Casting Call: Hollywood Needs More Women

The Heat, a female buddy-cop movie starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, made $40 million in its opening weekend, but is one of the few movies in recent history with female leads.

The Heat, a female buddy-cop movie starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, made $40 million in its opening weekend, but is one of the few movies in recent history with female leads.

Summer is the perfect time for a night out at the cinema, but maybe you’ve noticed something missing at the movies: women.

Women make up a minority of movie creators: 7 percent of directors, 13 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers; that’s nearly five men for every woman working behind the scenes.

Out of last year’s biggest movies, 28 percent of speaking characters were female. That’s down from a third just five years ago, according to the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.

“Just based off last few movies I’ve seen, they’ve all been male-centric like World War Z and Man of Steel and This Is The End,” says 20-year-old moviegoer Melissa Hattab. “I know that I love going to the movies and I like seeing women I can relate to.”

That’s not to say no women are making and having lead roles in films, recent examples include Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring and The Heat, which opened this weekend and stars Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock. The Heat was also written by a woman, Katie Dippold.

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El Cine Negro: When film noir went Latino

Flickin' out

Today, September 15th kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month (although this Latina celebrates her ethnicity every day🙂 ) and my heart is full by seeing so much content spread across the internet in honor of Latinos. A topic I’ve been trying to write about but haven’t had the time to discuss is the contributions of Hispanics and Latin American countries and filmmakers present in film noir.

borderincidentAnthony Mann’s Border Incident (1949)

During this TCM’s ‘Into the Darkness‘ film noir course, a recurring theme I noticed was Latin American settings. As you may be aware, films noir take place in urban settings. Alleys, bars, tiny apartments, and New York City are just some of the signature elements present as the background of a film noir. During the film noir movement in the 1940’s, American cinema went away from New York City to more exotic locales such as Argentina in Gilda (1946) and…

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NFTS graduate Daniel Montanarini on film school and becoming a FILM DIRECTOR


nftsFilm school or no film school? I won’t begin to give my own answers to this debate, and any answers are almost decadent after the spoken words of Paul Thomas Anderson: “You can learn more from John Sturges’ audio track on the ‘Bad Day at Black Rock’ laserdisc than you can in 20 years of film school. Film school is a complete con, because the information is there if you want it.”

This is very true – we live in an age of information overload – but is this a good or bad thing? Hence ‘overload’! Can film schools not condense such information and give you a clear direction? Information to one side, the practice is probably the best thing you are likely to get out of film school, so let us look in more depth at the practice film school can offer.

I caught up with Dan Montanarini…

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Rooney Frontman Robert Schwartzman Makes Helming Debut On ‘MF’


Robert Schwartzman has just begun shooting his directorial debut, a film entitled MF. He’s mum on the logline, but his stars are Johnny Simmons, Amy Landecker, Frankie Shaw and Beverly D’Angelo. Schwartzman, who has fronted the L.A. band Rooney for more than 15 years, wrote the script with Benjamin Font. He’s producing with Mel Eslyn. His previous association with films was limited to composing original music for Palo Alto. He’s also done acting work in The Princess Diaries and The Virgin Suicides. And of course, he’s the son of the great Talia Shire of Rocky and The Godfather fame and part of the Coppola clan, so this directing thing was probably in the genes.

ICM Partners, which reps Schwartzman, packaged the film and will handle domestic rights.

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Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig Salute ‘Mistress America’; ‘Meru’ Is Filmmaking On The Edge: Specialty Preview


Five months after his last feature, Noah Baumbach is back with Mistress America. The release comes on the heels of his While We’re Young, released by A24 in March. Mistress America, starring Greta Gerwig (Baumbach’s 2013 France Ha), will be joined by a hefty slate of newcomers this weekend. Music Box Films opens Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary Meru, and Film Arcade will roll out People Places Things in a slew of locations Friday. Orion is opening the summer-centric Fort Tilden in a day-and-date release, and Vice and FilmBuff are teaming on the Berlin premiere Prince. And Fox International Productions bows its Bollywood title Brothers: Blood Against Blood in India, North America and other territories.

Among the other limited-release titles on the docket are Amplify Releasing’s Tom At The Farm, Vertical Entertainment’s Air in 15 theaters and on-demand as well as Cohen Media Group’s Paulette, Stratton Group’s WARx2 and BBC Worldwide…

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If You Want to Become a Better Filmmaker, Study Bad Movies

It’s no secret that studying films can improve your own filmmaking, but which ones should you watch for maximum educational impact?

The obvious answer to that question is that you should watch the great ones, the films that have left an indelible mark on the history of cinema. It makes sense, right? If you want to be the best, you have to study the best. While that may be partly true, exclusively watching well-crafted films might not actually be the best use of time if your intention is to become a better filmmaker.

In a new video, Darious Britt challenges the notion that we should only watch good movies, and argues (very convincingly) that bad movies offer a treasure trove of wisdom for aspiring filmmakers because they show us what we should avoid doing at all costs. Check it out:

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UK Literary Agents for Screenwriters

Scriptangel's Blog

Here is a list of UK literary agents who represent screenwriters. Not all accept unsolicited submissions so please check their websites for submission guidelines.

It’s also well worth looking at Michelle Lipton’s blog post, a  Q&A with agents Rob Kraitt of AP Watt and Matthew Bates of Sayle Screen, a great blog post from Jason Arnopp on what he did to get an agent and one from Lucy Vee Hay  on getting an agent.

Alan Brodie

Andrew Mann

A P Watt

Berlin Associates

Blake Friedmann

Burkeman and Clarke


Cecily Ware

Culverhouse and James

Curtis Brown

David Higham Associates

Dench Arnold

Gemma Hirst Associates

Independent Talent

Janet Fillingham

Jill Foster

Knight Hall Agency

Linda Seifert

Marjacq Scripts

MBA Literary Agency

Micheline Steinberg Associates

Peters Fraser and Dunlop

Rochelle Stevens

Rod Hall

Sayle Screen

Sheil Land

Smart Talent

The Agency

The Lisa Richards Agency

The Sharland Organisation

The Tennyson Agency

The Writers Company

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A Tasting Menu of Female Representation:

The Bechdel:

two or more women talking to each other about something other than a man

The Mako Mori:

at least one female character with her own narrative arc that is not about supporting a man’s story

The Sexy Lamp:

a female character that cannot be removed from the plot and replaced with a sexy lamp without destroying the story.

Chef’s Specials:

The Anti-Freeze:

no woman assaulted, injured or killed to further the story of another character.

The “Strength is Relative”:

complex women defined by solid characterization rather than a handful of underdeveloped masculine-coded stereotypes.