Demystifying Female Film Producers, Then and Now

Panel
Julie Buck, Jane Startz, Amy Robinson and Jane Gaines. Photo by Olga Bas.

Female film producers have been around since the silent era, but digging them out of tangled Hollywood history isn’t always easy.

“Women Produce Well Developed Films,” a NYFF free forum held at the Film Center Amphitheater on Wednesday, sought to demystify this legacy. As put by one panelist, Columbia University professor Jane Gaines, many women in the silent era worked under a half-dozen names; others banded together under a single moniker, oftentimes a man’s. After a primer on female touchstones of the early years, Gaines and three other panelists (including two prominent producers working today) mined the elusive history of women in producing roles to uncover a rich, singular tradition.

Bookended with clips from movies as diverse as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and Baby It's You (1983), the forum also explored how the producing process has changed over the years—sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Watch the complete event below, and join us this weekend for the last of our free forums, either in person or via our YouTube Archive of each event.

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