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Women’s Media Center Sends Team of Girl Journalists to Sundance Film Festival -- Spotlights Serious Gender Disparity in Film Industry

January 18, 2011

NOTE: Most WMC Sundance coverage is available for reposting with permission and the following disclaimer, as well as a link to the post: This article originally appeared on the Women’s Media Center Blog

Park City, Utah: The Women’s Media Center (WMC) announced today that it is sending a team of girl journalists to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival to report, blog, and tweet about women filmmakers and the status of women in film.  This team is part of the Women’s Media Center’s Progressive Girls’ Voices program, which works to provide girls with the training, skills, and confidence to amplify their voices and change the conversation through media. 

Julie Burton, President of the Women’s Media Center, said “We are happy with the fact that Sundance is showcasing 24 feature films by women and 25 short films by women, but there is still a lot of work to be done.  The Sundance Film Festival is a place for pioneers in the film industry, and the Women’s Media Center’s girl journalists will forge a new way for women and girls in film by shining a light on gender disparity in the film industry.”  Burton continued, “Who tells the story is every bit as important as what the story is.  Most people are surprised to learn that of the top 250 films of 2009, only 16% had women in leadership roles as directors, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors.  What message do these statistics send to girls?” 

The Women’s Media Center’s team of girl journalists will blog, tweet, and interview notable leaders, including Sundance Institute Founder Robert Redford, Academy Award Winning Actor and Advocate Geena Davis, Author and Activist Gloria Steinem, and several film directors including Jennifer Siebel Newsom (Miss Representation), Tiffany Shlain (Connected), Lynn Hershman Leeson, (!Women Art Revolution), David Weissman (We Were Here).

“From watching movies, girls and women come to believe we can only be ornaments, not instruments,” says Gloria Steinem, one of several Women’s Media Center board members interviewed in the film, Miss Representation, and who will be supporting the film’s Sundance Premier and Town Hall.  Steinem continued, “Movies shape our dreams, but they are mostly missing the talents of the female half of the country.  We are turning to Sundance as the center of leadership and creativity.”

Women’s Media Center’s Vice President of Communications, Yana Walton, will be on the ground at the festival and says it is “through training, advocacy, and the development of original content that we can help girls change the conversation in the media so that media more accurately represents the perspectives, positions, and priorities of women today, and in the future.”

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The Women’s Media Center was founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem to make women visible and powerful in media.   

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