Hidden Pioneers: Women in the Film Industry

Posted by Anna Husted on 5.15.2012


Photo by Eugene Hernandez

On May 9, as part of the 25th Columbia University Film Festival held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, a panel came together to discuss the disparity between the number of films being made by women today and the number of women graduating from film school. Only five percent of films today are made by women (10 percent of screenplays written by women), yet women make up 50 percent of U.S. film schools (and more than 50 percent at Columbia). Women are slightly more represented in the Indie film movement, but a large disparity remains.

Featuring Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Holofcener (Please Give), Shari Springer Berman (American Splendor) and Cherien Dabis (Amreeka), moderated by Columbia University professor and filmmaker Bette Gordon, the panel also discussed families on set, writing powerful characters, intuition and ego, and the types of films the panelists hope to direct in the future.

Discussing her own personal evolution on set, Holofcenter said: "I think I worked harder than I had to. In the beginning I felt like I did have to prove myself on the set and make sure everyone on the crew knew that I knew what I was doing, but I think that probably made me look insecure. Now I don't try to prove myself at all."

Check out the full discussion below:

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