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DGA Reports Slight Increase in Number of Women and Minority TV Directors in 2016–17 Season

“Insecure” employed 100 percent women and minority directors in 2016–17

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has published the 2016–17 Episodic TV Director Diversity Report. The annual study examines the directing credits on all the episodes broadcast in a given TV season. For the 2016–17 edition the DGA analyzed a record 4,482 episodes, marking a 10 percent increase from 2015–16’s 4,061 episodes. Alongside the rise in the amount of TV content, the number of female and minority directors also increased slightly from the previous season to reach an all-time high.

People of color directed 22 percent of 2016–17 episodes, as compared to last year’s 19 percent. Women directed 21 percent of this season’s episodes, a four point increase from last year. While it’s exciting to see the number of women and non-white helmers grow, it’s worth repeating that the huge racial and gender gap amongst TV directors is still very much a reality.

Credit: DGA

Specifically, white
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge to Star in Showtime Drama Pilot City on a Hill

Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge to Star in Showtime Drama Pilot City on a Hill
Aldis Hodge is moving several degrees closer to Kevin Bacon: The Underground breakout is set to star opposite Bacon in Showtime’s Boston-based drama pilot City on a Hill, TVLine has learned.

From exec producers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and writer Chuck MacLean, the prospective series is a fictional account of what was referred to as the “Boston Miracle.” In the early ’90s, corruption and racism was the norm in Boston, until an African-American district attorney (Hodge) from Brooklyn arrives in the city, advocating change. He forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran (Bacon
See full article at TVLine.com »

Kimberly Peirce Will Direct Underground Abortion Network Drama “This Is Jane”

Peirce: ScreenSlam/YouTube

Amazon’s abortion drama “This Is Jane” has found its director. “Boys Don’t Cry’s” Kimberly Peirce will helm the film about an underground abortion network in Chicago, which went by the name of “Jane,” Deadline writes.

This Is Jane” will tell the story of the network’s founder as well as the network itself, a group of self-taught women who provided abortions in Chicago in the pre-Roe v. Wade years. Jane also provided health education and counseling to its patients.

As previously reported, “This Is Jane” is based on Laura Kaplan’s book “The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.” The film is written by Dan Loflin (“Supernatural”) and is being produced by Peter Heller and John Lesher’s Le Grisbi Productions.

While the current administration is doing everything it can to strip women of their reproductive rights and access to healthcare, there are several projects in the works about the need for safe, legal abortion — and the lengths women will go to when that need isn’t met. Rachel Carey’s “Ask for Jane,” currently in post-production, is also about Chicago’s Jane Collective, as is the Elisabeth Moss-starrer “Call Jane.” And “Harlots” producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward are developing a film about Roe v. Wade, the historic Supreme Court decision that granted all U.S. women the right to an abortion.

Peirce’s feature directorial debut, “Boys Don’t Cry,” is the true story of Brandon Teena, a young trans man who was murdered in 1993. The film was nominated for an Independent Spirit, won the Satyajit Ray Award and the Fipresci Prize at the 1999 London Film Festival, and earned lead actress Hilary Swank her first Oscar. Features “Stop-Loss” and “Carrie” and episodes of “The L Word,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” and “I Love Dick” are among Peirce’s other credits.

Kimberly Peirce Will Direct Underground Abortion Network Drama “This Is Jane” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Judith Light, Roberta Colindrez to Star in Drama ‘Ms. White Light’ (Exclusive)

Judith Light, Roberta Colindrez to Star in Drama ‘Ms. White Light’ (Exclusive)
Judith Light, Roberta Colindrez, Zachary Spicer, Carson Meyer, and John Ortiz will star in the independent drama “Ms. White Light,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Paul Shoulberg will direct the film from his own script. The movie will be produced by Spicer and John Robert Armstrong for their Indiana-based company Pigasus Pictures. Shooting begins Oct. 27 in Bloomington, Ind.

Ortiz and Colindrez portray a father-daughter team who operate Cordova Mortality Solutions, counseling terminally ill clients, while Light plays a sharp-tongued free spirit who has no time for her own mortality. Spicer is a psychic medium and Meyer portrays a woman dying of a terminal blood disease.

