarian blockbuster "The Ten Things You Can't Say in America." Posted: May 8, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2002 Laurence A. Elder

1:23 PM


From 1915-1939, Frances Marion was the world's highest paid screenwriter and one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. This illuminating documentary puts insightful comments from film historians Kevin Brownlow, Leonard Maltin, and Marion's biographer Cari Beauchamp alongside scenes from her best films for a portrait of this pioneer of American film.

1:23 PM


There are few roles for mature women in Hollywood: Kim Basinger

London, Oct 22 (ANI): Kim Basinger believes that it is tragic that Hollywood actresses have a shelf life and that little interest is shown in making films for mature women.

"It depresses me that there are so few roles written for grown-up women," said 50-year-old Basinger in an interview with Germany's 'Welt am Sonntag' newspaper.

Basinger revealed that she had stopped counting the number of times she was told that she was too old and too mature for a role she was keen to play.

"For every woman like Meryl Streep or Susan Sarandon, who thanks to their talent are able to keep their career continuing, there are a dozen well-known actresses over 40 who can't get any roles any more," the 'LA Confidential' star said. (ANI)

originally posted Friday October 22, 2004 Yahoo Entertainment 1:08 PM

Kim Basinger is one of the world's most successful actresses.
Making the leap from top-tier fashion model to A-list (or even B-grade) screen star is no easy business— just ask Cindy Crawford, Elle MacPherson, or Kathy Ireland but the career of cover girl- turned- Oscar- winning actress Kim Basinger is sure to be an inspiration to any brave soul hoping to make that peril- ridden leap from the catwalk to the silver screen.

1:15 PM


From Judith Shulevitz's article:
How To Write a Book on Women in Hollywood

Premiere magazine writer Rachel Abramowitz's Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? Women's Experiences of Power in Hollywood is a long, gossipy, blow-by-blow account of seemingly every single career move ever made by the first two generations of women to succeed in Hollywood.

It includes studio chiefs Dawn Steel and Sherry Lansing, agent Sue Mengers, actress/director Jodie Foster, director/writers Nora Ephron and Elaine May, and producer Paula Weinstein.

ITAGIYP isn't terrible, exactly, but it is the kind of book that induces in the reviewer such weighty thoughts as, Ought this kind of book to exist? Does the world require more proof that all humans, male or female, have a propensity for deal-making, backstabbing, and power worship? Can Abramowitz really justify the effort on the grounds that she's written a history of female consciousness in the movie industry?

The answers to those questions are no; probably; and of course not. The replies would have been different, though, if the book had been independent-minded instead of worshipful and not written in the gee-whiz jargon of celebrity profiles. There is, in fact, an interesting case study to be written about women and Hollywood. Complain all you like, but as industries go, the movie industry is relatively open to women and other outsiders. Sure, Hollywood looks white and male, given the fratlike male bonding that goes on in film crews and the networking that tends to shut out minority executives, but that appearance is misleading. In contrast to, say, brokerage firms, studios tend to be places where people are judged more on their work product--their box-office results--than on their sex or social profile. That means Hollywood can often assimilate new networks--black, Hispanic, female, Australian, subcontinental Indian--before other businesses can. The process is slow and fraught, obviously, and people from one network may have difficulties striking up the necessary relationships with people from another. But the existence of movies like Thelma & Louise tells us something of how far women have come.

You get a sense of how movie studios differ from other workplaces when Abramowitz tells the tale of Marvin Davis, the Denver oilman who bought Fox and couldn't grasp, on first meeting Sherry Lansing, that she was Fox's head of production. "In the oil business we only work with guys," he explains. "I never worked with a broad. So I thought she was supposed to get the coffee." In other words, Hollywood looked like the land of radical feminists from where Davis was sitting.

In the book about women and Hollywood that Culturebox would like to read, the writer's main task would be to disentangle sexual discrimination (a structural flaw) and the clash of personalities (which can happen in any group at any time). Unbundling the two would be as rewarding in literary terms as it would be helpful politically. Conflating them, on the other hand, as Abramowitz tends to do, has the effect of reducing the larger-than-life qualities of foul-mouthed telephone-slammer studio chief Dawn Steel or the vulgar ball-busting agent Sue Mengers into something suitably female, like insecurity, anxiety, the need to out-shriek the men, or lack of socialization. Did their careers swing up and down because they were women, because Hollywood is just like that, or because they were capable of being completely, deliriously intransigent? What would it take for a woman to gain recognition for being as big a monster (or genius) as Samuel Goldwyn, Irving Thalberg, or Louis G. Mayer, anyway?

