Over the last several decades many programs have launched specifically to help women in this business yet the statistics have not really changed according to the Celluloid Ceiling annual report. We will discuss if these programs are improving opportunities for women or creating additional barriers that women now have to go through in order to be recognized as qualified for the job
Moderator Destri Martino, creator of The Director’s List
Destri Martino is a 20-year veteran of independent film and the founder and editor of thedirectorlist.com, which promotes the work of female directors and provides an easy-to-use database of over 1000 female directors in order to help producers and execs find women for their projects. Destri is also a writer/director with credits that include over 200 corporate videos, the web sitcom Mixed Blooms, and the short animated film The Director (which traveled the world as part of the Athena Global Shorts Program, in partnership with UN Women). Destri also worked as a director’s assistant on two features and spent several years in the production trenches, ultimately working up to production manager on the independent feature The Deviants (2004). Destri is frequently called upon to provide expert insight on the topic of women in film and television, often with a special focus on gender disparity in the hiring of directors. She is a proud USC Trojan, a member of the Alliance of Women Directors and Film Independent as well as a board member of Filmmakers Alliance.
Rachel Lambert – Director, In the Radiant City
Rachel Lambert received a BFA from Boston University, with further education at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After graduating, she worked as Sales Coordinator for HanWay Films under Thorsten Schumacher, while continuing to write and produce theater at the Battersea Arts Centre, Finborough Theatre and the National Theatre. Since returning to New York, she has written three feature films with her writing partner, Nathan Gregorski, including directorial debut In the Radiant City, and also directed a feature documentary, Mom Jovi, for Sequitur Cinema in Nashville which premiered at the Nashville Film Festival in 2016.
Ellen Thomas – Education Director, NW Film Center
Ellen Thomas has witnessed, promoted and helped to mentor an entire generation of young women filmmakers as Education Director of the Northwest Film Center since 1988. In addition to running the Center’s School of Film, she has administered the Center’s internship and scholarship programs, conducted filmmaking-focused outreach projects for minority and low income teens, and fostered community collaborations which foster women and minorities as independent filmmakers. She has a particular passion for the transformative potential of personal documentaries, as works of art and as commercial entities.
Janice Williams – Producer of Confirmation, Love the Coopers, and Trumbo
Janice Williams joined Los Angeles based Groundswell Productions in 2007 and has since produced or executive produced 10 films including Emmy-nominated CONFIRMATION for HBO, TRUMBO for which Bryan Cranston received an Oscar nomination, and the upcoming film THE BIRTH OF THE DRAGON, as well as TV series including THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB (ABC), CHANCE (Hulu) and SyFy’s THE MAGICIANS. Williams, born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, started her career in entertainment in London in the music industry. After 5 years managing record producers and engineers in both London and Los Angeles, she began a seven year association with Mick Jagger managing recording activities for both his solo work and albums for the Rolling Stones, and working with him to found his independent production company, Jagged Films.
Alysia Reiner – Actor / Producer, Orange is the New Black, Equity
Alysia won a SAG ensemble award as Natalie “Fig” Figueroa on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, and you can see her in all seasons including Season 5 coming up in 2017. Also catch her as Sunny in F/X’s BETTER THINGS by Louie CK and Pamela Adlon, as D.A. PARKS in HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, as Lilian Izikoff on ROSEWOOD, and as Fiona in Michael Showalter’s new TNT series SEARCH PARTY. Alysia stars in EQUITY, which she also produced. The film premiered at Sundance in January 2016, was acquired by SONY PICTURES CLASSICS, was in theaters nationwide, and was also just distributed on DVD, iTunes, Amazon and Pay TV. As a producer she also conceived/produced/starred in SPEED GRIEVING which premiered at the Hamptons Film Festival and went on to over a dozen other festivals, winning multiple awards. Additionally, she was a producer on the feature BACKWARDS, and on the short film GRACE. Alysia loves working as a change maker for women, and has been invited to THE WHITE HOUSE, THE UNITED NATIONS, S.H.E. SUMMIT, GOOGLE, CANNES LION, CATALYST, and many other festivals and panels to speak about breaking barriers for women.
Cambria Matlow – Filmmaker / Portland Film Fatales
Cambria Matlow received the inaugural 2016 Oregon Filmmaker’s Residency Award to write a feature length narrative script for a Latin-feminist environmental fable set in the desert during the Rogue River Wars (1855-56) in Southern Oregon. Her latest feature film, WOODSRIDER, is an immersive documentary portrait of a female snowboarder on Mt Hood, set to premiere on the festival circuit in 2017. BURNING IN THE SUN (2010), about a young man who starts a local solar energy business in Mali, West Africa, was her directorial debut. The film was selected for IFP’s Documentary Lab and Independent Film Week, broadcast on Al Jazeera and PBS, and seen in festivals worldwide, including Rooftop Films, FICMA Barcelona, New York African Film Festival and Addis Int’l Film Festival, eventually winning the Cinema for Peace International Green Film Award in Berlin. Cambria’s films seek meaning in moments of stillness and value the emotional experiences created from atmosphere and mood. Small interactions and environmental realities reveal personal and political truths. Her work has been awarded grants and artist residencies from LEF Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, Experimental Television Center, the Puffin Foundation, and NW Documentary. Cambria holds a Certificate in Film Production from Burlington College in Vermont and a B.A. in Hispanic Studies from Columbia University. She hopes to receive her Masters in Essay Documentary from EICTV in Cuba in 2018.