Three years ago I hosted a gathering at my house to celebrate the premiere of Miss Representation at the Sundance Film Festival. Last Monday, the third annual Women at Sundance was held, now as an officially sanctioned event of the Sundance Film Festival, and over 150 people, both men and women, packed into my house to celebrate the success of women filmmakers at this year’s festival, to discuss ways to further empower women in filmmaking, and to hear the results of a research study called “Exploring the Barriers and Opportunities for Independent Women Filmmakers.” Details on that study to come.
The event was a huge success, and given the size of this year’s wait list, Women at Sundance shows no signs of slowing down for future festivals. For those in attendance, it was clear from the energy in the room that both women and men are committed to bridging the gender inequalities that exist in filmmaking, and the prevalence of female directors in this year’s slate of films in competition shows that progress is being made at the independent level. This is always about opening the doors so that talent can walk through.
To help encourage this progress to continue, and to assist female directors in breaking through to that elusive mainstream Hollywood success, it was my pleasure to announce at Women at Sundance that a new fund has been set up in partnership with Impact Partners and Chicken & Egg to directly fund films by women filmmakers. ( pictured above) Called Gamechanger, this fund will be run by Producer Mary Jane Skalski, and will fund women directors in a variety of genres with the goal of making commercially successfully films. More to come on this topic as well!
This announcement was one of many exciting announcements at Women at Sundance, and the enthusiasm of those in attendance was infectious. Given that I hosted the event, it should come as no surprise that the theme for the day was Wonder Woman, one that was picked up on by the New York Times in their coverage of the event. However, this theme goes much deeper than the image on the napkins and plates, as one look around the room last Monday revealed that there truly are Wonder Women working in film today. The tides of change may be slowly turning, but with the support of funds like Gamechanger and the dedicated women filmmakers of Sundance, those tides could very well become a tsunami.
See below for other articles on this event.
Jacki Zehner and Laura Moore