Judith Shulevitz writes about literature and religion.
Originally posted at SLATE (http://slate.msn.com/id/1005342/) on Thursday, May 18, 2000, at 3:56 PM PT

1:06 PM

Big Name Women Directors

Some non-American directors:
Leni Riefenstahl
Lina Wertmuller
Agnes Varda
Mira Nair
Marzieh Meshkini
Samira Makhmalbaf
Lynne Ramsay
Sally Potter
Catherine Breillat
Niki Caro

A couple of American directors:
Kathryn Bigelow - Bigelow has done some outstanding work in genre films traditionally dominated by men. Ex. Dark and Point Break.
Mary Lambert - She's the only female director to helm a hit Stephen King horror adaptation.

1:04 PM


A Reuters news wire, found on The Daily Voice/Pakistan website.

Most powerful women in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES: The “it” is the Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the 100 most influential women in show business, unveiled in Tuesday’s edition of the show business trade magazine.

The show business trade newspaper began ranking the 50 most powerful women 11 years ago and expanded it to include 100 women last year to celebrate the list’s 10-year anniversary.

Sherry Lansing, who became the first female chairman of Paramount Pictures in 1992, regained the top slot on the list, after slipping from No 1 to No 2 last year. Ranking No 2 was Stacey Snider, chairman of production for Universal Pictures, who commanded the No 1 spot last year. Rounding out the top 5 were Amy Pascal, vice chairman of Sony Pictures at No 3, Nancy Tellem, president of CBS Entertainment ranking fourth, and Michele Anthony, executive VP, Sony Music Entertainment at No 5.

Conspicuously absent from the list this year was domestic style maven Ms Stewart, who ranked about 57 last year, but whose image has been tarnished by an insider trading investigation. Hollywood Reporter officials declined comment on whether Ms Stewart’s legal woes were to blame. “While a proven track record is a consideration, no Power 100 woman was allowed to coast on a one-year-old accomplishment,” Ms Grosz said.

Stars with clout: For the past few years, the list has expanded beyond mostly industry executives and insiders, to include stars that have clout in the industry.

Julia Roberts’ ability to open a movie, command a big pay-check and run her own production company give her clout to hire whomever she chooses, Ms Grosz noted. Other rising actor business titans are Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lopez. But while these two did not make the cut and both Ms Roberts and Madonna slipped this year in their rankings, 16-year-old media twin tycoons Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who have their own teen line at Wal-Mart, made it for the second year running, rising to No 98 from 100.

Ms Roberts who ranked No 3 last year, slid down to No. 12, while Madonna fell from No 42 to No 60 this year. The list reflects a sharp rise of women in top posts in Hollywood, with women leading four Hollywood guilds and key network divisions.

The Reporter notes that despite the ever-increasing number of women in Hollywood’s executive ranks, the percentage of female writers dropped from 14 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2001 and female directors dropped from 11 percent in 2000 to a paltry 6 percent in 2001. —Reuters

11:53 AM

Women in Hollywood 2004
from Premiere website: http://www.premiere.com/article.asp?section_id=5&article_id=1813
Go behind the scenes and hear from the honorees at the 11th Annual Women in Hollywood awards ceremony.

For the 11th year, PREMIERE is celebrating the achievements of women in Hollywood. This year's honores, the women celebrated at a luncheon in Los Angeles on September 14th, 2004, are an awe-inspiring representation of cinematic success. Whether you choose to view them as archetypes, goddesses, icons, power players, or legends, the truth remains: They are strong. They are invincible. They are women. Hear them roar.

Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, Patricia Clarkson and Liza Chasin were honored with PREMIERE Icon Awards. Anne Hathaway received Chanel's Spotlight Award for Emerging Talent and Olivia de Havilland received the inaugural PREMIERE Legend Award.

