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Round-Up: Updates on Sexual Misconduct In and Out of Hollywood

22 November 2017 11:01 AM, PST

Rashida Jones in “Angie Tribeca.” Jones spoke out about Pixar’s discrimination against women and Poc in the wake of the John Lasseter revelations.

The avalanche of stories about predatory behavior in Hollywood and beyond continues. In the past few days alone reports have come to light about news anchor Charlie Rose, Disney head and Pixar co-founder John Lasseter, and Congressman John Conyers. They, of course, join the dozens of other celebrities and public figures who have been publicly accused of sexual harassment or misconduct in recent weeks.

As more accounts of harassment and abuse surface, individuals and organizations are fighting back against rape culture, Fox VP Claire Schmidt, The Swedish Film Institute, Women In Animation, and Raising Films among them.

We’ve compiled some of the latest stories on sexual abuse in and out of show business. Keep in mind that this list is far from comprehensive — there are »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Oscars 2018 Foreign Language Contenders: Hana Jušić— “Quit Staring at My Plate”

22 November 2017 10:01 AM, PST

“Quit Staring at My Plate”

Hana Jušić has written and directed several award-winning short fiction and documentary films which have been shown at prominent European festivals. Her credits include “No Wolf,” “Gnats, Ticks and Bees,” and “Terrarium.” “Quit Staring at My Plate” is her debut feature.

“Quit Staring at My Plate” is Croatia’s submission for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

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

Hj: The film is a dark comedy about a 20-something girl from my hometown on the coast of Croatia. She is trying to grow and cope with her life in an environment that is not very enticing, to say the least. She lives with a quirky, but at the same time oppressive family whose members keep “staring at her plate,” not really letting her grow up, but at the same time expecting from her to »

- Laura Berger

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Apply Now: Win a Trip to Sundance with The Horizon Award

22 November 2017 9:01 AM, PST

2017 Horizon Award recipients Andrea Villanueva and Brittany Fennell

Head’s up, female filmmakers: The Horizon Award is now accepting applications. If you’d like the chance to attend the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and have your work seen by industry vets, this one’s for you. The annual competition “seeks to balance the Hollywood scales by giving emerging female directors the opportunity to have their work viewed by some of Hollywood’s most influential directors and producers and providing mentorship for two emerging female directors who win an All expense paid trip to the Sundance Film Festival,” according to a press release.

The two winning filmmakers will attend workshops, parties, screenings, and networking events. They’ll also receive mentorship from award-winning producers Christine Vachon (“Boys Don’t Cry,” “Carol”), Lynette Howell (“Big Eyes,” “Captain Fantastic”), and Cassian Elwes (“Mudbound,” “Dallas Buyer’s Club”).

In order to apply you must submit a »

- Laura Berger

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Trailer Watch: Five American Latinas Get Ready to Celebrate in HBO’s “15: A Quinceañera Story”

22 November 2017 8:01 AM, PST

“15: A Quinceañera Story”

“A quinceañera’s not just a party. It’s how I’m embracing being Hispanic while still being an American,” says one of the characters in “15: A Quinceañera Story” in a new trailer for the project. Co-directed by Latin Grammy winner Thalía Sodi, the series of four short films chronicles the journeys of five young American Latinas as they prepare for the “quinceañera” celebration of their fifteenth birthdays.

According to HBO’s official synopsis, viewers will be introduced to “Zoey, a transgender girl whose quinceañera aims to celebrate the trans-madrinas (godmothers) who were never able to have one themselves; Rosi, a Cuban-Guatemalan American who combines all three of her cultures for a quinceañera celebration in Havana; Ashley, an amateur boxer from La who must navigate the pressures her family feels due to their immigration status as she plans her quinceañera and prepares for her first »

- Laura Berger

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Pam Veasey Multigenerational Female Drama in the Works at TNT

22 November 2017 7:01 AM, PST

Veasey: Scripts & Scribes/YouTube

A multigenerational female drama may be headed our way. TNT is developing “East of Jingletown,” a drama series from Pam Veasey (“CSI:ny,” “In Living Color”). The project follows “four women who have formed an incredible friendship through their sons and sports,” Deadline reports. “We meet them at a crossroads, and the series explores their friendship and their individual lives, and all the amazing warmth of these women’s complicated relationships through the ups and downs of it all.”