Ms. White Light” is the first in Pigasus Pictures’ slate of six films to be produced locally in Indiana over the next three years. Spicer and Armstrong previously teamed with Shoulberg to produce “The Good Catholic,” starring John McGinley and Danny Glover.

Light stars on “Transparent” and was nominated for a supporting actress
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Exclusive Interview: The Tick cast and executive producer talk improvisation, Wally Pfister and more

The past three decades have seen The Tick taking on many forms, starting off as a comic book series and subsequently transitioning into an animated series and short-lived live-action series, but now, the property has found a new home on Amazon Prime Video. The rebooted, Peter Serafinowicz-led Tick series officially debuted on the streaming service last August (after its pilot debuted in August 2016), and it has been making a splash with both critics and general audiences ever since.

Stars Scott Speiser (Overkill), Brendan Hines (Superian) and Yara Martinez (Miss Lint) and executive producer Barry Josephson answered a few questions about working with Amazon, the on-set environment and more during a New York Comic Con interview with Flickering Myth.

How much improv is allowed on set? Scott, I know you have a [Groundlings] background, so are you allowed to draw upon that in scenes?

Scott Speiser: It took me a
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Amazon, the Democrats and the Fallout From the Harvey Weinstein Scandal

Amazon, the Democrats and the Fallout From the Harvey Weinstein Scandal
The New York Times and New Yorker stories detailing a decades-long history of alleged sexual abuse have undone the career of Harvey Weinstein. Bounced from his role as co-chairman of the company he founded with his brother Bob, his name scrubbed from multiple projects, expelled from the Academy, and publicly denounced by dozens of high-profile actors, executives and filmmakers, the mogul has been tossed out of the business of which he was once a titan.

But he’s not the only one facing a reckoning. With even more revelations about Weinstein’s misdeeds coming to light, the scandal has had a ripple effect throughout the industry, dragging down multiple companies and public figures in its wake.

Amazon Studios

As allegations against Weinstein flooded Hollywood, the waters also began to rise around Roy Price, president of Amazon Studios. Rumors of Price’s imminent departure from the tech company’s entertainment division had begun swirling this summer with the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Amazon Cancels Red Carpet for Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ Premiere

Amazon Cancels Red Carpet for Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ Premiere
Woody Allen’s new film “Wonder Wheel” is getting a quieter kickoff after the film’s distributor, Amazon Studios, has cancelled its Saturday night New York Film Festival red carpet. The cancellation comes in the aftermath of the announcement that another Hollywood producer, Amazon Studios president Roy Price, was suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Wonder Wheel,” which stars Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake in a 1950s period drama set on Coney Island, is the closing night film for the festival. Initial reviews of the film have acclaimed Winslet’s performance.

On Thursday, reports resurfaced of an alleged harassment incident involving Price and Isa Hackett, an executive producer on the Amazon show “The Man in the High Castle.” Price allegedly made an off-color joke to Hackett referencing the title of the Amazon series “I Love Dick” and pressured her for sex.

Actress Rose McGowan also stated over Twitter that when she told the head of Amazon Studios that Harvey Weinstein
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ Teaser Trailer Shows Jcvd Is Built Ford Tough

  • Collider.com
Amazon released three half-hour pilots in a batch last year: The Tick (which was great), Jean-Claude Van Johnson (which was also great), and I Love Dick (which I did not love at all). The other two series have already premiered, but we're only now getting our first tease for Jean-Claude Van Johnson, starring martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme. The teaser is pretty vague, though does give some sense of the show's satirical bent (you can read my review of the pilot here). The bottom line for me is that the pilot was the …
See full article at Collider.com »

Wanda Sykes and Jill Soloway Honored at Point Foundation Gala

Sykes: “The Wanda Sykes Show”/IMDb

“Slowly but surely I realized by writing this TV show, and distributing this TV show to the world, it would actually make the world safer for somebody that I love,” “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway explained as they accepted the point impact award at the annual Point Honors La Gala, held Saturday. According to Variety, Soloway’s honor recognizes those who have contributed to and improved the lives of the Lgbtq community. Also honored at the event was comedian-actress-producer-writer Wanda Sykes, who took home the point legend award, “given to an individual who has achieved prominence in their career and who has faithfully backed the Lgbtq community,” the source writes.