11:48 AM

Friday, October 15, 2004  
She Stops Shopping to Change the World
Tuesday, October 19
  • What if women shut their purses and didn't shop for a day, would the economy suffer?
  • The idea gets tested on October 19 by 85 Broads

85 Broads, a networking group is asking its 4,000-plus members in 450 companies, colleges, and schools not to spend that day, and hope they spread the word. Janet Hanson, who founded 85 Broads in 1999, says the "buycott" will show the gap between women's purchasing power and our underrepresentation in boardrooms and executive suites.
Women control $3.3 trillion in yearly consumer spending -- 44 percent of national spending -- a sum that isn't just symbolic. According to Business Week, the U.S. economy has become increasingly female-driven. In fact, women in the U.S. control $3.3 TRILLION in annual consumer spending; make 62 percent of all car purchases; take more than 50 percent of all business trips; and control over 50 percent of the personal wealth in this country? Mark your calendars and tell your friends!

11:02 PM

Friday, September 03, 2004  

From: Missy Chimovitz <mailto:missy@fiftyfootgirl.com> Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 14:09:55 -0400 Subject: free tshirt! pass it on!!

Hello, friends, It has recently come to my attention that 22 MILLION registered single women did not vote in the last presidential election. That's a lot of ladies!!! So rather than try to crack all 22 million heads together (which was my first thought), I decided to do what any concerned graphic designer would do: design something! Here it is. You can download it, print it out on a piece of iron-on printer paper (available at Office Depot or Staples), cut it out (there's a front and a back on the same sheet), and iron it on a t-shirt or tank top, D.I.Y. style. Download the Design at: <http://www.ywse.org/docs/fight_tshirt.pdf> * NOTE: The size of this file is 1 MB. Get the message out! Get your girlfriends to the polls! 22 million women will make all the difference!! Peace & love to everyone, xoxo, Missy

4:38 PM

Wednesday, August 04, 2004  


We have secured a series of exhibitions for interactive audio visual art and net art for later in the year. These venues include The Watershed Media Centre in Bristol and Dana Centre London.

We are looking for contributions of audio visual interactive works, net art, music and art software, generative music, interactive environments, essays. Work will be featured on the website and selected works made into offline presentations at selected galleries.

We are seeking new work for the 2004 series of events and for the website.

1. Internet. New online audio visual experiences and interfaces. Works for the website. Send in your latest "new audio visual experience". We are interested audio visual work by artists using the internet as a medium using internet friendly programming technologies eg shockwave, flash, vrml, java etc. So send in via email.

2. Installations. If you make interactive installations send in 400 words about the work and four images of the work. ie responsive environments, soundspaces, new interfaces navigation control, new displays.

3. Software. Artists and musicians software. This year we are particularly interested in applications by artists who make their own software.

If you work in any of the areas above we would like to hear from you. Either you could make something special or send in previous work that would be featured on the site and at the galleries in an offline context.

Zip up your work and send all info about it.

Don't forget to include relevant details.ie your name, project title, year created, brief bio, text info about the work, and also send the work. Please send all of the work including the html files. If your files are too big send in a cd-rom version.

A cd rom is planned to be produced (subject to funding) representing audio visual art and media 1998-2004 so please send in your work.

Do not just send us a link and say check it out.

Application form online.

web and info


11:59 PM


Women still battling the Aristotle syndrome

Since the days of Aristotle, women have had to fight the male notion that they are incapable of making rational decisions. Philosophy professor and Knesset member Yuli Tamir notes this historic fact to explain the latest battle in an ancient war that she and MK Eti Livni have launched. Last week, Tamir (Labor) and Livni (Shinui) submitted a proposal to amend section 6c of the Equal Rights for Women Law, which states that women must be given suitable representation in appointments in the civil service.

The proposed amendment states: "In teams involved in the decision-making process regarding the prevention, management and resolution of national crises, as well in all decision-making procedures, negotiations and the resolution of crisis involving diplomatic activity... appropriate representation should be given to women, and women will not represent less than 25 percent of the team representing the State of Israel or acting on its behalf."

Livni, one of two women members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, hopes to exploit her new role as chair of the Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women to promote the legislation. In a rare move, all the Knesset's women members agreed to sign the proposal authored by Livni and Tamir - with the exception of Ministers Tzippi Livni, Limor Livnat and Yehudit Naot, who because they are cabinet members may not sign on to private bills.

Eti Livni also invited Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to a festive session of her committee to celebrate her new role as committee chair, and asked him to speak and express support - if not for the law, then at least for the important principle of including women in the diplomatic negotiating process. Sharon thanked her for the invitation but told her that regretfully, he would be busy at that time.

Livni also asked Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz why among the twenty members of the committee he appointed to debate Israel's security doctrine, there is not a single woman. She has not yet received an answer. "The exclusion of women from the decision-making centers consolidates their marginality in society," says Tamir.