Veasey penned the pilot and is among the project’s executive producers. Makeready is the studio.

“I graduated with a degree in Political Science and Journalism. And my first job was at the Democratic Convention in San Francisco working as an intern for CBS News,” Veasey has said. “I was planning to pursue a career in news broadcasting and/or politics. Not until I was exposed to the numerous possibilities in television, »

- Laura Berger

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Women Comprise 60% of Variety‘s 2017 Screenwriters to Watch List

21 November 2017 1:01 PM, PST

Novitiate” writer-director Maggie Betts (left) made the list. Pictured with star Margaret Qualley: Film Courage/YouTube

Variety has announced the scribes selected for its 10 Screenwriters to Watch of 2017 and six of the writers are women. They include Liz Hannah (“The Post”), Maggie Betts (“Novitiate”), and Tracy Oliver (“Girls Trip”). All of the writers will be honored at Variety’s event at the upcoming Whistler Film Festival.

Set to open in limited release on December 22, “The Post” centers on The Washington Post’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers. Both “Novitiate” and “Girls Trip” opened earlier this year. The former is about a secular-raised young woman who decides to become a nun and the latter sees four friends reunite for the Essence Festival in New Orleans. “

Variety’s Screenwriters to Watch will discuss their careers and experiences in show business at a conversation at the fest on December 2. They will »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Indie Spirit Award Nominations: “Lady Bird,” “The Rider,” and More

21 November 2017 12:01 PM, PST

Lady Bird

The 2018 Independent Spirit Award nominations are in. Two of five Best Feature nominees are women-directed: Greta Gerwig’s universally adored “Lady Bird,” a coming-of-age story about a Sacramento-based teen, and Chloé Zhao’s “The Rider,” an award-winning portrait of a cowboy coping with the aftermath of a near-fatal rodeo accident.

Gerwig scored a Best Screenplay nod for “Lady Bird” — making her the only woman in this category — but her name was notably absent from the Best Director nominees. Zhao is the sole female filmmaker included in that category.

Atsuko Hirayanagi’s “Oh Lucy!” received a nod for Best First Feature. The comedy about a lonely office worker is the only woman-directed film up for that award.

Female filmmakers fared well in the Best Documentary category, where three of five films are helmed or co-helmed by women: Lana Wilson’s “The Departure,” Agnés Varda’s “Faces Places,” which she collaborated on with Jr, »

- Laura Berger

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Female-Led WWII Spy Thriller from Lydia Dean Pilcher and Sarah Megan Thomas in Development

21 November 2017 11:01 AM, PST

Vera Atkins: alchetron.com

Another female-led spy thriller is on the way, this one based on a true story. Set in WWII, the pic tells the story of spy recruiter Vera Atkins. The as-yet untitled project will be written by Sarah Megan Thomas (“Equity”) and directed by Lydia Dean Pilcher (“Radium Girls”), The Hollywood Reporter confirms. Both will produce.

Set to begin shooting this spring, the film is currently being cast. Atkins is “known for recruiting, training, and supervising the British secret agents who parachuted into France to sabotage the Nazis during World War II,” the source details. “She was widely believed to have inspired the James Bond character of Miss Moneypenny.” The story follows Atkins as “she selects two of the first women of the Special Operations Executive, also known as Winston Churchill’s ‘secret army’ — a pacifist of Indian descent and a daring American who is challenged, but undaunted, »

- Laura Berger

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Female-Led Bids Vie to Buy Weinstein Company, Support Women

