Documentary and discussion panel on women film directors

A film screening and panel discussion at Phoenix on 26 November will explore the continuing under-representation of women among film directors.

Whilst the #MeToo movement brought the inequality faced by women to the forefront of culture, women directors remain the minority in Hollywood.  Using a screening of the inspiring documentary Half the Picture as a springboard for discussion, this event will explore the reasons behind this gender inequality as well as celebrating the many successes of ground-breaking women directors.

Half the Picture consists of interviews with high profile women directors including Ava DuVernay, Jill Soloway, Lena Dunham, Catherine Hardwicke and Miranda July, among many others, who discuss their early careers, how they transitioned to studio films or television, how they balance having a demanding directing career with family, as well as challenges and joys along the way.

The film also includes interviews with experts about gender inequality in Hollywood including the ACLU’s Melissa Goodman, Sundance Institute’s Caroline Libresco, Vanity Fair’s Rebecca Keegan, USC’s Dr Stacy Smith and San Diego State University’s Dr Martha Lauzen. It was Dr Lauzen who established the magnitude of this employment discrimination issue as women are shut out, across the board, of an industry that systemically denies their expression and point of view.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the director of Half the Picture, Amy Adrion (via Skype) and film lecturers Dr Claire Jenkins from the University of Leicester and Laraine Porter from De Montfort University. The event has been organised by University of Leicester student Alan Morton as part of his PhD research on women in American independent cinema as part of the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.

The screening and panel takes place at Phoenix on Tuesday 26 November at 6.00pm. Tickets are £3.