Clear message

"A political-security process without women means that women are worthless. On the other hand, the presence of women at the negotiating table sends a clear message to society." Tamir is convinced that the inclusion of women in the decision-making process in the area of foreign affairs and security will not only contribute to bolstering their status in society, but will be very beneficial for the process itself, and consequently to society as a whole and women in particular.

"Women bring a different perspective to the table, sensitivity to the distress of others, attentiveness," she says, regarding the collection of characteristics that are often referred to as "emotional intelligence." Tamir and Livni would like to debate their proposal in the context of a joint committee of the Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women and the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

But to judge by the response of the latter committee's chair, MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud), there is not much chance of that. "I think that that is a funny bill," says Steinitz.

"It is impossible to determine women's representation within such constraints. The negotiating committees are sometimes ad hoc rather than formal ones. How can one measure the percentage that women should represent? And if there is no suitable woman that can be attached to a delegation to Washington, does that mean that the prime minister can't sent a representative to diplomatic talks? Perhaps we should also determine that in all negotiations, there should be appropriate representation for nice people, or immigrants?"

The solution, in Steinmetz's view, is in the advancement of women to senior positions, in which capacity they would in any case find their place on various teams. Dr. Uzi Arad of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, who in the past served in senior positions in the Mossad and the prime minister's office, believes that in the area of security, there is no possibility for proportionate representation for women because women are not found on the tracks that can put them in the running for senior positions in this area.

In his view, there cannot be affirmative action in the area of state security, "which is a matter of life or death," and thereby taking the risk that an unsuitable person is chosen for a crucial position. At the same time, Arad criticizes women that do not choose the academic tracks that could serve as springboards for the inclusion in diplomatic decision-making junctures.

Very few women study national security, international relations and similar areas, says Arad, noting that Madeleine Albright, who serves as the United States' secretary of state, and Condoleezza Rice, President George Bush's national security advisor, both reached their elevated positions from the academy.

Women and violence

In Israel, he says, most women study psychology or sociology. Tamir and Livni's bill is based on United Nations Resolution 1325 passed by the Security Council in 2000. The resolution relates, for the first time in history, to how war situations uniquely affect the lives of women and girls and recognizes the significant importance of women and women's organizations in these processes.

With this resolution, the Security Council expressed its concern for the especially vulnerable position of women in violent conflicts and for the fact that they represent the majority of victims. The Council affirms "the important role of women in the prevention of conflicts and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building, and stresses the importance in their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution."

The resolution is quoted in a letter that 20 women's organizations will deliver to Livni next week when she is installed as chair of the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women. They will ask her to convene a joint meeting not only with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, but also with the members of the National Security Council and senior IDF officers in order to hear how they view the issue of participation of women in their professional world.

The letter and signing was organized by Isha L'Isha [Woman to Woman] - Haifa Feminist Center, which with the assistance of grants from international foundations - the German Heinrich Boell Foundation and Oxfam - has taken upon itself, together with the Bat Shalom organization of Jerusalem, to publish the existence of UN Resolution 1325 in Israel.

In the view of Sarai Aharoni of the Haifa center, there is no chance of the Knesset passing the bill proposed by Tamir and Livni because "most Knesset members are men and the subject of foreign affairs and security are the areas where they have a great deal of power. They will not concede that power." But, she says, its importance lies in the ability to awaken awareness of the subject along with a public debate on it. Aharoni also believes that it is not enough to have a particular number of women represented on negotiating teams, because not all women view themselves as committed to the representation of women's needs.

"The ability of women that reach senior positions to survive is dependent on their ability to adjust to a social order determined by men," she says. That is why Aharoni would add to the law the demand to give representation to a "gender-based perspective that represents the needs of women and girls."

No one voice

In a best-case scenario, Aharoni sees a negotiating team made up of 50 percent or more women, and not only typically elitist Ashkenazi women, but also Sepharadi women, lesbians, women that live in development towns and new immigrants. "The key is the feminist voice, but there is not a single, uniform women's voice," she explains.

Last week, Isha L'Isha sent a report to the Security Council on the extent of Resolution 1325's implementation in Israel. Similar reports will be received from organizations in various countries and the Security Council will hold a debate on the subject in October. The bottom line of the report states that Israel is not making any effort to include women in decision making or in the implementation of foreign affairs and security. Aharoni says that there is in fact no body that is promoting the advancement of women in these areas.

