Women Are Speaking Up at Sundance

By Ramji, Rubina (Ruby | Journal of Religion and Film, April 2018 | Go to article overview

Women Are Speaking Up at Sundance


Ramji, Rubina (Ruby, Journal of Religion and Film


This year, more than any other, felt like the Year of the Woman at the Sundance Film Festival. Interspersed throughout the ten days of films and red carpet events, women were given the opportunity to speak about their experiences making movies, as well as the daunting hurdles they endure by remaining in the industry. Women have been underrepresented in many societal roles, including religious leadership. This is more so for women of color. Therefore it was refreshing to see more films directed by women and films allowing women to have the starring role, rather than just supporting role, in this year's offerings.

Adding to the more greatly diversified film screenings this year, Sundance 2018 put on numerous panels that illuminated the voices of the underrepresented in the film industry. On Saturday January 20th, The Creative Coalition held the Leading Women 's Luncheon (presented by Aspiriant) that brought together actors, producers and executives to celebrate women's leadership in the entertainment industry. On Sunday, January 21st, Color of Change, Planned Parenthood, and The Blackhouse Foundation came together for a Women of Color in Hollywood panel moderated by IMPACT Strategies and CNN and NPR analyst Angela Rye.

Also on January 21st, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Golden Globe Awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) hosted a Women Breaking Barriers panel filled with women who had won various awards in their roles as actors, producers, directors and cinematographers. HFPA also gave a $50,000 grant to the Sundance Institute Women's programs. Panelists provided personal experiences and practical advice for achieving equality for women in the entertainment business and the fight they undertook to get women's issues addressed, not just on screen but in the industry itself. Panelists acknowledged that the #metoo movement opened up new dialogues, not just about abuse but also forcing people to confront deep-seated cultural issues that are often embedded in religious rhetoric (HFPA Press Release). …

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