Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, an interview with Nancy Wang Yuen

by Kyna Morgan of the Her Film Project

Dr. Nancy Wang Yuen's new book, Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, represents a major breakthrough in research into barriers faced by actors of color in Hollywood. Informed by over 100 interviews and enlightening data-based research, her book provides an in-depth examination of racism within this creative industry as well as ways in which it may be opposed and the industry made to be more inclusive. Dr. Yuen's book is published by Rutgers University Press. ​HFP Your book might be the first ever to present in-depth sociological research into issues of racism in the Hollywood film industry. One issue that's being discussed with more and more frequency is the issue of 'whitewashing.' In chapter 1 ('Hollywood's Whitest') of your new book, you state that 'Hollywood creates a double standard by funneling actors of color into race-specific roles while casting white actors in every role regardless of race.…

Sue Clayton: Filmmaker Among the Vulnerable Young Refugees of Calais & Dunkerque

This updates an earlier post about film activist Sue Clayton’s work with, and film about, unaccompanied children and young people who are refugees on the coast of France, trying to get to Britain. The film is partly for use as evidence in upcoming court cases and an inquiry.

Daniel, a 9-year old orphan from Eritrea, had the right to be in Britain, because he had close family there. But he was sleeping in a damp and dangerous lean-to in the Calais Jungle, regularly subject to tear-gas attacks and violence from the CRS (Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, the general reserve of the French national police force). And his his voice was not being heard.

Then, filmmaker Sue Clayton and her colleagues provided legal representation to protect his immediate future. Daniel is now safely with his older brother in Britain, in care.

But many others weren't so lucky.

Sue's film began with her exploration of whether the children of Calais had a legal case to be in Britain. She found tha…

Tema Staig, Women in Media & the #WiMCrewList: 'Feminism is Good for Everyone'!

Tema Staig is the producer, production designer and visionary activist who founded and runs Women in Media (WiM), a networking group for above and below the line women and the men who love making movies with them.

Women in Media hosts regular networking events and supports women-focused screenings and film festivals, like Seeking Our Story, Etheria Film Night, and Bluestocking Film Festival. It also created the annual #AltOscarParty which invites everyone who believes more women should be included by the Academy to skip the ceremony, have a nice dinner with drinks, and watch movies directed and created by women. And, with Seeking Our Story, Women in Media encourages women to review women-directed films on Rotten Tomatoes and offers to amplify their reviews.

Most recently, Tema created the Women In Media Crew List (#WiMCrewList), as a resource for all those who want women in their crew. Any woman, wherever in the world she works, can request an invitation to sign herself up to the li…

#cannes17: Still Too Few Women Directors!

Cannes doesn’t change much! Just three films by women out of the 18 films In Competition when Cannes opens on 17 May. (The record, in 2011, is four.) Here they are–

Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, about a damaged war veteran, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who rescues women involved in sex trafficking.

Naomi Kawase’s Hikari (Radiance).

And Sophia Coppola's The Beguiled.

And Visages, Villages, co-directed by Agnès Varda and JR has been selected Out of Competition.

It’s a little better in Un Certain Regard, five out of sixteen–

La Novia del Desierto, the debut of Cecilia Atan and Valeria Pivato, two Argentinian women.

Aala Kaf Ifrit (La Belle et la Meute), by the Tunisian Kaouther Ben Hania.

Western, by Valeska Grisebach (produced by Maren Ade).

Jeune Femme, first film by Léonor Séraille from France.

Après la Guerre by Annarita Zambrano from Italy.

AND there are three women-directed Special Screenings–

Vanessa Redgrave’s doco about refugees, Sea Sorrow.

It’s the first film Vanessa R…

Loren Taylor, Director +++ – Loving What She Has

Loren Taylor inspires me. Based in Wellington, and an actor for film, television and theatre since she was 17, she's also a writer, director and sought-after casting director, a beloved and versatile and influential dynamo, who has received New Zealand Film Commission funding to make her short, APIS, and to develop a yet-to-be-titled feature. I long to see both films.

Loren worked with Taika Waititi on their award-winning screenplay for Eagle vs Shark – picked up by Miramax and released world wide – and won Best Actress at the Newport International Film Festival and the St Tropez Festival de Antipodes for her critically acclaimed role as Eagle vs Shark'sLily. She also wrote and directed the Phoenix Foundation video for Give Up Your Dreams – a homage to the work of Soviet film-maker Andrei Tarkovsky – starring Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords. And  she writes and directs commercials for international and local brands. Most recently she directed Treat Her Right for the …

Ariel Dougherty, Co-Founder of Women Make Movies

Interview by Alexandra Hidalgo You have a long history of making films and supporting women filmmakers, what made you interested in the intersections between the moving image and feminism? It was the spring of 1969. I was with 100 college-mates in the middle of an eleven day sit-in in our college administration building, when a recent graduate brought several films from Community Newsreel. One of the films was Make Out, but another of the films really got to me. A woman was ironing. Suddenly I started to see the preconceived roles we women were expected to fulfill. They were vastly different from my own ideas of myself. Already I was teaching kids filmmaking. I began to see that I could tell our own stories on film. If today it is unusual to be a woman behind the camera, back in the 1970s when you were a pioneer feminist filmmaker, it was outright revolutionary for you to pick up a camera. Can you tell us what made you want to do so and what the experience was like? We really learned from…