Women's organizations are mainly preoccupied by subjects on which there is a consensus - the struggle against violence, equal rights in the work place - out of fear that they will be perceived as being political, and consequently lose their legitimacy. Aharoni believes that the attempts by the organizations to take an apolitical line are mistaken.

"In the context of war and occupation, the demand for women's representation must be universal. It is not related to right or left, but rather to the recognition that as women, we suffer from oppression and that therefore we need to fight against oppression," she says.

On the left and the right, women are held captive to a patriarchal social order that is forced on them by men, she says. A woman that lives with her children in a settlement under a security threat, and in certain locations in isolation, lives in a difficult reality that has been determined for her by men, says Aharoni.

But since the intifada broke out almost four years ago, there has hardly been any discussion of the influence of the violent conflict on the lives of women and girls, both Israeli and Palestinian, in the territories and in Israel, says Aharoni. Recently, in the wake of activity to raise awareness of UN Resolution 1325, there is increasing recognition of the need to begin relating to these subjects.

Last month, sixty women and men came to a conference in Yeruham convened to express support for making a clear feminist voice heard in the public discourse on issues related to peace and security. A local resident, Lea Shakdiel, a feminist activist of the religious left, noted that a wide variety of women - religious and secular, Arabs and Jews - participated in the conference.

Most of the speakers agreed on one thing, says Shakdiel, that there is a clear connection "between expressions of patriarchal aggression toward women and the patriarchal aggression of militaristic, war-mongering societies."

From Wed., August 04, 2004 Av 17, 5764

9:07 AM

Thursday, March 25, 2004  
American Film Market 2004
Innovative Models of Independent Film Distribution

Sponsored by Directors Guild of America

Donna Mackay provids a valuable summary of an eye-opening panel
discussion that addressed future distribution possibilities for independent

Moderator: Stephen Gyllenhaal
‹Chair, DGA¹s Independent Directors Committee, west.
Credits include: Twin Peaks, Homicide, A Dangerous Woman.

Summary of comments:
The Independent Directors Committee, which focuses only on feature films,
was formed one year ago to function as a think tank to counteract a sense of
helplessness regarding distribution. The committee has found that two
factors, emerging technology and globalization, are beginning to open up new

To guide discussion, consider a model that emerged from the think tank.
Suppose an independent filmmaker distributed his/her film on any given
Friday. The release would be global and it would debut simultaneously in
theaters, cable television (like HBO), on the Internet for downloading, for
rental, and for sale. In the All-At-Once distribution model, a film would
reach all the markets and all reviewers at the same time. And the Academy
would adjust its rules so this would not preclude getting an award.
Filmmakers could do all their selling at once, rather than selling to each
market progressively, which consumes most of their lives and prevents them
from moving on, to make more movies.

For financing, consider Ethan Hawke's plan to sell shares in his film for
$100.00 a piece. Or consider a pre-sale model where people can buy 20 DVD's
for a fixed price, then sell them for whatever they can get based on the
demand once a film gets some ³heat.² David Lynch has his own web site that
he charges for access to.

It will take a lot of work to change the logistics of distribution. But
filmmakers can begin by thinking about it as soon as they start a script.
Think about getting visibility on the Internet. The web allows us to get
back to our passions as filmmakers.

Panelist: Peter Broderick
‹President, Paradigm Films. He is a leading advocate of low budget, digital production; has helped launch the careers of numerous filmmakers in US and abroad. Credits include Terence Malick¹s Days
of Heaven.

Summary of comments:
The revolution in production is being followed by a revolution in
distribution. It is very significant and good news for filmmakers. The
proposed All-At-Once distribution model addresses the problems independents
have with the gatekeepers to the audience. The model gives them more
control, which is a plus. There are challenges and there are opportunities
presented by the Internet and DVD sales. Traditionally, in the US and
abroad, filmmakers try to get distribution by screening to a handful of
companies. If the executives don¹t like the film, it doesn¹t get released.
But in France, for example, anywhere between 2-5% of the people could be
interested in seeing your film. If you get an aggregate audience across
boundaries, a critical mass can be reached, and you can achieve success.
Identifying a core audience and connecting with a community by methods such
as e-mail can be very important. If you do the math for on-line sales, you
can make 10 times the money you can through retail outlets. If you sell
on-line for $25.00, you can keep $20.00. If you sell through a retailer, you
might get $2.00, if they are being honest with you. Plus, by selling
on-line, you get the name and the e-mail address of the person buying the
film, which may be more important than the money.