21 November 2017 10:01 AM, PST

Maria Contreras-Sweet has made a bid for TWC: U.S. government/WikiMedia Commons

In the seven weeks or so since The New York Times published an exposé on Harvey Weinstein, Weinstein has fallen swiftly and rightfully from grace, and other industry predators like Brett Ratner, Louis C.K. and now Charlie Rose have been called out. Another effect of the Weinstein revelations? The Weinstein Company (TWC) — which the disgraced mogul ran with his brother, Bob, before being ousted last month — is on its last legs. And now there are reports that former Obama White House official Maria Contreras-Sweet as well as a coalition of filmmakers, activists, philanthropists, and investors are interested in buying TWC as a way to support women.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Contreras-Sweet has offered $275 million to buy TWC. If her bid goes through, she plans to replace the company’s all-male board with a majority-female one. In the letter outlining her offer, »

- Rachel Montpelier

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The Quad Salutes Lois Smith by Screening Her Career Highlights

21 November 2017 9:01 AM, PST

Smith in “Marjorie Prime

Just days ago Lois Smith received this year’s Golden Key Award for Career Achievement at the Key West Film Festival. Now comes word that the industry vet will be honored at New York City’s Quad Cinema. Four of her career highlights will be screened: “East of Eden,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “Foxes,” and “Marjorie Prime.” Released earlier this year, the latter sees Smith playing a former violinist in the middle stages of dementia. She maintains a close relationship with her late husband who exists in the form of a holographic projection (Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”). Smith received excellent reviews for the sci-fi flick.

“Enjoying her seventh decade onscreen, actress par excellence Lois Smith was recently on view at the Quad recreating her stage triumph with her beautiful multifaceted performance in ‘Marjorie Prime’ — and now she’s back in theaters with ‘Lady Bird,’” an announcement from The Quad reads. »

- Laura Berger

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Pascal Pictures Acquires Kat Wood’s Sci-Fi Spec “Envoy”

21 November 2017 8:23 AM, PST

Wood: Jameson Irish Whiskey

Amy Pascal has yet another promising project in the works. According to Deadline, Pascal Pictures nabbed the rights to Kat Wood’s sci-fi thriller spec “Envoy.” Described as being in the vein of “Arrival” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” the pic follows “an elite military intelligence specialist who jumps at the chance to take part in the selection process to become the first-ever human representative to alien life.”

Wood is an award-winning writer-director. She made her feature debut with 2015’s “Arthur & Merlin,” and her shorts include “Home” and “Mr. Bojagi.”

Pascal has a number of projects on our radar, including two awards season contenders: Jessica Chastain-starrer “Molly’s Game,” a poker drama based on Molly Bloom’s memoir, and Meryl Streep-led “The Post,” a star-studded drama depicting The Washington Post’s decision to publish the Pentagon Papers. She’s also producing a female astronaut series for Amazon, »

- Laura Berger

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Marja-Lewis Ryan to Serve as Showrunner on Showtime’s “The L Word” Sequel

21 November 2017 8:23 AM, PST

Ryan: Showtime

The upcoming “L Word” sequel has found a showrunner. According to Deadline, Marja-Lewis Ryan (“The Four-Faced Liar”) will be steering Showtime’s continuation of the beloved series. She’ll also exec produce alongside the original series’ creator Ilene Chaiken and stars Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig, and Leisha Hailey (who portrayed Bette, Shane, and Alice, respectively).

The L Word” ran on Showtime from 2004–2009. Set in West Hollywood, the drama followed a group of lesbians and is widely considered influential in its depiction of the Lgbtq community.

“Ilene and the original ‘L Word’ made me believe that my voice mattered,” said Ryan. “I am beyond excited for the opportunity to usher in the next generation of diverse queer people. I couldn’t imagine a better time to make this show.”

“Showtime met with a number of writers with ties to the lesbian community,” the source details.”The follow-up series is »

- Laura Berger

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Laura Dern, Julie Dash, & More to Be Honored at Nywift’s Muse Awards

20 November 2017 1:01 PM, PST

Dern in “Big Little Lies

New York Women in Film & Television (Nywift) is set to honor some of the entertainment industry’s best and brightest. For 38 years, the professional association has presented the Muse Awards annual gala holiday luncheon, a celebration of actors, directors, and other influential women in media.