Soloway emphasized that after “Transparent” premiered on Amazon back in 2014, the team behind the show received “a giant cascade of love and support from the Lgbtq community and especially the trans community.” Inspired by Soloway’s own family, the series kicked off with Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) coming out as transgender to her ex-wife and children. The recently released fourth season of the critically acclaimed drama sees Maura’s daughter Ali (Gaby Hoffmann) exploring her relationship to the gender binary.

Sykes came out as gay in her 40s, and joked about the benefits of waiting until a period of her life when her parents couldn’t kick her out of the house for being gay. “I can afford to be gay,” she said, whereas others “get kicked out of their homes, and that’s why I support organizations doing the work that [the Point Foundation] is doing, so I appreciate that,” she acknowledged.

Afternoon Delight” writer-director Soloway is also an exec producer on Amazon’s “I Love Dick,” a comedy about a wife and husband who become infatuated with a male professor. The fate of the series is unknown — the streamer hasn’t confirmed a second season yet. She’s also an exec producer on Angela Robinson’s “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women,” an unconventional love story about the trio behind the creation of “Wonder Woman” that’s hitting theaters this Friday, October 13.

Black-ish,” “Snatched,” and “Bad Moms” are among Sykes’ recent credits.

Wanda Sykes and Jill Soloway Honored at Point Foundation Gala was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Wanda Sykes To Be Honored By Point Foundation

Comedian, actress, and writer Wanda Sykes, a perennial audience favorite for keeping the laughter coming in her stage, TV and film roles, will receive the Point Legend Award at the annual Point Honors Los Angeles gala, October 7th at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The award recognizes an individual who has achieved greatness in their professional career and unapologetically supported the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (Lgbtq) community. Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for Lgbtq students of merit.

Sykes can currently be seen on ABC’S “Blackish,” a role that earned her a nomination for a 2017 Primetime Emmy Award. Her work on “The Chris Rock Show” was recognized with an Emmy for Outstanding Writing, and she received three more Emmys for her work on Inside the NFL. Sykes’ 2009 HBO comedy special “I’ma be Me” was also nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety,
See full article at Look to the Stars »

Andrea Arnold Named Jury President of BFI London Film Fest’s Official Competition

Arnold: Cinéma Canal+/YouTube

Fish Tank” director Andrea Arnold is heading to the 61st BFI London Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the Oscar-winning filmmaker will lead the official competition’s jury. Arnold will preside over a jury that includes actress Lily Cole (“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie”) and producer Emma Thomas (“Dunkirk”), amongst others.

Arnold isn’t the only woman who will serve as a jury president. “The Trip” producer Melissa Parmenter is heading the first feature competition.

Red Road,” “Wuthering Heights,” and episodes of “I Love Dick” and “Transparent” are among Arnold’s directing credits. She screened her most recent feature film, “American Honey,” at last year’s edition of BFI London Film Fest. The Cannes’ Jury Prize and British Independent Film Award-winning flick follows a group of teens and young adults who travel through the Midwest selling magazine subscriptions.

“We’ve grown up mainly on male stories, and most of the films have been written and directed by men — and that’s only half of the human race,” Arnold has said. “I remember going to a women’s film festival and feeling a slight amount of trepidation, but actually it was fantastic. Some of the films made me cry because they really spoke to me. It was then I realized up till then I had mostly been spoken to by men in cinema.”

Arnold won an Oscar in 2005 for her short film “Wasp.”

The BFI London Film Fest begins Wednesday, October 4, and will run through October 15. “Battle of the Sexes,” Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s biopic about the famous Billie Jean King v. Bobby Riggs tennis match, will make its European premiere as the fest’s American Express Gala on October 7. Among the other films screening are Guillermo del Toro’s dark fairy tale “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Tiff’s People’s Choice Award winner starring Frances McDormand as a grieving mother hell-bent on justice.

Andrea Arnold Named Jury President of BFI London Film Fest’s Official Competition was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

‘Family is gross’: TV’s dysfunctional relationship with the 2.4

Transparent is among the few shows to play with the idea of the modern family. Why did it take television so long to break from the nuclear model?