That¹s because if you have a film people really like, the buyers become more
than just customers. The filmmaker becomes an artist, and the buyer becomes
a patron. This change in relationship can help you keep making films. You
can build a personal audience that gets the added satisfaction of really
making a difference in your career and your art. Kevin Smith is a filmmaker
who understood the web from the very beginning. His site, viewaskew.com, has
helped to build his audience, which in turn minimized the importance of
Miramax¹s role as his distributor. A filmmaker¹s key advantage is combining
the work of art with its distribution.

Panelist: Christopher Coppola
‹Independent Producer, Writer, Director.
Credits include Dracula¹s Widow, Deadfall, G-Men from Hell, and super-8
films starring his brother, Nicolas Cage.

Summary of comments:
The All-At-Once distribution model is not a good idea for everyone. If
someone asked Francis or Sophia Coppola to release a film following that
model, both would say ³No.² But, as the pirate of the family,? he would‹and
the publicity that comes with being a member of that family could help the
model work. A popular issue, like the war in Iraq, would also strengthen the
model. The biggest lesson he has learned is the need to create publicity for
your film. You must think like an entrepreneur and go against the Hollywood
model. In Japan, Nokia is streaming shorts on the phone; another company is
placing mini DVDs of trailers inside soda pop lids. Look for grassroots
publicity. Digital dinner theaters are popular; drive-ins are coming back;
even some cemeteries are screening videos, which are proving popular.

If you make a movie about skateboarding, promote it by being everywhere
skateboarders are. Go to their stores, to their conventions, and have a
presence on their websites. Blogging is another way to reach an audience.
You need to let them literally hear your voice: check out audblog.com. If
you are shooting in high def, get tech magazines to write about your film,
which is what he did with Curse of the Bloodhead. Go to all of the film
festivals you can. Think about aligning with people like Mark Cuban and his
HD Network. Make contact, bring them into your circle, because they want the
publicity, too. You don¹t have to be an auteur, but you do have to be an
entrepreneur, otherwise success is just a pipedream.

Panelist: Robert Greenwald
‹Executive Producer/Director; Publisher/Founder,
RDV Books; Founder, Public Interest Pictures. Credits include: The Burning
Bed, Steal This Movie, Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election,
Uncovered ­ the True Story of the Iraq War.

Summary of comments:
Alternative distribution can work. Uncovered was marketed on-line with the
support of MoveOn, a political group that helped to sell 65,000 copies of
the DVD. It was a niche audience that had a special interest in the issues
surrounding the Iraq war. The quick release of the film was very important.
Since then, a commercial distributor has ordered 10,000 copies. There is a
punk rock group promoting the sale of 15,000 copies. And another company has
just ordered a 35mm print for a tour in Europe. Each felt the efforts of the
other distributors helped to increase his own sales. Instead of creating a
conflict, this served as an advantage.

There have been problems with big distribution companies, especially when it
comes to the economic outcomes for the filmmakers. Everyone thought that
multiplexes would be the answer to getting more independent films released,
but it hasn¹t worked. As filmmakers, we need to separate our ego from things
like seeing our film in a movie theater or showing everyone our reviews.
Things are going to change. The Internet is a tool, but it takes a group
like MoveOn, with its 2 million members, to make it work.

Panelist: John Manulis
‹CEO, Visionbox Media Group, a digital production,
post-production and distribution service with both traditional and new media
applications. Founder of Digital Boot Camp, former head of filmed
entertainment for Samuel Goldwyn Films. Credits include: The Basketball
Diaries, Swing Kids, Tortilla Soup

Summary of comments:
There are a lot of hurdles for filmmakers facing big studio control of
production and the distribution pipeline. The All-At-Once distribution
model, with all the marketing efforts targeted toward release on a single
day, can be very effective when resources are limited. And Lost in
Translation is an example of how you can sell tickets as well as rentals or
sales on the same day. Even after the DVD was available, the film took in
$1.3 million at the box office.