This year’s awardees include “Big Little Lies” star Laura Dern, “Transparent” actress Judith Light, and Amy Emmerich, Chief Content Officer of Refinery29. “Daughters of the Dust” helmer Julie Dash will receive The Nancy Malone Directing Award, and filmmaker Regina K. Scully, who serves as CEO of the Artemis Rising Foundation, will be honored with the Loreen Arbus Changemaker Award.

Scheduled to take place December 14 in New York City, the Muse Awards is Nywift’s flagship fundraising event. For more information and tickets head over to their website.

Laura Dern, Julie Dash, & More to Be Honored at Nywift’s Muse »

- Laura Berger

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“Orange Is the New Black” Creator Jenji Kohan Signs Overall Deal with Netflix

20 November 2017 12:01 PM, PST

Kohan: The Hollywood Reporter/YouTube

Jenji Kohan is making it official with Netflix. The “Orange Is the New Black” creator has signed a multi-year overall deal with the streaming giant, Variety reports. Kohan’s female-led prison dramedy has earned four Emmy awards during its five-season run on Netflix. She’s also an executive producer on the streamer’s acclaimed women’s wrestling series “Glow,” which will be returning for a second season next year.

The deal sees Kohan developing new original series and other projects for Netflix.

“Bold, outspoken, and totally fearless, Jenji has constantly raised the bar for storytelling at Netflix,” said Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix. “She possesses a rare and special talent to say what’s unspoken, choose the unexpected over the safe, and drive the cultural conversation — and audiences love her for it. She has been with us from the beginning and »

- Laura Berger

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Viola Davis To Star in and Produce “I Almost Forgot About You”

20 November 2017 11:01 AM, PST

Davis in “Fences

Viola Davis is teaming up with the director of “Girls Trip.” The “How to Get Away with Murder” star will topline and produce an adaptation of Terry McMillan’s best-selling novel “I Almost Forgot About You” helmed by Malcolm D. Lee. Shadow and Act reports that Universal snagged the rights to the novel after making “a huge, competitive bid.”

The pic sees Davis playing Georgia Young, a “twice-divorced, successful optometrist. Despite a life, full of great friends, and family, she hasn’t felt a romantic spark in a while, and feeling bored and restless,” according to an official synopsis. “She decides it’s time to change, and goes on a wild journey of self-discovery, reuniting with old lovers, and getting a brand new lease on life.”

McMillan is penning the script with Ron Bass (“Rain Man,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”).

Davis won an Oscar earlier »

- Laura Berger

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The End of the Beginning: A Reckoning Thousands of Years in the Making

20 November 2017 9:52 AM, PST

Uzo Aduba: Instagram /Emma Trim

I don’t know about you, but when I wake up in the morning, even after a decent night of sleep, I am exhausted. I have been exhausted, outraged, moved, anxious, and pretty much every other emotion possible since the first Harvey Weinstein story broke on October 5. Actually, I take that back: I’ve been feeling this overwhelming range of emotions since last year’s election. But the confluence of the reckoning that is happening now — which started in the entertainment business and has morphed into every other workplace — and a serial predator in the White House destroying the fabric of our rights, especially our reproductive rights, sometimes just feels like it’s too much to deal with. It’s hard to concentrate when you don’t know what insane, and much-needed, story will be coming next from the intrepid reporters working diligently to unearth the truth. »

- Melissa Silverstein

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Trailer Watch: A Girl Becomes a Warrior to Save Her Dad in Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time”

20 November 2017 7:01 AM, PST

A Wrinkle in Time

“You can’t keep using your father’s disappearance as an excuse to act out,” Meg (Storm Reid) is told at school in a new trailer for Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time.” Rather than sulking and waiting for a miracle, Meg decides it’s up to her to save her scientist dad (Chris Pine) and takes along her younger brother (Deric McCabe) and friend (Levi Miller). The trio defy rules about time and space, and travel through the galaxy and dimensions. It’s not long before their epic adventure takes them to a trio of supernatural-seeming women.

“We heard a cry out in the universe … we believe [your father is alive] and we’re here to help you find him,” Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) informs the kids. He’s trapped by an evil energy. Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) explains that they’re looking for warriors “who serve the »

- Laura Berger

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