Related: Transparent season four review – even more essential in the age of Trump

“Family is gross, but it’s important,” says Sarah Pfefferman, in the new, fourth season of Transparent, reeling from another chaotic get-together. It is not a sentiment you will find cross-stitched on many cushions but, for most of us, it’s probably not far off the mark. The Pfeffermans, the well-off, Jewish, La-resident family around which the series revolves, are not that gross; it’s more that they’re messy and loud and populated by narcissists, neurotics and own-worst-enemies.

Related: Does it matter that Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor isn't trans?

Related: Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor calls for more trans actors in Emmys speech

Related: Coming from the creator of Transparent: I Love Dick,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Amazon Studios Waves Flag Over Prime New York Film Festival Slots

Amazon Studios Waves Flag Over Prime New York Film Festival Slots
As an indie film veteran, Bob Berney has seen the value of a high-profile slot at the New York Film Festival, whose fall dates have long corresponded with the ramp-up of awards season. “Pan’s Labyrinth,” a film he championed while running Time Warner’s former Picturehouse division, closed the 2006 festival en route to three Oscar wins.

This year, Berney has a rare trifecta. Amazon Studios, where he heads marketing and distribution, has the Opening Night, Closing Night and Centerpiece selections during Nyff, with “Last Flag Flying,” “Wonderstruck” and “Wonder Wheel,” respectively. “Wonderstruck” has played in Cannes and Telluride, but the other two will be world premieres, and “Wonder Wheel” represents the streaming giant’s first foray into full distribution. Previous Amazon titles, including last year’s breakout, “Manchester by the Sea,” have been shared with traditional distributors.

The low-key Berney shrugs off the idea of any kind of high-tech takeover of one of the film world
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Casey Affleck’s Production Company Signs Deal With Amazon Studios (Exclusive)

Casey Affleck’s Production Company Signs Deal With Amazon Studios (Exclusive)
Casey Affleck’s newly launched production company Sea Change Media has signed an exclusive first look deal with Amazon Studios, Variety has learned. It makes sense that Affleck’s banner would want to hang its hat with Amazon. The actor picked up an Oscar for best actor for his work in “Manchester by the Sea,” which Amazon bought out of Sundance and successfully pushed for awards attention.

The two-year deal will cover both film and television projects. Sea Change Media says it wants to back stores that shine a light on underrepresented voices. It goes on to say that its lodestar will be a “philosophy of inclusivity and collaboration.” Hollywood has been engulfed in a debate about the lack of films about women and people of color in recent years, so Sea Change Media is clearly looking to help promote more diversity in film and television. Whitaker Lader, who previously worked at the Sundance Institute, serves
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Directors Guild of America Fines Jill Soloway, Amazon Over ‘I Love Dick’ Credits

Directors Guild of America Fines Jill Soloway, Amazon Over ‘I Love Dick’ Credits
The Directors Guild of America has leveled a six-figure fine against Amazon Studios and Jill Soloway over allegations of misconduct from directors on the “I Love Dick” series, sources have told Variety.

Representatives for the DGA, Amazon, and Soloway had no comment. A source told Variety that the directors complained that DGA rules had been violating as they did not receive credit for scenes they shot that subsequently appeared in other episodes. They also alleged that Soloway’s activities on the set had interfered with their jobs.

Soloway has extensive television credits as a producer, director, and writer dating back to “Six Feet Under,” “United States of Tara,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Soloway won the best director award at the Sundance Film Festival for the 2013 film “Afternoon Delight,” then won a DGA Award and two Emmys for episodes of “Transparent.”

I Love Dick” was created by Soloway and Sarah Gubbins, and
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Transparent Creator Jill Soloway and Amazon Hit with Massive Fine For I Love Dick

Transparent creator Jill Soloway and Amazon were both slapped with a massive fine for the series I Love Dick.

The Directors Guild of America hit them with the hefty fee after I Love Dick directors claimed they weren't credited for the work they shot which appeared in other episodes. Plus, according to

...

Read More >
See full article at TVGuide - Breaking News »

Amazon and Jill Soloway Hit With Hefty DGA Fine for 'I Love Dick'

The Directors Guild of America has imposed a substantial fine on Amazon and Jill Soloway after I Love Dick directors claimed they didn't receive credit for scenes they shot that appeared in other episodes and that Soloway's on-set activities were interfering with their job, a source says.