Theatrical release should really be the last goal for an indie filmmaker. It
is incredibly difficult to get an audience. The national average for people
going to the theater is about three movies a year, and it is very unlikely
that your movie is at the top of their list. One of the problems for
independent filmmakers is that they do not think about who their core
audience is. They should ask: what is it about the project that is going to
get the eyeballs? The Internet is very important in generating the
peer-to-peer process of building a core audience. Mel Gibson¹s latest film,
The Passion is an example of a very core audience. Other core audiences are
along the lines of ethnicity, sexual orientation, and interests like sports.

For more information, see the Broderick article published in DGA Magazine January 2004

6:33 PM

Tuesday, March 02, 2004  
New Intern at Cinefemme
We are please to welcome Robin into the Cinefemme Organizantion. We accept interns on an on-going basis. Contact Katrina for details.

Cinefemme Post Production Intern Needed for Two Projects:
“wrappings” is an award winning film that has already screened at a number of festivals around the World. The reedit of the film will include original music, sound design and new footage. Internship will include tape logging, transcription, grant research and post-production coordination.

The Harvey Girls Project is a feature length documentary in progress. Internship will include tape logging, transcription, grant research, production coordination, historical research and much more.

Intern must be Mac Savvy and preferably have a laptop. Intern must be familiar with Microsoft word, Filemaker Pro and excel. Final Cut, Adobe Photoshop and Quark Xpress Skills a plus.

School Credit Possible. Intern must have 8 hours a week free for project. If interested, please email a cover letter and resume to Katrina Drabkin: kat@cinefemme.org.

Wake Up America!
by Katrina Drabkin
for www.bushin30seconds.org Competition

In this provocative, sexy 30 second spot by writer/director Katrina Drabkin, Leila's regrettable one night stand with a bad lover is a metaphor for George Bush's equally regrettable presidency. Like most Americans, Leila wakes up and realizes it's time for a change.

Wake Up America was produced for www.MoveOn.org's, Bush In 30 Seconds competition.

Wake Up America was made possible through the hard work and dedication of it's great team:
written & directed by Katrina Drabkin
produced by Mera K. Granberg and Katrina Drabkin
Director of Photography - Miko Lim
Editor - Dave Hurley
Sound Mix - Dave Nelson
Associate Producer - Michael Dolan
Assistant Sound - Charles Chadwick
Assistant Camera - Joe Riviera

Sophie Allez
Charles Chadwick

Michael Dolan
Katrina Drabkin
Dave Hurley

Jenny Zhang: Gauze
Sew true Shopping is often blessed, by happy consumers, for its therapeutic value. And yet it can feel more like an est seminar if you find your body type is out of fashion among the folks designing off-the-rack clothes. Local artist Jenny Zhang takes up a needle and thread to tackle this issue with Gauze, a series of workshops in which participants learn how to hand alter their clothes in ways that draw attention to problems with mass production and body image.

The idea for the workshops came out of a video project Zhang did at Stanford University called "Gauze: Make Clothes Fit Bodies, Not Bodies Fit Clothes." Both the video, about making a piece of clothing that actually fits, and the end product, a dress with an extravagantly long train, are on view through Nov. 30 at the Independent Design Center, where the workshops take place.

Participants of all experience levels can drop in at one workshop or attend all six to develop an ongoing project or two.

Through Nov. 30. Workshops every other Sun. (next workshop Oct. 5), 2-4 p.m.; video and installation Wed.-Sun., noon-7 p.m., Independent Design Collective, 52 Mason, S.F. Free. www.jennyzhang.org. (Lynn Rapoport)

4:53 PM

Wednesday, September 17, 2003  


there are some interesting notes to be noted, such as: Film Transit International's ACQUISITION CRITERIA

Films Transit International Inc.
252 Gouin Boulevard East
Montreal. Quebec. Canada H3L 1A8
Phone (514) 844 3358
Fax (514) 844 7298
OFFICE Email: info@filmstransit.com

Jan Rofekamp: janrofekamp@filmstransit.com
John Nadai: johnnadai@filmstransit.com (all festival + tape requests)

BT Agency / Films Transit Amsterdam Office
Pieter Aertszstraat 112 hs, 1074 VT Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel. & Fax: (31) 20.679 7954
Barbara Truyen: barbaratruyen@filmstransit.com

Films Transit New York Office
166 Second Avenue, New York
NY 10003, USA
Diana Holtzberg: dianaholtzberg@filmstransit.com

Montreal. 2003

When in the business of selling documentaries, one needs to evaluate the market on a regular basis. What sells? What does not sell and why? What is worth the effort and extra effort? From this exercise we establish the criteria for the types of docs that we are interested to represent and would like to sell.

