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by Movies News Desk
In celebration of Women's History Month, tonight the Screen Actors Guild Foundation and the New School for Drama present 'Changing Landscapes: An Evening with Female Directors' at 7:00 p.m. EST at the New School's Tishman Auditorium. A panel of five women at the top of their directing careers in film, television and theater will discuss the changing directorial landscape, why they do what they do and how it led to their success.
The evening includes directors Neema Barnette (THE COSBY SHOW, CIVIL BRAND); Liz Diamond (FUTURA and CROOKED); Leigh Silverman (CHINGLISH, WELL); Rose Troche (GO FISH, SIX FEET UNDER, LAW & ORDER); and Claudia Weill (GIRLFRIENDS, THE OTHER HALF OF THE SKY: A CHINA MEMOIR, HBO's GIRLS). The panel will be moderated by Melissa Silverstein, author, blogger, and founder and editor of Women and Hollywood. For full event information and bios of the directors and moderator, click here.
Personal stories and career advice will be shared throughout the evening by the directors.
"After saying, 'We really need to stop talking about women directors,' this interviewer proceeded to ask if I had kids and if so, how that worked with being a director? Would he ask a man that? Like, 'Mr. Scorsese, does having children interfere with your work as a director?' Having a sense of humor is so important when you are trying to challenge assumptions!" says Claudia Weill, film, television and theater director.
"Film is the strongest political and social art form and the final frontier for Black folks," says film and television director Neema Barnette.
According to recent statistics from the Directors Guild of America, 95% of feature films are directed by men and only 5% by women. More than 3100 episodes were produced in the 2011-2012 network season and 2011 cable television series but only 15% of these episodes were directed by women. According to a recent New York Times article, women direct only 15 to 20% of the Broadway shows, a number that is considered a slight improvement to most of the last century.
Responding to the DGA's statistics, author and moderator Melissa Silverstein states, "Women make up half the population and buy half the movie tickets, and yet we still do not see enough stories from women's points of views and we also do not see enough stories about women. The one message I hear from women directors is to keep going, to not give up, and I so admire and thank them, because I believe our world is a richer place where all people's experience are validated and celebrated."
The event is part of the SAG Foundation's LifeRaft program that produces panels and seminars on the business of acting. It is open to SAG-AFTRA performers and New School students, faculty, staff and alumni. "We are honored to be partnering with the SAG Foundation to host this exciting event which offers a unique opportunity for personal and professional insights from some of the best stage and screen directors in the business. That they all happen to be women is just an added bonus," says Pippin Parker, director of the New York School for Drama.
The event will be livestreamed for the public at 7:00 p.m. EST / 4:00 p.m. PST. To watch the panel, go to http://www.sagfoundation.org/videogallery/livestream. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeted to @SAGFoundation using #SAGF.
WHAT: SAG Foundation and the New School for Drama present "Changing Landscapes: An Evening with Female Directors"
WHEN: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: The New School Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenue), New York, New York 10016
WHO: Neema Barnette, television and film director and producer
Liz Diamond, theater director and chair of the Directing Department at Yale School of Drama
Leigh Silverman, theater director
Rose Troche, television and film writer, director and producer
Claudia Weill, film, television, and theatre director
Melissa Silverstein, author, blogger and editor
About the Screen Actors Guild Foundation
The Screen Actors Guild Foundation provides vital assistance and educational programming to the professionals of SAG-AFTRA while serving the public at large through its signature children's literacy programs. Founded in 1985, the SAG Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, independent from SAG-AFTRA, and relies solely on support from grants, corporate sponsorships, and individual contributions to maintain our programs and create new ones. For more information, visit www.sagfoundation.org.