I don't know if we can yet call this the Year of the Female Director, but this is certainly shaping up to be the year where the cultural conversation is finally making a lot of noise about doing something about the massive gender imbalance in that area of the entertainment industry.
One program I recently became aware of is the AFI Directing Workshop for Women. As their site explains, their objectives are:
The AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women is committed to
educating and mentoring directors to increase the number of women
working professionally in screen directing.
Selected women will receive guided instruction and eventually produce
a project — either a short film or series for the web or streaming
services. All completed projects will be showcased the following year.
Short film participants will work towards completing a short,
narrative project with the intended outcome of playing at film festivals
and acquiring distribution deals.
Episodic participants will work towards completing three or more
episodes (no more than 25 pages) to premiere online or via a streaming
Film and TV director Jill Soloway gave a fist-pumping speech at the introduction to this year's program. I can't reprint it all here, but go to this transcript of it and read it. Here's a taste:
"You gotta go for it. Just do me a favor and F*CK SOME SH*T UP. Surprise yourself, wake up your actors, get wild with your performances, try sh*t, put in that funky dialogue you’re embarrassed of, in fact, rub your f*cked-up-ness all over your scripts, add some shame and embarrassment and glee, and then dare yourself to shoot it, SERIOUSLY, go big or go home -- be a creature unlike any other."
They have selected ten talented women as part of this year's program. I happen to be acquainted with one of them, Christine Boylan. You may have seen her short film when it was featured earlier this year on Go Into The Story. She's been a tv writer for several years, having worked on shows like Once Upon a Time and Castle. Most recently she was a co-executive producer on Constantine.
Christine's project is a contemporary western called HOSS. The story takes place after a disaster has crippled the sea-level areas of the west coast, turning the hills of Los Angeles into a Lawless Territory. It's based off of a story she wrote on Popcorn Fiction, available here. The lead of the film is Lyndsy Fonseca, a talented actress who should be familiar to viewers of AGENT CARTER, NIKITA, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, and KICK-ASS. A full breakdown of cast and crew can be found on the Hoss website.
Right now, Christine needs some help in making this film a reality and they're seeking donations. If you have some money to spare for this great project, please go to this donation portal and select "Christine Boylan - HOSS" from the drop-down menu.
I'd really like for Christine to be able to make the best movie possible and any support you can lend, even if it's just raising awareness of her project and the AFI Directing Workshop for Women, would mean a lot. The project goes before the cameras in a matter of weeks so now is the time to show your support!
Follow Christine Boylan on Twitter: @KitMoxie