Guild rules stipulate that notes to TV cast and crew come from the director, and that if footage or scenes shot by one director end up in another episode shot by another director, credit and compensation must be doled out. Though one source tells THR that the fine was as high as $2...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

“Transparent” Gets a New Showrunner for Season 5

Transparent

Transparent” creator Jill Soloway is stepping down as showrunner of the critically acclaimed Amazon series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the upcoming fifth season of the family dramedy will see Soloway be succeeded by Jill Gordon, whose credits include “Cupid,” “My So-Called Life,” and “The Wonder Years.”

The first season of “Transparent” kicked off with Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) coming out as transgender to her ex-wife and children. The premise was inspired by Soloway’s own family. The fourth season of the series, set to bow September 22, sees the Pfeffermans traveling to Israel together, or as Sarah (Amy Landecker) calls it, “Orthodox Jewish Disneyland.”

Soloway’s presence will still be felt in Season 5— she’ll continue to write, direct, and exec produce the Emmy-winning series about the La-based Pfefferman family.

The “Afternoon Delight” writer-director is an exec producer on Amazon’s “I Love Dick,” a comedy about a wife and husband who become infatuated with a male professor. The fate of the series is unknown — the streamer hasn’t confirmed a second season yet. She’s also an exec producer on Angela Robinson’s “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women,” an unconventional love story about the trio behind the creation of “Wonder Woman” that’s currently screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Gordon most recently created and wrote for “Heartbeat,” an NBC medical drama about a heart transplant surgeon.

Transparent” Gets a New Showrunner for Season 5 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Tali Shalom-Ezer — “My Days of Mercy”

“My Days of Mercy

Tali Shalom-Ezer is a screenwriter and director whose previous works include “Princess” and “Surrogate.” Her films have garnered critical acclaim and won her the Grand Prix at the 2015 Kiev International Film Festival, Best Feature at the Jerusalem Film Festival 2014, and Best Debut Feature at the Raindance Film Festival. “My Days of Mercy” is her first English-language film.

“My Days of Mercy” will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on September 15.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Ts: The movie tells the story of Lucy (Ellen Page), a young woman who has spent the last eight years protesting the death penalty outside state penitentiaries. Her father, an inmate on death row, was convicted of killing her mother, but he has consistently maintained his innocence.

Lucy’s world shakes when she meets and falls in love with Mercy (Kate Mara), a capital punishment supporter. Their strong connection enables them to face and acknowledge their own hidden truths and transforms them both.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Ts: I was immediately struck by Lucy’s obsession with the truth and her uncompromising quest to bring it to light. I was also deeply moved by the unique and charged love story between two female characters.

I wanted to explore the beautiful dynamic between Lucy and Mercy, which I believe is an expression of the transformative, healing power of love.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Ts: I want them to feel that they’re not alone and that there’s always a chance to change, to grow, and to love.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Ts: It was challenging to portray a delicate and fragile love story that’s unfolding in such a tense and morbid environment. Expressing the deep level of intimacy between the characters is a private and vulnerable process, which is sometimes hard to create on set.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Ts: I am very fortunate to have Great Point Media and Killer Films produce this movie.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the Toronto International Film Festival?

Ts: Having the movie come to light after so many months of work by so many talented people is always the most overwhelming, cathartic moment. Screening the premiere at Tiff is a great honor, and I wish it gives pride and joy to all the people that were involved in the film’s creation.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Ts: The worst advice I’ve ever receiver is to compromise. But perhaps it’s also the best advice. Or at least, to learn how to prioritize.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Ts: The most important thing is to choose the right story, because it’s a long journey. The idea should really speak to you and you must be the only one who can tell it.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Ts: “Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” by Chantal Akerman. She created her own cinematic language and a new way of storytelling. She completely deserted the masculine narrative and created an independent, fresh, and brave one of her own.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Ts: The best shows today, both on television and in the theaters, are led by women. We see critical acclaim and commercial success for shows like “Transparent,” “I Love Dick,” “Top of the Lake,” “Girls,” “Wonder Woman,” and many more. So, I think there is every reason to be optimistic.

Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Tali Shalom-Ezer — “My Days of Mercy” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »
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