But before we go into what we are looking for, we have to draw the attention to the fact that we feel that the market is very tight these days. We see hardly any growth in the FIRST MARKET. This is the market that we all want to sell our films too. Here is where the good deals are. We see strong growth in the SECOND MARKET. This is the mostly thematic cable and satellite market, but it is the market we love to sell AFTER we sold to the FIRST MARKET….

But at the same time we see an enormous growth on the supply side: there have never been as many documentary productions and producers as today. And that makes it very, very competitive.

In the light of this situation, it is obvious that we are looking for more unique, original and ultimately more sellable films, films of high quality and edgy, contemporary and important content.

We are generally looking for two types of documentaries.

First there are the EPIC feature docs, generally with more cultural rather than social-political subjects. These are the films on LARGE international subject matters and that may have a strong author signature. They can be historical and contemporary and MUST have a very high quality level of filmmaking and tell a story that everyone in the world can relate to. For each of these EPIC films we usually create an international launch at a major international film festival and strive as well to create a highly promoted worldwide festival circuit, before selling them to the FIRST market for television. Some of these documentaries will see a career in the cinema in selected countries. New examples are LOST IN LA MANCHA ( Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe) NONE WITHOUT SIN , ROBERT CAPA IN LOVE AND WAR and STONE READER ( Mark Moskowitz) and many others.

Secondly, we are looking for what will be referred to as URGENT docs. These are generally TV Hour length films on very strong, edgy, provocative, contemporary subject matters that we feel people MUST see because of their political or social relevance.

Here are a few new examples:

- A WEDDING IN RAMALLAH. An American-Palestinian man goes back to Ramallah to seek and marry a new wife.

- ADVENTURES IN BREATHING. Karen Murray documents her own double lung transplant.

- DANGEROUS OBSESSION on the disturbing phenomenon of stalking.

- PANDEMIC: FACING AIDS on the global problem of Aids, filmed in India, Russia, Thailand, Uganda and Brazil

- TO KILL OR TO CURE: different countries, different opinions how to deal with criminals: The USA, Canada, Finland, China and Japan

We also continue to be interested in all types of documentaries about CINEMA and all kinds of smart docs on SEX.

We release films generally twice a year, around 10 films at Miptv ( April) and around 10 films at Mipcom (October) Incidentally we use Berlin, Amsterdam, Toronto and other major film festivals as launching pad.

Abiding by the above criteria, it is our belief that Films Transit will be able to survive in a healthy way. This also means that unfortunately we will have to say no to many of the films that we are offered, even some quite good films, since given our experience they won't make it in the FIRST market…and, selling to the Second Market is just not economically feasible.

President & CEO

Films Transit

PS: The following may be of help in fine-tuning ideas for documentaries. We have broken the doc world down into three general categories:
1) The single docs that are destined towards the FIRST market: to the BBC, HBO, Ch4, Arte, the public stations in places like Holland, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, etc.

This is the market that can pay serious money, but that we do not really see significant growth in. Neither do we see the license fees growing. Yet at the same time the number of producers trying to get their film sold in this market has grown ten-fold over the last few years. As a consequence, only the top of worldwide documentary filmmaking gets sold in this market. In other words, one MUST make a VERY POWERFUL, UNIQUE, AND VERY WELL MADE FILM to make it in this market, preferably with some major awards attached to it as well: A DOC THAT KNOCKS YOUR SOCKS OFF. As stated, we feel that anything less simply won't fly in this market anymore (except here and there some small SECOND market sales to 'documentary channels' that buy pretty much anything, but for very little money). As a consequence, many honorable films that were made by very dedicated people who spent a lot of time and money on them will not be sold in the FIRST market.

2) Docs for the "home" market. These are social, cultural, historical, and political docs that are made for a specific country and are destined for a 'home' audience. While these films are necessary, most simply will not travel. We have found that attempting to export them is a waste up to 99% of the time.

3) Docs for the SECOND market, the global specialty-channel market. These are mainly low budget, reasonably well made docs of any kind, often in series for the Discovery, History, Exploration, Cooking, Lifestyle, etc. channels. Since there is need for a lot of them today, the production community produces a lot of them. While a great advantage of being hired to produce for these channels is that you get paid and therefore don_t have to worry about the films sales, those films made independently and destined for this SECOND market will most likely have a hard time being sold.

11:44 PM

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